Course Program of Study (or CPOS) is a federal requirement by the U.S. Department of Education that mandates that only the courses in a student’s declared major or minor program will determine that student’s eligibility for federal or state financial aid, which can include the Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, federal loans, the HOPE Scholarship, TSAA, etc.
CPOS was designed and has been found to help students finish their degree program faster by focusing on the completion of course work tied directly to program of study. Timely degree completion also reduces student costs, including debt a student may choose to take on in order to graduate.
In order to remain eligible to receive full-time federal and state financial aid, the student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours within their degree program. If a student is under the 12-credit hour mark, their federal and state financial aid will be prorated dependent on their total amount of qualifying hours.
Institutional/Private Financial Aid & Scholarships
Any financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) obtained from the University of Tennessee or any other outside organizations are not affected by this requirement but are still subject to the rules and regulations set forth by those institutions.
Make Sure Your Courses Count
Before you register for classes, you can meet with your academic advisor to make sure that the courses for which you plan to register will count toward completing your degree and are eligible for federal and state funding.
You can review your eligibility status by visiting the “CPOS Evaluation” under the “My Resources” tab in your MyUTK account. You can also check your DARS report found in your MyUTK account to see if your scheduled coursework meets degree requirements.
For CPOS questions not covered in the below “Frequently Asked Questions” section, feel free to reach out to your academic advisor if they’re related to registration or your major’s course selection.
Frequently Asked Questions
If it is determined that your courses for the upcoming semester do not make you eligible for full-time federal and state financial aid, you will be contacted and encouraged to review and/or make any necessary changes to your schedule to get you on track.
Your advisor will also be made aware of any potential ineligibility so they may work with you to rectify the situation.
- Before you register for classes, you can meet with your academic advisor to make sure that the courses you plan to register for will count toward completing your degree and are eligible for federal and state funding.
- You can review your eligibility status by checking the “CPOS Evaluation” link under the “My Resources” section found in your MyUTK
- You can also review your current class schedule using your DARS report found in your MyUTK
Your enrollment will be checked at disbursement, and then at the census date, immediately following the end of the drop/add period. Any changes to your schedule after the census date will not impact aid eligibility.
The university’s financial aid department does not review appeals on individual courses. A student would need to discuss with their advisor and petition the course be added as a qualifier within their degree program.
Exploratory students that have yet to declare a major must do so by the completion of 60 credit hours in order to remain eligible for federal and state financial aid.
If you are planning on changing your major (or adding any secondary majors or minors), it is vital that you connect and discuss with your academic advisor as soon as you’ve made the decision to ensure that your courses keep you eligible for federal and state financial aid.
Your state and federal aid eligibility will be based on only the remaining courses that apply to your degree program.
The courses taken while abroad must meet degree requirements or electives in your degree program to be eligible for full-time federal and state financial aid.
You would need to discuss with your advisor to see if a different course could potentially be substituted for one in your program of study that is not available.
Both majors and the courses required for them will be taken into consideration for CPOS, so long as they are both officially declared.
ROTC courses are considered electives and must fall within the allowable electives for your degree program, or be taken in conjunction with at least 12 hours of degree-applicable coursework.
International students will not be affected by this regulation as you do not qualify and/or receive federal or state financial aid.
VA benefits are subject to their own rules and do not fall under CPOS. Please contact the Veterans Success Center if you have questions about course eligibility.
So long as when you transfer into the university, you start directly in a degree program and are registered for at least 12 hours in the degree program, this will not affect you.
No, CPOS does not affect you if you are a part of the Academic Common Market unless you have federal financial aid in which that aid would fall under CPOS regulations.
If the requirement has not been fulfilled, the course will continue to qualify for federal and state financial aid until you have passed the course and/or retaken a course with a passing grade for one additional attempt.
If you are an undergraduate student in a five-year concentration that requires graduate-level courses, then those classes would be eligible. If the graduate-level courses are not part of your degree program, then they would not be eligible.