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Changing Academic Program FAQs

Changing Programs

What is a program?                                                        

An academic program is the plan of study (e.g., Accounting, Civil Engineering Technology, Medical Assistant, and Liberal Arts Transfer) or career pathway that you apply to and receive a degree credential upon completion. The primary purposes of choosing and being admitted to an academic program are to ensure that requirements for a particular program are met and, in most cases, to determine financial aid eligibility.  

Being an open-access institution, you are not required to apply to attend Madison College. Instead you completed an admissions application to formally declare your program of study. When completing the program application, you were given the opportunity to select any available program for the semester in which you were applying. In some cases, your first program of choice was full; you might have been placed on a wait list for program admission.

Justification for a program change

Changing a program is a serious decision that can have many consequences on your education plans and objectives. The following is a list of some items to think about when considering a program change; this list is not all-inclusive. You are encouraged to speak to a college advisor before making a program change. Contact the Student Development Center to schedule an appointment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).

This section is designed to inform you about things you should think about when considering a program change.

Which programs are eligible for Financial Aid?

Are there any exceptions to Financial Aid rule?

What about Apprenticeship programs?

What about Certificate programs?

What is the duration of Financial Aid eligibility?

If I change programs, how does that affect the number of courses for which I am financial aid eligible?

May I be enrolled in two different programs at one time?

How are you placed into a high demand program?

What is the refund policy for currently enrolled classes?

Does a program change affect the time to complete a program and graduate?

What about pre-requisites classes?

What is the impact on transferrable credits?

What is the Liberal Arts Transfer Program?

What are the different qualifications for programs?

How do I change my program?

 

Which programs are eligible for Financial Aid?

You need to determine the impact of Financial Aid when you switch programs. You need to verify that the new program is financial aid eligible or you will have to absorb the cost of the classes. You must be enrolled in one of the following programs to be eligible to receive financial aid:

 

· Two-year associate degree programs

· Two-year technical diploma programs

· One-year technical diploma programs

 

To find your degree program type, locate your program in our list of options, then click to visit the program page to see the degree type.

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Are there any exceptions to the Financial Aid rule?

There are only four Less-Than-One-Year Technical Diplomas that are financial aid eligible:

· Dental Assistant 305082

· Therapeutic Massage 305371

· Paramedic – EMT 305312

 

However, for these programs, only certain courses (core program-required) are covered by financial aid (i.e., courses taken outside of the program curriculum will not be paid for by Financial Aid). For questions about what is or is not eligible for financial aid in these programs, contact the Financial Aid Office.

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What about Apprenticeship programs?

Apprenticeship programs are not eligible for Financial Aid. There are no exceptions.

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What about Certificate programs?

Certificate programs are not eligible for Financial Aid. There are no exceptions.

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What is the duration of Financial Aid eligibility?

One aspect of Madison College’s Financial Aid Standards of Progress is that for Financial Aid, your academic status is considered full- or part-time based on the number of credits in which you have enrolled:

·        1 - 5 credits is considered less than half-time

·        6 - 8 credits is considered half-time

·        9 - 11 credits is considered three-quarters time

·        12 + credits is considered full-time

 

Financial aid (loans, grants, and work-study) are based on full-time status and readjusted at the Date of Record (Census Date). The payment of financial aid is based on the course(s) and the number of credits enrolled in as of the Date of Record for that semester

·        If your enrollment changes after funds are disbursed and prior to the Date of Record then your award will be adjusted. When your Enrollment Status changes, then the Cost of Attendance or Student Budget will change as well. Your financial aid will also be impacted by changes made before the Date of Record. 

·        If you never attended a class or a class is cancelled, your PELL grant will be reduced as you will no longer be entitled to the funds that you received for that class. You will be expected to repay these funds back to the school if they have already been disbursed to you.

·        Veterans Benefits will be reduced if your status drops below for what you were originally paid. (Example, if you were paid at 3/4-time status and you drop a 3 credit class taking you from 10 credits to 7 credits, you will need to repay some of your veteran benefits.) 

If you are considering dropping classes and would like more information on how it may affect your financial aid, visit the Standards of Progress web page or contact the Financial Aid Office.

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If I change programs, how does that affect the number of courses for which I am financial aid eligible?

Financial aid awards specify a maximum number of credits attempted during your college career. If you are considering changing a program, you should also consider that courses taken in one program using financial aid will count toward your total allotted courses attempted. For questions about your credit status and how changing your program might affect your financial aid, contact the Financial Aid Office.

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May I be enrolled in two different programs at one time?

Yes, you may apply to two different programs, as long as the applications are submitted for different semesters. However, we suggest you decide which program you need to complete and then drop the other program.  Note: you will need to be enrolled every semester (fall/spring) once you start your program. If you skip a semester or more, you will be discontinued which will automatically remove you from the program.

Changing programs for the current academic term may affect your financial aid award potentially making you ineligible. Contact the Financial Aid Office before changing programs to discuss your particular situation. In addition, if you have been accepted to a degree program, but you are not enrolled in any classes for one semester, you will be discontinued from that program and you must reapply.

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How are you placed into a high-demand program?

Qualified applicants are accepted into high-demand programs on a first-come, first-served basis. On the first day of admissions application processing, if the number of completed qualified applications on file exceeds the number of available openings for a particular program, applicants are placed on a Program Waitlist. A computer then randomly selects applicants for admission into the program.  If your application is received after the first day of application processing, you are placed on the waitlist by date of application. You will be notified by mail when the program has available space. When the wait list is full, the program closes. An exception is the Nursing program, which follows a different petition process for program admission.

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What is the refund policy for currently enrolled classes?

If you plan to withdraw from a particular class, you should do so immediately. A single day can make a major difference in the amount of refund. Nonattendance does not constitute a cancellation of registration, and you will be responsible for tuition and fees not paid. See the college refund policy for full details.

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Does a program change affect the time to complete a program and graduate?

Yes, depending on the program you are changing from and the new one. For example, if you switch from a Less-than-One-Year Technical Diploma to a Two-Year Associate Degree program, you have added a year or more to your program and graduation date. In addition, your new program may not take all the credits that you have earned in the old program and you may have to extend the time it takes to meet your educational goals. You are encouraged to speak to a college advisor before making a program change and you should contact the Student Development Center to schedule an appointment.

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What about pre-requisites classes?

When you switch from one program to another you be should aware that the new program could have additional pre-requisites. You might be required to take additional classes in order to satisfy pre-requisites. You are encouraged to speak to a college advisor before making a program change and you should contact the Student Development Center to schedule an appointment.

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What is the impact on transferable credits?

The Madison College website contains a wealth of information for you to consider if you plan on transferring to another institution.  Visit the following websites to learn more about the effect a program change may have on your academic career:

·        To view the complete list of degrees and certificates offered at Madison College, visit the Degrees and Certificates web page.

·        To see how courses taken at Madison College transfer to University of Wisconsin-System institutions, use the Credit Transfer Wizards and Will My Credits Transfer? available on the Transfer Information System (TIS).

You are encouraged to speak to a college advisor before making a program change and you should contact the Student Development Center to schedule an appointment.

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What is the Liberal Arts Transfer program?

This program is a two-year associate’s degree allowing you the opportunity to earn either an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science before transferring to a four-year institution. You are encouraged to meet with an advisor to ensure scheduled classes will transfer.  Contact the Student Development Center to schedule an appointment.

Many students in the Liberal Arts Transfer Program will take their first semester, first year, or second year at Madison College to complete general education courses prior to transferring to a four-year institution. You must work directly with the admissions department at the institution to which you will be transferring in order to determine the transferability of Madison College courses.

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What are the different qualifications for programs?

If you are interested in switching programs, you need to review the admissions requirements for the new program to ensure that you are qualified. For example, Emergency Medical Technician Basic has admissions requirements of being CPR certified at the professional level and you must be 18 years old.

Visit your program page and click the admission tab to review the requirements.

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How do I change my Program?

Step One -- Meet with an advisor

If you were accepted into a program and enrolled in three or more credits and now wish to withdraw from that program, you may schedule an exit interview with an advisor to complete applicable forms. You will also receive important information about the consequences of withdrawing from a program.

You are responsible for dropping classes as part of the program withdrawal process. The advisor will not drop you from the classes for which you are registered. You should refer to the Refund Policy or the class refund/reduction schedule.

You should carefully evaluate the reason for your program change so that, through advising and counseling, your best career choice can be determined. If you are seeking to change your program you should have justification for selecting your new program and you will be expected to convey your intentions during the exit interview.

Step Two – Apply for Program Change

Before the Program Application Deadline

You have to complete the Transfer of Application form prior to the program closing date. Programs have varying closing dates so check the Degrees and Certification website for a complete list of degrees and certificates. Once you have selected a program, click on the Admissions tab to find the program closing date.

Transfer of Application form

The Transfer of Application form is only valid for the semester for which you submitted your application and you cannot transfer your application from one semester to another. You can only submit a transfer form during the application processing cycle and if the program is still open/available for that semester. You are encouraged to meet with an advisor to discuss your transfer of application. Contact the Student Development Center to schedule an appointment.

After the Program Application Deadline

If you desire to change your program after the program deadline date has passed, you must apply during the next available application period by submitting a program application. Since the application fee is a one-time fee per technical college, you will only be charged the processing fee.