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Course Program of Study (CPOS)

What is the Course Program of Study (CPOS) requirement?

Established by the U.S. Department of Education, the CPOS requirement stipulates that only courses in a student's declared major or minor program will determine their eligibility for Federal or state financial aid. It was established to help students finish their degree program faster by prioritizing the completion of courses associated with their program of study. Timely degree completion can reduce student costs, including financial aid loan debt. The requirement also allows Pace University to track individual courses and enrollment levels to ensure students complete the appropriate coursework for their degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Types of aid that may be impacted include:

    • Federal aid
      • Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS)
      • Pell Grants
      • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
      • Federal Work Study
    • New York State Aid
      • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
      • New York State Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)
      • Enhanced Tuition Award Program

    While some scholarships and institutional grants require full-time enrollment, institutional aid is not subject to CPOS rules.

    If a student still possesses merit eligibility, their merit scholarship may be prorated based on the number of credits they are enrolled in.

  • Federal and state financial aid is based on the number of credits that count toward degree requirements. If a student is registered in courses that do not satisfy any degree requirements, these courses will not be covered by Federal or state financial aid. Undergraduate students must be registered for at least 12 credit hours within their degree program requirements to qualify for a full financial aid package.

    Learn more about enrollment statuses based on student level and credit hours.

  • For programs available in Degree Works, running a degree audit for the student will help determine whether a course satisfies a degree requirement.

    For programs not using Degree Works, compare the student's in-progress coursework and completed course history with their degree requirements.

  • Students should ensure their major, minor, and concentrations are declared and on their student record before the first day of classes. Students can check their declared program of study and related minors and concentrations in the Pace Portal on the Student Profile.

    Students should follow their recommended degree plan from their advisor or in Degree Works.

    Course substitutions and waivers should be submitted as soon as possible to ensure courses are being counted correctly. They must be entered in the system no later than the Census date for the term for them to count for that term.

  • Determine if the course should count in the student's degree. Confirm that a Course Substitution/Waiver form is on record for the specified course. Once the Substitution/Waiver is added to the student's record, the course should fall into the student's Degree Works audit.

    If the course will not count towards any degree requirement, refer the student to the CPOS website and inform them that Financial Aid will not pay for it.

    Students should replace a course that does not count towards a degree requirement with one that does fall within their degree requirements. Students should work with their advisor to ensure they take courses satisfying degree requirements.

  • Only courses that are part of a student's degree requirements are eligible for Federal and state aid.

    Registering for additional classes beyond what is required to complete their degree will not make the student eligible for Federal or state aid.

  • While the student may not have financial aid implications, completing their degree requirements on time can help ensure they are graduating on time and without additional costs associated with taking courses.