Hofstra University students can take between 12 and 17 class credits per semester to be considered full time students. After the 17th credit, any additional classes have to be paid extra for. The credit limit often creates problems for students who have more than one major or minor. Some students have problems with scheduling while others have problems financially.
“The credit limit affects whether or not I can maintain ahead of my schedule and actually graduate on time,” said sophomore Marisa Russell. “Especially for me since I’m a dual degree.” Russell, who is in the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program as a journalism major, is going to be in college for five years instead of the standard four. “So the credit limit affects how many classes I can take,” Russell said.
Both Russell and junior global studies and economics major La Rainne Pasion have taken winter and summer session classes to avoid the problem during the semester. But scholarship money and financial aid does not cover the cost of those courses. “In January, the scholarship doesn’t account for my classes and neither does it for the summer,” said Pasion. She was able to create a small balance by becoming a resident assistant so that the money that would have gone toward housing could go to her extra classes. “If I were able to take more credits during the fall, then my scholarship would balance it out,” said Russell.
“Not only do I have to pay for a three credit class but I have to pay to add money to my meal plan, I have to pay for transportation here and from home,” Russell said. “And ultimately I’m missing out on being at home for a whole month like most students get to do.”
Business and marketing is a common double major at Hofstra. It is also the most popular major, with 25 percent of students majoring in one or both of the majors. The second most popular combination is communications and journalism. At Hofstra, 16 percent of students major in the department. While being closely related to each other, all of the majors are separate degrees once completed, requiring double the amount of classes.
Even though the 17 credit limit can affect students negatively sometimes, especially those taking extra classes, it is still doable for many. “Most students I think want to graduate in four years,” said Anne Mongillo, dean of the Center for University Advisement. “What we try to do is see if there are classes that can serve two purposes at the same time.”