James Madison University

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Basic Student Eligibility Criteria

(Other conditions may also exist)


At a minimum, students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for federal and state financial aid funds:


·         Must be enrolled as a regular student in a degree or Teacher Licensure program


·         Cannot be simultaneously enrolled in elementary or secondary school


·         Must have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass an approved ability-to-benefit test, or meet the state’s home schooling requirements


·         Have a valid Social Security Number


·         Be registered with Selective Service, if required


·         Sign Statement of Educational Purpose, which certifies that he or she will use funds only to pay educational costs (statement is part of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid)


·         Not have property subject to judgment lien for debt owed to the United Status of America


·         Must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (see http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/sap.shtml)


·         Must not have disqualifying drug conviction


·         Must not be in default or owe a grant repayment on any previously received financial aid


·         Be U.S. citizen or national; a U.S. permanent resident; Citizens of the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia and the republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands; Other eligible noncitizen as defined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid


·         Must not have exceeded the annual or aggregate federal loan (Stafford and Perkins) limits


·         Must meet enrollment status requirements.  With the exception of the Pell Grant and in some situations Work-Study, SEOG, and the Perkins Loan, you cannot receive financial aid for being enrolled in a less than half-time status. The following represents the number of semester credit hours at each enrollment level for financial aid:


o        Undergraduate Students

·         Full-time = 12 credit hours or more

·         Three-quarter time = 9-11 credit hours

·         Half-time = 6-8 credit hours

·         Less than half-time = 1-5 credit hours

o        Graduate Students

·         Full-time = 9 credit hours or more

·         Three-quarter time = Not applicable

·         Half-time = 5-8 credit hours

·         Less than half-time = 1-4 credit hours


These enrollment levels apply for financial aid eligibility in all semesters (i.e. summer, fall, and spring).  This is important to note because there are times during the year when another office on campus may consider a student to be at a higher enrollment level than shown here.  For example, in some cases the Registrar’s Office may consider an undergraduate student enrolled in less than 12 hours during the summer semester to be full-time.  However, for financial aid purposes, 12 hours is always the minimum number of credits for an undergraduate student to be considered full-time.