Full-Time Status with a Reduced Course Load (AP-01-212)

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-01-212
Effective: September 22, 2006
Revision: December 2013
Review: 3 years

Full-Time Status with a Reduced Course Load

Maintained by: Provost
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: December 2016

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The University recognizes that some qualified students have a disability that substantially reduces equal access by limiting their opportunity to successfully manage a full-time course load of at least twelve credits per semester, relative to their non-disabled peers. Issues that can create these circumstances can include: a health related disability that requires extensive amounts of time to manage on a daily basis; learning related disability that requires extensive amounts of time to study on a per credit basis. In order that these disabled students may continue to participate in and benefit from all University programs and services, the University may make available an accommodation of full-time equivalency with a reduced course load.

Students who have this accommodation are entitled to all of the services, benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities of full-time status students. The intent of the accommodation is to create equal access and opportunity; therefore, services based on the number of credit hours (i.e. financial assistance or scholarships) may be pro-rated. The student should contact Financial Assistance regarding the particular financial impact to the student. This accommodation need not be permitted to any program or activity in which the University demonstrates that a full-time enrollment of twelve credits or more is essential to meet the requirements for the program being pursued by the student or that are directly related to licensing requirements.

At times the need for such an accommodation can arise unexpectedly, such as immediately after the onset of a difficult health issue. However, if the accommodation is used on a relatively frequent basis it should be pre-arranged before a given academic term, vs. occur through repeatedly starting one academic term to another with more than twelve credits and then dropping courses as difficulty with the course work arises. Students who show a pattern of unplanned use should consult their health or learning expert and consider adopting a more measured approach to college.


The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process.
The Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance is responsible for the administration of this policy. Request an exception to this policy by writing to

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty, and staff, and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


Requests for reduced credit loads are submitted to the Coordinator of Ability Services each semester using a Reduced Credit Load Application. Sufficient documentation must show the need for this accommodation according to the documentation guidelines for the particular type of disability; for some students’ circumstances, the documentation may require updated clinical information.

  1. Before registering for an academic term the student should meet with his or her adviser to plan the proper series of courses which still need to occur, and consider the amount of work it will require, and to discuss the potential that a reduced credit load could impact progress towards graduation or the ability to obtain a professional license in the future for a given career.
  2. The student should then meet with the Coordinator of Ability Services and plan an appropriately reduced credit (course) load for the upcoming academic term, in relation to the reasonable amount of time the student should have for performing the tasks that effective learning will require.
  3. The student should then contact the Student Billing Office to determine the cost of tuition and fees for the reduced credit load plan.
  4. The student should then contact the office of Financial Assistance for consultation as to how the reduced credit load could impact financial aid. Within the limits of federal financial aid regulations, every effort should be made to ensure that the student does not incur additional costs.
  5. If the student chooses to make use of this accommodation, the Coordinator of Ability Services will contact the Registrar's Office to request its implementation at the specific number credits the plan calls for, and notify any other office as directed by student, notifying them of the plan.
  6. At any stage of the above process the involved parties may request appropriate consultation with each other, and the Coordinator of Ability Services may request guidance from the student's health or learning specialist.

University Responsibilities

Coordinator of Ability Services
The Student's Adviser
Registrar's Office

Department/Unit Responsibilities

Chief Diversity Officer


Survey of UW System Registrars


Please direct questions about this policy to