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Degree Progression Options & FAQ for 2021 Co-op Students

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for organizations across the globe, including a number of our co-op employer partners and the opportunities they offer Drexel students. In order to provide new solutions that enable our Dragons to meet their goals, Drexel has developed additional options to ensure all Dragons are able to continue their progression within their plan of study and remain on track to satisfy their requirements for degree completion. Students unable to secure a co-op position in the upcoming calendar year now have the option to:

  • Return to full-time classes. Students who choose this option will continue with their academic plan of study to earn credits required for their degree program, with the possibility of completing any necessary co-op requirements in later terms. These students will retain full-time student status and will be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

  • Register for at least one academic course credit while earning co-op credit via a co-op module. Students who elect this option must combine at least one and up to eight credits required for their degree with a professional development-focused co-op module that will satisfy co-op requirements. Please note: Students who do not register co-op employment by the start of the term or do not register for 12+ credits by the end of drop/add will have their financial aid impacted. For details about how it will be impacted, please consult with DrexelCentral.

    Important: The following students are not eligible for this less than full-time option, as they are required to maintain full-time student status:

    • International students

    • Student-athletes (Summer term is an exception)

Before selecting either of the above changes to your academic plan, it is extremely important to consult with your academic and co-op advisors, Drexel Central, and International Students and Scholars Services to ensure you are making the best choice for your individual circumstances. These options may directly impact your course scheduling, time of graduation, financial aid eligibility, and visa status, and you should thoroughly consider all options and potential impacts before making any alterations to your academic plan of study. 

We strongly encourage you to meet with the members of your My Success Team via DrexelOne to discuss your current academic plan and to determine what next steps may be right for you. Students who decide to implement changes to their academic plan should do so as soon as their individual circumstances allow.

To learn more about the above options, please view the FAQ section below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I have not yet found a co-op job for the upcoming fall/winter cycle. When do I need to make a decision on what option I will choose for fall term?

Students who do not currently have registered co-op employment or feel that they are unlikely to secure co-op employment before Monday, September 20th, 2021 should immediately start thinking about alternate paths for the fall term (see options above). If you plan to return to class full time, please make your decision as soon as possible but no later than August 30, 2021. Doing so will provide you with the best opportunity for class choice, while also ensuring that your overall financial aid is allocated appropriately. Meet with the members of your My Success Team via DrexelOne to discuss your current academic plan and to determine what next steps may be right for you.

If I choose to do the less than full-time option, can I register for more than six credits?

You can register for up to eight credits if you choose the less than full-time option, but only six of them will be free.

Why can’t I register for more than eight credits if I choose the less than full-time option?

The goal of choosing to go less than full-time is for you to still find co-op employment. If you achieve that goal, you need to be able to balance the possibility of full-time co-op employment with part-time classes and no more.

If I choose to return to full-time classes, can I get six credits for free too?

No. If you choose to go back to classes full-time, you receive your full federal aid and institutional aid.

As a student registered full-time, why can’t I get free classes too?

Students on co-op have traditionally been able to register for four free credits. Because of the employment challenges related to the pandemic, students who continue to struggle to find employment will be eligible to register for up to eight credits, with six of them being free. These students will also be registered for the free module that helps support them in finding co-op employment.

I found a co-op job before the co-op cycle began. Can I also get the six free credits while on co-op?

Students who are employed at the start of the co-op cycle will be eligible to register for four free credits, per the existing policy.

If I have a two term cycle, do I have to make a decision for the entire co-op cycle, or can I make a different decision for each term?

Students should consult with their academic advisor. Academic units will need to determine whether a three-month co-op counts for a full-co-op or if a student needs to have an additional three-month co-op added to their plan of study. Steinbright will support any academic decision that supports a student’s progress towards their degree.

I don’t receive federal financial aid. Can I just take the module without taking any class credits?

No. If a student is unemployed at the start of co-op, they must either:

  1. Attend classes FT
  2. Take at least one free academic credits along with the co-op module OR
  3. Take a Leave of Absence

Why can’t I register for just the module?

If you are not registered for any academic credits and only registered for the module, you will be reported as a “not enrolled” student. To continue to search for a co-op job, you need to be a student. And to be a student, you need to be registered for at least 1 academic credit.

If I register for academic credits and the module and then I find a co-op job later in the co-op cycle, can I drop the classes since they are free?

No. Students can withdraw from the six credits, following the policy and procedure re: how to withdraw from a class, but cannot drop classes after the drop/add period is over for the term.

What if I lose my co-op job in the middle of a term? Do I lose my federal financial aid?

No. Students do not lose their federal financial aid, if they lose their co-op job after co-op begins.

How does this impact athletes and eligibility?

Student-athletes must remain full-time status during the fall, winter, and spring – so the less than full-time option is not an option for student-athletes in those terms.

How does this impact international students’ visa status and Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

International students must remain full-time, so they cannot take the less than full-time option. They must find employment, go back to classes full-time or take a Leave of Absence.

Can I take up to 6 credits for free without the module?

No. The six free credits are being offered to those students registered for the co-op term and who have not found co-op employment when the co-op term begins.

Why can’t I take free classes without taking the module?

The goal of being enrolled in the module is to support a student with their co-op search. The University has allowed for six free credits to ensure are progressing toward their degree while searching for co-op employment.

I committed to a co-op job, but now I would prefer just to go back to classes. Can I do that?

No. Co-op program rules still apply. If a student commits to a co-op job, they have to follow through with that commitment or risk not being able to use Steinbright services in the future.

If I take two terms of six free credits, can I graduate a term early?

Maybe. Check with your academic advisor.

When will my co-op cycle be rescheduled if I choose to go back to classes?

It depends on your what your academic program will support. Check with your academic advisor.

Can I do this more than one cycle? If I am a 5COP, can I do six terms of six free credits for 36 total? Then I can graduate two or three terms early.

No. For now, this opportunity is only for this calendar year.

If I want to waive a co-op, what is the process for that?

The student must first speak to their academic advisor to see if that is possible. If it is, then the student’s academic advisor must communicate that to the student’s co-op advisor and the change will be made.

If I choose to participate in the less than full-time option (up to 6 free credits and the online module), will this affect the number of terms I’m eligible for financial aid?

It might, depending on how many credits you register for. Financial Aid questions should be directed to DrexelCentral since every student situation is unique.

How will billing change based on the available option I choose?

You should discuss the billing implications of any change you make to your registration with DrexelCentral since all student situations are unique.