Co-op Education

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:
    1. The school has to consider co-op students to be the equivalent to full-time status.
    2. 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)?

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.