Financial Aid Policies

Implementation & Review Procedures

These regulations will be administered at the end of each academic semester:

  • Direct Loans and Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) programs require that students be enrolled in a degree or certificate program. Students are required to meet satisfactory academic progress as outlined below.
  • Students who change degree programs will be given a new time frame.
  • Students who change programs of study, requiring extra time to complete their degree, will be granted a time-frame re-evaluation by the academic review committee.
  • Transfer students will be given a new time frame when they begin their first semester at SUNY Morrisville.

Deferred Payments, Waivers, & Unanticipated Expenses

Instances may arise when approved loans or grants have not been received in time for registration by the student. Payment of that portion of the student's bill will be delayed, pending the arrival of these monies, when papers documenting the approved loan or grant are presented by the student or received by the college.

Students who experience unanticipated expenses of an emergency nature should contact the Student Accounts Office/Bursar to discuss the possibility of obtaining a short-term emergency loan. At that time, definite plans for the repayment of a valid emergency loan will be agreed upon as well.

Student Rights

It is the student's right to:

  • Know how financial need was determined
  • Know how decisions regarding financial aid were made
  • Appeal any decision made by the financial aid staff
  • Know how financial aid that has been awarded will be distributed:
    • Generally, financial aid will be paid to the school in two equal installments
    • The first installment will be during the fall semester, and the second during the spring semester
    • Students will be billed each semester for tuition, fees, room and board
    • Know that each semester the aid awarded will be applied to the bill
    • Know that after the semester bill is paid, any excess aid will be refunded to the student or parent
  • Know what portions of the financial aid must be repaid and the annual interest rate
  • Know the college's refund policy

Student Responsibilities

It is the student's responsibility to:

  • Be familiar with the financial aid application procedures, including application forms and deadlines.
  • Return all forms properly filled out within the prescribed time limits. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of any aid offered.
  • Notify the financial aid office of any changes in the parents' or the student's financial situation. Financial aid packages may be adjusted to reflect changes.
  • Notify the financial aid office of any private scholarships or awards received during the academic year.
  • Notify the financial aid office of any change that reduces the course load to less than 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Honor all agreements, including repayment provisions on loans, made with the college or other lending institutions.
  • Provide all requested forms for the purpose of verifying family income, family size and similar matters.
  • Re-apply for financial aid each academic year.
  • Maintain eligibility for federal financial aid programs:
    • Enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester.
    • Enrolled in an approved program (New York State financial aid programs require 12 credit hours per semester)
    • Be in good academic standing (Satisfactory academic progress toward a degree and pursuing an approved program of study).

Non-Attendance Policy

Federal Financial Aid Consequences For Non-Attendance of Classes

As of the spring 2019 enrollment term, SUNY Morrisville students must attend class to maintain their awarded federal aid. Federal financial aid eligibility requires SUNY Morrisville to identify and submit record of the students who have not attended class and reduce their federal financial aid award accordingly. These absences, or records of non-attendance, will be documented by the course instructor of record through the first 25% of the term (third week of the fall and spring semester). Student financial aid package and billing adjustments will be conducted after the records of non-attendance have been logged (fourth week of the fall and spring semester).

Attendance for all courses on the student’s schedule must be verified. The Student FSA Non-Attendance policy will only affect students receiving Federal Title IV aid (PELL grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service grant, SEOG, TEACH, Work-study, Direct Loans, and PLUS Loans). Institutional awards (college scholarships) and state grants (TAP, Excelsior Scholarship) will not be affected by this policy. The methods used to verify and document non-attendance may differ for students enrolled in online classes, labs, and internships.

Documenting attendance when students are enrolled in distance education courses:

In a distance education context, documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not enough, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance by the student. A school must demonstrate that a student participated in class or was otherwise engaged in an academically related activity.

Examples of acceptable evidence of academic attendance and attendance at an academically-related activity in a distance education program include:

  • student submission of an academic assignment,
  • student submission of an exam,
  • documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction,
  • a posting by the student showing the student's participation in an online study group that is assigned by the institution,
  • a posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the student's participation in an online discussion about academic matters, and
  • an email from the student or other documentations showing that the student initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Non-attendance of classes will affect student federal aid in the following ways:

  1. Disbursement of federal aid will not be delayed while the college undergoes non-attendance verification.
  2. At the end of the third week (or 25% of term), instructors will document cases where students have never attended class.
  3. After the third week (or 25% of term), Financial Aid billing hours will be “locked” based on the students schedule – and only for those courses where attendance has been verified. These are the credit hours that will be used to determine student federal aid eligibility for the term. Any previously disbursed aid may have to be adjusted, which may mean reduced aid amounts and/or repayment to your student account. Please visit the Academic Calendar to view the dates of each term.

Note: The student will be responsible for paying the residual tuition and fees for courses they failed to attend or drop by the established deadlines. Students may appeal their record of non-attendance with the course instructor.

Independent Student Status

Federal regulations require that a student, before being classified as independent, meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be 24 years of age by January 1 of the year for which independent student aid is sought
  • Be a veteran of the armed forces
  • Be an orphan or ward of the court
  • Have legal dependents other than a spouse, be married, or be in graduate school

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Aid

According to federal regulations, students must meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to remain academically eligible for federal aid. Students are evaluated on their cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) and Pace of Program (number of credits completed successfully and maximum time frame).

Quantitative Measure (Pace of Program)

The chart below shows the percentage of credits a student must successfully complete (with a grade A-D) based on the total number of attempted credit hours. Transfer credits from another institution are considered both attempted and completed. Grades of “F”, “W” or “I” will count towards attempted but not completed.

  • Incomplete Courses: All courses with a grade of “I” will be counted towards the student’s attempted credit hours but will not count towards credits earned until the incomplete is changed to a grade. Students are encourage to contact the Financial Aid Office to a re-review of their SAP whenever they receive a grade change.
  • Withdrawals: Credits for courses with a grade of “W” will be counted as attempted credits but will not count towards earned credits when calculating Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Repeat Courses: All repeat credits will count towards both attempted and earned credit hours when calculating Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Transfer Credits: Transfer credits accepted by SUNY Morrisville are counted towards both attempted and earned credit hours for the calculation of Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Remedial Courses: Credits for remedial courses will not count as attempted or earned credit hours when calculating Federal and State Satisfactory Academic Progress. They will also not count towards the student's Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Maximum Timeframe: Students must finish his or her educational program within 150% of the published length of their program in order to keep their federal financial aid eligibility.
  • Change of Degree Program: Students who change degree programs may request to have credits and grades removed from the SAP calculation that do not apply towards the new major. Students must contact the Financial Aid Office to request the ‘reset’ in credit hours.

Qualitative Measure (Grade Point Average)

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA based off the total number of attempted credit hours as seen in the chart below. The Higher Education Act requires an additional qualitative review at the end of the student’s second academic year. Students enrolled in a program of more than two academic years must have a GPA of at least a “C” (2.0 GPA) or better to remain eligible.

Associates Degree

Cumulative Attempted Credits 0-22 23-35 36-51 52-83 84-99
Cumulative Earned Credits (A-D) 33.33% of Attempted Credits 33.33% of Attempted Credits 66.67% of Attempted Credits 66.67% of Attempted Credits or Associates Degree 66.67% of Attempted Credits or Associates Degree
Minimum Cumulative GPA 1 1.5 1.9 2.0 2.0 or Associates Degree

Bachelor Degree

Cumulative Attempted Credits 0-99 99-175 180 or More
Cumulative Earned Credits See above 66.67% of Attempted Credits 66.67% of Attempted Credits or Bachelor Degree
Minimum Cumulative GPA See above 2.0 2.0 or Associates Degree

Financial Aid Warning: A status assigned to a student who is failing to make SAP. The warning status lasts for one payment period only, during which the student may continue to receive FSA funds. Students who fail to make SAP after the warning period lose their aid eligibility unless they successfully appeal and are placed on probation. The warning status may only be used for students who were making SAP in the prior payment period they were enrolled in at SUNY Morrisville or who were in the first payment period of their program.

Financial Aid Probation: A status the FAO assigns to a student who is failing to make SAP and who successfully appeals. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one payment period only. After that term, the student will be re-evaluated for SAP and either placed in good academic standing with FSA funds or on suspension without FSA funding.

Waiver: A student may appeal the loss of FSA due to SAP through a waiver. If approved, the waiver will allow the student to continue to receive FSA funding for one payment period only and their SAP will be reviewed at the end of that term.

Financial Aid Suspension: The period when a student is not eligible for FSA funds due to failing to meet the minimum SAP requirements. Students may utilize non-FSA funds (alternative/private loans or payment plans) to cover costs. Student regains eligibility when they make SAP. Students who are on Financial Aid Suspension that enroll for courses without federal financial aid or interrupt their attendance for one or more academic periods does not have an effect on their academic progress standing nor is it sufficient to reestablish aid eligibility.

Federal Student Aid (FSA): PELL/SEOG, Subsidized & Unsubsidized student loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Work-Study, Perkins and Nursing Loans.

Students may reinstate their federal aid by:

  • Taking classes without receiving FSA such a paying out of pocket, signing up for a payment plan or applying for an alternative student loan through a private bank (co-signer may be required). Once the student meets the minimum requirements their aid can be reinstated.
  • Students may also take courses at another college that will transfer back to SUNY Morrisville if the student is lacking earned credits. However, if a student is not meeting the minimum GPA requirement, transfer credits will not affect their GPA at SUNY Morrisville.
  • Students who were placed on Financial Aid Probation may have the option to complete a waiver (as mentioned above; see Waiver).

Satisfactory Academic Progress for State Aid

Cumulative Average and Credits Completed

Programs of less than one academic year's duration are ineligible for state student financial assistance, the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), or Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS). Students may still be eligible for Vietnam Veterans Tuition Awards (VVTA).

The following chart describes the credit hour and GPA requirements for a student to achieve good academic standing by semester:

For All Students in an Associate Degree Program (2010 and After)

Semester 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Credit Hours Completed 6 6 9 9 12
Credit Hours Toward Graduation 6 15 27 39 51
GPA 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0

For Students in a Bachelor's Degree Program (2010 and after)

Semester 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Credit Hours Completed 6 6 9 9 12
Credit Hours Toward Graduation 6 15 27 39 51
GPA 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0
Semester 6th 7th 8th 9th
Credit Hours Completed 12 12 12 12
Credit Hours Toward Graduation 66 81 96 111
GPA 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

Program Pursuit

Students must complete a minimum number of credit hours each semester as follows to maintain their financial aid award:

  • First year: Students must complete six hours each semester.
  • Second year: Students must complete nine hours each semester.
  • Third and Fourth years: Students must complete 12 hours each semester.

Students who do not complete the minimum number of hours in a semester will not be eligible for financial aid. Dropped courses do not count when determining program pursuit.

To be in good academic standing, students must show satisfactory academic progress and program pursuit must be maintained. For students who fail to meet the minimum requirements, a one-time waiver may be granted, provided the student can demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances warrant its use.

Guidelines for Rules on Full-Time Status for NYS and Federal Financial Aid Programs and Other Information for Advisors