Course Program of Study (CPoS)
The University of South Carolina is required to follow U.S. Department of Education regulations related to the disbursement of federal financial aid. Federal statute and regulations require that federal student financial aid (federal grants, federal loans, and federal work-study) can only be used to pay for courses that count toward your program of study.
Full-time, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours (part-time, minimum 6 credit hours) of required coursework for your program of study each semester to remain eligible for and receive your full financial aid package. If you enroll in courses that are not required for your program of study, your financial aid may be prorated and/or cancelled as required by federal regulations.
Note: CPoS does not impact South Carolina state financial aid & scholarships.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your program of study are the courses required to complete your degree as listed on your DegreeWorks audit. This includes required coursework of the declared major, minor, concentration as outlined in the academic bulletin.
Course Program of Study (CPoS) is a process used to determine, each term, which courses in a student's schedule are required for their program of study. Federal student financial aid can only be paid on courses within a student's program of study. These aid programs include federal grants, federal student loans, and federal work-study.
Your program of study are the courses required to complete your degree as listed on your DegreeWorks audit.
In addition to ensuring that federal student financial aid regulations are being met, CPoS is designed to help you stay on track and finish your degree in a timely manner. Enrolling in only courses that count toward your program of study helps to minimize your education expenses and debt.
You can view your financial aid package in Self Service Carolina:
Select "Financial Aid".
Select "Award for Aid Year".
Select "USC Columbia" Campus.
Select the appropriate aid year.
View “Award Overview” to see a summary of your awards.
Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships with questions.
If you do not receive federal financial aid, CPoS will not impact you.
Your course enrollment will begin being reviewed in advance of the upcoming term. Course enrollment will be reviewed nightly to account for any classes that are added/dropped). At the semester drop/add deadline, your course enrollment will be reviewed a final time for CPoS financial aid purposes. Changes to your course enrollment after this date will not be considered for CPoS purposes.
It’s recommended that you check your DegreeWorks audit when you make changes to your course schedule. Degree Works will be updated the day after changes are made.
Additionally, your academic advisor will be reviewing your enrollment to confirm that you are enrolled in courses that are required for your program of study. Your advisor will reach out to you via email/text if you need to adjust your schedule to meet program of study requirements.
View your DegreeWorks audit to see if the courses you are taking count for your program of study. Here you can see the listing of required courses that you have taken, are currently enrolled in, and still need to take.
In DegreeWorks, courses that do not count for federal financial aid will be listed in the ‘Fallthrough’ section at the bottom of the audit worksheet.
The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will notify you, via your USC email, if one or more of your courses does not meet requirements of your program of study and may affect your federal student financial aid. In addition, you can view your CPoS status at any time on Self Service Carolina:
Select “Advisement Planning”
Click “Course Program of Study (CPoS)”
Do NOT change your schedule without first speaking to your assigned academic advisor. Your advisor will review your DegreeWorks audit and help you to identify an alternate course to enroll in that will count toward your program of study.
If you are an undergraduate, as long as you are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours that count toward your program of study, you will receive your federal financial aid.
If you are enrolled in a course that doesn’t count toward your program of study beyond the 12 credit hours needed (i.e. a course that will take you to 15 credit hours), then you will receive your federal aid.
If you make a change prior to the semester drop/add deadline, you will want to check your DegreeWorks audit to ensure that the course counts toward your program of study. You will also want to make sure that you are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours that counts toward your program of study.
Your DegreeWorks audit will be updated the day after changes are made.
Making changes to your course enrollment after the drop/add deadline and receiving a grade of W or WF will not impact CPoS for that semester.
At the semester drop/add deadline, your course enrollment will be reviewed a final time for CPoS financial aid purposes.
Yes, as long as the courses you are enrolled in are reflected as part of your program of study in DegreeWorks. This will include Carolina Core courses and courses that count toward a declared minor.
Only courses that count for your current declared major will count toward financial aid enrollment requirements.
You should meet with an Exploratory Advisor in the University Advising Center if you are wanting to change your major to discuss options to help you meet academic and financial aid needs.
Both majors must be officially declared for courses to count for financial aid. Both majors are part of your program of study, so you need to take at least 12 credits that can count toward your program of study.
A course may be part of a student’s program of study, but not count toward federal student financial aid eligibility if it exceeds the number of repeat attempts allowed by statute. If a student receives an ‘F’ grade in a course, they are permitted to retake the course as many times as they need until they make a ‘D’ or higher. Once they have made a ‘D’ or higher, they are only permitted to retake the course one additional time after that.
While a ‘D’ may not be successfully passing to advance a student’s academic program, for federal student financial aid purposes, the 'D' is considered a passing grade.
Contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships with questions. The rules for repeat coursework are complex and your individual situation may benefit from review.
Yes, you may take a course that is not required. However, those courses cannot be covered by federal student financial aid.
Any elective course taken must be a requirement of your program of study. If you see that an elective you were advised to take is not counted in the CPoS process, reach out to your academic advisor.
Only courses that are part of the program of study are eligible for financial aid. You can take classes that are not required by the program of study, however those classes cannot be covered by federal student financial aid.
Any courses taken, including those required for professional program admission, must be included in your program of study as viewed on DegreeWorks to be eligible for federal financial aid. You can take classes that are not required by the program of study, however those classes cannot be covered by federal student financial aid.
Scholarships, from any source, are not affected by CPoS.
CPoS does not affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).