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Department of Education's Title IV regulation

The Title IV regulation is a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965 that mandates students receiving financial aid (Pell, grants, loans, work-study etc.) will only be eligible to receive funding for registered courses on their degree plan. Thus, students are advised to only register for classes on their degree plan. The degree plan refers to the degree requirements that were submitted to and approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Note: Scholarships are exempt from this regulation.

SFA utilizes software that enables proper evaluation of enrolled courses in relation to each student’s declared program of study to ensure financial aid only pays for courses in a student’s degree plan. If the desired class is outside that plan, options may be discussed with the student’s advisor.

View and run your degree plan evaluation

You are easily able to view and run your degree plan online. To access the degree plan:

  1. Log in to mySFA.
  2. Select the "Advising" tab.
  3. Locate the "Education Planning" block.
  4. Select the “Degree Evaluation (CAPP)” link.

A tutorial on how to run the evaluation also is in the section named “Degree Evaluation (CAPP) Tutorial.” The degree evaluation is unofficial and may list courses not required for your degree. Note any warnings concerning excessive hours - courses that do not appear on your degree plan could/will contribute to excessive hours.

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students receiving financial aid need to take a minimum of 12 hours from their degree plan in order to be considered full-time for financial aid.

The university recommends that students take at least 15 hours each fall and spring semester in order to graduate in a timely manner. Maymester, summer I and summer II registration hours are combined for status calculations.

Undergraduate Enrollment Classifications

  • 12 or more hours: full-time
  • 9-11 hours: three-quarter time
  • 6-8 hours: half-time
  • 0-5 hours: less than half-time

More information on enrollment classifications as defined by the Office of the Registrar is available on the Enrollment Status page.

Graduate students

Graduate students receiving financial aid need to take a minimum of nine hours from their degree plan in order to be considered full-time. Maymester, summer I and summer II registration hours are combined for status calculations.

Graduate Enrollment Classifications

  • 9 or more hours: full-time
  • 6-8 hours: half-time
  • 0-5 hours: less than half-time

More information on enrollment classifications as defined by the Office of the Registrar is available on the Enrollment Status page.

Students must read their emails and mySFA “Important Notifications” to receive all official SFA communications. If you are affected by the mandated regulation, special communications will be made notifying you there is an issue and providing suggestions for remedy.

It is important to be aware of your degree plan and the courses within the degree plan. Your awards could change based upon courses you enroll in. Also, you could potentially receive less aid or have aid taken away if you do not monitor your degree plan in conjunction with your enrollment.

Eligibility consideration examples

Direct Loans

A student taking six hours who is enrolled as a half-time student, as defined by the Office of the Registrar, would be eligible to receive a direct loan.

  • If a three-hour class is not listed as counting towards their degree, then the student would only be enrolled in three hours (less than half-time for financial aid purposes) and would no longer be eligible to receive direct loans.
  • The student would still pay the tuition and fees associated with these courses but would be ineligible for a direct loan to cover the costs for both courses.

Pell Grants

A student taking six hours who is enrolled as a half-time student, as defined by the Office of the Registrar, and would be eligible to receive Pell Grant funding.

  • If a three-hour class is not listed as counting towards a degree, then the student would be enrolled in three hours for financial aid purposes and would receive less Pell funding.
  • The student would still pay the tuition and fees associated with this course but would be ineligible for a portion of the federal aid to cover the costs for this course.

Frequently asked questions

How does this affect undeclared/undecided students?

According to Title IV regulations, students who are undecided can still receive aid; however, you will need to contact your academic advisor for more information.

How does this affect electives?

Electives are built into most degree plans. Students just need to be mindful of not exceeding the allowed number of hours specified in their degree plan. If you have questions about the allowed number of electives in your degree plan, you should contact your academic advisor.

How do I confirm a course is in my degree plan?

First Step:

  • If you are registered: Run your degree plan evaluation through mySFA to find out if your registered classes are in your degree plan. Registered courses in the "Courses Not Used" area are the ones that don't count in your degree plan.
  • If you are not registered: Run your degree evaluation and compare to your advising slip to confirm the degree plan courses.

Issue not resolved?

Make an appointment with your advisor to find out if a class is in your degree plan.

What if I want to take a course not in my degree plan?

First Step:

If you are in 12 hours of degree plan courses plus the nondegree plan course (15 hours total) no action is needed. Check this by running your degree plan evaluation.

Issue not resolved?

  • Add a degree plan course to reach 12 hours of degree plan courses.
  • Take a course in your degree plan instead.
    • Drop non-degree plan course and take new degree plan course.
  • See advisor for assistance.

What if an approved course substitution is still appearing in "Courses Not Used" area of degree plan?

If one of your registered courses falls into the "Courses Not Used" area of your degree plan evaluation but your advisor has approved it as a substitution for a required course:

First Step:

Contact your advisor and request the substitution be entered onto your record and check your degree plan for the course update.

Issue not resolved?

If you and your advisor think the course is showing in error, ask your advisor to email the assistant registrar, Donna Burkett, at graduation@sfasu.edu, or call 936.468.2103.

What if my degree plan evaluation does not have my correct major/minor/concentration?

Updating your major/minor/concentration is based on the courses in which you are currently registered:

Registered for courses in your new major: If you are registered for courses that are in the major to which you want to change, contact your new advisor and request that your major/minor/concentration be updated. If your major is not updated, then your registered courses may continue to fall under “Courses Not Used” and be ineligible for financial aid.

Registered for courses in your previous major: If you are registered for courses that are in your previous major and you want to change to a new major/minor/concentration that your registered courses do not apply/count in, you will want to change majors/minor/concentration at the end of the current semester.

General questions

If you have general questions about financial aid only paying for courses in your degree plan, contact us by emailing finaid@sfasu.edugraduation@sfasu.edu or your assigned advisor.

 

Contact

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
936.468.2403
finaid@sfasu.edu
scholarship@sfasu.edu

Contact Your Financial Aid Counselor

Your last name begins with: Your counselor is: Counselor email:
A, B, C, D, S Necole Beason ibeason@sfasu.edu
E, F, G, H, I, J, U, V, W, X, Y, Z LaShanda Parkhurst lbparkhurst@sfasu.edu
K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, T Sara Williams wilkersosa@sfasu.edu
Scholarship Information Liz Chambliss chamblisen@sfasu.edu


Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Physical address:
Austin Building
Room 104

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 13052, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

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