Reduced Course Load Policy

Effective: 8/1/15; Reviewed: 10/13/21
Updated: 11/7/22
Contact: Accessibility Services

William Jewell College has a policy and procedure in place for a qualified student with a disability to request a reduced course load while retaining full-time equivalency. William Jewell recognizes that students with certain disabilities may not be able to successfully manage a standard full-time schedule every semester, but deserve the opportunity to benefit from those services, activities, and programs that are enjoyed by students with full-time status. This full-time equivalency status will ensure that disabled students are allowed to participate in and benefit from all programs and services offered to other full-time students. This policy requires that, once a student has been approved for a reduced course load, the student be continuously enrolled in at least 9 credit hours per semester for full-time equivalency status. To maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree, students with this accommodation must pass a minimum of 6 credits during a regular semester and a minimum of 15 credits during any academic year.

The process for requesting a reduced course load, along with any other accommodation requests, can be found at Students must request this accommodation for every semester in which they wish to receive a reduced course load with full-time equivalency status. Completing the accommodation application does not guarantee the approval of any accommodation. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis for otherwise qualified individuals who have a demonstrated need for these services and can provide appropriate documentation.

Incoming students may apply for a reduced course load through the Accessibility Services Office upon acceptance to the College. They must provisionally register for a full course load, and are expected to attend those classes until the change in status has been approved. Current students are strongly encouraged to request this accommodation well in advance (at least 4 weeks) prior to registering for their classes for the upcoming semester. Accommodation applications for reduced course load that are received during a semester that a student is already enrolled in are generally processed for the following semester. Before registering for an academic term, a student who has been approved for this accommodation should meet with his or her advisor to plan the proper series of courses which still need to occur, consider the amount of work it will require, and discuss progress towards graduation.

Students who receive this accommodation will be billed as full-time students. All student charges (tuition, room, and board and fees) are billed at the full-time student rate. Services, such as financial aid and/or scholarships which are based on credit-hours, may be pro-rated to adjust for the difference in number of hours enrolled.Within the limits of Federal and State financial aid regulations, every effort will be made to protect students from incurring additional costs. The student should contact the Financial Aid office regarding the particular financial implications that may occur as a result of a reduced course load. Institutional aid will be applied at the full-time student rate.

Federal Stafford Loan Eligibility: Eligibility will be reduced according to the total number of credit hours taken in the full academic year. A student must be at least half time in a semester (six credits) in order to receive a Stafford Loan.

Federal Pell Grant Eligibility: Grants are prorated based on the number of credit hours taken. A student can take as few as three credit hours and still be eligible for a Pell Grant.

William Jewell College 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 9 credits. This applies for merit, need-based, and athletic aid. Eligibility requirements remain in place for all students including those with reduced loads. Student athletes are subject to NCAA restrictions noted below.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division II: Regulations, Section 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.”

Visa/Immigration Status: International students should consult with the Financial Aid office before requesting a reduced course load, as there may be further immigration status implications when registering for less than 12 credit hours per semester.

4-Year Graduation Guarantee: Any student who requests and receives the reduced course load accommodation for one or more semesters during enrollment at William Jewell College, will not be eligible for the 4 year Graduation Guarantee program.

There may be instances where this accommodation need not be permitted to any program or activity in which the College demonstrates that a full-time enrollment of 12 credit hours or more is essential to meet the requirements for the program being pursued. In any case where the application of this accommodation would result in a change to the essential nature or standards of a program or activity, alternative reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be considered and documented.