Section 145-2.1(a) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education defines full-time study as enrollment for at least 12 semester hours for a semester of not less than 15 weeks or 8 semester hours in a quarter, inclusive of examination periods, or 24 credits in an academic year of not more than 12 months (designated “uniterm”). With each calendar type, full-time study results in a total course load of 24 credits for the academic year.
For financial aid purposes, when the regular academic year is divided into two equal terms of at least 15 weeks, the terms are designated semesters. When the academic year is divided into three equal terms, the terms are designated quarters (usually on quarter credits) or trimesters (usually on semester credits). Although not stated explicitly in the regulation, since two 15-week semesters comprise a minimum 30-week regular academic year, using this measure, quarters or trimesters must be at least 10 weeks in length (three 10-week terms equal 30 weeks). Note: a quarter credit equals two-thirds of a semester hour credit; thus, 12 quarter credits equal 8 semester hours.
For students to be eligible for financial aid, an institution’s academic calendar must satisfy one of these calendar types.