Eligibility Waivers

One-time Waiver of Eligibility Standards for New York State Awards

A student who fails to meet the state standards for pursuit of program may request a one-time waiver of these standards. A waiver is possible only in extraordinary or unusual situations. A waiver enables the student to receive New York state aid for one additional enrollment term.

New York state permits only one waiver at the undergraduate level. This applies across all institutions attended. The Mitigating Circumstance Committee may grant a waiver when the student fails to meet the pursuit of program standard, the GPA standard or more than one standard in the same term.

The one-time waiver is not automatic. The student may request a waiver for his or her most recent enrollment. Approval of a request for a one-time waiver occurs in two parts:

  1. The dean or dean’s designee verifies the student’s academic eligibility.
  2. The Mitigating Circumstance Committee determines that the request meets New York state requirements for a waiver of financial aid regulations.

Students must complete the Request for a Federal Title IV and/or New York State Financial Aid Eligibility form and submit it with appropriate documentation to Student Academic Services. If approved academically by the dean or dean’s designee, the request is then reviewed by the Mitigating Circumstance Committee to determine eligibility for state aid. In certain instances, a student may regain academic eligibility but continue to be ineligible for state aid.

In the event that the dean or dean’s designee reports that a student does not meet academic eligibility requirements, the Mitigating Circumstance Committee cannot approve the waiver.

Repeat of Studies With Credit Awarded

Repeat of any study for which credit has been awarded and that the college does not require the student to repeat may not be considered part of that student’s course load for financial aid purposes. The student must complete the Repeat Study Approval Form online.

If a student is repeating a study or course in which he or she earned a passing grade initially, the student will not earn credit twice. When a student successfully completes a repeated study, the college uses the most recent study grade in calculating the student’s GPA and in the calculation of credits earned toward the degree. However, for state aid purposes, a repeated course in which a passing grade was previously earned cannot be used to meet the pursuit of program requirement (completing a certain percentage of the minimum full-time or part-time course load in each term an award is received) to maintain good academic standing.

Students can receive state aid to repeat studies for which they earned no credit.

Maximum Number of Payments

An undergraduate student may receive New York state financial aid payments for no more than the equivalent of eight full-time enrollment terms.

New York State “C” Average Requirement

New York state standards require that students achieve a “C” average to maintain state financial aid eligibility.

Pre-college Studies

For payment purposes, pre-college studies may be counted toward full- or part-time enrollment status. However, at least 50 percent of the minimum number of credits required for full- or part-time status must be college-level study. Thus, a full-time student must enroll for at least 6 credits of college-level study, and a part-time student must enroll for at least 3 credits of college-level study. The one exception is that in the first enrollment, a full-time student may take up to 9 pre-college credit equivalents and must take at least 3 credits of college-level study.

Final Enrollment Term

In the final term only, New York state financial aid regulations permit studies to count toward financial aid eligibility standards related to full- or part-time enrollment status, even if some of the credit is not necessary to complete degree requirements. The enrollment must include some credit that is required to complete the student’s degree.

SUNY Empire State College permits such credit beyond the degree to count for financial aid eligibility in the final term, only if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The student has an approved degree program;
  • The enrollment term is identified as the final enrollment for the degree;
  • The enrollment includes one or more studies or courses that apply toward the student’s degree requirements.

The TAP certifying officer disallows any New York state aid award if any one of these criteria is not met.

Notification of Ineligibility for State Financial Aid Awards

The Financial Aid office notifies students regarding their ineligibility for further New York state financial aid. Students may obtain information on their financial aid status by contacting the Financial Aid office.

For additional information regarding state financial aid, go to the New York State Higher Education Services web site.