Policy - Enrollment Status


Most undergraduate programs at GW require full time enrollment (12 credits per semester). Note that some academic programs may require more than 12 credits each semester based on the progression of the curriculum.

Financial Assistance requires full time enrollment. All institutional grants and scholarships are subject to this policy.

Students in the final semester of their senior year may request a proration of their awards if they enroll less than full time. To request this exception, students should complete the Undergraduate Change Form indicating the semester in which they plan to enroll less than full time. Students will be allowed this exception for one semester only.

With the exception of the Federal Pell Grant all other sources of Federal grants and loans require a minimum of half time enrollment (6 credits per semester). This is based on federal statute and as such there are no exceptions to the minimum enrollment requirements.


Graduate students must maintain at least half time status to receive Federal Direct Stafford or Graduate PLUS Loans. Half time for graduate programs is defined as 4.5 credits for graduate students during the fall and spring and  3 credits for graduate students during the summer

Graduate Students enrolled less than half-time who are working on a thesis, dissertation, internship, or residency, may have eligibility for federal loans. Contact the Registrar’s Office or the Dean’s Office of the student’s school to initiate the processing of a Half-time / Full-time Certification Request. This form verifies the additional academic responsibilities a student may have, and establishes whether those responsibilities are sufficient to certify them as a half- or full-time student. This process must be completed for each semester in which the student will register for less than half-time credit hours, and since it requires the review and signatures of the Academic Advisor, Dean, and the University Registrar, should be initiated prior to the beginning of classes.

Students who are enrolled for both distance learning and on-campus classes, must be enrolled at least half-time in the classroom to receive Personal Expenses and Room and Board allowances.

See the How to Apply  and Assistance Types sections of our website for more information about how to apply or details on federal loans.