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Academic Advising

Merit Scholarship 15-Credit Hour Alert

To proactively support students' scholarship retention, academic advisors will receive alerts for merit scholarship students who are registered for fewer than 15 credits hours in the current semester and may be at risk of not meeting scholarship renewal requirements.

Intended Outcomes

The primary goal of this initiative is to inform students with merit scholarships who are enrolled in fewer than the recommended 15 credit hours per semester that they may be at risk for their scholarship requirements. This initiative will encourage students to liaise with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm their eligibility requirements and with their assigned academic advisor to create a course plan to meet these requirements (if necessary).

Advisors have the contextual knowledge to guide students in selecting appropriate courses to fulfill their credit hour requirements while aligning with their academic goals.

Timeline for Intervention

This intervention will utilize the automation feature in EAB Navigate. Students will receive a message when they drop below 15 registered credit hours in a semester.

Intervention Process

  1. The Automated Actions feature in EAB Navigate will use a daily search to identify students registered for fewer than 15 credit hours in the current term.
  2. When a student is identified, they will receive an automated email alerting them that they are registered for fewer credit hours than is recommended and inform them of the potential impact to merit scholarships. This email will include next steps and encourage the student to contact Financial Aid and/or their assigned academic advisor to discuss their course schedule and scholarship renewal requirements. See below for a copy of this message.
  3. When a student is identified, an Alert will be issued that triggers an email to student’s academic advisor.
  4. Advisors will respond to any student outreach on this topic and assist students with modifying their current schedule or planning for future semesters to meet renewal requirements.
  5. Advisors are encouraged to document any communication with students using notes on the student’s EAB Navigate profile. If courses are advised, note them in Degreeworks.  

Hello {$student_first_name},

We hope you're doing well. We're reaching out because our records show you're currently enrolled in less than 15 credit hours this semester. As a merit-based scholarship recipient, not maintaining an average enrollment of 15 credit hours each semester may negatively impact your financial aid eligibility and timely graduation.

**If you have an SDRC accommodation that allows you to take fewer than twelve credits hours to maintain full-time status, this may not apply to you.**

Here's how you can address this:

  1. Check Your Financial Aid Status:
    • Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to understand if and how your current enrollment affects your financial aid and scholarships.
  2. Plan Your Academic Schedule:
    • Talk to your Academic Advisor about potential courses in the second half of the semester, Winter, or Summer terms to fulfill your credit requirements.

Your success at the University of South Carolina is important to us. We're here to support you in maintaining a positive credit-hour momentum and achieving your academic goals.

Best regards,

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships & The University Advising Center for Academic and Post-Graduation Success 

What Financial Aid can do
What advisors can do
  • Verify scholarship a student is receiving
  • Review scholarship renewal eligibility after grades post
  • Contact students to inform them that they are at risk of losing their scholarship after grades post
  • Calculate GPA and/or credit hours
  • Advise towards courses that are degree-applicable and contribute to scholarship renewal requirements (if successfully completed)
  • Assist students with transient enrollment if necessary
What Financial Aid cannot do
What advisors cannot do
  • Complete GPA calculations
  • Advise towards degree-applicable courses
  • Provide financial aid counseling
  • View and verify which scholarships a student is receiving
When discussing course options with students for the purpose of meeting the scholarship credit hour requirements, consider the following factors:
  • Course availability and schedule
  • Balance of course load
  • Course relevance to the student's academic program
  • Alternative term options (winter, summer)

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