SP 4-10b – Registration, Student Academic Load, and Program of Study

Colorado Community College System / System Procedure

SP 4-10b

EFFECTIVE: June 17, 2019
REVISED: January 17, 2022
RETITLED: January 17, 2022
REVISED: March 29, 2022
REVISED: February 27, 2023

REFERENCE(S): Board Policy (BP) 4-10, Admission, Continued Enrollment and Reenrollment of Students; 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i); 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(iii)


/ Joseph A. Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor


This procedure applies to the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or System).


This procedure concerns the registration of students at the Colleges within the Colorado Community College System. It establishes a procedure for student academic load, time status, late registration, academic renewal, and program of study declaration.


“Annualized Full-Time Enrollment (AFTE)”: An undergraduate level student enrolled in 30 credit hours per year, or a graduate level student enrolled in 24 credit hours per year.

“Census”: The latest point at which a student can drop a class without penalty. The census date will vary depending on the length and start date of the class.

“Full-Time Student”: A student enrolled in 12 or more credit hours per term except as otherwise noted below.

“Program of Study”: The academic degree or certificate a student is pursuing.

“Registered Student”: Any student who is actively registered in at least one course for the specified term(s). (Note:  Students who are withdrawn after census are still counted as registered.)

“Student”: Anyone who has been admitted to a CCCS institution and is not Inactive as that term is defined in SP 4-10a.


Student Academic Load by Term:

  • 12+ credits = Full-time*
  • 9 – 11.99 credits = ¾ time
  • 6 – 8.99 credits = ½ time
  • .01 – 5.99 credits = Less than ½ time
  • 0 credits = Not enrolled

*Certain programs may define full-time differently for the purposes of their own eligibility only (e.g., a student may be considered full-time in the Summer for athletics with 6+ credits, and a student may be considered full-time for veterans benefits with 7+ credits in a Summer term). For international students studying at a CCCS institution on a nonimmigrant visa, a full-time academic load in any term is 12+ credits.

Students must enroll in 30 hours per year on average to graduate from a 60 credit hour program in two years. Students are encouraged to enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours in the Fall and Spring, as 30 degree required credit hours is the minimum number of credit hours required to ensure on-time completion of a 60 credit degree in two years. Students who enroll in 12 credits for the Fall and Spring semesters and 6 credits for the Summer will also be considered on track to complete a 60 credit degree in two years.

Enrollment Verification:
Full Time enrollment verifications are only provided for students who are enrolled in 12+ credit hours.

Maximum Credit Hours per Term:
The maximum student credit hours per term is 18 credits for undergraduates unless an override has been granted by a College. The maximum student credit hours for graduate programs shall be set based on the individual program accreditation standards. Individual Colleges will develop procedures for override of credit limits, ensuring procedures are designed to take into account student success. Colleges may choose to set lower credit limits for shorter terms, as long as they remain compliant with Student Academic Load requirements.

Late Registration and Overrides:
Self-service registration will be available until the end of the first week of the course unless a more restrictive time limitation has been established by the individual institution. Colleges may extend self-service registration for certain courses until Census, if late registration has not been shown to adversely affect student success in such courses. Walk-in registration may be available until Census as long as the necessary approvals are obtained. Individual Colleges will develop procedures for the approval of late registration, ensuring student success is considered as part of the approval process. Due to Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) restrictions, registration after Census may not be permitted unless there is an institutional error.

Program of Study:
Program Declaration: A student may change their program of study for the current academic term up until the term census date. After the term census date, a student may change their program of study effective for the next academic term. Students may enroll in classes that count towards their newly declared program of study even though the program of study is effective for the next academic term so as not to delay the completion of their degree or certificate. Changes to program of study after the term census date may impact a student’s federal and state aid eligibility.


To the extent that any provision of this procedure is inconsistent with State or Federal law or existing State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education Policies (BPs), the law and BPs shall supersede and control.

Nothing in this procedure is intended to create (nor shall be construed as creating) an express or implied contract, or to guarantee for any term or to promise that any specific process, procedures, or practice will be followed, or benefit provided by the System.


CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.