College of Graduate Studies

Graduate Students and Federal Aid

Effective fall 2019, Tennessee Tech University must comply with Federal Regulation 34 CFR 690.8 that requires schools to only pay for the cost of courses in the students declared program of study.  Federal Aid that is affected by this regulation includes: Pell, SEOG and Teach grants, and Federal Direct Stafford and Plus loans.  This regulation does not apply to students receiving state funding including graduate assistantships, privately funded scholarships, diversity fellowships, international awards, NSF grants, or employer tuition reimbursement programs.

How Does This Affect A TN Tech Graduate Student?

There are several things that our students must be aware of:

  1. To qualify for federal aid, you must be enrolled in 6 hours to receive the full aid award.  If you fall below 6 hours, you will need to notify Financial Aid.
  2. Students should enroll in 6 hours of courses that are listed on their program of study.  The student's advisor will provide direction on which courses will be on the program of study.  Students may be on an "interim" program of study until the advisor assigns a committee chair and committee members. 
  3. A final program of study must be submitted to the Graduate College by the time the student has taken 15 hours of credit.  If the student does not have a program of study by that time, the Graduate College will place a hold on the student registration.
  4. Departments will be responsible for monitoring student enrollment to ensure student compliance throughout the student's program of study.
  5. With advisor approval, students may take courses outside of the program of study as long as they take a minimum of 6 courses on the program of study.
  6. Students who do not receive federal aid do not have to abide by the above directives.

Visit the Financial Aid website to find out more about this process. Keep in mind that Graduate programs of study are very different than the undergraduate programs described on the website.

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