Eligibility for New York State Financial Aid Policy

Sponsor:

Financial Aid Office

Contact:

Director of Financial Aid

Category:

Student Recruitment and Admissions

Number:

200.003

Effective Date:

2002/02/01

Review Date:

2013/11/01

Implementation History:

Revised: May 20, 2013; October 2009; May 2007; April 2004; and April 2003 Adopted: February, 2002

Keywords:

Eligibility, New York State Financial Aid

Background Information:

Purpose

To outline the eligibility for New York State financial aid programs

Definitions

TAP- Tuition Assistance Program

Certification Status Date- date the student incurs full tuition liability

Statements

Award programs affected by the New York state regulations include:

  • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
  • Regents Award - Child of Veteran (CV)
  • Regents Award - Child of Corrections Officer Award
  • Persian Gulf Veterans Award and Vietnam Veterans Tuition Assistance (VVTA)
  • State University Supplemental Tuition Assistance Program (SUSTA)
  • Aid for Part-time Study (APTS)

Good Academic Standing

Students who receive any NYS financial awards are required to maintain good academic standing as defined by the regulations of the NYS Commissioner of Education in order to remain eligible for state financial aid. The regulations define a student in good academic standing as one who: pursues the program of study in which s/he is enrolled (pursuit of program), makes satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of his/her program's requirements, and meets the Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) expectations.

Students who do not meet the requirements for pursuit of program, satisfactory academic progress and/or grade point average lose their eligibility for NYS financial aid. To remain eligible for NYS financial aid, a student must satisfy all three criteria.

Please note that the Academic Policies for continued enrollment have different standards for G.P.A. and satisfactory academic progress and therefore it is possible that a student may be meeting the academic standards but not meeting the state standards for aid purposes.

Pursuit of Program

The first criterion for maintaining good academic standing for eligibility for NYS financial aid is pursuit of program.

To be in pursuit of program, a student must receive either a passing or a failing outcome in a certain percentage of studies each term, depending on the number of state aid payments the student has received (which may be different from the number of enrollment terms at the college). The required percentage is illustrated in the Pursuit of Program Table for full-time students who have received funds under the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

An outcome that indicates that the student substantively engaged in a study or course through the enrollment term is necessary to satisfy the pursuit of program requirement. Both passing and failing outcomes are acceptable. However, a withdrawal (WD or ZW) or drop (DR) outcome does not meet the requirement for pursuit of program, because it indicates no substantial engagement in a study or course over the full enrollment term. The progression is based on only the terms a student receives state aid.

Empire State College Pursuit of Program Table*

Number of full-time terms in which NYS financial aid has been received (e.g. through TAP)**  Must receive a FC, EP, NC or IN*** for:
 1,2  50 percent of minimum full-time requirement (6 credit hours)
 3,4  75 percent of minimum full-time requirement (9 credit hours)
 5 or more  100 percent of minimum full-time requirement (12 credit hours)

*The table illustrates expectations for full-time (12 or more credits) enrollment. A student who enrolls on a less than full-time basis must make progress proportionate to what is illustrated in the table. For example, two payments for part-time enrollments (e.g. through APTS) equal one payment for a full-time enrollment (e.g. through TAP). Program or center staff can advise individual students regarding these calculations.

**The number of terms refers to the number of state aid payments the student has received, which may be different from the number of enrollments at Empire State College.

A student must earn a FC, CR, NC or IN outcome for the percentage of study designated in the table for each term of enrollment, to be eligible for NYS aid in the next term.For example, a student who has received two TAP payments must have outcomes that meet the pursuit of program standard for at least 6 credits in the second enrollment (i.e. 50% of the 12 credit minimum for full-time enrollment status), to be eligible for any NYS state aid in the next enrollment.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The second criterion for maintaining good academic standing for eligibility for NYS financial aid is satisfactory academic progress (SAP).

To achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress status, a student must accumulate a minimum number of credits per enrollment. The New York state Satisfactory Academic Progress Table specifies the minimum number of credits the student must accumulate to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Students who do not meet the minimum academic progress requirements (on academic warning for unsatisfactory academic progress) are not eligible for NYS financial aid.

New York state Satisfactory Academic Progress Table*

*Effective at the end of Spring 2011 for non-remedial students receiving first NYS award payment in 2010-2011 and thereafter.

At the end
term number

A full-time student
must have earned
this number of credits
 

 1 6
 2 15
 3 27
 4 39
 5 51
 6 66
 7 81
 8 96 
 9 NA
 10 NA 

Students who are half time may contact the TAP Certifying officer for details on level of progress expected for New York State SAP. Students who first received a NYS award prior to Summer 2010 are reviewed by a different SAP standard. Likewise, during the 2010-2011 school year, students receiving a NYS award for the first time during the 2010-2011 year were held to a different SAP standard. Please contact the TAP Certifying officer for details. 

Grade Point Average (for those in the grading with evaluation option)

The third criterion for maintaining good academic standing for eligibility for NYS financial aid is the grade point average (G.P.A.).

Students must maintain a 2.0 or better after receiving four full-time New York State financial aid payments. All NYS aid payments are counted regardless of when they were made or what institution the student attended. A student who is new to Empire State College is assumed to meet the minimum G.P.A. requirement. The college uses only Empire State College studies to compute the G.P.A. thereafter. Therefore, a student who comes to Empire State College after attending another college and receiving three full-time NYS financial aid payments must earn a minimum of a 2.0 at the end of the first term of enrollment at Empire State College to remain eligible for subsequent NYS financial aid payments. The table below provides the minimum G.P.A. required to maintain eligibility for New York State financial eligibility after each payment.

Minimum G.P.A.*

 *Effective at the end of Spring 2011 for Bachelor’s degree seeking students receiving first NYS award payment in 2010-2011 and thereafter. Associate’s degree students are required to meet a different standard, please contact the Financial Aid office for details.

Number of full time payments  1  3
 Minimum G.P.A. required in order to receive the next payment  1.5 1.8  1.8  2.0 

Students who first received a NYS award prior to Summer 2010 are reviewed by a different G.P.A. standard. Likewise, during the 2010-2011 school year, students receiving a NYS award for the first time during the 2010-2011 year were held to a different G.P.A. standard. Please contact the TAP Certifying officer for details.

The Effect of Withdrawal

If a student withdraws from a course or study, his/her enrollment status, SAP rate, and/or state aid eligibility may be affected, depending on the effective date of the withdrawal and the number of state aid payments the student has already received (see Pursuit of Program Table). A withdrawal is not included in the calculation of the G.P.A. Therefore, it does not affect a student's G.P.A.

In calculating enrollment status and rate of progress, "credit attempted" is the number of registered credits as of Certification Status date of the enrollment term- this is day 29 for the 15 week term and Day 22 for the summer 8 week term . Thus, the date of withdrawal affects whether the credits are counted in the number of credits attempted. For example, for a student enrolled in a 15 week term who first enrolls for 12 credits and then withdraws from one 4-credit study on or before day 28, the enrollment status for the term changes to part-time and the progress rate is calculated on 8 credits attempted. If the student withdraws after day 28, the enrollment status for the term is still full-time and the progress rate is calculated on 12 credits attempted.

If a full-time student enrolled in a 15 week term withdraws after day 28 and incurs full tuition liability, s/he will lose TAP for the next term if s/he does not meet the pursuit of program standard for the current term. If a student enrolled in a 15 week term withdraws/drops before day 28 and tuition falls below the full-time rate, the student’s TAP award for the current term is cancelled. Further information may be obtained from the Financial Aid office.

The Effect of Administrative Withdrawals

NYS regulations for financial aid establish course completion expectations. If a student receives an outcome of administrative withdrawal (ZW) for a study or course, his/ her SAP rate and/or state aid eligibility may be affected depending on the effective date of the withdrawal and the number of state aid payments the student has already received (see Pursuit of Program Table). A ZW outcome is not included in the calculation of the G.P.A. Therefore, it does not affect a student’s G.P.A.

A ZW outcome may mean the amount of the student's financial aid award is reduced or the student is required to pay back some or all of the NYS financial aid awarded. The amount depends on the last date of substantive engagement in the course. Further information may be obtained from the Financial Aid office.

Eligibility Assessment

The College assesses student eligibility for New York State financial aid at two points in each enrollment:

  1. On the date the enrollment officially starts:

-the student must meet citizenship, residency, high school graduation and good academic standing requirements. If the student fails to meet any of these requirements on the first day of the enrollment, s/he is not eligible for New York State financial aid for that enrollment term.

  1. As of the Certification Status Date (defined as the date that the student incurs full tuition liability for the term):

-For students in a 15 week term: By the 28th day of the enrollment term, the student must meet the full-time or part-time study requirements and must be fully matriculated (admitted as a degree seeking student) at the college. A student who fails to meet enrollment requirements by day 28 is not eligible for NYS financial aid. A student who is not matriculated by day 28 is not eligible for NYS financial aid.

- For students in the 8 week summer term: By the 22nd day of the enrollment term, the student must meet the full-time or part-time study requirements and must be fully matriculated (admitted as a degree seeking student) at the college. A student who fails to meet enrollment requirements by day 22 is not eligible for NYS financial aid. A student who is not matriculated by day 22 is not eligible for NYS financial aid.

Regaining Eligibility for New York State Financial Aid

A student may regain eligibility for NYS financial aid through one of the following four methods:

  1. Meeting the standard the student failed to meet previously, during an enrollment term in which no state award is paid.
    • A student who failed to meet the pursuit of program standard may regain eligibility by meeting the pursuit of program standard in a subsequent term in which the student receives no state aid.
    • A student who failed to meet the satisfactory academic progress standard may regain eligibility by accumulating the number of credits required to make satisfactory academic progress, through additional enrollment(s) for which the student receives no state aid.
    • A student who failed to meet the grade point average standard may regain eligibility by earning the minimum required grade point average through enrollment(s) for which the student receives no aid.
  1. Being readmitted and/or reinstated at ESC after an absence of at least one calendar year and after the student provides evidence in writing to the center or program administrator of his/her ability to successfully complete a degree program.

    A student who is readmitted and/or reinstated after failure to make satisfactory progress must meet the credit accrual requirement the student failed to meet prior to losing eligibility by the end of the next enrollment.
  2. Transferring to another institution.
  3. Applying for and receiving a one-time waiver. 

Eligibility Waivers

One-Time Waiver of Eligibility Standards for New York State Awards

A student who fails to meet the state standards for pursuit of program and/or satisfactory academic progress may request a one-time waiver of these standards. A waiver enables the student to receive NYS aid for one additional enrollment term.

New York state permits only one waiver at the undergraduate level and one at the graduate level. This applies across all institutions attended. The mitigating circumstance committee may grant a waiver when the student fails to meet the pursuit of program standard, fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress, or fails to meet both standards in the same term. However, failure to meet the pursuit of program and satisfactory academic progress may not result in two separate waivers.

The one-time waiver is not automatic. The student request for a waiver for his/her most recent enrollment. Approval of a request for a one-time waiver occurs in two parts:

  1. The dean of the student's center for program for program verifies the student's academic eligibility.
  2. The mitigating circumstance committee determines that the request meets New York state requirements for a waiver of financial aid regulations.

The mitigating circumstance committee approves the waiver only if both parts of the process are complete and the academic and New York state requirements are met. Students must submit the information required for both parts to the dean, using the required form.

When a one-time waiver is granted for failure to make satisfactory academic progress, the last term of enrollment does not count negatively in determining satisfactory academic progress. The student must meet the credit accrual requirement s/he failed to meet before losing eligibility by the end of the next enrollment.

Note: The one-time waiver has no direct effect on enrollment eligibility, which is an academic determination upon which the waiver is contingent.

C-Average Waiver

A student in the narrative evaluation with grading option who fails to meet the state standards for grade point average may request a waiver of the G.P.A. standard. A waiver is possible only in extraordinary or unusual situations. A waiver enables the student to receive NYS aid for one additional enrollment term. The C average waiver is separate from the New York State one-time waiver. The mitigating circumstance committee may grant a C average waiver more than once.

The C average waiver is not automatic. The student may request a waiver for his/her most recent enrollment. The C average waiver request is made following the procedure described above for the one-time waiver.

Repeat of Studies with Credit Awarded

Repeat of any study for which credit has been awarded may not be considered part of that student's course load for state aid purposes. Both studies count as credit attempted in calculating SAP, but only the latest study grade will count in the calculation of credits earned toward the degree and in the G.P.A. calculation. A repeated course in which a passing grade was previously earned cannot be used to meet the pursuit of program requirement (completing a certain percentage of the minimum full-time or part-time course load in each term an award is received) to maintain good academic standing. The student must complete the Request to Repeat a Study request form. This is required for financial aid purposes.

Students can receive state aid to repeat studies for which they earned no credit.

Maximum Number of Payments

An undergraduate student may receive NYS financial aid payments for no more than the equivalent of eight full-time enrollment terms.

Final Enrollment Term

In the final term only, NYS financial aid regulations permit studies to count toward financial aid eligibility standards related to full- or part-time enrollment status, even if some of the credit is not necessary to complete degree requirements. The enrollment must include some credit that is required to completethe student’s degree.

Empire State College permits such credit beyond the degree to count for financial aid eligibility in the final term, only if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The student has an approved degree program,
  • The enrollment term is identified as the final enrollment for the degree, and
  • The enrollment includes one or more studies or courses that apply toward the student’s degree requirements.

The TAP Certifying Officer disallows any NYS aid award if any one of these criteria is not met.

Notification of Ineligibility for State Financial Aid Awards

The Financial Aid office notifies students regarding their ineligibility for further NYS financial aid. Students may obtain information on their financial aid status by contacting the Financial Aid office.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

8 NYCRR 145-1 and 145-2.

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

The Appeal for State Financial Aid Eligibility form

References: www.hesc.com