Mitigating Circumstance

Occasionally, students do not meet the good academic standing standards for reasons beyond their control or because of "mitigating circumstances" such as serious family problems or extended illness. Under such circumstances, a student may appeal for continued eligibility for federal financial aid.

Approval of a federal financial aid appeal is not automatic. Usually students may only appeal for their most recent enrollment. Approval of an appeal occurs in two parts:

  1. The dean of the center or program verifies the student's academic eligibility
  2. The mitigating circumstance committee determines if the request meets federal requirements for continued eligibility for federal financial aid.

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

The mitigating circumstance committee has the authority to approve a financial aid appeal request. However, that approval is dependent on the verification of the student's academic eligibility. The dean is responsible for determining the student's academic eligibility. If the dean determines that a student does not meet academic eligibility requirements, the mitigating circumstance committee cannot approve the appeal.

Students are rarely granted more than one appeal for mitigating circumstances.

Note: The appeal has no direct effect on enrollment eligibility, which is an academic determination upon which the appeal approval is contingent.

Federal 150 Percent Rule

Federal regulations limit aid eligibility to 150 percent of the published length of the educational program. For example, given that a bachelor's degree at Empire State College requires 124 credits, an Empire State College student pursuing a bachelor's degree cannot be awarded federal aid for more than 186 credits attempted. For transfer students, the maximum is based on the number of transcript credits accepted by Empire State College plus the number of credits attempted at Empire State College.

Federal guidelines do not allow waivers for mitigating circumstances that would extend a student's aid past the 150 percent limit.

Contact Us

Fax: 518-580-4863

Mailing Address: 
Empire State College
Financial Aid
111 West Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Questions? Contact 1Stop Student Services at 518-587-2100 or 800-847-3000.

1 Stop Student Services


Code: 010286
Name: SUC Empire State College

TAP Codes

Undergraduate Associate: 0916

Undergraduate Bachelor's: 0913

Graduate: 5680 (for graduate students applying for Veteran Tuition Awards)


For students who enrolled in summer 2021, fall 2021 and are planning to enroll in Spring 2022, please submit the 2021-2022 FAFSA.  If you are attending the spring 2022 term, the deadline to have all financial aid applications, additional financial aid requirements/documents and appeals submitted and any student loans accepted is December 6, 2021 in order ensure the processing of your aid eligibility by the summer payment deadline.

For students who plan to enroll in courses beginning May 2022 and thereafter, please submit the 2022-2023 FAFSA.

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