Major Restrictions: Frequently Asked Questions
Beginning March 30, when summer term registration opens, we’ll be introducing some changes to course registration that will streamline your path to graduation.
To ensure you’re taking the right courses for the program you’ve chosen, you’ll only be able to self-register for courses required to complete the program. This will help you ensure that you’re on the correct path to graduate on time.
Need more help?
Call or email the Major Restrictions Helpline. Phones will be staffed from 8am – 6pm Monday through Thursday, and 8:30-2pm on Friday. If you leave a message, we’ll return your call within 24 hours.
Taking only courses within your major will ensure that you’re streamlining your path to graduation, and to your goals after college. It will also ensure that you’re taking exactly the courses you need for your chosen goal, and that you’re limiting the expense of attendance.
Secondly, we can’t use classes outside of your major to calculate your eligibility for Federal Title IV Financial Aid (Pell, Student Loans, and SEOG). The college is adjusting the way you can register for classes to be more fully compliant with Federal Financial Aid requirements. Better compliance ensures that the college remains in good standing with the Department of Education, and that Federal Financial Aid remains available to our students.
Q: How do I know who my advisor is?
Visit www.ptc.edu/advisor to find your advisor’s name and contact information.
Q: How do I know what my major is?
- Log onto PTC Pathway. Your user name is your P#, and your password is your birthday in this format: MMDDYY (unless you previously changed it).
- Click on the “Student” tab.
- Under “Advising Information” on the right side, click on the “DegreeWorks” link.
- Your degree audit worksheet will appear. You should see your name, address, and other contact information.
- In the section labeled, “Academic Information”, on the left side you will see your degree and current major. Make sure this is the major you’re pursuing.
Q: How do I change my major?
If you’re not in the major you want to pursue, complete a Change of Major form and have it signed by your advisor.
The form can be obtained from your advisor, in the Student Records Office, or in your Pathway account under “Student Records” (just below where you accessed DegreeWorks). After you’ve obtained your advisor’s signature, you’ll submit the form to the Student Records Office.
If the form is submitted prior to the end of the add/drop period, the change will become effective for the current term. Please be aware that, after 3/30/2015, any courses you’re registered for that are outside your major will be dropped from your schedule after the change is processed.
If the form is submitted after the add/drop period, the change will become effective for the following term.
Q: Does this mean I can’t take courses outside my major?
No. Although we strongly encourage you to take only those courses you need for graduation, you can take a course outside your major with your advisor’s approval.
Please be aware, though, that we will not use these courses in determining your eligibility for Federal Financial Aid programs (Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and Veteran’s Benefits). So if you do decide to take something outside your major, you may need to arrange an alternate method of payment such as Lottery Tuition Assistance, Scholarship funds, or you’ll need to be prepared to pay out of pocket.
Q: Which types of aid cover courses taken outside my major?
Currently, you may be able to use State Student Aid programs (Lottery Tuition Assistance, LIFE, and S.C. Needs Based), as well as scholarship funds to assist with paying for courses taken outside your major.
If you have an overage in your student loan and you have authorized us to cover allowable educational expenses with a Title IV credit balance, you may use your excess aid to pay for a class outside of your major
Because each student’s financial aid situation is different, we encourage you to speak with your financial aid counselor
Q: Can I use my student loan?
We cannot use courses outside of your major to determine that you are enrolled at half time status for a student loan eligibility. However, if you enrolled in at least 6 credit hours of courses required for your major, have an overage in financial aid (from a loan, for example) and you have authorized us to cover allowable educational expenses with a Title IV credit balance, you may use your excess aid to pay for a class outside of your major.
Q: If I want to take a course outside my major, how can I do that?
If you decide you want to take something outside your major, you’ll need to meet with your advisor.
Once you’ve discussed your plan, your advisor will either recommend a course substitution, or will ask you to complete a “Course Registration Outside Major” form and forward it to them by fax, email or present it to them in person.
If you’re asked to complete the form, your advisor will verify everything has been completed correctly, and then will forward the form to the Student Records Office, where you’ll be registered for the course(s) within 48 hours. You’ll be notified by email when the registration is complete.
Q: If I’m finishing one program and starting another, how do I do that?
The most straightforward way to do this is to complete your course requirements within the major you’ve chosen, and then file a change of major form to move into the next program you’d like to start. As an alternative, it’s possible to take courses outside your major as detailed above.
Q: Can I pursue a second Associate degree?
Yes. However, only coursework within your current major will be used to establish Federal Aid eligibility. If you have additional aid (i.e. state, scholarships, third-party, etc.), you may use it to finance additional coursework towards the second credential. Once you have completed your first degree, you can then change your major and seek Federal Aid funding
Q: How often can I change my major?
There is no limit on the number of times you may change your major; however, you are responsible for maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress in accordance to the Financial Aid SAP policy. A student who changes his major multiple times may accumulate hours that exceed 150% of his current program which will cause a loss of financial aid eligibility.
Q: What “refresher” classes are eligible?
If you are required to take developmental and/or transitional coursework (i.e. 032 or 100 level) based on test scores or other reasons, Federal Aid funding will be allowed up to a maximum of 30 credit hours.
Q: Would withdrawals impact me?
Remember you must maintain a 67% completion rate and complete your academic program within a 150% timeframe of your chosen program of study. Therefore, any course withdrawal would have some impact. Generally speaking, it is advisable to take only coursework within your major and keep withdrawals to a minimum. This allows you to finish your degree on time and maintain good financial aid standing.