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Course Program of Study

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Course Program of Study

Federal and state financial aid regulations allow courses which are required to complete a student’s program of study to be included when determining financial aid eligibility.  Courses which are not needed to complete the requirements of a student’s academic program must be excluded when determining financial aid eligibility.  Bethel uses two software programs to help students understand which courses apply to their program of study.  Degree Works is Bethel’s degree audit program and indicates if the courses a student registers for (or completes) apply to the student’s program of study.  Course Program of Study (CPoS) allows the financial aid office to retrieve information from each student’s degree audit prior to disbursing aid.  Only courses identified in Degree Works as fulfilling a graduation requirement are included when determining the student’s enrollment status.  The amount of financial aid disbursed will be prorated when the number of credits which apply to the student’s program of study are less than the assumed enrollment level used to prepare the financial aid offer.  

For aid to pay for a course in your major, minor, or other degree requirement, it must be part of your graduation requirements or be necessary to help you earn the total hours required for your program. For those depending upon financial aid to attend Bethel, not paying attention to this rule could affect your full-time enrollment status, which could impact eligibility for federal, state and Bethel-funded grants, scholarships and loans.

How does this impact Financial Aid?

Courses that do not fulfill graduation requirements cannot be counted toward your financial aid enrollment status, eligibility or cost of attendance. Taking courses that are not required to complete your program of study, which includes your officially declared major or minor, could result in you receiving less or no financial aid. 

 For example, an undergraduate student enrolled in 12 credit hours, where only 9 credit hours apply to graduation requirements, financial aid will be based on 9 credit hours, but tuition charges will be based on 12 credits.

Enrollment Standards

Financial aid programs have varying enrollment requirements. The information below applies specifically to determining financial aid eligibility and cost of attendance for financial aid purposes. Enrollment standards for billing purposes or other departments within the university may differ.

Below are the credit hours which determine whether a student is less than half-time, three quarters time or full-time.

BUILD and Undergraduate Students

Enrollment Status Fall/Spring/Summer (in credit hours)
Full-Time* 12 or more
3/4 Time 9 to 11.9
Half-Time 6 to 8.9
Less Than Half-Time .5 to 5.9

*Students receiving Minnesota State Grant (MSG) need to enroll in 15 qualifying credit hours/term to get the maximum amount of MSG possible.

Graduate Students

Enrollment Status Fall/Spring/Summer (in credit hours)
Full-Time 6 or more
3/4 Time 4.5 to 5.9
Half-Time 3 to 4.4
Less Than Half-Time .5 to 2.9

What is considered Financial Aid?

Financial aid includes need-based, merit-based and other grants, scholarships, loans, student employment, income share agreements, military educational benefits, and employer educational benefits from federal, state, governmental agencies, Bethel, and other third-parties.

Advising Tips/Make Your Courses Count

Don't lose your financial aid due to your course choices. Talk to your Academic Advisor before planning your schedule!

  1. Register for graduation requirements.
  2. Work with your Academic Advisor.
  3. Consult Degree Works.
  4. Keep your program information up to date.

College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and Bethel University Integrated Learning and Development (BUILD) students can find more information here.

College of Adult and Professional Studies (CAPS), Seminary (SEM) and Graduate School (GS) students can find more information here.

FAQ

When will Bethel begin using Course Program of Study (CPoS)?

What is Course Program of Study (CPoS)?

Why do my classes have to be required for graduation in order to receive financial aid?

What types of aid are affected by Course Program of Study disbursement rules?

How will I know if the class counts toward my program of study?

How does Bethel define "Program of Study"?

What if I'm undecided about my major?

What if I am pursuing both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree?

When will the CPoS process be run to identify which courses are eligible for aid?

Will I be notified if a course I've registered for does not qualify for aid?

What if I change my program of study?

What if a course doesn't count toward my program of study but I think it should?

 

When will Bethel begin using Course Program of Study (CPos)?

Bethel will begin using the Course Program of Study tool for Fall 2021 registration for all students whose degree evaluations are in Degree Works. 

What is Course Program of Study (CPoS)?

Course Program of Study is a software tool higher education institutions use to identify which courses fulfill a student’s graduation requirements.  CPoS uses information from the Degree Works audit program for each financial aid recipient to determine the student’s enrollment level (full-time, half-time, etc.) based solely on courses which are required for a student’s program of study.  Financial aid disbursements are reduced when the CPoS enrollment status is less than the requirement for the financial aid program.  Courses that do not count toward the student’s degree, certificate, or other recognized credential, cannot be used to determine financial aid enrollment status unless they are eligible remedial courses

Why do my classes have to be required for graduation in order to receive financial aid?

Federal and state regulations require that funding be applied only to those courses that are required for you to graduate. “If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his degree, certificate, or other recognized credential, they cannot be used to determine enrollment status unless they are eligible remedial courses” (Federal Student Aid Handbook, July 2019, page 1-19). “To receive consideration for a State Grant, a student must be enrolled… in a program or course of study that applies to a degree, diploma or certificate” (Minnesota Financial Aid Manual, Section I, page 26, July 2016).

What types of aid are affected by Course Program of Study disbursement rules?

All federal, state, and institutional financial aid disbursed through the financial aid office is subject to Course Program of Study disbursement rules. Qualified Tuition Reduction (e.g. employee tuition benefit/waiver) is a benefit of employment and not subject to CPoS disbursement rules.

How will I know if a class counts towards my program of study?

Banner has a process that will read Degree Works to determine if the courses the student has registered for count toward their graduation requirements. Major, minor and concentration course requirements will count toward aid. Electives may also count towards aid if they are listed in the "Elective Credits Required for This Degree" section of the audit. Electives listed in the "Extra Electives (Not Required for This Degree" section are not eligible for aid).

How does Bethel define "Program of Study"?

A student's program of study includes the graduation requirements for a student’s primary degree type as well as additional majors, minors, concentrations, and endorsements declared by the student within the same degree type as displayed in Degree Works. Degree types include bachelor’s degrees, master degrees, doctoral degrees, approved certificates, courses required for initial teaching licensure, a group of preparatory courses (e.g., courses needed for admission to another degree program), or an approved comprehensive transition program (e.g., BUILD). If you are pursuing dual degrees that are packaged as one program (e.g. Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Nursing Practice - MBA/DNP) all requirements for both degrees must be met before a degree is awarded; therefore, together they are considered your program of study.

What if I'm undecided about my major?

Undecided students and those in an exploratory program will be able to take General Education courses and a limited number of elective courses that will count for their program. As long as the course is filling a block other than "Extra Electives (Not Required for This Degree)" it can be considered for aid eligibility.

What if I am pursuing both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree?

Students concurrently pursuing multiple degrees will be re-evaluated as soon as Degree Works indicates the academic requirements for the first degree are complete. Degrees will be awarded as soon as all of the graduation requirements for that particular degree are met. Therefore, if the student has met all graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree, it will be awarded even if the student is still pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree. At that time, the student will fall into a different set of financial aid eligibility criteria.

When will the CPoS process be run to identify which courses are eligible for aid?

For students in BUILD, the College of Arts & Sciences and Seminary, the CPoS process will run daily until the tenth day of classes for the semester when financial aid enrollment is locked.

For students in the College of Adult & Professional Studies and the Graduate School, the CPoS process will run daily throughout the semester for students who have made changes to their registration or program of study because financial aid does not lock student's enrollment.

Will I be notified if a course I've registered for does not qualify for aid?

Students are encouraged to consult Degree Works first. Courses that do not count toward graduation requirements will appear near the bottom of your Degree Works degree audit, in a section labeled “Extra Electives (Not Required for This Degree).” Any courses that are listed in this section of Degree Works will not count toward your financial aid enrollment status.

In addition to the transparency of Degree Works, students will see a “Course Program of Study” channel in the Student Academics section of MyBethel that calls out which courses do not meet graduation requirements and how many total credits are counting toward their financial aid enrollment status.

What if I change my program of study?

Students are encouraged to change their program of study at the beginning of the semester.

Undergraduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences should fill out the Change of Major/Minor/Advisor form to declare their change of major. During the add/drop period, undergraduate students must adjust their registration to match their new program of study. After the add/drop period, changes won’t be made to your program of study until after your financial aid enrollment status has been locked. 

Students enrolled in the College of Adult & Professional Studies, the Graduate School, or the Seminary should fill out the Change of Degree Form at the beginning of each semester, as needed, while students can adjust their registration to match their new program of study. If needed, the student can partner with their Student Success Advisor to make changes in the middle of the semester.

What if a course doesn't count toward my program of study but I think it should?

Students may submit a petition form explaining the circumstance. Bethel will review the petition and respond to you via email when a decision has been made.

More Questions? Contact Us

Questions about Financial Aid

Students have access to their financial aid information through MyBethel. Additional questions can be directed to Financial Aid: finaid@bethel.edu.

Questions about Graduation/Degree Requirements

  1. Students should refer to their degree evaluation first (i.e., Degree Works).
  2. If you have additional questions, CAS and BUILD students should contact their Advisor and CAPS/SEM/GS students please contact your Student Success Advisor.
  3. If your advisor is unable to help, please contact the Registrar's Office: cas-registrar@bethel.edu or caps-sem-gs-registrar@bethel.edu.