Census Date: What is it and how does it affect my financial aid?

What is a Financial Aid Census date?

The Financial Aid Census Date is the point at which a student’s enrollment status is “locked” for financial aid purposes. A student must register for all courses or make necessary adjustments for the semester prior to or during the drop/add period. For example, if a student registered full time at the beginning of the term and then dropped credits before the financial aid census date, the student’s financial aid is then revised to match their eligibility based on the number of credits enrolled in as of the Financial Aid Census Date and types of aid that were awarded.
Credits added after the Financial Aid Census Date cannot be used to increase financial aid eligibility. This includes any 8-week accelerated course.

What does this mean for a student who receives financial aid?

  • To ensure receipt of the maximum Pell Grant for which a student is eligible as well as avoid having to pay back Pell Grant funds already posted to the student’s account, students are strongly encouraged to finalize their course schedule no later than the Financial Aid Census Date.
  • If the student increases or decreases their credit load before the census date, their financial aid may be adjusted, as appropriate, for their enrollment level. If the student’s financial aid is reduced and it creates a balance due on their student account, the student will be responsible for payment.
  • If the student adds credits after the census date, the student’s financial aid will not be increased. Classes added after the Financial Aid Census Date will not be eligible to be counted for financial aid eligibility purposes. The student will be responsible for any additional charges not covered by his/her financial aid award as of the financial aid census date.
  • The student’s financial aid may be affected if the student is taking courses that begin after the financial aid census date. For example, if the student is enrolled in a class that starts after the census date, the Federal Pell Grant and other financial aid funds will not be disbursed until after the course has started. If the student fails to begin attendance in all classes, the student’s financial aid will be reduced accordingly.
  • If a student initially enrolls for the semester after the Financial Aid Census Date, the Census Date for that student will be the date of their initial enrollment. Therefore, students will want to maximize their aid eligibility by enrolling in all the courses they are planning to take during the initial registration process.
  • The Financial Aid Office is not able to adjust all types of aid after the Census Date but will consider special situations. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office before adding courses after the Census Date that would affect their enrollment level.

Upcoming Census Dates:

Fall 2021 Regular Semester and 1st 8-week August 25, 2021
Fall 2021 2nd 8-week October 19, 2021