Financial Aid

Course Program of Study

Course Program of Study (CPoS)

The U.S. Department of Education has required that institutions ensure financial aid funds are used to pay for courses that apply to a student’s degree program.

Course program of study (CPoS) refers to all courses needed to earn a credential.  It comprises all coursework, including developmental and pre-requisite courses, necessary to complete a declared  degree or certificate.  Only courses that count toward your program of study can be considered when determining aid eligibility for federal and state financial aid programs. Courses must be required for degree completion in order for those courses to count toward enrollment status requirements for Title IV federal aid and Colorado financial aid programs.

Financial Aid Impacted

CPoS applies to all  Title IV federal aid and Colorado financial aid programs.  Below is a list of the aid programs that CPoS could impact:

  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Colorado Student Grant
  • Colorado Career and Technical Education Grant (CTE)
  • Colorado Work-Study

How to Make Sure Your Degree Doesn’t Cost More Than it Should

  1. Check your program: Stay on track to graduate and take just the classes you need for your degree.
  2. Check your path: On the MyMCC dashboard, click on Degree Check icon. It will help you make sure the classes you’re registering for are required for your degree and track your progress towards graduation.
  3. Do a Degree Audit. You can do this in just 3 steps
    1. Check your program.
    2. Check your courses.
    3. Check your financial aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don't get financial aid?

If you do not receive financial aid, Course to Program of Study (CPOS) will not impact you.  However, if you received a notification from us that you are enrolled in coursework that does not apply to your declared degree, you may want to review your enrollment so you aren’t taking and paying for courses you don’t need to graduate.

What is a program of study (as defined for financial aid purposes)?

A program of study consists of courses required to complete a specific degree, inclusive of required coursework within the major, concentration, and catalog. The specific courses for a student are identified through a degree evaluation tool (DegreeCheck).

Required coursework can include required prerequisite and developmental courses.

What types of Aid are affected by CPOS?

Disbursement of Federal Aid (i.e., Pell Grant, SEOG, Federal Work-Study, and Direct Loans) is based on coursework that counts toward the program of study. State, institutional, and private aid requirements may vary when it comes to CPOS requirements. Please check with the Financial Aid Office or the awarding agency to ensure you are meeting all requirements for funding.

How will students be notified if affected by CPOS?

Students must work closely with the academic advisor to understand the requirements of their declared major and ensure the classes they register for meet these requirements. Students identified as enrolled in courses impacted by CPOS will be notified via their CCCS email.

What about courses that will be substituted and thus become part of a student's program of study?

The appropriate course substitution paperwork must be completed and approved by all necessary parties prior to the census date of the term for it to be included as eligible coursework for federal financial aid purposes. The census date for each course is published as the “Drop Deadline” on the Detailed Student Schedule in the Student tab in MyMCC. This date can vary from course to course.  If you qualify for a substitution and believe you may be impacted by this deadline, please contact MCC Advising for assistance.

How will courses needed for completion of degree concentrations be treated?

Degree concentration must be officially declared and reflected in the degree evaluation prior to the census date of the term for it to be included as eligible coursework for federal financial aid purposes.  The census date for each course is published as the “Drop Deadline” on the Detailed Student Schedule in the Student tab in MyMCC. This date can vary from course to course.  If you qualify for a substitution and believe you may be impacted by this deadline, please contact MCC Advising for assistance.

How will courses for dual majors be treated?

Dual majors should be declared early in your educational pathway at MCC and must be officially declared and reflected in the degree evaluation prior to the census date of the term for it to be included as eligible coursework for federal financial aid purposes. The census date for each course is published as the “Drop Deadline” on the Detailed Student Schedule in the Student tab in MyMCC. This date can vary from course.  If your degree program is not listed correctly in Banner, work with MCC Advising to make them aware of your request and ensure you complete the Major Change Form. Do not register for classes toward the new major/concentration until the update to your official degree on records is reflected in Banner.

What about capstone courses, internships, developmental and prerequisite coursework?

These courses count for federal financial aid only if they are required in the student’s program of study. However, if a student is enrolled as a regular student, in an eligible program of study, and is required to take a prerequisite course prior to enrolling in a required course for the program, the prerequisite may be included in the federal aid determination. For example, a MAT 0300 developmental class may be required before a student can register in MAT 1340.  In this case, both the MAT 0300 and the MAT 1340 would count for financial aid.

NOTE:  No more than a maximum of 30 attempted hours of developmental coursework can count for federal financial aid purposes.

What about students who are going to change their program of study?

It is essential that your major or any concentration are officially declared and noted in your student record. If you have been planning to declare or change a major or concentration, but have not yet done so, you should consult your academic advisor immediately and complete a Major Change Form.  Do not register for classes toward the new major/concentration until the update to your official degree on records is reflected in Banner.

  • Courses can only be determined to be eligible based on the officially declared major or concentration as noted in your student record. Changes cannot be made retroactively.
What if a student has put in a request to change their program of study and it is not yet processed?

There are certain time periods when a student can change their program/major, typically at the end of one term and before the beginning of the next term. If you do not put in a request in accordance with these deadlines, your change to program of study/major request may not be processed until the following term. A student can contact Student Services to check on the status of a change of program of study/major. Do not register for classes toward the new major/concentration until the update to your official degree on records is reflected in Banner.

Payment for coursework will be disbursed as described below:

  • Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG and Federal Direct Student Loans are disbursed after the regular 15-week census date of the term.  Only eligible coursework toward the official program of study on record will be considered for payment of the enrollment period. The census date for each course is published as the last day to drop on the Student Schedule in the Student tab in MyMCC.   This date can vary from course to course.  For Federal Direct Loan purposes, your eligibility is based on your official program of study on record as of the date of disbursement.

Please note: If you change your program of study after the census date, and the current semester coursework no longer applies toward your new program of study, your previously disbursed federal aid may be adjusted/reduced. If you decide to apply for a Federal Direct Loan and you are not enrolled at least half-time in eligible coursework that applies toward your new program of study, you will not be eligible for the Federal Direct Loan.

Can I change my program of study to receive federal financial aid for a course that does not apply toward my current program of study?

If you need to take courses that are not in your program of study/major, you may not be in the program that best fits your educational goal. Please meet with an academic advisor to ensure you are in the correct program of study. Changing your program of study/major should only be done after a discussion with your advisor and should be done with great caution because it may impact your eligibility for future semesters. Prior to submitting your Major Change Form, visit with a financial aid advisor to determine the impact of your decision on your financial aid.  Changing from one program to another can cause you to lose financial aid eligibility by reaching the maximum time-frame for completion of degree (150% rule). All major changes should be done in advance, and typically between terms for a future term.

What about students in their last semester?

Only courses that are part of the program of study, as documented in the degree evaluation tool (DegreeCheck), are eligible for federal aid. For example, if you only need 3 hours to graduate but you choose to register for 6 hours to qualify for a Federal Direct Loan, you will not be eligible for the Direct Loan. Though your federal aid does not include ineligible coursework, you may still qualify for state and institutional aid based on your total enrollment. State, institutional, and private aid requirements may vary when it comes to CPOS requirements. Please check with the Financial Aid Office if you have questions.

How are scholarships affected?

State, institutional, and private aid requirements may vary when it comes to CPOS requirements. Please check with the Financial Aid Office or the awarding agency to assure you are meeting all requirements for funding.

I want federal student loans, but only 4 out of my 9 enrolled hours apply towards outstanding requirements in my officially declared program of study. Can I still get loans?

No. To receive a federal student loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time in credit hours that apply toward your official program of study. Because only 4 credits apply to your program of study, you are not enrolled at least half-time to be eligible.

For the upcoming semester, I plan to enroll in 17 hours, which includes a 3 credit-hour class that doesn’t apply toward outstanding requirements in my officially declared program of study. Will financial aid pay for the ineligible 3 credit-hour class?

Financial aid will disburse based on full-time enrollment status if at least 12 of your credits apply towards outstanding requirements in your officially declared program of study.  If eligible, you may receive a full-time Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Student Loans, if you have accepted them and done the required application items. Financial aid will be credited to your student account and can pay for any academic related charges, including the charge for the additional class. However, if the financial aid you receive is not enough to cover all tuition costs, you are responsible for paying the remaining balance.

Some of the classes in which I’m enrolled do not apply toward my program of study. What do I do next?

Your federal aid is based on coursework that applies toward outstanding requirements in your program of study. Therefore, your federal aid may be reduced. You have two options:

  1. Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss your academic options. If the semester has not started, it may be in your best interest to drop the ineligible course(s) and enroll only in courses in your officially declared program that will be eligible for federal financial aid.
  2. If the semester has already begun and your financial aid does not cover all of your tuition costs, you will be responsible for the outstanding balance owed. In some instances, your financial aid, although it has been reduced, is still enough to pay for your course(s) that are not in your program. If not, the ineligible coursework can be paid for out of pocket or you can set up a payment plan.
None of my courses apply toward outstanding requirements in my officially declared program of study, but I still want to take them. What does this mean for me?

You are not eligible for federal financial aid. If eligible, you may utilize any scholarships toward your balance owed. State, institutional, and private aid requirements may vary when it comes to CPOS requirements. Please check with the Financial Aid Office or awarding agency to ensure you are meeting all requirements for funding. MCC also offers a payment plan option for students to help ease the burden of paying for college. However, if you plan on receiving financial aid in the future, it is imperative that you maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and an overall completion rate of 67%.  A failure to do so, even in terms where financial aid is not used to pay for coursework, could result in loss of financial aid eligibility.

Contact your Academic Advisor for assistance or more information. You can also call (970) 542-3100 or email mccadvising@morgancc.edu.