Policies Affecting Eligibility for Financial Aid

Program of Study & Financial Aid Eligibility

As stated previously, state and federal financial aid award amounts (TAP, PT-TAP, APTS, Pell Grant, Stafford Direct Loans, etc.) are based on hours in program. College policy allows students to change their primary program of study or, if in a dual program, add/change their secondary program of study at any time. However, the policy governing state and federal financial aid eligibility is as follows:

To determine financial aid eligibility, the College must verify a student’s hours of study are applicable to the degree/program requirements of their “official” primary or secondary program(s) of study. Enrollment status for students in both a primary and secondary program will be based on the program for which the greatest number of hours apply. Enrollment status will not be based on hours that are split between two programs. Meeting this requirement is ultimately the student’s responsibility.

Primary Programs & Financial Aid Eligibility Issues

To resolve an “audit” issue when courses do not apply to your program of study, students will have until the end of the ninth week of classes to officially change their current primary program of study for TAP, and the last day of classes for federal aid (however it is not recommended that you wait).

Failure to make the necessary changes to the primary program of study by the end of the ninth week of classes will result in decertification of the student’s TAP award for that semester.

Secondary Programs & Financial Aid Eligibility Issues

Adding or changing a secondary program of study will not resolve an “audit” issue for that current semester once the semester has begun. However, the new secondary program will be used in evaluating the student’s eligibility for subsequent semesters.

Program Hours & Financial Aid Eligibility

State and federal financial aid awards are determined based on hours applicable to the student’s program of study. Semester awards will be recalculated for changes in enrollment status through the end of the third week of classes and at that time the student’s enrollment status becomes official and is “frozen”. After the student’s enrollment status is frozen, there will be no recalculation of state or federal aid if the student adds courses (with the exception of the Federal Direct Loan program and requirement for half-time enrollment status). However, failure to attend or dropping a late starting course may result in a recalculation of state*and/or federal aid for the semester. Also, recalculation of federal aid awards may occur throughout the semester if the student withdraws from all courses or if the student receives F grades in all courses and the College determines that the student did not attend past the 60% point of the semester.

Full-time New York State TAP awards require a student to carry 12 hours or more of new study within the program of record and meet all academic and pursuit of program guidelines to maintain eligibility. If a student fails to maintain full-time status in program, the full-time award will be canceled.

The only exception to the requirement of being full-time in program for NYS TAP eligibility is the special consideration given in the student's graduating term. If the student does not need 12 or more hours in program to meet the degree requirements and graduate, courses that would qualify as free electives can be added to establish full-time status.

For example, if the student only needs a 3 credit hour liberal arts course to meet the degree requirements and graduate, the student can add any "free elective" course(s) for consideration of full-time status for NYS requirements. Essentially, this means courses OTHER than physical education courses (PFIT).

This does not apply to the federal aid programs. Students attending for only one semester during the academic year or summer term to complete degree/program requirements will only receive federal aid, if eligible, for courses that are required for program completion.

Repeat Courses & Financial Aid Eligibility

State Aid

Courses that have been previously passed with a D or higher are not typically covered by state financial aid unless one of the following circumstances applies:

a. The student is repeating a course that requires a minimum grade to continue in program, or the repeat course has a shelf life that has expired.

b. Students repeating a course only to better their cumulative grade point average or to affect their enrollment status should understand that this repeated course will not be considered when determining financial aid enrollment status or eligibility.

Federal Aid

Repeat credit courses that have been previously passed (D or higher) may be included in student's enrollment status one time for federal aid eligibility. Repeat of passed remedial courses will not count is a student’s enrollment status.

Academic Progress Policy for Federal Financial Aid

Academic progress for continued federal financial aid eligibility is based on the College’s Academic Progress Policy (see page 5), however, there are several exceptions relative to multiple probation semesters, Fresh Start and program completion requirements which are explained below.

For continued federal financial aid eligibility, academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester of enrollment. All semesters of attendance are included in the review regardless of whether or not the student received federal aid in all semesters of attendance.

Status: Good Standing for College and Federal Aid Eligibility:

Students who have met the College’s academic progress requirements and are deemed to be in “Good Standing” are in good standing for continued federal financial aid eligibility for the next semester. To meet this standard the student must have a 2.0 grade point average and have passed 60% of the hours attempted in the prior semester of attendance. (See exception regarding students granted “Fresh Start” by the College.)

Status: Probation for the College:

Federal Aid Warning

The first time that a student who has been in “Good Standing” is placed on probation by the College they will be placed on “federal aid warning” and will maintain federal financial aid eligibility for their next semester of enrollment. To maintain federal aid eligibility the student must return to “Good Standing” by the end of the next semester.

The number of “federal aid warning” semesters is not limited. A student who returns to “Good Standing” and then is later placed on “Probation” by the College would be placed on “financial aid warning” in the next semester of attendance and so on.

Federal Aid Probation

Students who fail to return to “Good Standing” at the end of the “federal aid warning” semester will not be eligible for further federal financial aid (regardless of whether or not the student received federal financial aid while on “financial aid warning”). The student would have two options for the next semester of attendance. The student may attend without federal financial aid in an effort to return to “Good Standing” on their own or they may appeal for reinstatement of their federal financial aid and if approved would be placed on “federal aid probation”. Approval of appeals is not automatic and would be based on the student's academic plan as outlined in their appeal and the ability to return to “Good Standing” by the next semester or within a reasonable time-frame.

Status: Suspension for the College and Federal Aid Eligibility:

Students who are placed on “Suspension” may appeal for reinstatement of their federal financial aid. Students may submit to the Enrollment Advisement Center Financial Aid Office, a copy of the appeal form that is submitted to the Academic Standards Committee to appeal their suspension.

This should not be construed to assume that federal financial aid eligibility will automatically be reinstated even if the College approves the student’s reinstatement to “Probation” status. However, if the College does reinstate a student who is on “Suspension” to “Probation” status then the Enrollment Advisement Center, Financial Aid Office will review the student’s appeal and notify the student of their decision regarding reinstatement of federal financial aid. The decision will be based on the student’s academic plan and ability to return to “Good Standing” by the next semester or within a reasonable time-frame.

Program Completion Requirement (150% Rule) for Federal Financial Aid Eligibility:

For federal aid eligibility, students must complete their program of study within a time-frame not greater than 150% of the published hours required for graduation. For example, if the program requires 62 hours for completion, once the student has attempted 93 hours, including transfer hours applicable to the program, they are no longer eligible for federal aid at CCC. Once the student has graduated from one program of study at CCC, federal aid eligibility may be reinstated for pursuit of a subsequent program of study, provided they meet all other requirements for federal aid eligibility (academic progress, etc.)

Total hours and specific course requirements required for graduation are published in the College Catalog which can be found on the College’s website or MyCCC.

Student’s who change programs, fail to pay careful attention to program requirements or have continued academic difficulty are more likely to lose federal aid eligibility by failing to complete graduation requirements within the required time-frame.

Students who were required to complete remedial courses may appeal for a one semester extension of this requirement if they will be able to complete their program requirements by the end of the next semester. However, approval of appeal is not automatic and will be based on the student’s overall academic record.

Multiple Programs of Study for Federal Aid Eligibility:

Students who have completed/graduated from one program of study and are readmitted to another program of study will be evaluated based on the courses that apply to their current program in terms of total hours attempted, total hours passed and cumulative grade point average. They will be allowed to receive federal aid for an additional period of time based on 150% of the additional credit hours required for the new program of study. Students attempting to complete a third (or more) program of study may be denied further federal aid if the new program is not “substantially” different from the other programs that the student has already completed. In any case, each student will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Withdrawals: Courses dropped before the census date (20 percent of the course) or official withdrawals from the College before the census date will not count in hours attempted. However, students who withdraw totally from the institution either officially or unofficially, will not meet academic progress and will be placed on financial aid warning or probation.

Non-credit Remedial Courses: Students who are required to take non-credit remedial courses have up to three full-time semesters to complete these requirements as per College policy. Remedial course hours will count toward hours attempted. As they will be counted toward the 150% time frame (see Program Completion Requirements Rule), a student may appeal for an extension of eligibility for federal aid for one semester to complete graduation requirements. Approval of an appeal is not automatic and will be based on the student’s overall academic record.

Fresh Start and Federal Aid Eligibility:

Granting of “Fresh Start” does not alter the calculation of the academic progress for federal or state aid. The Enrollment Advisement Center, Financial Aid Office will recalculate the student’s grade point average based on all GPA hours in the student’s academic history. This calculation of GPA will be used to determine the student’s academic progress for federal and state financial aid.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): The GPA is the average of all course grades (excluding transfer courses) relative to their quality points.

Withdrawal from CCC and Financial Aid Obligations

Students must attend past the 60 percent point of each semester (ninth week of classes) to have earned all of their federal aid award for the semester. Withdrawal from all courses, prior to attending after that point, will result in a recalculation of federal financial aid awards. Students may be required to repay a portion of the federal aid already received. This may result in repayment being owed to the College for tuition, fees and cash disbursements that are no longer covered by financial aid awards.

For official withdrawals, the date of withdrawal determines earned federal aid. Students who do not officially withdraw from the College, but stop attending all classes or who receive grades of F in all their classes, will be reviewed for attendance. Instructors will report last date of attendance when the grade is submitted and eligibility will be recalculated if attendance cannot be verified after the 60% point of the semester.

Once earned aid is calculated, if it is determined that repayment is owed to a federal aid program or to the College, students have 45 days from the date of notice to repay these funds to the College. Failure to repay within 45 days will result in the account being turned over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection, and future federal aid eligibility is lost until this debt is repaid. For more specific information regarding this policy and specific dates and examples, please contact the Enrollment Advisement Center.

Academic Progress Requirements for New York State Aid

For determining continuing eligibility for state aid, refer to the following chart. The standard consists of three components: credits earned*, cumulative GPA and minimum percentage of hours that must be completed with a grade. (*Remedial courses are not included in credits earned.)

Students are measured based on the NYS aid payment for which they are being certified. For each payment, the student will be required to have earned a certain number of credits with a minimum cumulative GPA and complete a minimum percentage of hours with a grade of A-F (I grades do not count in total) in the previous semester. To receive NYS aid, students must be enrolled in appropriate course work that applies toward their program of study.

Students receiving APTS or part-time TAP for Students with Disabilities will be evaluated based on the requirements that pertain to their full-time equivalent semesters based on the number of payments received.

Chart #1: satisfactory academic progress for NYS TAP/Pursuit of Program Requirements (applies to all NYS students who received first TAP payment PRIOR to Spring 2010):

Applies to students first receiving aid in 2007-08 through and including 2009-10 and remedial students first receiving aid in Spring 2007-08 and thereafter.

Calendar: Semester

Points Accrued 0 6 12 18 24 30
Seeking the 1st payment 2nd payment 3rd payment 4th payment 5th payment 6th payment
A student must have earned at least this many credits 0 3 9 18 30 45
With at least this grade point average 0 .5 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0
Pursuit of program 0 6 hrs. comp to grade 6 hrs. comp to grade 9 hrs. comp to grade 9 hrs. comp to grade 12 hrs. comp to grade

Chart #2: satisfactory academic progress for NYS TAP effective Summer 2010/Pursuit of Program Requirements (applies to all NYS students who received first TAP payment Fall 2007 or later): Applies to nonremedial students first receiving aid in 2010-11 and thereafter.

Calendar: Semester

Points Accrued 0 6 12 18 24 30
Seeking the 1st payment 2nd payment 3rd payment 4th payment 5th payment 6th payment
A student must have earned at least this many credits 0 6 15 27 39 51
With at least this grade point average 0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0
Pursuit of program 0 6 hrs. comp to grade 6 hrs. comp to grade 9 hrs. comp to grade 9 hrs. comp to grade 12 hrs. comp to grade

* Subject to change as mandated by NYS Higher Education Services Corporation and NYS Department of Education.

Repeat Courses:

See Policies Affecting Eligibility for Financial Aid, page 20. Remedial Courses: For students who are required to take remedial course work, the “credit hour” equivalent of the courses will be used to determine enrollment status (full-time, part-time) for both state and federal aid. For TAP eligibility, first-time TAP recipients must be registered for, and successfully complete, at least 3 credit hours in addition to the remedial courses in that first semester to maintain TAP eligibility. If TAP has been received previously, even at another college, students must be registered for 6 credit hours in addition to developmental courses. Remember that you must have a minimum of 12 hours of degree/program requirements.

For federal aid, once you have taken 30 hours of remedial courses, these courses will no longer count towards your enrollment status.

Registration/Attendance: Only registered students are eligible for financial aid. Class attendance and official verification of that attendance will ultimately determine eligibility for financial aid. If attendance cannot be verified, then financial aid awards may be revised and students will be billed for any funds that are owed for tuition and fees or for cash disbursements that are no longer covered by awards.

Any changes in the number of registered hours can impact financial aid eligibility for that semester and for future semesters (academic progress). It is the student’s responsibility to maintain registration status and attendance for financial aid purposes and to promptly report any changes to the Enrollment Advisement Center.

For TAP, any courses dropped within the refund period may result in a loss of the full TAP award. To be eligible for full-time TAP, students must be attending 12 hours of degree/program requirements and have incurred full-time tuition charges by the end of the third week of the semester. As TAP awards are not pro-rated, the whole TAP award will be cancelled.

One-time Waiver

New York State Commissioner of Education regulations permit students to receive a one-time waiver of the good academic standing requirement as an undergraduate. The institution issues the waiver if there are extenuating circumstances. The waiver is not automatic and is intended only to accommodate extraordinary or unusual cases. The waiver is only applicable when there is a reasonable expectation that the student will meet future requirements. The waiver provision does not exist to provide one additional term of eligibility for all students who fail to meet pursuit of progress requirements. It is expected that most students who fail to meet pursuit of progress requirements will not be granted the waiver and will not receive any further state awards until they have regained good academic standing.
*If appropriate, the student would obtain, complete and return the New York State TAP Waiver Form available in the Enrollment Advisement Center. Specific details regarding the extenuating circumstance(s) need to be reported, such as specific events and dates, and the appropriate third party documentation is required whenever possible. The Director of Financial Aid will review the appeal and make a determination.

Waiver of C-Average Requirement

Students who have received the equivalent of two or more full years of state-funded student financial aid (at any New York State school) must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better to be eligible for continued state-funded assistance.

Readmitted Students: Students who have received two or more years of payment of any state awards and who are readmitted to CCC must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better to receive any further state-sponsored student aid. The cumulative GPA would be based on prior grades earned at CCC.

Regaining Eligibility: Students who are denied an award for failing to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 can regain award eligibility by completing appropriate coursework - without state support - to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students cannot regain eligibility by remaining out of school for a period of time.

The C-average requirement may be waived for undue hardship based on the student’s personal illness or injury or other extenuating circumstances.

Documented circumstances must have directly affected the student’s ability to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 as of the end of a particular semester or term.

The C-average waiver is separate from the one-time good academic standing waiver and may be granted more than once if circumstances warrant, however, it is only applicable when there is a reasonable expectation that the student will meet future requirements.

The student would obtain, complete and return a New York State TAP Waiver of the C-Average Requirement Form available in the Enrollment Advisement Center. Specific details regarding the extenuating circumstance(s) need to be reported, such as specific events and dates, and the appropriate third party documentation is required whenever possible. The Director of Financial Aid will review the appeal and make a determination.*