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Accommodation Policy for Students with Disabilities - Reduced Course Load

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The University has established twelve credits as the minimum for a full time student.
Carrying fewer than the twelve-credit full-time course load may have consequences that need to be considered. We suggest that the following concerns be explored before reducing your course load.

  • Financial Aid – Will your financial aid package change as a result of reducing your load? Contact a Student Aid Counselor in Wingate Hall (207.581.1324) to discuss the impact of a reduced load on your aid.
  • Scholarships – Will any scholarships or grants from outside groups or agencies be affected by reducing your load? Some Scholarships require student’s to be full-time in order to continue receiving funding. In many cases exceptions can be made in the case of students with disabilities and this should to be explored with the scholarship representative.
  • Insurance – Does your health insurance require you to be a full-time student in order to maintain coverage? Explore with your insurance provider any exceptions for your policy in the case of persons with disabilities.
  • Housing – If you are residing in University Housing than have you been approved by Disability Support Services and/or Housing Services to continue residing on campus with fewer than the 9 credit minimum? Make an appointment with Disability Support Services to discuss your disability need to carry a reduced load.

Does it Make Good Sense?

For many students with disabilities carrying a lighter load makes good academic and financial sense. It may afford the students the opportunity to perform better in classes and not spread themselves so thin that all classes suffer. Some students enroll full-time and then find the course load was so heavy that they did poorly in a class and need to retake it. In these cases, the financial aid maintained by staying full-time is lost in the need to pay for the course again. Each student situation is different and needs careful review and consideration of the consequences of a reduced course load decision. We would be happy to discuss these issues with you at Disability Support Services.

Formal Policy for Reduced Load

The University of Maine has established a Formal Reduced Course Load Policy for students who need to legitimize their part time status with outside organizations where a reduced load would affect eligibility of services, such as NCAA and the Aspire Program. This policy does not control organizations outside the University such as Federal financial aid, scholarships and insurance companies. You would still need to determine the impact on your student aid, scholarships and insurance with a reduced load, even when approved under this formal policy.

The University of Maine has established full-time student status as twelve credit hours per semester for undergraduates and six credit hours for graduate students. Upon recommendation by the University of Maine Director of Disability Services, and the Special Student Services Advisory Committee, and upon approval by the Provost (or designee), undergraduate students requesting reasonable accommodation for a documented disability who register for no fewer than six hours will be granted the full rights and privileges of a full-time student. Students who are granted reduced course load status will be assessed mandatory fees in accordance with University policy. In some cases, receipt of particular benefits, are contingent upon payment of appropriate fees. Appropriate credit load per semester for graduate students will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students requesting this accommodation must provide current comprehensive evidence of a documented disability from a health care professional, as well as a copy of their academic records from institutions they attended prior to enrolling at the University of Maine. The Director of Disability Support Services will organize and oversee all procedures relating to this policy and will provide a written annual report on the implementation of this policy to the Provost’s Office.

Contact the Director of Disability Support Services for further information and procedure. East Annex, 207.581.2319

 


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