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Enrollment Requirements

Pell Grants

The Pell Grant is a free, need-based grant awarded by the federal government to eligible undergraduate students. To determine eligibility, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), be enrolled in a degree-seeking program, and have no outstanding financial aid requirements. Pell Grant awards vary each year based on the student’s FAFSA result, known as the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Pell Grant awards are prorated based on enrollment.  Students enrolled full time (12 hours or more) per semester are eligible for the full grant amount associated with their EFCs. However, students enrolled in as few as 1 credit hour, who have low enough EFCs, may qualify for a prorated amount of Pell Grant.

The Pell Grant is initially awarded at the full time enrollment rate (based on 12 hours or more). Immediately following the 100% drop/add deadline, grant amounts are adjusted to match the student’s enrollment as of that date.  (Ex. The Pell Grant for a student enrolled in 9 credit hours will be reduced from the full-time rate to the ¾ time rate). If a student drops or adds a course after the 100% drop/add deadline has passed, grants are not adjusted up or down.  Some exceptions to this rule include students enrolled less than full time, who:

  • Add or drop a 2nd bi-term course before the 100% drop/add date for bi-terms,
  • Are dropped for non-attendance, or
  • Add an On Demand class and have completed an eligible financial aid agreement. 

Cap Grants

The CAP Grant is a free, need-based grant awarded to eligible undergraduate students who are Kentucky residents and who enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester. The CAP Grant is prorated per credit hour from 6 hours up to full time (12 credit hours) or above. CAP awards may be reduced for students who do not have enough need-based aid remaining in their budgets.CAP Grant awards fall under the same adjustment and exception policies as Pell Grants, described in the previous section.


Federal student loans, also called Stafford loans, are available to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Enrollment is an important factor for loan eligibility and repayment requirements. To be eligible for a student loan, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program, and have no outstanding financial aid requirements. Half-time enrollment is 6 credit hours for undergraduate students and 4.5 credit hours for graduate students. Students whose enrollment drops below the minimum half-time requirement may be subject to a reduction in their federal loan award based on the drop date. 


Before officially changing enrollment status or withdrawing from any course, it is in the student’s best interest to consult with a counselor from the Department of Student Financial Assistance. Changes in enrollment can significantly affect your current financial aid award, future financial aid eligibility, and personal finances.  Understanding how changes in enrollment can affect your financial situation will help you make the best possible enrollment decisions.

Financial aid is awarded based on the assumption that a student will complete the term for which aid is received.  Federal regulations require that the Department of Student Financial Assistance calculate the amount of earned aid* a student is eligible for based on the amount of time he/she attends during a term. If the student subsequently changes enrollment after receiving aid, we must return the portion of aid the student is no longer eligible to receive.  *Earned aid is calculated based on the percentage of time spent in academic attendance during a term. Students who have attended more than 60% of the term are considered to have attended 100% of the term.

For specific information regarding withdrawals and the Return of Title IV Funds Process, please view our policy.  You may speak with a counselor regarding the implications of enrollment changes by visiting our department, emailing fa.help@wku.edu, or calling us at (270) 745-2755. 

Student Financial Assistance
317 Potter Hall
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11018
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1018

Phone: 270-745-2755

Fax: 270-745-6586

Email: fa.help@wku.edu

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 Last Modified 9/11/18