Enrollment Status

In general, full-time status is defined as enrollment in 12 or more credits for undergraduate students, and enrollment in 9 or more credits for graduate students. Part-time status is defined as less than full-time. 

Part-time students may have limited access to University resources and should check with the office offering the service to determine their eligibility.

In addition to the general definitions, a variety of other terms are used to identify different levels of enrollment. Examples include: 3/4 time, half-time, less than half-time, students enrolling in 1-8 credits, students enrolling in 9 or more credits, and academic overload. At PSU, enrollment status terms and definitions apply to 1) tuition schedules, 2) academic overload approval requirements, 3) federal financial aid guidelines, and 4) enrollment verification/certification to outside parties.

Enrollment Status for Tuition Purposes (Admitted vs Non-Admitted Students)

Tuition charges are calculated according to a number of variables: student level (undergraduate or graduate), residency status, course level (undergraduate or graduate), admission status (i.e., admitted or non-admitted), special college, major or program costs, and number of credits, including audit credits. Note: Restricted Differential Tuition courses are not included in determining enrollment status for tuition purposes since the tuition costs are assessed separately from the charges associated with regular courses.

Admitted Students

Admitted undergraduate and graduate students pay tuition and fees based on the number of credits, their student level (undergraduate or graduate), any special college, major or program costs, and whether they are Oregon residents or nonresidents.

An exception: Admitted students who are eligible for the Washington Border Policy and who are enrolled in 1-8 credits are assessed resident tuition rates.

Admitted Postbaccalaureates pay tuition based on the number of credits, the level of the courses and whether they are residents or non-residents. Postbaccalaureate students are assessed at the undergraduate tuition rate for all courses numbered 499 and below, and at the graduate tuition rate for all courses numbered 500 or above.

Non-Degree Students

Non-Degree students my enroll in up to 8 credits in fall, winter, and spring terms, and up to 21 credits in the summer term. Tuition and fees are based on the number of credits, and on the level of the courses(s) (undergraduate or graduate) in which they enroll.

All Non-Degree students are assessed resident tuition regardless of residency status.

Non-admitted students may enroll in 1-8 credits by submitting a one-time Non-Degree Entry Form to enable registration for classes. Non-Degree students who later apply for full admission to PSU are reassessed for residency status at the time of application.

Enrollment Status for Federal Financial Aid Purposes

Student Level Full-Time 3/4 Time 1/2 Time Less Than 1/2 Time
Undergraduate 12+ 9-11 6-8 1-51
Postbaccalaureate2 12+ 9-11 6-8 NA
Graduate 9+ NA 5-8 NA

1Applies only to Pell Grant; no other federal aid is available to students enrolled in fewer than 6 credits.
2Refers to all postbaccalaureate students, whether enrolled in undergraduate or graduate level courses.

Audit credits, independent study/correspondence courses, non-credit courses, and credit-by-exam courses do not apply for financial aid purposes. Self-support courses (see Tuition for Self-Support Courses for further explanation) numbered 100-699, as well as Math 70 and Math 95, do apply.

Enrollment Verification/Certification to Outside Parties

Outside parties such as lenders, employers, insurance companies, and veterans benefit programs often require student enrollment verification. Enrollment verification is available the first day of an active term. PSU can not provide official enrollment verification for future terms.

Verification or certification of enrollment is determined according to student level and the number of credits for which the student is registered.

Restricted Differential Tuition courses (see Tuition for Restricted Differential Tuition Courses for further explanation) are included in determining the number of credits; audit credits, independent study/correspondence credits, and credit-by-exam hours are not included. PSU definitions for certifying enrollment are listed in the following table:

Student Level Full-Time (FT) 3/4 Time (QT) Half-Time (HT) Less Than Half-Time (LHT)
Undergrad/Postbac 12+ 9-11 6-8 1-5
Graduate 9+ 7-8 5-6 1-4
Non-Degree NA NA 6-8 1-5

Full-time status definitions may vary by outside agency.

National Student Clearinghouse

Portland State has a contractual agreement with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to assume responsibility for all student verification needs. The NSC is a not-for-profit holding company created to streamline the verification process between students, lenders, or other parties. Students can print official verifications of enrollment by following the " Verify Enrollment" link in the Student Services tab in the Banweb Student Information System. The link connects to the NSC Student Self-Service site; click on the link and follow the prompts to obtain an official verification.

The NSC begins certifying Portland State enrollment for a given term once the term begins. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other information available to students through the NSC:

  • Loan deferment notifications the NSC has provided to loan holders
  • Enrollment certifications provided to health insurers and other providers of student services or products
  • List of lending servicers who have reported to the NSC that they are holding an individual's student loans, with links to those web sites

Please note: Enrollment information is only reported to the National Student Clearinghouse for students who have provided Portland State their Social Security Number. If you do not have a Social Security Number or prefer not to provide it to PSU, you will not be able to access an enrollment verification via the NSC. Instead, you can request an enrollment verification with the Special Enrollment Verification Request Form. You may also use this form to request enrollment information that isn't offered by the National Student Clearinghouse.

Questions about status and notification should be directed to the NSC at 703.742.7791 or at service@studentclearinghouse.org

Summer Term Enrollment Reporting

The summer term is considered a non-compulsory term for federal student aid enrollment reporting purposes. The following practices apply for summer term only:

  • Students who are enrolled in the spring term are considered returning for the following fall term and considered continuously enrolled unless they earn a degree in either spring or summer term.
  • Students who are enrolled on the first day of summer term, who subsequently drop to zero enrolled credits for the summer term, will be reported as Less Than Half Time (LHT) for the remainder of the summer term unless they are subject to a return of Title IV funds.
  • A withdrawn status will be reported for if Title IV funds are returned to the Department of Education for the summer term.