Enrollment Requirements

Each type of financial aid you receive, whether it is institutional, state or federal has specific enrollment requirements.  It is important that you review your award notifications for each type of aid to determine the number of credit hours you are required to enroll in to receive the funds you have been awarded and the number of hours you are required to complete and the grade point average you are required to earn to maintain/renew your aid.

Award Year Definition

At UCA the award year includes Fall, Spring and Summer.  The award year begins with the fall term and ends with the summer term.  You may hear the term “summer trailer”.  This means that summer is awarded as the last term of the academic year.  As such, you only complete one FAFSA for the entire Award Year.Students are typically awarded for the fall and spring terms at the same time, unless they have applied for graduation in December.  In this case, the student is awarded for Fall only.  If you enroll for summer, we will automatically calculate your eligibility for summer.

Federal Aid Enrollment Status

Federal financial aid offers assume you are regularly enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program offered by UCA and that you are enrolling in courses required for your program of study.  For financial aid purposes, the following chart defines the student’s enrollment status.

LevelFull Time3/4 Time1/2 Time<1/2 Time
Undergraduate/Post Bac enrolled in 1000 to 4000 level courses12 or more hours9-11 hours6-8 hours1-5 hours
Graduate enrolled in 5000 to 7000 level courses9 or more hours7-8 hours5-6 hours1-4 hours
  • Part-time students are eligible for some types of aid and not others.
  • Federal Direct Loans require at least ½ time enrollment.
  • Loan Proration is required for students who have a remaining period of study that is shorter than one academic year.

Repeating Courses

Repeated courses may impact federal financial aid eligibility. Federal regulation allows for one repetition of a previously passed course (a total of two attempts).

For example: Student X enrolled in Biology 101 and made a “D” grade. Student X retakes the class and earns an “F”. Student X may retake the class again but the class will not count towards their enrollment status for federal aid purposes for the third attempt.

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require you to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of the degree or certificate program you are seeking.  Your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at the end of each term. When your academic performance does not meet the requirements of this policy, you will become ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

Study Abroad and Financial Assistance

UCA encourages students to participate in study abroad and study away programs. The University provides many opportunities for students to earn college credit for study abroad or study away. See our Study Abroad and Study Away Financial Assistance guide for more information.

Consortium Agreements

The University of Central Arkansas has entered into consortium agreements with two other colleges and universities to enhance the educational opportunities of students.

Withdrawing from SchoolFederal Return of Title IV Funds

When eligibility for federal financial aid is calculated, it is assumed you will remain enrolled and attending classes for the entire term. If you withdraw from a term we must recalculate your eligibility for the aid you received based on the amount of time you remained enrolled and attending.  Unearned federal aid funds, other than work-study, must be returned to the federal government and this may cause you to owe a repayment back to the federal government and UCA.

2020-21 Federal Return to Title IV Funds Policy