In the context of student financial aid eligibility, the concept of “integral part” is important in determining whether a student is full time.
State student aid is provided to enable students to complete a program of postsecondary education. Academic programs must be registered (approved) by the State Education Department and designated as eligible for State student assistance. To approve a program, the Department reviews the specific program requirements to assure that the curriculum is in compliance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education for program registration.
To be considered an integral part of the student’s program, courses that make up the student’s minimum full-time course load must be applicable to the program’s requirements—as a general requirement, major requirement, or elective—as registered.
Students who wish to include in their program of study certain activities in addition to traditional courses may do so. Section 145-2.1(a) of regulations provides that activities such as independent study, practice teaching, thesis and dissertation research, and noncredit or remedial study can be included in the determination of full-time and part-time study, providing the activity is “required or approved by the school, in a plan of study prefiled by the student with the school, as an integral part of the student’s program.”