All students with disabilities, including those with physical, learning, Psychological, and medical disabilities, are eligible to apply for special status, which if approved, allows them to take a reduced course load while maintaining full-time status. No student applying for reduced load with full-time status will be approved for less than 9 credits per semester. All students who wish to apply for this status during the forthcoming semester must do so no later than 8 weeks into the current semester.
Incoming students may apply for a reduced course load upon acceptance to the university. They must provisionally register for a full course load, and are expected to attend those classes until the change in status has been approved. Applications for students who enter after the initial freshman registration period and who wish to apply for a reduced course load will be reviewed on an individual basis. The approval of these applications may be deferred to the following semester, due to the late application date. Every attempt will be made to accommodate these requests.
Current students who wish to apply for this status change mid semester are considered special case circumstances. These applications will be reviewed individually and the approval of these applications may be deferred to the following semester, due to the late application date. Every attempt will be made to accommodate these requests.
All requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Academic, Institutional and External Requirements for Eligibility
1. Reduced Course Loads for students with full-time status (hereafter RL/FT students): RL/FT students, to have an effective course load, must register for at least nine credits for the semester. An effective course load is defined as one-half the credits of all semester-long courses plus the total credits of all demi-semester courses. They must register for four credits and not more than six credits per demi-semester .
2. Maintaining Satisfactory Progress: To maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree, RL/FT students must pass a minimum of six credits during a regular semester and average no less than fifteen credits passed during any two consecutive regular semesters.
3. Students approved for reduced loads with full-time status are eligible for specific honors designations with certain provisions.
4. RL/FT students given approval for reduced loads, provided they maintain at least the minimum number of credits, are entitled to all the housing and service benefits enjoyed by full-time students.
5. RL/FT students will be billed as full-time students. All regular charges will apply.
6. The reduced credit load will result in an adjusted financial aid package. Within the limits of Federal and State financial aid regulations, every effort will be made to protect RL/FT students from incurring additional costs.
7. Federal Stafford Loan Eligibility: Eligibility will be reduced according to the total number of credit hours taken in the full academic year. A RL/FT student must be at least half time in a semester (six credits) in order to receive a Stafford Loan.
8. Federal Pell Grant Eligibility: Grants are prorated based on the number of credit hours taken. A RL/FT student can take as few as three credit hours and still be eligible for a Pell Grant.
9. State of North Carolina Legislative Tuition Grant and North Carolina Contractual Scholarship: These will be awarded to students taking a reduced course load, but who maintain their full-time status because of a recognized disability.
10. UNCP Institutional Aid: Institutional aid is reserved for all students having full-time status, including those with approval to take a reduced load for reasons of a disability , provided the load for the semester does not drop below nine credits. This applies for merit, need-based, and athletic aid. Eligibility requirements remain in place for all students including those with reduced loads. RL/FT student athletes are subject to NCAA restrictions noted in #13.
11. Financial Assistance from the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: Assistance is limited to what is required to achieve the educational credentials for the vocational goal and is usually restricted to four years. However, the Division does recognize that factors related to the individual's disability or general life situation may interfere with full-time attendance. In such situations, with appropriate justification, part-time attendance may be authorized. RUFT students from outside North Carolina should check with their state's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation concerning policies.
12. Institutional Student Health Insurance: RL/FT students will be able to obtain health coverage through the institution. However, they will be required to pay the same amount as regular full-time students and they must meet all other eligibility requirements.
13. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division II: Regulations, Section 220.127.116.11 states: "The Academic Requirements Committee may waive the general satisfactory progress requirements for a learning disabled or handicapped student athlete when objective evidence demonstrates that the institution has defined full-time enrollment for that student athlete to be less than 12 credit hours to accommodate the student's learning disability or handicap." At UNCP a committee on student academic status, chaired by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, functions as the "academic requirements committee."