Some MSU programs allow students to take graduate courses before the undergraduate degree has been conferred. A student may fall into one of three different categories, and the student's financial aid eligibility will be affected depending upon the category.
- The student is an undergraduate who is taking graduate courses as part of the undergraduate degree program. The courses are being used to complete the undergraduate degree. This student is treated for financial aid purposes as a normal undergraduate student and no special financial aid processing is required.
- The student is admitted to a graduate degree program near the end of the undergraduate program. MSU allows up to 12 credits of graduate coursework to be applied to the graduate degree, even though the courses are taken while the student is still an undergraduate. This student must be monitored and eligibility for certain financial aid programs may be restricted.
- The student may be concurrently admitted to both graduate and undergraduate degree programs, taking both undergraduate and graduate courses, with the two degrees being conferred only when the requirements for both are completed. This student must be monitored and eligibility for certain financial aid programs may be restricted.
Monitoring and eligibility adjustments
Students in programs 2 and 3 above will be eligibile for undergraduate aid only until they have earned their 120th credit. (Most undergraduate degree programs require 120 credits for the degree. If you are pursuing an undergraduate degree requiring a higher number of credits, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to be processed as an exception).
The Office of Financial Aid will monitor aid in the “transition semester” (the semester in which the student earns the 120th credit) and manually pro-rate financial aid using only the credits that bring you to 120 total credits. If the 120th credit will be completed within a term, you may receive undergraduate aid for the credits needed to reach 120, with excess credits within the semester not being counted for purposes of awarding this aid.
It's possible that you will be less than half time when counting undergraduate credits in the term and thus be ineligible for federal aid that term. It's also possible that you may receive no undergraduate aid for a semester even though still classified as undergraduate if you completed 120 credits in the prior semester but have not had your status changed to graduate.
You will be notified of aid changes as soon as possible. You should keep in mind that your academic status may change mid-semester. If the academic change is made retroactive to the beginning of the term, it may then trigger a billback of previously disbursed aid.