Definition of Census

Census is the point in time that the Financial Aid Office evaluates students' official enrollment status for financial aid purposes. The actual time that Census occurs is determined by the Registrar's office each semester.

How your enrollment affects your aid

A student's eligibility for financial aid is determined when the student's financial aid file is complete. There are several scenarios/timeframes in which a student could be awarded aid and have their aid adjusted due to census:

  1. The student's financial aid file is complete and the student has registered for courses before the census date of the semester: The student will be sent a financial aid award letter based on their enrollment at the time the file was complete. At the time of census the student's enrollment will be checked again, and adjustments will be made for both increases and decreases to enrollment affecting all types of aid.
  2. The student's financial aid file is complete before the census date of the semester but the student registers for courses after the census date: No determination is made until the student has registered and since registration occurred after the census, the financial aid awarding will be based upon the student's enrollment at the time the financial aid award letter is generated.
  3. The student registers for courses before the census date but the financial aid file is not complete until after the census date: The financial aid awarding will be based upon the student's enrollment at the time the financial aid award letter is generated.

The information listed above applies to the federal grants (Pell, SEOG, TEACH), institutional funds, and state funds.

Example: If a student initially registers for 6 credits and receives a Pell Grant based upon 6 credit enrollment but then withdraws from a 3 credit course, the enrollment at the time of census will be 3 credits and the Pell grant will be reduced. The grade of W will not count towards enrollment for financial aid purposes.

Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and PLUS loan funds may be adjusted after the census date if a student increases their enrollment. For example, if a student is initially registered for 3 credits and loans are not offered, but the student adds an additional 3 credits after the census, the student could receive loan funds (if they make that request to the Financial Aid Office). However, if a student has 6 credits as of the census, but then withdraws or drops a course, they fall below 6 credits. If their Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan funds have not disbursed yet, the student will no longer be eligible to receive the funds.

Module-based classes

If a student already received a financial aid award letter, any module-based class(es) added after the census date will not be counted towards financial aid enrollment status for the semester for all types of aid except loans. If a student plans to enroll in any module-based class(es), please do so before the census date. No exceptions will be made. Visit the Class Eligibility policy page for more information about modules. 

Spring 2015 Census is 2/17/2015

Quick Links:

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Forms and Publications

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Managing Your Money

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Financial Aid Terminology


Contact Us:

Financial Aid Office
Elderdice Hall
Hours: M-F  8:30-4:30pm
Phone: 410-857-2233
Fax: 410-386-4608
School Code: 002109