Minimum Credits

All financial aid awards require you to take a minimum number of units each semester, and the required units vary by aid program. Many aid programs require full-time enrollment, some allow part-time enrollment, and others pro-rate award amounts based on part-time enrollment levels.

We base all initial aid offers on the assumption that you will enroll full-time. If you plan to enroll part-time, you must notify us by submitting our online Course Load Change Form.  Visit Forms & Online Services for instructions.

For summer and winter minimester enrollment requirements, see summer/winter aid.

Attempted Term Units

Most enrollment requirements are based on your total Attempted Units for each term.  Attempted Units exclude courses that you drop before the end of the Schedule Adjustment period, and usually include courses that you withdraw from after the Scheduled Adjustment period ends.  Also see, Beginning Attendance below.

Your Total Attempted Term Units will affect your aid in four ways:

  1. If you attend less than full-time, your Cost of Attendance Budget and your financial need will decrease. This can cause Award Changes & Reductions.
  2. Aid programs also require a minimum number of units per term.
  3. If you will graduate in December and will attend part-time that fall term, we must pro-rate your maximum Fall Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loan amounts based on your portion of full-time enrollment. (Your spring aid will be canceled.)

    Undergraduate Example:  9 fall units = 9/12 full-time units = a 75% enrollment level.  Your maximum fall loan = 75% of your normal maximum loans.

  4. If this is not your first year in college and you are receiving any of the three Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) grants below, then you must successfully complete at least 30 units during this academic year to remain eligible to receive your full MHEC grant eligibility during your next academic year.  For more information, see:  MHEC Grant Completion RequirementsMHEC Guaranteed Access GrantMHEC Educational Assistance GrantMHEC Campus-Based Educational Assistance Grant​.

 Undergraduate Student Enrollment Levels

Enrollment Status Required Units per Term*
Full-time 12 or more credits
Three-quarter time 9 to 11 credit
Half-time 6 to 8 credits
Less than half-time 1 to 5 credits

*Audited classes do not count toward required credits.

Graduate Student Enrollment Levels

Enrollment Status Master’s Degrees & Certificates Doctoral Degrees
Full-time 9 or more credits 6 or more credits
Half-time 6 to 8 credits 3 to 5 credits
< Half-time < 6 credits < 3 credits
  • Audited classes and graduate assistantship placeholder courses (CGSR G90 and G91) do not count toward required aid units. 
  • All Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) aid programs require at least 6 units.
  • In certain situations, TU policy allows graduate students to receive enrollment level adjustments for internship, thesis, dissertation, or capstone project courses. Students can only receive these adjustments for up to two terms. For more information, see the graduate placeholder course policy.

Minimum Enrollment Requirements by Aid Program

Aid Programs Minimum Enrollment

Federal loans and
Federal Work-Study


TU Admission Scholarships

Full-time (at least 12 units for each fall and spring semester) 

Federal Pell Grants*

You must enroll for at least 12 units per term to receive the full-time amount.  If you enroll part-time (< 12 units) your award will be prorated based on your total term units divided by 12.

Example: If full-time Pell term amount was $3,698, the prorated amount for 7 units = $3,698 x 7/12 = $2,144. 

Proration percentages based on term units:  1: 8%, 2: 17%, 3: 25%, 4: 33%, 5: 42%, 6: 50%, 7: 58%, 8: 67%, 9: 75%, 10: 83%, 11: 92%.

Federal SEOG Grants, and TU Institutional Grants

Amounts are prorated based on Full-time, ¾ time, ½ time, or less than half-time enrollment.

MHEC Educational Assistance & Guaranteed Access Grants

You must enroll for at least 12 fall units or at least 12 combined winter Minimester and spring units.  To receive a renewal grant next year, you must also meet MHEC's annual Credit Completion Requirements.

*For Summer 2024 Pell Grants, part-time awards will be pro-rated based on the old proration formula based on 75% amounts for 3/4 time (9-11 units), 50% amounts for 1/2 time (6-8 units), and 25% amounts for less than half-time (1-5 units).  For Summer 2024, some smaller full-time Pell Grant amounts will pro-rate to $0 for part-time enrollment.

  • For Maryland state scholarships and grants not listed above, visit MHEC
  • For MHEC grants and scholarships, also see the Study Abroad Aid restrictions.
  • Other scholarships may have enrollment requirements established by the donor or the scholarship coordinator.

Less than Half-time Status

While some aid programs permit less than half-time enrollment, the Cost of Attendance budgets for less than half-time enrollment can't include living expenses. Because your cost of attendance budget will be reduced, we may also have to reduce your aid.

In addition, if you drop below half-time status, your prior educational loans will enter repayment status after a six-month grace period for Federal Direct Student Loans or a nine-month grace period for Perkins Loans.

Beginning Attendance

Federal aid programs also require that you attend each course at least once.  If you never attend any of your term courses, then we must cancel all your federal aid.  If you receive a Federal Pell Grant, and never attend some of your courses, then we must recalculate your term Pell Grant payment based only on the course you began attending.  (Example:  If you enrolled full-time, but only began attendance in 6 units, then we would reduce your Pell Grant payment to the half-time payment amount.

Enrollment Census Deadlines

We must always evaluate your enrollment level based on your total units as of the term’s financial aid census date, which is always the last day of registrar’s change of schedule period.

For Pell, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and institutional grants, if you add a class after the end of this change of schedule period, we must exclude those late units from your grant calculations.

We will also automatically reduce loans based on your census date enrollment level. However, only for loans, if you add a class late, we can readjust your loans based on the additional late units, but only if you contact the Financial Aid Office to request a loan adjustment based on the late class units.

Aid Restrictions for Repeats of Completed Courses

To receive your aid disbursements each term, your total attempted course units for that term must meet the minimum enrollment requirements above. (For example, student loans require at least 6 units per term.)

For federal grants, loans, and work-study funds, when we calculate your total attempted courses units for each term, we must exclude units from courses you are repeating if you previously passed that same course with a grade of "D" or better and have already repeated that course again since then.

If you already completed a course with a grade of "D" or better, and already repeated that course at least once, then you can never receive additional federal aid based on the units from that course.

Example: A student took ENGL 100 twice and earned a D both times. During his 3rd attempt, he retook ENGL 100 and another 3-unit course. During this 3rd attempt, his eligibility for federal aid was based only on the other 3-unit course, and he was not eligible for any federal aid that required more than 3 units.  If the student had taken ENGL 100 and 6 units of other courses, then he would still have been eligible to receive aid based on 6 units of eligible courses.

Maximum Developmental Course Units

If you reach 30 attempted units from developmental courses, you will become ineligible to receive any additional aid based on units from additional developmental courses, but can continue to receive aid for other eligible courses.