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Courses Counting Towards Degree and Financial Aid Eligibility

Federal financial aid (Title IV) rules state that only courses that count towards the completion of a student’s degree program may be included when calculating a student’s eligibility for Federal Title IV aid (Federal Loans, Pell Grant, and SEOG). This means that your federal aid will be prorated, adjusted, or removed to reflect your eligibility based on eligible courses. To assist with compliance in this area, Biola will begin using a new tool starting in Fall 2023 that will identify courses not counting towards a student’s degree.

View your Degree Audit to determine courses for which you have registered that are not eligible for federal aid. Please note that your financial aid eligibility will not be updated immediately upon course registration, but should be within a day of any changes. To review your courses, access your Degree Audit and review your registered courses. If any of them appear in the sections labeled General Electives - Not Degree Applicable, Insufficient, or the Over the Limit, they are not being counted towards your degree.

If you aren't sure if applicability of one of your courses is evaluated correctly on your degree audit, you may request for the Office of the Registrar staff to review your audit using the Course Eligibility Review Request form. The Registrar staff will process your request within 5-7 business days.

Below are some things to keep in mind when you are planning your course registration.

  • Elective Courses: Once you have met your elective requirements, additional elective courses will not be eligible for federal financial aid. As a reminder, many Biola programs do not require elective courses. Additional enrichment/elective courses that do not count toward a student's degree are not eligible for financial aid.

  • Prerequisite courses: Prerequisite courses are not eligible for federal aid unless the course meets a degree requirement or can count as an elective requirement for the degree.

  • 4+1 and 3+2 programs: If you are enrolled in 4+1, 3+2 programs or if you plan to take graduate-level courses while enrolled in an undergraduate program, you are only allowed to receive Title IV aid to cover the graduate courses if the graduate courses count as a degree requirement or an elective credit towards your undergraduate degree program requirements.

  • If your loan eligibility is impacted by the ineligible courses, the adjustment for your eligibility may not occur until after the semester begins.

Full-time vs. Part-time Status: Even if you are registered for ineligible credits, if you have enough eligible credits for full-time status, you will qualify for full-time aid eligibility For instance, an undergrad student with 15 credits of which 3 are ineligible would still be eligible for full-time aid. However, a student with 14 credits of which 3 are ineligible credits would only be eligible for three-quarter time aid. Below is a chart that shows enrollment levels for each program. Financial aid is prorated based on your enrollment level using eligible courses.

Enrollment Level
Program Level Full Time 3/4 Time 1/2 Time Less than 1/2 Time
Undergraduate 12+ credits 9-11 credits 6-8 credits 1-5 credits
Teacher Certification 12+ credits 9-11 credits 6-8 credits 1-5 credits
Masters 9+ credits 7-8 credits 5-6 credits 1-4 credits
Doctoral 6+ credits 5 credits 3-4 credits 1-2 credits

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid or the Office of the Registrar if you have any additional questions or clarifications.

How to Review Your Course Eligibility

Courses that are Degree Applicable

You will see degree applicable courses placed on the corresponding requirement in the audit, marked as either complete or in progress. For majors that require general electives to reach a total credit requirement for the degree, the degree applicable general elective courses will be placed in an audit section labeled “General Electives – Degree Applicable”.

A sample schedule with degree-applicable general electives

Courses That Are Not Degree Applicable

Courses that are not degree applicable may be found in one of four basic areas on the audit:

General Electives – Not Degree Applicable: These are general elective courses beyond those required to reach 120 credits.

A sample schedule with non-degree-applicable general electives

Insufficient: These are courses that do not have a passing grade or are in-progress repeats of courses that have already been taken.

A sample schedule with insufficient courses

Over The Limit: These courses cannot apply toward the degree because they fail to meet a degree requirement threshold in some way. Examples include major courses with grades below the minimum grade required by that major, remedial coursework that is not degree applicable, KNES activity courses beyond the 8 course limit, etc.

A sample schedule with courses that are beyond the course limit

Questions About Degree Applicability

If you believe a course should be marked as applying to degree on the audit but it is not, the Course Eligibility Review Request Form may be filled out to request a review of that course by Office of the Registrar staff. Keep in mind that course substitutions must be submitted using the Course Substitution Request Form and processed by the Registrar’s Office in order for the substituted course to show as degree applicable on the audit.