Importance of Census Date

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Importance of Census DateFinancial Aid

On this day, the college takes a "snapshot" of all student enrollment which becomes the "official enrollment" used for both state reporting and financial aid eligibility.

Generally, the classes you are enrolled in AND ATTENDING as of census date will determine the amount of financial aid grant money you will receive. (Loans are not affected by census date.)

If enrolled and attending less than full time as of census date, your aid will likely be less than what was reported in your initial award letter or email. This is because students are initially awarded based on the expectation of full-time enrollment. Aid is then adjusted on census date to their actual enrollment.

 

What does this mean for you?

Enrollment Levels

For financial aid purposes, there are generally 4 enrollment levels: 

  • Full-time (12 or more credits)
  • 3/4-time (9 -11 credits)
  • 1 /2-time (6 - 8 credits)
  • Less than 1 /2-time (1-5 credits

If you increase or decrease your enrollment level prior to the enrollment snapshot/census date, your financial aid will be adjusted, as appropriate, to ensure that it is the appropriate amount given for your enrollment level. 

DropPing Courses

If you decrease your enrollment after the first class day but on or before the census date, your aid will be decreased to match your enrollment. However, you may still owe some tuition and fee charges to the school because of the refund policy. Students in this situation will be responsible for any balance owed and need to pay at the Cashier's Office.

Additionally, since Pell eligibility begins on the first day of classes and is calculated day to day, a student who drops all their classes will be subject to a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation. 

Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy (pdf)

If you increase your enrollment level after the census date, your aid will not be increased. This means a student who is enrolled in 10 credits as of the census date, and who later adds a 2 credit class, will not have his/her grant aid adjusted upward to the full-time level. Rather, the aid will remain at the 3/4-time level.

If you decrease your enrollment level after the census date, your grant aid will not be reduced. This means a student who is enrolled in 15 credits as of the census date, and who later drops a 5 credit class, will not have his/her aid reduced to the 3/4-time level. A reduction of enrolled hours after the census date will result in a grade of "W" for the withdrawn course(s), and may have a negative impact on your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). 

additional notes about census date and financial aid

If your initial financial aid award is made: 

  • Before census, it is based on the assumption that you will be enrolled full time (12 credit hours or more)
  • After census, it is based on your actual enrollment status

 

 

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