Home Financial Aid Tips Your Enrollment Status and How It Affects Your FSA
Your Enrollment Status and How It Affects Your FSA

Your Enrollment Status and How It Affects Your FSA


By Ryan Laspina
Analyst, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS

When it comes to receiving Federal Student Aid (FSA), your enrollment status has a big impact on what type of FSA and how much FSA you may receive. There are four types of enrollment statuses:

  • Less than half-time (LTHT)
  • Half-time (HT)
  • Three-quarter time (QT)
  • Full-time (FT)

Each of the four enrollment statuses offers different FSA options. Also, the enrollment statuses differ between graduate and undergraduate students taking credited courses:

Enrollment Status Graduate Undergraduate
LTHT Does not exist Less than 6 credit hours
HT 3 credits 6-8 credits
QT Does not exist 9-11 credits
FT 6+ credits 12+ credits

Loan Types Also Affect FSA

The two biggest considerations for how enrollment status affects FSA are the Pell Grant and Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans. At the undergraduate level, you can receive a Pell Grant for all four enrollment statuses, but the amount you receive will differ.

To maximize the amount of Pell grants you receive, you must be enrolled full-time. If you are not a full-time student, for example, you will receive three-quarters of your maximized Pell funds at QT and half of your maximized Pell funds at HT.

On the other hand, you cannot receive FSA Loans at all four enrollment statuses. To be eligible for both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, you must be enrolled in enough classes to qualify for half-time status. Anyone who is enrolled LTHT at the undergraduate level will be eligible only for the Pell Grant.

Typically, the amount of Subsidized Loans you receive will be the same from HT up to FT (there are other factors that could affect your ability to receive funds). The higher your enrollment status, the higher your Cost of Attendance (COA). This means you can get more Unsubsidized Loans at a higher enrollment status.

Consider Your Class Choices Carefully

FSA should not be your only consideration when you determine how many credited classes you want to take. Consider your options carefully and take the number of credits per semester that aligns most closely with your schedule, academic goals and financial situation.

If you have any questions about your enrollment status, reach out to an academic or financial advisor at your school.