Federal regulations prevent students from receiving financial aid for classes unless the student has performed academically related activities.

Academically related activities, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education for this purpose, include but are not limited to:

  • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.
  • submitting an academic assignment.
  • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction.
  • attending a study group that is assigned by the school or instructor.
  • participating in an online discussion about academic matters.
  • initiating contact with the instructor to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.
  • engaging in an online academically related activity or initiating contact with the instructor to ask a course-related question.

The definition of academic attendance and academically related activity does not include activities where a student may be present, but not academically engaged, such as:

  • Living in institutional housing;
  • Participating in the school’s meal plan;
  • Participating in a student-organized study group;
  • Logging into an online class without active participation; or
  • Participating in academic counseling or advising.

In addition, an agreement to begin attending a class or perform some type of academically related activity in the future does not meet the definition.

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