Eligibility for New York State Financial Aid

(Please see Eligibility for New York State Financial Aid Policy on the college's policy web site.)

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)
  • Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • New York State Memorial Scholarships
  • World Trade Center Memorial Scholarships
  • Military Service Recognition Scholarships
  • New York Lottery – Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarships

Good Academic Standing

Students who receive any New York state financial awards are required to maintain good academic standing as defined by the regulations of the New York state 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 he or she is enrolled (pursuit of program),
  • Makes satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of his or her program’s requirements, and

in addition, New York State Education Law requires

  • If in the grading-with-evaluation option, maintains a grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or better after having received four full-time New York state financial aid payments or the equivalent in part-time funds.

There are three criteria for maintaining good academic standing: “pursuit of program,” “satisfactory academic progress” and “grade point average.”

Students who do not meet the requirements for pursuit of program, satisfactory academic progress and grade point average (GPA is waived for students in the narrative-only option) lose their eligibility for New York state financial aid. To remain eligible for New York state financial aid, a student must satisfy all criteria on the first day of the term.

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.

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. An incomplete (IN) is acceptable as long as it changes to either a passing or failing outcome by the end of the next term. However, a withdrawal (WD) or administrative withdrawal (ZW) outcome does not meet the requirement for pursuit of program, because it indicates no substantial engagement in a study or course during the full enrollment term.

SUNY Empire State College Pursuit of Program Table1

Number of full-time terms in which New York state financial aid has been through TAP2 Must receive a letter grade received (e.g. FC, CR, NC or IN3) 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)

A student must earn a letter grade, FC, NC or IN outcome for the percentage of study designated in the table for each term of enrollment to be eligible for New York state 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 percent of the 12 credit minimum for full-time enrollment status), to be eligible for any New York state aid in the third enrollment.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress status, a student must accumulate a minimum number of credits over time. The New York state satisfactory academic progress table specifies the minimum number of credits the student must accumulate to maintain satisfactory academic progress, and can be found on the college's Good Academic Standing web page.

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

Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a 2.00 or better after receiving four full-time New York state financial aid payments. All New York state aid payments are counted regardless of when they were made or what institution the student attended. A student who is new to SUNY Empire State College is assumed to meet the minimum GPA requirement. The college uses only SUNY Empire State College studies to compute the GPA thereafter. The table below provides the minimum GPA required to maintain eligibility for New York state financial eligibility after each payment.

Undergraduate Number of full-time payments Minimum GPA required in order to receive the next payment
1 1.50
2 1.80
3 1.80
4 2.00

Bear in mind that the college’s academic policy requires students to earn a 2.00 after having completed 8 graded credits. A student who does not achieve a 2.00 after completing 8 graded credits is placed on academic warning. The college provides up to 16 additional credits to restore the GPA to a 2.00. A student who does not achieve the minimum GPA after attempting 24 credits at SUNY Empire State College is academically dismissed. Thus, a student may meet New York state financial aid requirements and not be eligible to re-enroll for failure to meet the college’s minimum GPA requirement. Students who first received a NYS award prior to Summer 2010 are reviewed by a different GPA 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 GPA standard. ADA TAP students also have a different standard. Please contact the TAP Certifying officer for details.

A student who comes to SUNY Empire State College after attending another college and receiving four full-time New York state financial aid payments must earn a minimum of a 2.00 at the end of the first term of enrollment at SUNY Empire State College to remain eligible for subsequent New York state financial aid payments.

The Effect of Withdrawal

If a student withdraws from a course or study, his or 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, pursuit of program also may be affected (see pursuit of program table). A withdrawal is not included in the calculation of the GPA Therefore, it does not affect a student’s GPA.

In calculating enrollment status and rate of progress, “credit attempted” is the number of registered credits after calendar day 28 of the enrollment term. Thus, the date of withdrawal affects whether the credits are counted in the number of credits attempted. For example, for a student who first enrolls for 12 credits and then withdraws from one 4-credit study on or before calendar 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 calendar 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 withdraws after calendar day 28 and incurs full tuition liability, he or she will lose TAP for the next term if he or she does not meet the pursuit of program standard for the current term. If the student withdraws before calendar 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.

Note: Students who attend a summer term that is less than 15 weeks long will have a different measure and should consult with the Financial Aid office.

The Effect of Administrative Withdrawals (Disengagement from a Course or Study)

New York state regulations for financial aid establish course completion expectations. If a student receives an outcome of administrative withdrawal (ZW) for a study or course, his or her SAP and POP rate are affected and state aid eligibility may be affected for the student’s next enrollment depending on the number of state aid payments the student has already received (see pursuit of program table). An administrative withdrawal outcome is not included in the calculation of the GPA. Therefore, it does not affect a student’s GPA.

Financial Aid 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, he or she is not eligible for New York state financial aid for the enrollment term.
  2. By the 28th calendar 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 calendar day 28 is not eligible for New York state financial aid. A student who is not matriculated by calendar day 28 is not eligible for New York state financial aid.

Note: Students who attend a summer term that is less than 15 weeks long will have a different measure and should consult with the Financial Aid office.

Regaining Eligibility for New York State Financial Aid

A student may regain eligibility for New York state 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 additional enrollment(s) for which the student receives no state aid.
  2. Being readmitted and/or reinstated at SUNY Empire State College after an absence of at least one calendar year.
    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 within the next 16 credits of enrollment.
  3. Transferring to another institution.
  4. Applying for and receiving a one-time waiver.