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Maintaining Eligibility

Federal and State Academic Eligibility

Both federal and the state governments require you to meet certain basic academic standards in order to remain eligible for financial assistance. It would be nice if the federal government and the state government could agree on the same standards, but unfortunately, they do not. This means you must be aware of two different sets of rules – one for federal aid (PELL, SEOG, Work Study and Direct Loans) and one for state aid such as TAP and APTS. Failure to meet one or more of the established standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Financial aid SAP status includes all previous academic history, even if the student did not receive financial aid. Standards are reviewed at the end of each semester, including summer. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor academic progress and to understand the criteria needed to maintain both federal and state financial aid eligibility.

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Federal Academic Requirements (Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work study)

In order to maintain eligibility for federal aid a student must meet three academic standards: academic progress, pace and maximum timeframe. Each is described below.

Academic progress (GPA)

Academic progress is measured by a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA). A student must demonstrate academic achievement by meeting the College’s Standard of Academic Progress.

Total Credit Hours Attempted Minimum Cumulative GPA to be Earned
0-5 0
6-13 1.50
14-29 1.80
30+ 2.00

Pace (completion of credits attempted)

In addition to meeting the College’s standards of academic progress, students must also demonstrate progress by accumulating credits toward a degree or certificate according to the time frames noted below.

Total Credit Hours Attempted Required Credits to be Earned*
0-5 0
6-29 50% of attempted credits
30-59 60% of attempted credits
60+ 67% of attempted credits

*Rounded up to the nearest credit. View the full chart Adobe Acrobat, PDF

Included in credits attempted are transfer credits accepted by FLCC and all credits attempted at FLCC including all W, I, F, NA, X, MW, AW and U grades. Non-credit remedial courses (DSTs) are not included in credits attempted or completed.

Maximum time frame (must complete degree within certain period of time)

Federal financial aid regulations require that students complete their program of study within a maximum time frame of 150% of the length of the program. For example:

Number of credits required to complete degree Maximum number of attempted credits allowed in order to remain eligible for federal financial aid at FLCC
68 102

How Federal Aid Requirements Treat...

Non-Credit Remedial Coursework

Non-credit remedial coursework (DST courses) is currently not included when determining academic standing and financial aid eligibility.

Repeated Coursework

A student will be funded federal financial aid to repeat a course if the student has not passed the course. If the course was passed but the student wants to repeat to get a better grade, the student will be funded for one (1) repeat of the course. All repeated course work will be included in credits attempted but only one passed course will be counted as a completed course.

Coursework Outside a Degree Program

Only coursework taken within a student’s degree program can be funded for federal financial aid.

Transfer Credits

Credits transferred in to a degree program from another institution are counted in the number of credits attempted and completed. Transfer credits are not counted in the calculation of GPA.

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Failure to Meet Federal Standards

Financial Aid Warning

The first time a student fails to meet the standards of academic progress of a cumulative GPA and completion rate, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. A student on a Financial Aid Warning will be eligible for one (1) additional semester of federal financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension

If, after being placed on Financial Aid Warning, a student fails to meet the standards of academic progress of GPA and cumulative completion rate, he or she will immediately lose federal financial aid eligibility.

Maximum Time Frame Suspension

If a student reaches the maximum time frame and has yet to complete a degree, he or she will immediately lose federal financial aid eligibility.

Students that lose federal aid eligibility will remain ineligible until such time that they are able to meet the standards of academic progress. These students will be responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees.

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Reinstatement of Eligibility

Coursework

Federal aid eligibility can be reinstated after a student meets the Standards of Academic Progress mentioned above (both cumulative GPA and credits completed).

Financial Aid Appeal Process

A student with mitigating circumstances (such as death of a relative, injury, illness or other special circumstances) may submit a Financial Aid Appeal of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal AidAdobe Acrobat, PDF. A committee will review the appeal and, if accepted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. During the semester on Financial Aid Probation, a student is eligible to receive federal financial aid. Upon conclusion of the semester, a student must meet the standards of academic progress or the terms of an academic plan designated by the Financial Aid Office. If not, a student will lose eligibility for federal financial aid at FLCC.

A student with an accepted financial aid appeal who will not be able to regain satisfactory academic standing in one semester will be placed on an academic plan. All plans require students to achieve a 2.0 GPA for the TERM and PROHIBITS a student from receiving W, F, NA, U, X, MW, AW or I grades.) Upon completion of a semester on an academic plan, a student must meet all terms of the plan or lose future eligibility for all federal aid (loans, grants and work-study). An academic plan must be taken seriously. A student will NOT be able to re-appeal the loss of eligibility based on previous circumstances if he/she does not meet the requirements in his/her plan.

Maximum Time Frame Appeal

A student may appeal this decision if they have extenuating circumstances that have prevented them from completing a degree in this time frame. Students interested in appealing must submit a letter of appeal to the Director of Financial Aid. The letter of appeal should provide a detailed explanation as to why it has taken the student more than the maximum time frame to complete a degree. Students should address dropped courses or semesters and include their expected graduation date. Before submitting a letter of appeal, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to determine what courses and time frame are needed to their complete degree.

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New York State Academic Progress Requirements (TAP, APTS)

Failure to make satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of a degree or certificate may result in the loss of one or more semesters of New York State TAP or Aid for Part-time Studies (APTS). At the conclusion of each semester, the Financial Aid Office reviews all grades to determine if recipients are making satisfactory academic progress. To remain in good standing for NYS, a student must achieve a certain GPA and earn a certain number of cumulative credits before being certified for the next semester’s TAP payment.

Pursuit of Program

Satisfactory program pursuit is defined as receiving a passing or failing grade in a certain percentage of a full-time course load each term an award is received. The percentage increases from 50 percent of the minimum full-time course load in each term of study in the first year an award is received, to 75 percent of the minimum full-time course load in each term of study in the second year an award is received, to 100% of the minimum full-time course load in each term thereafter (refer to the table below). Students may not receive more than six (6) semesters of TAP in their pursuit of an Associate's Degree unless they are Educational Opportunity Program students.

Minimum full-time course load: 12 credits

Semester of Award* Student Must Complete
1 6 credits or credit equivalents
2 6 credits or credit equivalents
3 9 credits or credit equivalents
4 9 credits or credit equivalents
5 12 credits or credit equivalents
6 12 credits or credit equivalents
7** 12 credits or credit equivalents
8** 12 credits or credit equivalents
9** 12 credits or credit equivalents
10** 12 credits or credit equivalents

*The credits are prorated for students receiving aid for Part-time study.
**Applicable to Educational Opportunity Program students only.

Standards of Good Academic Progress

A student must be able to meet the College's Standards of Progress, Pursuit of Program requirements, and the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards to remain eligible to receive State aid. Some of the programs affected are the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Child of Veteran Award, and Aid for Part-time Study (APTS).

The following chart should be used for students who first received TAP prior to 2010-11 or those who meet the definition of remedial student (below).

Before Being Certified for Payment # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Min. Credits 0 3 9 18 30 45 60 75
Min. GPA .0 .5 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

A "remedial student" is defined as a student:

  1. whose scores on a recognized college placement exam or nationally recognized standardized exam indicated the need for remediation for at least two semesters, as certified by the college and approved by the State Education Department (SED); or
  2. who was enrolled in at least six semester hours of non-credit remedial courses (i.e. DST courses) in the first term they received a TAP award; or
  3. who is or was enrolled in an opportunity program (HEOP, EOP, SEEK CD).

The following chart should be used for students who first received TAP in 2010-2011 or later.

Before Being Certified for Payment # 1 2 3 4 5 6
Min. Credits 0 6 15 27 39 51
Min. GPA .0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0

How State Aid Requirements Treat…

Non-Credit Remedial Coursework

For purposes of determining state aid eligibility, non-credit remedial coursework (i.e. DST courses) are NOT considered when determining standards of good academic progress and cumulative GPA. However, completed DST courses will be used to determine satisfactory pursuit of program.

Courses Outside a Degree Program

Full time students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours within their degree program each semester to be eligible for a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award. If a student is receiving a TAP award and wishes to enroll in coursework outside his/her degree program, the course(s) must be above and beyond the minimum full time load of 12 credit hours. An exception is made for students who are entering their final semester (that is, the semester the student is scheduled to graduate). In the final semester, the student is not bound by the requirement and is permitted to enroll in coursework outside of his/her degree program in addition to the courses necessary for graduation to receive a TAP award. (This is not allowed for federal aid.)

Part time students receiving Aid for Part Time Study (APTS) can only be funded for those courses pertaining to their degree program.

Repeat Courses

In determining a student’s eligibility for State aid, repeating a course in which a student earned a ‘D-’ grade or better cannot be counted toward full-time or part-time course load, unless it is required by the student’s curriculum. Full time students must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours, not including the repeat course, to be eligible to receive a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award. Part time students receiving Aid for Part Time Study (APTS) will not receive payment for the portion of the award that would be used to cover the repeated course.

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Failure to Meet State Standards

Suspension of State Aid

A student that fails to meet the academic standards for NYS financial aid will be notified by mail or email. Notices will be sent upon completion of the term once grades are submitted and reviewed. Students will automatically be sent a Waiver for Reinstatement of State Financial Aid Eligibility.

Please keep in mind that academic eligibility is determined by the institution. Although a student may have received a TAP award certificate from NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) or the Financial Aid Office at FLCC, a student may still not qualify for TAP if they are not meeting the academic requirements for the program.

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Reinstatement of Eligibility

Waiver for Reinstatement of State Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who lose their eligibility for New York State financial aid (Tuition Assistance Program/TAP, Aid for Part-time Study/APTS) for failing to make Pursuit of Program and/or Standards of Good Academic Standing (noted above) may apply for this waiver to have their State financial aid eligibility reinstated. If approved, state aid will be reinstated. Such a waiver can be granted only one time in a student’s undergraduate academic career. In order to apply for a Waiver for Reinstatement of State Financial Aid Eligibility, the student must demonstrate that an unusual/extenuating circumstance existed while the student was enrolled at FLCC and had affected his/her academic performance; that the circumstance is now resolved or no longer exists; and provide documentation of the circumstance. Waivers must be submitted by the appropriate deadline. Late waivers will not be considered.

Coursework

State aid eligibility will be reinstated after a student meets Pursuit of Program and Standards of Good Academic Progress mentioned above or has not used TAP for at least 1 year. Exception: Students that have received 4 semesters of TAP must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA before state aid can be reinstated.

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