APU Student Handbook
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Last Revision: January 30, 2024

Enrollment Status & Enrollment Intensity Definitions for FSA

If you plan to use Federal Student Aid (FSA) to pay for your education, then you will need to understand and follow these definitions for student enrollment status and enrollment intensity.

Enrollment Status Definition for FSA

Enrollment status is defined by how many credit hours for which a student is enrolled in a semester.

  • Federal student loan borrowers must be attending at least half-time to receive loan disbursements.

Undergraduate Students (Enrollment Status per 16-week semester)

Semester Course LoadStudent Status
12+ semester HoursFull Time
9 semester hoursThree-Quarter Time
6 Semester HoursHalf Time
3 semester hoursLess than Half Time

Graduate Students (Enrollment Status per 16-week semester)*

Graduate students need at least 3 credits per semester for loans.

Semester Course LoadStudent Status
6+ semester HoursFull Time
4.3 semester HoursThree-Quarter Time
3 semester HoursHalf Time

To be eligible for FSA, you must have an enrollment status of:

  • Undergraduate students need a minimum of 3 credit hours per semester for the Pell Grant; 6 credit hours per semester for student loans.
  • Master's level students need at least 3 credits per semester for loans.

*Doctoral students may review the definition of their full time status.

Enrollment Intensity Definition for FSA

Beginning with the 2024-2025 Award Year, Pell Grant awards and disbursements will be prorated for enrollment intensity.

Enrollment intensity is the percentage of full-time enrollment at which an undergraduate student is enrolled, rounded to the nearest whole percent.

For example, if full-time enrollment is 12 credit hours and a student is enrolled in 7 credit hours, the enrollment intensity would be 7 ÷ 12 × 100% = 58.3% (round to 58%).  Refer to the chart below for determining enrollment intensity, per semester.

Enrolled Credit HoursEnrollment StatusEnrollment Intensity
12 (or more)Full-Time100%
11Three-Quarter Time92%
10Three-Quarter Time83%
9Three-Quarter Time75%
5Less than Half-Time42%
4Less than Half-Time33%
3Less than Half-Time25%
2Less than Half-Time17%
1Less than Half-Time8%

If you have questions about your enrollment for FSA, you may contact a financial aid advisor by emailing [email protected] or calling 855-731-9218 (Mon – Thurs 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET; Fri 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET).