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Reduced Course Load for Students With Disabilities

Purpose: 

The University of New Haven recognizes that some qualified students with disabilities may not be able, by reason of their disability, to successfully manage a full time course load.  In order that these students may continue to participate in and benefit from University programs and services, the University may make available an accommodation of full-time equivalency with a reduced course load. 

Policy: 

Students who are full-time but with a reduced course load by reason of disability are entitled to all of the services, benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities of full-time students.  The intent of this accommodation is to offer equal opportunity; therefore, services based on the number of credit hours (e.g. financial aid or scholarships) may be prorated.  The student should contact the Financial Aid office regarding the particular financial impact to the student.  This accommodation need not be permitted for any program or activity in which the University demonstrates that the requirements are essential to the instruction being pursued by the student or that are directly related to licensing requirements.

Having followed the procedure outlined below to secure approval for a reduced course load as a full-time student with a disability, the student must maintain the agreed course load or the full-time status will be jeopardized.  At the agreed upon credit load the student will be considered as full time and entitled to all of the services, benefits, rights and privileges of full time status.

International students should consult with the International Services office prior to requesting any consideration for reduced course loads.  For international students on an F-1 visa, a full-time load is defined as 12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students.  For students on an F-1 visa, a reduced load may be permitted under this policy if supported by proper medical documentation, with the understanding that  a) the accommodation must be reviewed every academic term, and  b) the reduced load accommodation must be limited to 12 months in the aggregate.

For purposes of financial aid and immigration, full-time course loads for undergraduate students is a minimum of 12 credits per term.  A minimum of 9 credits and a maximum of 11 credits will be considered a reduced course load.  For purposes of financial aid and immigration, a full-time load for graduate students is defined as 9 credits per term.  A minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 8 credits will be considered a reduced course load for graduate students.

Procedure for Approving Reduced Course Loads:

1) Requests for reduced courses loads will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Accommodations for individuals may be provided for at least one academic term, and are subject to review upon request for additional considerations, and at least once per academic year. 

2) Students must complete a Reduced Course Load Accommodation Request form, and submit it to the Director of Campus Access Services —

  • to request initial consideration, 3-4 weeks prior to the start of early registration (including SOAR or IGOR registrations) for the first semester for which the accommodation is requested, and
  • 2 weeks prior to the start of re-registration period for any subsequent semester during which he/she intends to use this accommodation.

If a request cannot be approved prior to registration, the student is required to register for and maintain a full-time course load in the interim.  Requests submitted after the start of a semester will only be considered due to changes in disability, supported by appropriate documentation.  Reasonable accommodations are not retroactive.

3) Unless relevant documentation is already on file with the office, students must submit requests for reduced course loads to the Director of Campus Access Services with supporting documentation.  Supporting documentation must include a diagnostic evaluation from an appropriate professional that is recent enough to evaluate the current impact of the disability.  Impact on academic history may also be assessed.  This documentation must be submitted in a format consistent with the CAS documentation guidelines.  Transfer students will need to provide transcripts from previous academic institutions for this purpose.

4) The Director will evaluate the documentation and the request in terms of the impact of the disability and the demands of the student’s current or proposed schedule.

5) If the request is denied, the student may appeal the Director's decision through the ADA/504 Review Committee.  If the recommendation of the ADA/504 Review Committee disagrees with the Director’s decision, the final decision will be made by the Vice President of Student Affairs.  If the Committee’s recommendation agrees with the Director’s decision, the Director’s decision is final.

6) If the request is approved, the Director will explain the potential consequences of the reduced course load on progress towards graduation, financial aid, billing, etc. The Director will indicate the approved reduced course load and explain that this credit load will be considered as the student’s minimum credit load for full-time status for the relevant semester and that he/she cannot drop below this threshold without placing full-time status in jeopardy.

7) The student and the Director will sign the Reduced Full-Time Course Load Approval Form.  Copies are distributed to the Registrar; the Director of Financial Aid; Bursar; the Associate Dean for Residential Life; the Dean of Students; the student's academic Dean; the student's Academic Advisor ; and if appropriate, the Director of International Services, and/or the Director of Athletics.  All records will be maintained in the strictest confidence.

8) The Bursar will adjust the student's bill.  For approvals dated before the end of the official drop period for the semester, UNH will prorate the student’s tuition based on the enrolled credit load and per-credit charges if the adjustment results in an amount lower than full-time tuition.  Other charges (activity fees, room, board, etc.) are not affected by this accommodation.

9) The student's financial aid will be adjusted based on the billing adjustments and reduced credit load.  Within the limits of Federal financial aid regulations, every effort will be made to ensure that the student does not incur additional costs, but this is not guaranteed.