Overachievers Beware of Credits

December 1, 2015

By Natalie Rodriguez

A recent rumor has been spreading around campus regarding financial aid. Students are saying that Dominican is only giving out financial aid up until the point that you finish your major and/or minor or go over 124 credits.

This is not necessarily true. There is nothing wrong with going over 124 credit hours, it’s actually quite common amongst students.

According to Director of financial aid, Victoria Lamick, you can still receive aid if you go beyond those hours.

“If credit hours are required beyond 124 then those will still be covered by federal and state aid,” said Lamick.

The amount of credits a student takes over the required 124 does not matter as long as they complete their degree on time. However, the courses a student enrolls in have to fall under a major, minor, elective or core requirement.

The issue some students face is that, going into their senior year, they only need a few credit hours to complete their degree. According to Assistant Director of Financial Aid Debbie Morsovillo, they would be getting themselves into more debt by being full-time and taking course unrelated to their major as oppose to just enrolling as a part-time student.

“We do get a lot of students who want to stay full time because for some reason they have it in their minds that they won’t get their full MAP grant,” said Morsovillo. “This may be true, but they’re also looking at paying full-time tuition versus paying part-time tuition. Even though you might not get a lot financial aid, you pay less if you’re only taking what you need to graduate. It’s kind of a tradeoff.”

Morsovillo also explains why students only receive federal and state aid if the courses they are enrolled in count towards their degree completion.

“Federal and state aid is designed to get you an associates or bachelor’s degree depending on the school that you’re at and that’s it,” said Morsovillo. “The personal enrichment idea sounds good, but financial aid wasn’t designed for that. It was designed to get people degrees so they can be out working.”

Dominican encourages personal growth and enrichment in its students but federal and state aid does not allow for that.

“The financial aid office is working with Academic Advising and the Registrar’s Office to identify any seniors who may need less than 12 credit hours to complete their degree in the spring,” said Lamick. “If a student is concerned that they may need less than 12 credit hours, they can stop by the Financial Aid Office so we can review their file with them.” 

According to both Lamick and Morsovillo it is imperative that students meet with their advisors early on to avoid scheduling issues by their senior year.