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Computer Information Technology FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Question 1. How many Independent Learning (IL) classes can I take?

Answer 1. The official IL guidelines say, "A student attending campus is only allowed to take half of their semester load through the Independent Learning office. We recommend taking no more than two Independent Learning courses at one time."

IL guidelines state only that they recommend not taking more than 6 hours of IL, however students may take up to 4 IL classes (12 hours) and, if they are in a particular major, may be allowed to sign up for 5 IL classes.

Question2. How do IL classes count towards financial aid?

Answer 2. The official IL guidelines say, "Students must have an equal or great number of regular or web based courses (including Independent Learning web courses) to the number of paper, email or CD Independent Learning courses they wish to take."This statement indicates that a student cannot take exclusively paper/e-mail paper based IL courses and have them count toward their financial aid. They may take any web-based IL class (970 sections) and are eligible for financial aid as long as they complete the Financial Aid-IL agreement. This should not cause any problems for CIT courses.

Question 3. What about taking more than 12 hours?

Answer 3. The official IL guidelines say, "Since the charges for Independent Learning course(s) are completely separate from regular university course charges, they are not considered in a determination of full-time hours for fee assessment purposes." & "Credits through Independent Learning will help to show that a student is full time for insurance purposes, but not for full time tuition rate."This statement is trying to convey that for billing and fee assessment purposes, IL classes do not count towards your full-time hours with one set rate of tuition.  If you take 12 hours of IL courses your tuition charge would be less than 12 regular WKU course hours.  But if you want to take hours above 12 you would pay an additional tuition charge for each class above 12 hour limit.

IL courses are eligible for financial aid provided the student has completed the Independent Learning Financial Aid Agreement from TopNet under Financial Aid.  As long as a student remains in good standing for financial aid, is taking at least half-time hours, and has completed the IL Agreement they may receive financial aid for the CIT IL courses.  Federal regulations require that the Financial Aid Office monitor the progress of IL courses at the end of each semester for which financial aid was awarded.  This means checking for hours completed and grades earned as well as overall GPA. This is the same policy as that for regular or distance learning courses.

Question 4. What is this IL Financial Aid form I keep hearing about?

Answer 4. To ensure prompt processing of financial aid for CIT courses, a student MUST complete the IL Agreement BEFORE they enroll in any IL courses.  The IL Agreement alerts the Financial Aid Office that a student wants to use financial aid to pay for the IL tuition charges.  The Financial Aid Office reviews the student's financial aid award, determines if there is sufficient aid to cover the tuition charges, and if there is sufficient aid sets a code to alert the Independent Learning Office that the student can be enrolled in the classes he/she has chosen.  At this point the IL Office will enroll the student in the classes they have chosen.As long as a student fills out the Financial Aid/Independent Learning agreement stating they agree and are aware they must complete the IL class in the semester in which they enroll to stay in good standing with financial aid, all IL classes will count toward their financial aid hours. As an example, let's say a student desires to take only 3 CIT courses next semester by going through IL. This student will save significant money. The tuition for 3 CIT classes through IL will be approximately $3270.72 [1]. If this student were taking the same three classes as web based semester classes the cost would be $4005.00. So there is a savings. Financial aid awarded is based on 9 hours in this example, as long as the FA/IL agreement form is completed.

Question 5. I am trying to complete the TopNet IL Financial Aid form and it isn't working?

Answer 5. It probably isn't "broken" as there are cutoff dates as to the last date to enroll and be reasonably assured of completing the course on-time. Contact the IL office should you have any questions.

Question 6. What if I still need to take courses at another institution while I am enrolled in CIT courses?

Answer 6. Students who wish to take courses from two schools simultaneously,(E.g. WKU and their community college) may do so. They will need to complete a "Consortium Form" so that Financial Aid can evaluate their options.

Question 7. Can I be on financial aid and take less than 6 hours (half-time) of classes?

Answer 7. The Pell Grant is the only option for students who want to take a single course, regardless of the delivery method.  All other financial aid types require them to be at least half-time (6 hours or more).

Question 8. What about non-CIT courses?

Answer 8. It is in the student's best interest to register for their non-IL courses during priority registration for 2 reasons:  1) those courses will fill up, 2) financial aid pays for the non-IL courses first (because of the half-time, full-time status). Then, any residual will be applied to IL courses.


Computer Information Systems Department publishes information on its Site as a convenience to its visitors. While we attempt to provide accurate and timely information, there may be inadvertent technical or factual inaccuracies. We reserve the right to make corrections and changes to the Site at any time without notice.

[1] Figures stated are an example only, as tuition rates change these costs may not reflect increases or decreases.

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 Last Modified 11/13/17