Course Program of Study (CPOS)
There is an important emphasis in federal financial aid regulations that could cause
your federal aid to be reduced if you enroll in ineligible coursework. Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, only courses that count toward your program of study (your declared major) can be
counted toward enrollment status to determine eligibility for federal financial aid
programs. For a course to be counted toward enrollment status for federal aid, it
must be part of your Course Program of Study (CPOS) or be necessary to help you earn
the total units required to complete your degree or certificate. Not paying attention
to this rule could affect your full-time enrollment status and ultimately your federal
Why Is This Important
A program of study consists of courses required to complete a degree or certificate,
inclusive of required coursework within the major/degree. The specific courses for
a student are identified through IVC's degree evaluation tool (DegreeWorks
Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, taking classes that are not in your Course Program of Study for your officially
declared major may result in a reduction to your federal financial aid.
What Types of Aid are Affected by CPOS?
Disbursement of federal financial aid programs (i.e., Pell Grant, SEOG, and Work-Study)
is based on coursework that counts toward the program of study. State aid like Cal
Grant and the California College Promise Grant (CCPG), which waives course fees for
eligible California residents, is not subject to the same regulatory restrictions.
Make it Count! – Utilize IVC's Counseling Services
As a student, counselors are available to you to assist with discussing your short-term
and long-term educational goals, the best program fit for you at IVC, and planning
your courses each term to help you complete your declared degree or certificate as
efficiently and effectively as possible.
Officially Declare Your Major
It is essential that your major is officially declared and noted in your student record.
If you have been planning to declare or change your major, but have not yet done so,
you should consult a counselor immediately to complete the Major Change Request. Do
not register for classes toward the new major until the update to your official major
is reflected in WebSTAR and DegreeWorks.
Courses can only be determined to be eligible based on the officially declared major(s)
as noted on your student record. Changes cannot be made retroactively.
Assumptions About Financial Aid Awards
Financial aid awards are based on the assumption that students will enroll full-time
in eligible coursework during Fall and Winter/Spring terms. Enrollment levels other
than full-time will create a recalculation of financial aid awards per term. However,
in most cases, a student can enroll in less than the assumed full-time units and still
receive financial aid.
|Enrollment Status Types
| Full Time
| Three Quarter Time
| 9 -11.5
| Half Time
| 6 - 8.5
| Less than Half Time
| .5 - 5.5
If your financial aid has been reduced due to enrollment in coursework that does not
apply towards outstanding requirements in your program of study, you should contact
your counselor to discuss your academic options. Otherwise, if you have questions
regarding financial aid, contact financial aid at 760-355-6266 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your Student ID Number in the email).
Keep Your Eligibility
Remember that dropping or not attending your courses can negatively impact your eligibility
for current and/or future aid. It is important that you discuss your Course Program
of Study with a counselor when you enroll each semester. If your degree or certificate
program is not listed correctly in WebSTAR, work with your counselor to make them
aware of your request and ensure they complete the Major Change Request to change
your major. Do not register for classes toward the new major until the update to your
official degree or certificate on records is reflected in WebSTAR.
What and when will the process be run to identify courses not in the program of study?
will be used to determine if a course is part of the program of study. A process
will run prior to the start of the semester to identify students who are impacted.
If you are enrolled in ineligible coursework you will be able to view these ineligible
courses in DegreeWorks
as well as be notified through your campus email account. The process will again
run before the initial financial aid disbursement the week before the semester begins
and one final time at the second disbursement when attendance is verified for the
term – what IVC refers to as the 'freeze date".
It is imperative that all changes to registration, officially declared program of
study, and any adjustments to the degree evaluation affecting courses that count be
made before the Financial Aid freeze date. Students awarded after the published
freeze date for the semester may have a later freeze date.
How will you be notified?
If enrolled in ineligible coursework, you will be notified through campus email. You
can also view DegreeWorks
to identify eligible / ineligible coursework.
What about courses that will be substituted and thus become part of a student's program
A counselor must approve and process a course substitution by the freeze date for
it to be included as eligible coursework for federal financial aid.
How will multiple majors be treated?
All majors must be officially declared and reflected in the DegreeWorks
by the freeze date to be included as eligible coursework for federal financial aid.
How will elective courses noted in program of study be treated?
If a program of study has specific courses that can count as electives, then only
those will be eligible unless an adjustment is made by the counselor. If there is
no specified list, then any course will count as long as open elective credits exist
in the program of study to reach the required 60 units for graduation.
What about internships and prerequisite coursework?
These courses count toward enrollment status for federal financial aid only if they
are required in your program of study. However, if you are enrolled as a regular
student in an eligible program of study and required to take a prerequisite course
prior to enrolling in a required course for the program, the prerequisite may be included
in the federal financial aid enrollment status. No more than a maximum of 30 attempted
units inclusive of remedial / developmental and prerequisite coursework from all post-secondary
schools combined can count for financial aid purposes.
What about English as a Second Language (ESL) courses?
If you are enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program of study, any ESL
credit courses will be counted toward enrollment status for federal financial aid.
What about students who are going to change their program of study?
If you change your program of study beyond the freeze date and the current semester
coursework no longer applies toward your new program of study, your previously disbursed
financial aid will not be reduced since you were eligible at the time of disbursement
or freeze date, as applicable.
Can I change my program of study to receive 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, it is likely that
you are not in the program that best fits your educational goal. You need to meet
with a counselor to ensure you are in the correct program of study. Changing your
program of study should be done with great caution because it may impact your eligibility
for future semesters. Always work with a counselor when you are changing from one
program to another as it may cause you to lose financial aid eligibility by reaching
the maximum time-frame for completion of degree or certificate (150% rule).
What if there are not enough courses in my program available in a given term at a
time that I am able to take them to reach full-time enrollment status?
Only courses that are part of the program of study as documented in the degree evaluation
are eligible for federal financial aid. Though ineligible coursework is not counting
towards your enrollment status for federal financial aid eligibility, you may still
qualify for state aid such as Cal Grant, SSCG or CCPG which will waive your course
fees. As an example, if you only have 6 units left to graduate then only those 6
units will count toward enrollment status for federal financial aid in your final
What if a course doesn't count towards CPOS but I think it should?
to see if your major(s) are officially declared and that your catalog year is correct.
Make an appointment with a counselor if you need to adjust your officially declared
I plan to enroll in 17 units, which includes 3 units that doesn't apply towards my
requirements in my officially declared program of study. Will financial aid pay for
the ineligible 3-unit class?
Financial aid will disburse based on full-time enrollment status (see Enrollment Status
Types chart). If at least 12 of your units apply towards outstanding requirements
in your officially declared program of study, then you are still considered a full-time
student for federal financial aid purposes. If eligible you may receive a full-time
Federal Pell Grant.
Some of the classes in which I'm enrolled do not apply toward my program of study.
What do I do next?
Your federal financial aid is based on coursework that applies toward outstanding
requirements in your program of study. Therefore, your federal financial aid may be
reduced. You have two options:
Meet with a counselor 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
If the semester has already begun, you will experience a reduction in enrollment status
for the courses that do not count towards your program of study. Although your federal
financial aid has been reduced, if eligible, your CCPG will still waive the fees for
the ineligible courses.
None of my courses apply toward outstanding requirements in my officially declared
program of study, but I want to take them. What does this mean for me?
You are not eligible for federal financial aid but may still have eligibility for
state aid such as Cal Grant, SSCG or CCPG which will waive your course fees. If ineligible
for CCPG, IVC offers a Payment Plan for students to help ease the burden of paying
for college. However, if you plan on receiving financial aid in the future, then it
is imperative that you maintain a good GPA and Completion Rate. You may end up on
financial aid disqualification if you fail to do so.