Office of the Provost





Academic Policies

Undergraduate Student Full-time/Part-time Status
Policy Statement


(originally posted 11.23.05)
Last modifed: 01.19.06
 

Introduction
Policy Statement
Process to Enact a Change of Status
Policy Impacts and FAQs

Associated Policies
Critical Definitions

Introduction

The assignment of status as full-time or part-time governs much of the student experience with regard to billing, financial aid, participation in the co-operative education experience and ability to progress in his or her academic program. This document provides students with detailed information on undergraduate status, other policies that constrain status changes and documentation requirements to enact a change in status.

Policy Statement

Student status as full-time or part-time is determined at the point of admission. Those students admitted into a full-time program of study will be classified as full-time; in the event that the program of study is both a full-time and part-time program of study, student declaration of status will be recorded in the student record.

— Those students enrolled as full-time in a full-time program of study will be required to maintain at least 12 credits per term.
— Those students enrolled as part-time will be required to carry less than 12 credits per term.

In order to change status, students are required to declare their intent by completing a Change of Curriculum and Status form. The student should consult with his or her academic advisor to determine if the change sought is allowable. For instance, the Industrial Engineering program is only offered as a part-time program of study in Goodwin College of Professional Studies. The signatures of the student’s academic advisor, co-op coordinator (if enrolled in a co-op program) as well as that of a financial aid representative are required to enact this change.

There are some students for which status and status changes are governed by other policies. For instance

— Drexel University employees may not register for a full-time course load while employees of the University4.
— International students must comply with full-time registration requirements established by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS formally INS). International students on F-1 or J-1 student visas are strongly encouraged to meet with their International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) advisor before making any decision to change their status change5.

Process to Enact a Change of Status

There are many other policies and federal regulations governing a student’s decision to change his or her status. In particular, Financial Aid, Cooperative Education and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (for international students) policies and regulations should be considered when making a decision to change status as there are potential ramifications associated with falling below full-time status. Where relevant we have linked students to the appropriate policy to inform their final decision regarding drop and withdrawal (please see footnotes 3, 5, 6 and 7). We encourage students to seek out their academic advisors, financial aid counselors and coop coordinators when making any such decision.

A student may change his or her status by filing a Change of Curriculum and Status form with the Office of the University Registrar. By completing this form, the student is signifying that he or she will ascribe to the credit limits associated with the new status, and accept the changes in financial aid and billing that are incurred as an outcome of the status change. In order to change status, students are required to declare their intent by completing the Change of Curriculum and Status form. The student should consult with his or her advisor to assess whether the change is allowable (see Policy Statement.)

The Change of Curriculum and Status form must be filed no later than the end of the adjustment period for the term in which the change is sought. That being said, it is recommended that the student indicate a change in status from either full-time to part-time or vice versa before the onset of his or her registration period for the next term in order to provide the advisor the information needed for sound academic planning.

Those students that fail to change their status during the specified time period will be billed according to their official status designation. Adjustments to the bill will be made at the end of the registration period to reflect students’ enrollment status at that point in time; students’ accounts will be reassessed throughout the adjustment period to accurately reflect their registration and account status.

Policy Impacts / FAQ’s

Students That Fall Below Full-time Status

In the event that a full-time student falls below the 12 credit minimum, he or she will be notified by the advisor at the end of the third week of the term to discuss the impact of such and confirm status as full-time or change status to part-time for the subsequent term. If one does not change his or her full-time intent as prescribed by the above policy he or she will be billed at the full-time rate for the subsequent term, consistent with the official designation indicated in the student record.

Senior Year Exception – Students entering into the senior year must file for degree by August 1st of their Senior Year. Full-time senior level students in the last term of their program of study will be allowed to fall below the 12 credit minimum. Even though they will be considered to have full-time status for all academic and institutional purposes, these students will be billed on a per credit basis and reported to the National Student Clearinghouse as less than Full-time for all enrollment reporting purposes.

Change due to withdrawal from courses

In the event that a student’s schedule changes from full-time to part-time as a consequence of the withdrawal process, the student will not need to file a Change in Curriculum or Status form as he or she is still considered to be working within the guidelines established by the program of study and official status designation. That is, a full-time student who falls below 12 credits because of a course withdrawal has attempted 12 credits and will maintain his or her status as full time. Such a student will have completed less than his or her attempted credits and will be encouraged to discuss the ramifications of completing less than the attempted credits with his or her academic advisor and a financial aid representative6. There will be no adjustment to the bill for such changes after the close of the 5th week. (Please refer to the Bursar’s webpage for refund policies for withdrawal enacted during weeks 3, 4 and 5 http://www.drexel.edu/depts/bursar/tuition_credits.asp).

Change due to dropping a course

In the event that a full-time student drops a course during the adjustment period, it is expected that he or she will add courses to maintain a full-time schedule i.e. at least 12 credits7,8. Throughout the adjustment period the academic advisor will review the registration status of his or her students to ensure that the standards of status designation are met. If during the adjustment period, a full-time student falls below the full-time credit minimum of 12 credits and was not able to meet this standard, students’ charges will be reassessed automatically and the bill will be adjusted. However, if in the subsequent term the student is again below 12 credits at the close of the registration period, he or she will be notified to confirm status with his or her academic advisor.

Change due to addition of course(s)

In the event that a part-time student enrolls in 12 credits or more during the adjustment period, he or she will be charged as a full time student. However, if in the subsequent term the student again exceeds 12 credits or more he or she will be asked to confirm status with the academic advisor.

Associated Policies
   — Academic Standards
   — Course Add Policy
   — Course Drop Policy
   — Course Withdrawal Policy
   — Change of Program
   — Satisfactory Academic Progress, Federal Financial Aid guidelines
   — Course Enrollment Policy, Co-operative Education
   — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regulations, refer to ISSS webpage and Student Life Handbook
   — HR Policy-22: Tuition Remission


Critical Definitions

Full-time Status – A student is classified as full-time if he or she is enrolled in a full-time degree granting program. This is determined at the point of admission. Full-time status is maintained by enrolling in at least 12 credits for each term in which the student is enrolled.

Part-time Status – A student is classified as part-time either by applying to and being admitted to a part-time academic program1 or by applying for part-time status by changing his or her status from full-time to part-time by submitting a completed Change of Curriculum and Status2 form. Such a request, for a change in status, must meet the approval of the student’s academic advisor.

Registration Period – This is the period in which registration takes place for a given cohort of students as prescribed by the time ticket3. The beginning of the registration period varies according to the assignment of one’s time ticket, and the registration period ends for all students at the conclusion of the time ticket schedule. The registration period lasts approximately five weeks after the onset of the first time ticket. During the registration period students are expected to enroll in a full-time course load if they are designated as full-time students.

Adjustment Period – This is the period during which students can make changes in their registration by adding or dropping courses. The adjustment period begins one week before classes start for a particular term and continues through the end of the second week of the term, concluding that Sunday at 11:00 pm.


1  For instance, students can only apply to Industrial Engineering on a part time basis.
2 This form can be found at: http://www.drexel.edu/SRC/forms.asp .
3 Time ticket schedules are available on the SRC website at: http://www.drexel.edu/SRC/time_tickets.asp .
4 A full description of policy governing employee enrollment status may be found at http://www.drexel.edu/hr/policies/DU-HR22.htm.
5 A full treatment of federal regulations governing the status of international students can be found at http://www.drexel.edu/isss/maintainingstatus.htm . This information is also available in the Student Handbook.
6 This can potentially have financial aid consequences; students are encouraged to review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirement for federal and institutional financial aid eligibility available at http://www.drexel.edu/financialaid/academic_progress.asp and discuss the withdrawal decision with both the Academic Advisor and / or Financial Aid Office.
7 This is particularly relevant for students enrolled in the Cooperative Education Program. In order to participate in coop, students are required to be registered as full-time in the two terms preceding the onset of their cooperative education assignment. A full description of this policy can be found at http://www.drexel.edu/scdc/student-information/co-op-step-by-step/co-op-prerequisites.html
8 It is expected that students on either an F-1 or J-1 visas comply with the full-time registration requirements established by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS formally INS). In making a decision regarding the dropping of a course, international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are strongly encouraged to meet with an ISSS advisor to explore the impact of such a change on their immigration status.