The U.S. Department of Education regulations require that a student must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program to receive federal financial aid at Bristol Community College. Essentially, only the coursework that counts toward your degree will be used in determining your hours of enrollment for federal aid purposes (grants, loans, and Federal Work-Study).

Students enrolling in courses that are not required to complete their degree could see their financial aid prorated and/or cancelled as required by the Department of Education.


Courses in Program of Study, also known as CPOS, is a process to ensure students are enrolled in classes that apply to their degree program or course of study.

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions to ensure federal financial aid is used to pay for courses that apply to a student's degree program. CPOS is used by Bristol Community College to meet this requirement.

To see if courses are applicable to a student’s program of study, you can review their Degree Works worksheet. Degree Works is a great way for advisors and students to review overall program requirements and confirm students’ in-progress courses are applicable.

Students and advisors are encouraged to start early and be familiar with Degree Works. If a student is registered for a course that is not applicable to their program of study, they should make the appropriate registration adjustments.

If a student is registered for a course that is not applicable to their program and not eligible for aid, you will see the specific course referenced at the top of their Degree Works worksheet.

If a student believes a course should count, but it isn't, they should contact their assigned advisor. Students can find their assigned advisor noted on their Degree Works worksheet.

Offered and accepted financial aid will be applied to the account balance owed when the funds are authorized. The balance could include tuition for a course that is not eligible. Financial aid funds are disbursed (paid) after enrollment verification. Financial aid authorized anticipated aid when the billing cycle starts each semester. Financial aid is updated to reflect enrollment changes frequently leading up to the financial aid freeze date.

For example: a student is enrolled in 9 hours and only 6 are eligible; it is possible for the financial aid to cover tuition for eligible hours and have enough excess to pay for the 3-hours course that is not eligible. Always review financial aid offers within myBristol to see the whole picture.

Electives, development (also called remedial), and concentration courses all can count as long as they are required for the program of study.

If the prerequisite is listed as a required course for your program, the course will be eligible.

Yes, students may take a course that is not required. Just know that the course will not count toward the financial aid enrollment status.

No, only courses that count toward your program at Bristol can be counted for student aid.

Students can adjust their schedules up until the end of the Add/Drop period. Registration changes are reflected in Degree Works following the nightly refresh and if changes are made, the Financial Aid Office will review and update awards.

In most cases, full-time enrollment is not required. Half-time is required for student loans, and half-time, or even less-than-half-time, may be sufficient to receive federal aid.

Full-time = 12 hours or more, Three-Quarter-time = 9-11 hours, Half-time = 6-8 hours, Less-than-half-time = <6 hours

If students have questions as to why a course is not applying to their program of study, they should meet with their assigned advisor. Students can find their assigned advisor noted on their Degree Works worksheet.

If students have questions regarding their Financial Aid, they can review their Award Information within myBristol and contact the Financial Aid Office for more details.

If advisors have questions regarding program requirements, they should reach out to the specific program contact for clarification. Contact information for Program Chairs and Coordinators can be found within the Academic Catalog.

If something doesn’t look right in Degree Works or there’s an error, you can reach out to Sarah Kocur ( within the Registrar’s Office for assistance.