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Clock to Credit Conversion for Credit Hour Schools Only

Have questions about new regulations?

Per the new Distance Education and Innovation regulations that go into effect on 7/1/2021, non-degree credit hour programs are now required to use the clock to credit conversion of 30:1 for semester/trimester credit and 20:1 for quarter credit.  The new regulations also eliminate outside coursework hours for ED’s clock to credit conversion.  However, you must check with your accrediting agency to see if outside coursework can still be included for your academic credit conversion. 

Note: The credit hour schools that are not affected are those schools that offer degree programs and any program that fully transfers to a degree program. 

Examples: (must use academic credits in a course if less than FA credits)  

Current regulations (semester) Divide hours in each class by 37.5 

Lecture Lab Externship Outside coursework Total FA credits
80 10 20 2.93
80 20 20 3.2
80 20 15 3.06
80 30 15 3.33
80 30 15 3.33
80 30 20 3.46
120 2.66 (academic credits)
480 140 120 105 21.97 (19 without using decimals)


New Regulations (semester) Divide hours in each class by 30) 

Lecture Lab Externship Total FA Credits
80 10 3
80 20 3.33
80 20 3.33
80 30 3.66
80 30 3.66
80 30 3.66
120 2.66 (academic credits)
480 140 120 23.3 (20 without using decimals)



Note:  You can only use decimals if allowed by your accrediting agency for Title IV purposes.   

FOR ESP/AFA clients, if your program credits change, you must create new programs on FAME Connect with the new number of credits after you submit the changes to ED via the EAPP (instructions below).  Also please send a copy of the revised clock to credit conversion calculation worksheet in a ticket to FAME so we can determine if the calculation is accurate.   

For Freedom Finaid clients, if your program credits change, please create a ticket to include your clock to credit calculation and to add new programs as applicable after you submit the changes to ED via the EAPP (instructions below).  

You have 3 options: 

  • Institutions can teach the remainder of the current program to currently enrolled students in accordance with the existing conversion calculation; (recommended) 
  • New students (enrolled after the implementation date) may be enrolled in the program under the new conversion regulations; or 
  • An institution may choose to switch from the old conversion calculation to the new conversion calculation at the end of a payment period (as long as the payment period ends after the implementation date). 

Once your institution implements the new regulatory provisions by the effective date of July 1, 2021: 

  • If the new calculations result in a change in the number of Title IV credit hours in a program, the institution must submit an E-App immediately at to update both the number of clock hours and Title IV credit hours in the program; or 
  • If the new calculation does not change the number of Title IV credit hours in the program, the institution should update the E-App to change the number of clock hours reported for the program when the next update or recertification application is submitted. 

Institutions are generally permitted to update the information for the existing program to reflect these changes. Institutions would only need to end a program and create a new program on the E-App if the institution’s accrediting agency or state considers it to be a new program. 





  • Nelson Caballero says:

    Hi Julie-

    Hope you are well.

    Just want to make sure that the externship conversion stays the same- based on your example it stayed at 37.5:1

    • Julie DiPuccio says:

      Thanks, Nelson. Under the previous regulations it was calculated using the 37.5:1 conversion, but under the new regulations it is calculated based on the new conversion of 30:1. However, the result can never be more than the academic credits.

  • Samantha E Ramirez says:

    Hello would this be able to have student clock in with the QR code so the company can keep track?

  • Erin Cain says:

    Does the externship have to be supervised by a faculty – meaning the faculty is on-site during the externship? What about if a student has an internship at a company but still meets with the faculty for 1 hour per week to monitor the internship activities?

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