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, Federal 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 until the 3rd week of the semester. 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 applies. 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 third week of classes to officially change their current primary program of study for TAP and federal aid.

Failure to make the necessary changes to the primary program of study by the end of the third week of classes will result in decertification of the student’s TAP award and recalculation of federal aid 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:

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 will be “frozen.” After the student’s enrollment status is frozen, there will be no recalculation of the student’s 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 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 last two semesters of their program. 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 except any previously passed course.

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 will receive federal aid, if eligible, for courses that are required for program completion.