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Please note that the program applicability requirements apply only to those students who are eligible to receive U.S. federal financial aid (Pell grant and/or federal student loans).

What is program applicability?

What is my Program?

How do I know which courses are program applicable and will be eligible to receive financial aid?

Will elective courses be program applicable?

When is the best time for me to change my major?

I am a new freshman. Will minor courses, or University Studies courses, be program applicable?

When do I need to be registered for program applicable courses to receive federal financial aid?

How will program applicability affect students who have changed their major and are over 140 credits?

How will program applicability affect a student who has recently changed his/her Program (major)?

Are transfer credits program applicable?

Can I take courses that are not program applicable if I pay for them myself?

Will I be cut off from financial aid after 120 credits?

What financial aid options are available to students that have used up all their electives, and are left with just core requirements remaining, but no electives?

Can I save my financial aid money for later?

When do substitutions need to be officially in the system?

I am an online student. Do the rules of program applicability apply to me?

Can my award increase between the first day of the semester and FADD?

This is my last semester before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. Can I receive a prorated award since it’s my last semester?

Are 2nd Block courses affected by program applicability?

I am a senior and will be graduating this semester with my Bachelor’s degree. How will program applicability affect me?

How will program applicability affect students who have failed a class and want to retake that class?

Can federal financial aid be pro-rated?

Can BYU Idaho Scholarships be pro-rated for less than 14 credits?

What if I can’t take 12 program applicable credits because I have finished my Foundations, and all I have left are pre-requisites to get into my Program?

Will a pre-requisite that is required for another course, but not required specifically for my Program, be counted as program applicable for federal financial aid?

Does it matter whether I received federal aid for courses I have taken in the past? For example, I earned 80 credits before qualifying for financial aid. I changed my major and now will graduate with 130 credits. Will I get financial aid for my remaining 50 credits or will my aid be cut off after 40 credits because I will have reached the 120 total credit limit, even though I have not received financial aid for all of them?

Will Pathway courses count towards electives?

Will I still get financial aid my last semester even if I don’t have 12 credits of required courses left?

If I am registered for 12 program applicable credits, can I take elective courses and not lose any of my federal aid?

Is there any way to appeal or petition a decision made regarding my financial aid?

I am a transfer student. Can I choose not to transfer my previous electives so that I can take my “required electives” here at BYU Idaho?


What is program applicability?

Program applicability is a term used in connection with federal financial aid regulations. The government requires that a course be required for a student’s graduation (program applicable) in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.

What is my Program?

Your Program is your officially declared major and catalog year.

  • If your Program (major & catalog year) requires a component (such as an emphasis, minor or cluster), then courses required to complete the component are program applicable and are eligible for federal aid.
  • If your Program does not require a component, but you choose to declare one, courses required to complete that component will not be considered program applicable and will not be eligible for federal aid unless they can fill elective requirements. If those courses can fill elective requirements, they will be program applicable and eligible for federal aid.
How do I know which courses are program applicable and will be eligible to receive financial aid?
  • Make sure your correct major and catalog year are officially declared prior to registration.
  • First, look at the catalog. Be sure to look at the correct major in the correct catalog year. If the catalog indicates that your major requires a component (emphasis, minor or cluster), courses to complete that component will be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Next, you should look at your grad planner to verify that the courses you plan to register for are required by your major.
  • Register for required courses.
  • After registering, check the Program Applicability Tool (PAT) on your student tab. Registered courses will have a green checkmark beside them indicating program applicability, or a red circle indicating the course is not program applicable.
  • You can receive BYU Idaho scholarships for any course you take, as long as you are enrolled in 14 credits.
Will elective courses be program applicable?

If your Program requires electives, courses that fill those requirements will be eligible for federal financial aid. Any transfer credits, or courses taken in a previous Program, will be applied as electives whenever possible.

When is the best time for me to change my major?

For financial aid purposes, a student must have their Program officially declared two weeks before the semester begins. Changes made after this time could result in a loss of federal financial aid.  The Program you have officially declared on the first day of the semester will be used to assess program applicability for that entire semester. A student has the ability to change their Program at any time, but Program changes made during the semester will not be used to assess program applicability until the next semester.

I am a new freshman. Will minor courses, or University Studies courses, be program applicable?

If your Program requires a minor, courses required for that minor will be program applicable. If a minor is not required by your Program, courses to complete a minor will not be program applicable UNLESS they can fill elective requirements. If a University Studies course fills a program requirement or an elective, it is program applicable.

When do I need to be registered for program applicable courses to receive federal financial aid?

You should register for program applicable courses whenever you are able to register. Financial aid awards for students (who have met all deadlines) will be disbursed the first week of school. On FADD (the Financial Aid Determination Date, the 23rd day of the semester) we look again at your registered credits. If you have dropped a program applicable course for which you received financial aid, you will need to return that portion of your award.

As long as on the FADD date you are enrolled in the same number of program applicable credits you had when your award was disbursed, there will be no change to your award.

Questions about dropping program applicable courses should always be directed to a Financial Aid Counselor.

How will program applicability affect students who have changed their major and are over 140 credits?

A student can still receive federal aid for courses required for their Program. If a student changes their Program, any previous courses will fill whatever requirements possible for the new Program. A student has a maximum cumulative eligibility of 150% of the credits required for their Program.

Credit limits for BYUI scholarships are 129 for Academic Scholarships, and 139 for BYUI General Scholarships.

How will program applicability affect a student who has recently changed his/her Program (major)?

A student’s official Program on the first day of the semester will govern which classes are program applicable for that entire semester.

If a student changed their major mid-semester, the new Program won’t be used to assess program applicability until the next semester.

Are transfer credits program applicable?

Transfer credits will be applied to your declared Program, and will fill any requirements possible. Any federal aid you have received for previous semesters will not be affected.

Can I take courses that are not program applicable if I pay for them myself?

Yes, you can take a non-required course that is not program applicable and pay for the course yourself. However, that course will fill elective requirements whenever possible.

Will I be cut off from financial aid after 120 credits?

Not necessarily. You can receive federal aid as long as you are taking required courses. For example, if your Program has a path to graduation that is 132 credits, all of which are required, you may receive federal aid for all of those credits. You will not be eligible to receive federal aid above 150% of your program requirements. (i.e. If your Program has a maximum path to graduation of 132 required credits, you have a maximum eligibility of 198 cumulative credits.)

BYUI Scholarships have limits of 129 cumulative credits for Academic Scholarships, and 139 cumulative credits for General Scholarships.

What financial aid options are available to students that have used up all their electives, and are left with just core requirements remaining, but no electives?

These students will only receive federal aid for the remaining courses required for their Program. It is very important that students plan ahead for a balanced schedule, taking into account the workload and difficulty of their courses.

Can I save my financial aid money for later?

If the funds have been disbursed into your student account, you can choose to save those funds in your bank account for a future semester. However, you can’t “stack” Pell Grants or federal loans. This means you can’t choose to not accept your Pell Grant or loan for Fall semester and receive double Pell or loan for Winter semester.

When do substitutions need to be officially in the system?

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure their department submits all substitution requests to the Student Records and Registration Office by the Add/Drop Deadline (7th day of the semester).

I am an online student. Do the rules of program applicability apply to me?

Yes, online students are subject to the program applicability rules.

Can my award increase between the first day of the semester and FADD?

That depends. If you received an award for 12 program applicable credits, that is the maximum, full-time award. If your award was for less than full-time and you add program applicable courses before FADD, your award may increase. You should contact a Financial Aid Counselor about your specific situation.

This is my last semester before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. Can I receive a prorated award since it’s my last semester?

University scholarships can be prorated below 14 credits in your last semester before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. federal aid is always based on the number of registered program applicable credits.

Are 2nd Block courses affected by program applicability?

2nd block courses are subject to the same program applicability rules. Questions about adding and dropping 2nd block courses should be referred to a Financial Aid Counselor.

I am a senior and will be graduating this semester with my Bachelor’s degree. How will program applicability affect me?

Seniors may have less flexibility, because they will have fewer required courses left to take. You will only receive federal aid for your remaining required courses.

How will program applicability affect students who have failed a class and want to retake that class?

The general rule is that a student can receive federal aid for a required course once after receiving a passing grade (D- or better). Students should use the PAT to verify that the courses they are registered for are program applicable. Specific questions can be referred to a Financial Aid Counselor.

Can federal financial aid be pro-rated?

Students can receive federal aid for fulltime, ¾ time, half-time, and less than half time enrollment depending on the information they provide on their FAFSA.***

Federal award levels are:

  • Fulltime = 12+ program applicable credits.
  • ¾ time = 9 – 11.5 program applicable credits.
  • ½ time = 6 – 8.5 program applicable credits.
  • Less than half time = 0.5 – 5.5 program applicable credits.

Example: If a student takes a one credit program applicable course, they can take a 4 credit course that is not program applicable and their award will not change, because they are still within the “less than half time” award level. However, the non-required course will count as an elective whenever possible.

***Please be aware that federal loans require a minimum of 6 program applicable credits.

Can BYU Idaho Scholarships be pro-rated for less than 14 credits?

No, BYU Idaho Scholarships will not be pro-rated and will require 14 credits.

Exceptions may be made for BYU Idaho Scholarships in a student’s last semester before graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree, and for Internship Scholarships.

BYU Idaho Scholarships do not require program applicable credits.

What if I can’t take 12 program applicable credits because I have finished my Foundations, and all I have left are pre-requisites to get into my Program?

If the pre-requisites are not listed as required, you will not receive federal aid for them, unless they can fill elective requirements.

Will a pre-requisite that is required for another course, but not required specifically for my Program, be counted as program applicable for federal financial aid?

No. If the course is not specifically required by your Program, it will not be program applicable.

Does it matter whether I received federal aid for courses I have taken in the past? For example, I earned 80 credits before qualifying for financial aid. I changed my major and now will graduate with 130 credits. Will I get financial aid for my remaining 50 credits or will my aid be cut off after 40 credits because I will have reached the 120 total credit limit, even though I have not received financial aid for all of them?

Even though you didn’t receive federal aid for your previous credits, you are still subject to the cumulative credit limits. You may be able to receive federal aid as long as you are within the 150% maximum limit of your Program requirements. If your Program requires 120 credits, you will not receive aid if you go above 180 program cumulative credits.

Will Pathway courses count towards electives?

Pathway students are not eligible for aid because they are not matriculated. Once a Pathway student matriculates, if a Pathway course completes an elective requirement, it will satisfy that that elective requirement.

Will I still get financial aid my last semester even if I don’t have 12 credits of required courses left?

That depends on your eligibility based on the information you provided through your FAFSA. You will only receive federal aid for the required credits that remain. If you only have six program applicable credits remaining, you will only receive federal aid for those six credits. A student may receive a prorated portion of their BYUI scholarship in their last semester before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree.

If I am registered for 12 program applicable credits, can I take elective courses and not lose any of my federal aid?

Yes, you can take any course after you are enrolled in 12 program applicable credits and it will not affect your financial aid. However, those courses would go to fill electives whenever possible.

Is there any way to appeal or petition a decision made regarding my financial aid?

There is no way to petition the program applicability of a course. Other petition questions should be referred to a Financial Aid Counselor.

I am a transfer student. Can I choose not to transfer my previous electives so that I can take my “required electives” here at BYU Idaho?

No. All transfer credits will be applied wherever possible to your Program at BYU Idaho. If your transfer credits can fill elective requirements, those requirements will be filled and you will not receive federal aid to take new electives.