How Many Credits You Need To Get Financial Aid?

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How Many Credits Are Necessary To Get Financial Aid—A Guide to Understanding Financial Aid

If you’re planning on applying for financial aid, you should get acquainted with the protocol first.

Understanding what financial aid requirements undergraduate and graduate students should meet is crucial since failing to meet even one can leave you without the financial support you need. How many credits are necessary to get financial aid, how to apply for financial aid, and what criteria you should meet are only some of the questions DoNotPay’s neat guide will provide answers to!

How Many Credits Do I Need To Get Financial Aid?

Before you apply for financial aid, you should make sure you meet all the necessary requirements.

One of the application requirements is being enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours. While this is the general rule, there are certain exceptions.

Do You Have To Be a Full-Time Student To Get Financial Aid?

To receive the full amount of financial aid, including federal student loans and grants, students have to complete 12-credit hours per semester. While part-time students can receive financial aid, only full-time students (12 or more credits) can get the total financial aid amount. The only difference is in the amount of financial aid.

For example, if full-time students apply for the Pell Grant, they can get around $6,495. Part-time students can also apply for the same grant, but the sum they’ll receive will be smaller depending on the number of credits.

You can check the Federal Student Aid website to see what requirements you should meet for the following grants, when to apply for them, and how long you can keep receiving them:

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants

How Much Financial Aid Will I Get for 3 Credits?

If you enroll in at least three credits per term, you can get a Federal Pell Grant. The amount of the Pell Grant you’ll receive depends on the number of credits, as follows:

  1. 3–5 credits—25%
  2. 6–8 credits—50%
  3. 9–11 credits—75%
  4. 12+ credits—100%

What Other Financial Aid Requirements Do I Have To Meet?

Apart from being enrolled in a certain number of credits, you have to meet other requirements to be an eligible financial aid candidate. Check out the table below for details on the general financial aid eligibility criteria:

Financial Aid RequirementsExplanation

You have to be a U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security Number or an eligible non-citizen


The necessary paperwork you should provide varies depending on the school, but the following documents are usually required:

Academic success

Your academic success determines whether you’re able to keep getting financial aid or not. To receive aid, you have to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

If you don’t want to lose financial aid, you have to keep a 2.0 (or higher) GPA

What Does the Financial Aid Application Process Entail?

To help you understand the financial aid application process, we’ll break it down step by step. Here’s what you should do to apply for financial aid from most schools:

  1. Make sure you meet each eligibility requirement
  2. File your FAFSA form on time
  3. Check whether you need to create a CSS profile on your school’s website or by contacting the financial aid office
  4. Fill out and submit any additional documents (if necessary)
  5. Wait for your school to send you a financial aid offer (this usually takes around ten days)
  6. Accept or decline the proposed offer

Having your financial aid application rejected is also something that can happen, but don’t worry! You can to appeal the decision you’re not satisfied with.

Appealing a Rejected Financial Aid Offer With DoNotPay

If you think there is nothing you can do when your financial aid application gets rejected, we’re happy to inform you there is! Our app makes appealing rejected financial aid applications and low aid offers a smooth-sailing experience! Why bother trying to figure out how to file an appeal letter when you can have us do it in minutes? Complete the following instructions to get started:

  1. Select the Appeal for More Financial Aid feature
  2. Provide the necessary info about the college you want to attend and your family’s financial situation

After you complete the instructions, we’ll create your appeal letter. Once it’s ready, we’ll send it to the financial aid office of the school in question!

Are you not happy with the proposed financial aid amount? You can look for more financial aid support from other schools with our help! Check out some of our guides to applying for financial aid from different schools:

Yale University Financial AidRutgers University Financial AidStanford University Financial Aid
New York University Financial AidUniversity of California, Los Angeles Financial AidUniversity of California, Davis Financial Aid
Cornell University Financial AidPrinceton University Financial AidUniversity of California, Santa Cruz Financial Aid
Carnegie Mellon University Financial AidMIT Financial AidColumbia University Financial Aid
Harvard University Financial AidPurdue University Financial AidUniversity of California San Diego Financial Aid

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DoNotPay Doesn’t Stop There!

Assisting you with bureaucratic tasks is only a fragment of what DoNotPay can do—we have a lot more nifty features to offer! We can show you how to:

Struggling to draw up a financial aid appeal letter, an HR complaint, or a child travel consent form? DoNotPay is here to do it in minutes!

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