Based on additional recent guidance from the U. S. Department of Education (ED), we would like to share the following information. This guidance may impact the credits that you submit on your E-APP from the clock to credit conversion that ultimately appear on your ECAR.
When a school does a clock-to-credit hour conversion and the financial aid credit hour calculation for an individual course equals a fraction (e.g., 3.25), the school may use the actual fraction to determine the total number of financial aid (FA) credits in the program rather than rounding to the nearest 1 or .5 as some accrediting agencies require. However, the school may not round up the fraction (example: 3.255 can be 3.255 or 3.25, but not 3.26). This is for the calculation of FA credits only. Note: The school may not use the FA credits if they are more than the academic credits per individual course or program.
Example: Medical Assistant Program (quarter credits)
*81.25 divided by 25 for quarter credits = 3.25 FA credits
**7.2 FA credits cannot be used because the academic credits are less, you must use 6.0 credits.
If the total of your FA credits = 27.4 credits you can only report 27 credits on your ECAR. The ED E-APP does not accept fractions.
After your E-APP is submitted, ED will normally take the total clock hours including outside coursework and divide by 37.5 (semester credits) or 25 (quarter credits) and come up with total FA credits. If they differ from what you have entered on the E-APP, ED should contact you for an explanation unless you already entered an explanation in Q#69 on the E-APP. The difference should be the FA credits versus the academic credits and is usually due to externships.
FAME hopes this information is useful to our clients in determining the correct number of FA credits for their ECAR.
As a separate note, the program weeks that you report to ED via the E-APP which appear on your ECAR should be instructional weeks only. Do not include scheduled breaks or holidays of 5 days or more.