Cooperative Education (“Co-op”) is a type of internship program which allows students to obtain professional work experience while still in college.
About Cooperative Education (Co-op Education)
- The co-op program will provide you with the chance to combine classroom study with paid professional employment directly related to your major and career goals
- It is a unique opportunity for students to apply their academic preparation to “real world” situations in business and industry
- Available for College of Computing and Informatics, William States Lee College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts & Science, and Belk College of Business
Receiving Financial Aid for Co-op Programs
- Co-op students are enrolled in a zero-credit course that is documented on their transcript each semester they work in order to maintain their full-time status with the University.
- There is a $60 registration fee that will be applied to the student’s account for each semester of work.
- According to federal guidelines, as long as a school determines the co-op program is equal to full-time status and the student is REQUIRED to take the co-op as part of their program, then the school is allowed to pay federal financial aid to these students.
- Because UNC Charlotte does not require students to complete a co-op program as part of their degree requirements, you are NOT eligible for federal financial aid in the term(s) where co-op is the only course taken.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was I able to receive financial aid in the past when I enrolled in co-op programs?
- The Office of Financial Aid at UNC Charlotte is always reviewing federal regulations to ensure compliance with federal guidelines. After reviewing the university’s co-op program, it has been determined that the co-op course is NOT REQUIRED for any program of study at UNC Charlotte. There are two conditions for co-op student(s) to be eligible for Title IV financial aid:
- The school has to consider co-op students to be the equivalent to full-time status.
- The co-op course has to be REQUIRED for their program of study.
- Because UNC Charlotte does not require a co-op for any program, any students enrolled in a co-op course only would NOT be eligible for financial aid that given term.
Will I be eligible for financial aid if I register for other courses along with my co-op course during the same term?
- If you are taking classes while you are doing the co-op program, you may be eligible for financial aid for those classes, but not the co-op.
- Contact Niner Central to speak to a specialist and determine your eligibility.
Will I have to begin repayment of my student loans in my co-op term since there is zero credit for the co-op program?
- Co-op students are considered full-time status during the term(s) of the co-op course.
- Students will remain in an in-school deferment status for loan repayment purposes and will not have to begin repayment during their co-op term.
Would co-op students be eligible for an alternative loan for the co-op term?
- Yes. Co-op students are eligible for an alternative loan for the co-op term as long as they meet the lender requirements for the loan. The Financial Aid Cost of Attendance budget for the term would reflect full-time amounts; however the tuition and fee component would be adjusted to $60 for the co-op fee.
Would co-op students be eligible for any type of scholarships?
- Possibly. If the student meets the donor requirements of the scholarship then they would be able to receive it for the co-op term.
Can co-op students receive the University’s health insurance during the co-op term(s)?
- Co-op students may be eligible to enroll in the University’s insurance during open enrollment. Additional information can be found at the Student Health Center.
What can I do if I need assistance for living expenses, transportation expenses, etc.?
- Co-op student can apply for an alternative loan if they meet the lender’s requirements. Students will need to check with their lender of choice to see if they qualify.