Clock-Hour Calculation

Measuring Attendance in Clock Hours

Financial Aid, for students enrolled in the Cosmetology program, is based on clock hours rather than credit hours due to federal laws regarding board reporting. Students must earn clock hours in the following increments in order to receive financial aid.

  • 0-450 hours
  • 451-900 hours
  • 901-1200 hours
  • 1201-1500 hours

A student’s period of attendance is measured according to one of several commonly accepted academic standards. A clock hour is based on an actual hour of attendance. Credit hours are typically based on two hours of homework for each hour of class attendance. A school is not permitted to count more than one clock hour per 60-minute period; in other words, a school may not schedule several hours of instruction without breaks and then count clock hours in 50-minute increments.  For instance, a school could not consider seven consecutive hours of instruction to be 8.4 hours by dividing 50 minutes into 420 minutes. Seven 60-minute periods of instruction may not count for more than seven clock hours.

Clock Hour to Credit Hour Conversions

  • The credit hour definition and the credit/clock hour conversion rules serve two purposes: to determine program eligibility and to determine the award amount for certain Federal Student Aid programs.
    • A credit hour is defined as a unit of measure that gives value to the level of instruction, time requirements for a course taken at an educational institution, and the academic rigor.  It can also be defined as a measure of a quantity of student learning.
  • Since we offer an undergraduate clock hour educational program in credit hours that is considered a Gainful Employment (GE) program, we must use the following conversion formula.
    • The formula will determine, if after the conversion, the minimum number of credit hours to qualify as an eligible program for Federal Student Aid (FSA) purposes.

Conversion Formula

See the Program Integrity Q&As at The U.S. Department of Education Website.

  • For determining the number of credit hours in an educational program, a semester hour must include at least 37.5 clock hours of instruction.
  • To determine if the program meets the FSA standard for the minimum number of credit hours for that type of program, the following formula will be used: 

For a semester hour program, the number of clock hours in the credit-hour program is divided by 37.5.

This formula will be used to convert the credit hours to determine the amount of Federal Student Aid (FSA) a student is eligible to receive.