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Financial Aid

Policies Affecting Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

Effect of Drug Conviction
Persons convicted of drug trafficking or possession under federal or state law may be ineligible to receive federal student aid including grants, loans and work-study programs.

When completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, question 23 asks if the student has ever been convicted of a drug related offense. Failure to answer the question will automatically disqualify the student from receiving federal aid. Answering the question falsely, if discovered, could result in fines, imprisonment or both.

Convictions count only if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal aid. A conviction does not count if it was reversed, set aside or removed from the student’s record or if the conviction occurred when the student was a juvenile (before age 18) unless the student was tried as an adult.

According to the law, the following chart indicates the period of ineligibility for federal student aid. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

  Possession of Illegal Drugs Sale of Illegal Drugs
1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
3+ offenses Indefinite period  

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when he or she successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further convictions will make the student ineligible again. Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program as described below.

A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state or local government program or federally or state-licensed insurance company.
  • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court.
  • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.

It is the student’s responsibility to certify to the Financial Aid Administrator that he/she has successfully completed a qualified rehabilitation program.

Return of Title IV Aid

Under the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, federal student aid (Pell, SEOG and Direct Loans) must be recalculated for students who withdraw from or stop participating in all of their courses before completing more than 60 percent of the term. This calculation is required under the Return of Title IV Aid regulation. Students who have all grades of “F” at midterm will have all aid held until final grades are verified.

Official Withdrawals: If a student officially withdraws from all of his/her courses before completing more than 60 percent of the term, his/her federal financial aid will be recalculated based on the student’s withdrawal date. The percentage of financial aid eligibility will be directly related to the percentage of the term completed. For example, if a student completes 10 percent of the term, he/she will be eligible for 10 percent of his/her financial aid. If he/she completes 30 percent of the term, he/she will be eligible for 30 percent of his/her financial aid.

Unofficial Withdrawals: If a student does not formally withdraw from all of his/her courses but stops participating in his/her courses before completing more than 60 percent of the term, the student is considered unofficially withdrawn from the college and his/her aid will be recalculated under the Return of Title IV Aid regulation. In the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the effective date of withdrawal will be 50 percent of the term.

Tuition Liability: If a student officially or unofficially withdraws after the end of the college’s refund period, the student is liable for all of his/her tuition and fees, even if the student’s financial aid is decreased. If the student’s financial aid previously covered his/her bill, but no longer covers it after the Return of Title IV Aid calculation, the student will be expected to pay his/her outstanding tuition and fees. Further, if the student receives a disbursement of financial aid, and the Return of Title IV Aid calculation shows that the student was not entitled to the funds, the student will be billed for the funds, and the overpayment information will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education. It will be the student’s responsibility to repay the funds before he/she is eligible to receive any further federal student aid, even if the student attends another college. This overpayment will appear on the Student Aid Report (SAR) until the overpayment is repaid.

Matriculation
To be eligible for state or federal financial aid, a student must be accepted into a major and pursuing courses toward that degree or certificate. For New York State scholarships, students accepted into part-time programs will only be eligible for part-time scholarship programs, even if registered full-time in a given term.

Academic Qualifications
To be eligible for federal financial aid (includes Pell Grant, Work Study, SEOG and Federal Direct Loans), a student must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent (i.e. New York State GED or homeschooling).

Exception: students who were enrolled in an eligible educational program of study before July 1, 2012 may be considered federal aid eligible if they previously passed an approved Ability to Benefit (ATB) test or successfully completed at least six degree-applicable credit hours. The student must provide appropriate documentation to the Financial Aid Office.

Students seeking New York State financial aid (i.e. TAP or APTS) who do not have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent must pass an independently administered examination approved by the Department of Education. Students who have a foreign high school diploma and who do not have a prior college degree are also subject to this requirement.

The testing deadline for New York State aid eligibility is the last day of the add/drop period for the effective term.

The college’s placement tests, ASSET and COMPASS, have been approved as measures of the ability of a student to benefit from post-secondary instruction.

The Department of Education also has established that institutions use a passing score (cut-score) that is one full standard deviation below the mean for the examination.

The minimum passing scores for such students on the ASSET test are:

Writing Skills 35
Reading Skills 35
Numerical Skills 33

The minimum passing scores for such students on the COMPASS test are:

Writing Skills 32
Reading Skills 62
PreAlgebra 25

Students must obtain a passing score on all components of the tests to be eligible for New York State financial aid programs.

Course Selection
State and federal financial assistance is available to assist students in pursuing their program of study. To receive New York State scholarships, a full-time student must be enrolled in at least 12 credits that are required for the student’s degree program. Students receiving part-time New York State scholarships must be registered for less than 12 credits and the aid will be based only on the coursework that is required of the degree program.

All courses attempted also will count toward the calculation of credits for the maximum timeframe standard (150 Percent Rule) under the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Good Academic Standing
Students must meet the college’s good academic standing requirements as outlined under Policies and Procedures to be considered for financial aid eligibility. Additionally, students must meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements as outlined below. To receive federal financial aid, a student must meet the federal satisfactory academic progress requirements. To receive state financial aid, a student must meet the state academic progress requirements.

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress
The tables below outline the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards for Hudson Valley Community College.

To be eligible for federal Title IV student aid, a student must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. Under federal law and regulation, the college is required to establish, publish and enforce minimum academic standards for the continued receipt of federal Title IV student aid. A satisfactory progress policy must include both a qualitative measure and a quantitative measure of the student’s progress. At Hudson Valley Community College, the qualitative standard is measured using the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA)1 as calculated by the Registrar’s Office, and the quantitative standard is measured using the student’s percentage of overall credit hours earned (overall credit hours earned divided by overall credit hours attempted) or, based upon the percentage of credit hours earned in the term (term credit hours earned divided by term credit hours attempted). Additionally, a measure of maximum timeframe (150 Percent Rule) is performed as a part of the policy (see SAP Measurement Standards). Students must meet the minimum requirements of the SAP policy to retain eligibility for federal Title IV student aid.

The Title IV student aid programs affected by the satisfactory academic progress policy are the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work-Study Program, and the Federal Direct Loan Program (including the Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students). Additionally, many scholarships and alternative funding sources may have specific requirements regarding satisfactory academic progress.

1 Fresh Start and credit exclusions do not affect the cumulative GPA for the measurement of academic progress.

SAP Measurement Standards
Qualitative Standard: The qualitative measure of satisfactory academic progress follows the college’s measure for good academic standing (from the Retention Table). These requirements are outlined in the tables below. Please note that for academic progress purposes, academic probation is considered a warning period for academic standing. Students measuring in academic probation are considered to be meeting the qualitative requirement of the satisfactory academic progress policy.

Quantitative Standards: (Students must meet A, and B or C below)

  1. Maximum Timeframe Standard: (150 Percent Rule): To quantify academic progress, the college is required to set a maximum timeframe in which a student is expected to complete a program. At Hudson Valley Community College, the maximum timeframe cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program, measured in credit hours attempted. For example, students in associate’s degree programs where the published length of the program is 60 credit hours can receive federal student aid through the point when they reach 90 attempted hours (one and one-half times the published length of program). The maximum timeframe evaluation for transfer students will consider both those credits attempted at Hudson Valley Community College and those accepted as transfer credit by the college.

    The calculation of maximum timeframe is based on the cumulative student record at the college. If the student has already completed a program or has changed majors, the student may submit an appeal of the ineligibility decision. See the section on Appeal of Ineligibility Decision below. Unless granted a waiver, students whose credit hours attempted exceed 150 percent of the published length of their program will no longer be eligible for federal Title IV aid.

    Students who are new federal loan borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 will qualify for subsidized federal loans until they reach their 150 percent limitation. Once a borrower has reached this limitation, the interest subsidy ends for all outstanding subsidized loans that were disbursed on or after July 1, 2013. The student could continue to receive unsubsidized loans if otherwise eligible.

  2. Percentage of Overall Credit Hours Earned Standard: Under the quantitative measure of academic progress, the student’s percentage of overall credit hours earned must meet or exceed the minimum percentage requirement for each increment on the chart below. “Attempted” credit hours include all credit coursework included in the student’s academic history at Hudson Valley Community College, including all accepted transfer credits. “Earned” credits include all attempted credit hours for which a passing grade has been received. In this measurement, withdrawals (including official, unofficial, and administrative), grades of “incomplete,” failing grades, excused medical (EXM), instances of no grade submitted (NGS), and instances where courses are still in progress (IP) at the time of grade submission will be treated as attempted and unearned. Repeated credit courses will be counted as attempted credit hours for each attempt, and will be counted as earned credit hours only once (when and if the student earns a passing grade). Non-credit remedial courses will not count as attempted or as earned. Please note that the minimum percentage of overall credit hours earned differs depending upon whether a student is in an associate’s degree program or a certificate program. Both tables are illustrated on the following pages.

  3. Percentage of Term Credit Hours Earned Standard: Students who meet the qualitative requirement, as well as the quantitative requirement in (a) above, but do not meet (b) above, under certain conditions may have their progress evaluated based upon the student’s current term performance. Measurement conditions under this standard depend upon the student’s current academic progress status. If a student is currently in unsatisfactory academic progress, the student must attempt at least six credit hours in the current term to be evaluated under this standard. A student meeting those criteria must earn at least 75 percent of the attempted credit hours in the term to be placed in satisfactory academic progress. If a student is currently in satisfactory academic progress, the student must take at least one credit-bearing course in the current term to be evaluated under this standard. A student meeting those criteria must earn at least 75 percent of his/her term credit hours under this standard.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Table for Associate's Degree Programs

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Determining Continuing Eligibility for Federal Title IV Student Aid

Minimum Academic Progress Requirements

Associate's Degree Programs
Overall Attempted Credit Hours*
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Qualitative
AND
Quantitative
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Percentage of Overall Credit Hours Earned

Overall Credit Hours Earned /Overall Credit Hours Attempted**

OR

Percentage of Term Credit Hours Earned

Term Credit Hours Earned/Term Credit Hours Attempted**

75%

To be considered under this category, students in unsatisfactory academic progress must take at least six non-remedial credit hours. Students in satisfactory academic progress must take at least one credit-bearing course.

0.5-18.99
.5
50 percent
19-36.99
1.3
60 percent
37-48.99
1.70
75 percent
49+
1.90
75 percent

* The number of overall attempted credit hours is the sum of all attempted credit hours at Hudson Valley Community College and all transfer credit hours accepted by the college.
**The percentage of overall and term credits earned will be rounded to the nearest percentage (i.e. .745 will be rounded up to .75 but .744 will be rounded down to .74).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Table for Certificate Programs

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Determining Continuing Eligibility for Federal Title IV Student Aid

Minimum Academic Progress Requirements

Certificate Programs
Overall Attempted Credit Hours*
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Qualitative
AND
Quantitative
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Percentage of Overall Credit Hours Earned

Overall Credit Hours Earned/Overall Credit Hours Attempted**

OR Percentage of Term Credit Hours Earned

Term Credit Hours Earned/Term Credit Hours Attempted**

75%

To be considered under this category, students in unsatisfactory academic progress must take at least six non-remedial credit hours. Students in satisfactory academic progress must take at least one credit-bearing course.
0.5-18.99
.5
50 percent
19-36.99
1.3
75 percent
37-48.99
1.70
75 percent
49+
1.90
75 percent

* The number of overall attempted credit hours is the sum of all attempted credit hours at Hudson Valley Community College and all transfer credit hours accepted by the college.
**The percentage of overall and term credits earned will be rounded to the nearest percentage (i.e. .745 will be rounded up to .75 but .744 will be rounded down to .74).

Federal Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress Status
Students who meet or exceed the minimum cumulative qualitative and quantitative requirements will be considered to be maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Status
Students who measure below the minimum cumulative qualitative and/or quantitative requirements will be placed in unsatisfactory academic progress. Students who measure in this status are ineligible for federal student aid. Students may regain eligibility for federal student aid by making up their deficiencies in such a way that in subsequent evaluations they measure at or above the minimum academic progress requirements (see section on Regaining Eligibility for Federal Student Aid).

Transitioning to the New Policy
Under the college’s academic standing/progress policy effective prior to Fall 2002, students who were suspended or dismissed in Spring 2002 were advised that if they sat out for one year they could return to the college in good standing and receive aid. In order for the college to uphold the conditions of the old policy, after one year’s absence, the student’s academic progress status will be changed to reflect satisfactory academic progress. These students will be eligible for financial aid in their first term back, but will have to meet the requirements of the new satisfactory academic progress policy by the end of the term in order for them to continue their eligibility for federal student aid.

Timing of Evaluations and Evaluation Process
The college will measure academic progress at the end of each term in which Title IV aid is awarded to students (i.e. fall, spring, summer). Academic progress will be measured for all students, both matriculated and non-matriculated, who are registered in the term being reviewed. Evaluation of progress will occur shortly after final grades are posted by the Registrar’s Office. Notices of ineligibility will be sent to students from the college. At the time of evaluation, grades listed as I (incomplete), F (failure), Z (absent without withdrawal), W (withdrawal), IP (in progress), EXM (excused medical) and/or NGS (No Grade Submitted) will be considered attempted and unearned. If a student’s academic record is changed subsequent to the evaluation, the student must submit a written request to the director of financial aid for re-evaluation of the ineligibility determination. The most common situation leading to such a request is the successful resolution of “incomplete” or “late” grades. For a grade change or course completion to be considered in the academic progress calculation, the coursework leading to the grade change must be completed prior to the first day of classes in the effective term.

Additionally, the maximum timeframe evaluation will be completed at the end of each term. If at the time of evaluation the student has attempted less than 150 percent of the course work required for his/her program, the student will be considered eligible under the maximum timeframe standard for Title IV aid for the following term. If, however, the student has exceeded the maximum number of attempted credit hours for his/her program, the student will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid programs (grants or loans) for any future term in the program.

Appeal of Federal Aid Ineligibility Decision

Appeal for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Status
A determination of ineligibility for federal student aid may be appealed based on mitigating circumstances which occurred in the reviewed term. A mitigating circumstance is defined as an exceptional or unusual event beyond the student’s direct control, which contributed to or caused the academic difficulty. Examples of mitigating circumstances may include a student becoming very ill or seriously injured, or a death in the student’s immediate family.

An appeal of the ineligibility decision may be made through the college’s academic waiver process, which begins in the Center for Counseling and Transfer, located in the Siek Campus Center. Complete documentation of the circumstances that led to the academic difficulty must be submitted as part of the appeal process. Appeals are due by noon on the first day of classes in the effective term.

Students receiving a waiver of academic standing requirements and students in good academic standing who receive a waiver of academic progress requirements will be placed in satisfactory academic progress for the effective term only. This is considered the student's financial aid probationary period. Students will then be required to meet academic standing and academic progress requirements at the end of the effective term and in all subsequent terms.

Appeal for Maximum Timeframe (150 Percent Waiver)
A student may appeal their ineligibility for federal Title IV aid due to reaching the 150% maximum timeframe. Appeals must be made in writing to the director of financial aid by noon on the first day of classes in the effective term.

Regaining Eligibility for Federal Student Aid
A student who loses eligibility for federal student aid due to unsatisfactory academic progress may regain eligibility by successfully completing credit courses such that the student meets the requirements of the satisfactory academic progress policy standards. Such courses taken at Hudson Valley Community College must be funded without benefit of Title IV student aid and under no circumstances will aid be paid retroactively for those courses once eligibility has been re-established. If these courses are completed at Hudson Valley Community College during the fall, spring or summer term, the student’s academic progress will automatically be measured at the end of the term.

Remedial Coursework
In determining federal aid eligibility, the credit hour equivalent of remedial courses is counted toward enrollment status.

Enrollment Status and Repeat Coursework
A student must be enrolled at least half-time to receive aid from Stafford and PLUS loan programs and Federal Work Study (FWS). The Pell Grant does not require half-time enrollment, however, enrollment status does affect the amount of Pell Grant a student receives. Half-time enrollment is defined as being enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester. Full-time enrollment is defined as being enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester.

Enrollment status can include repetition of a previously passed course one time only. The repetition cannot be due to the student failing other coursework. For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than an "F", regardless of any school or program policy requiring a higher qualitative grade or measure to have been considered to have passed the course. Below are two scenarios in which a student can receive federal aid for repeat coursework:

  • If a student receives an F or W grade, they can repeat the course with the benefit of federal aid until the course is passed with a grade of D or better.
  • If a student passes a course with an A, B, C or D grade, they can repeat that course ONE time only.

Please note: Satisfactory Academic Progress and 150 percent rules apply. The highest grade is calculated in Grade Point Average. Withdrawals do not count as a retake for the course. College policy states a student can only repeat a course two times, unless an exception is approved by the student's academic department.

Important: A student CANNOT receive federal aid for repeating a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework. Example: Student is taking a series of courses (this is common in Health Science programs). Student passes a course(s) early in the series but then fails a subsequent course. Student may choose (or be required by the academic department) to repeat the previously passed course(s) in the series. The repeat of the previously passed course(s), will NOT count in enrollment status for federal student aid.

Unusual Enrollment History
Students identified by the U.S. Department of Education as having unusual enrollment history must be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office to determine federal aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Office must determine if there were valid reasons for the unusual enrollment history by reviewing enrollment, college transcripts and financial aid history. Additional documentation from the student regarding failure to earn academic credit will be required. The Financial Aid Office must document the approval or denial of continued federal aid eligibility. The decision is final and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education. Students who are identified with unusual enrollment history must also complete an Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose.

Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose
Certain federal aid applicants are now required to verify their identities and resubmit a Statement of Education Purpose, as was originally provided as part of the FAFSA submission.

The student must appear in person at Hudson Valley Community College to verify his or her identity by presenting valid government-issued photo identification (ID), such as, but not limited to, a driver's license, other state-issued ID, or passport. The college will maintain a copy of the student's photo ID that is annotated with the date it was received and the name of the official at the college authorized to collect the student's ID. Students may also provide this statement via postal mail with an original notarized signature and a copy of valid government-issued photo identification.

High School Completion Status
Certain federal aid applicants are now required to verify their high school completion status (i.e. high school diploma, GED or homeschool). College policy requires that students must submit appropriate documentation to the Admission's Office to prove their status. The Financial Aid Office must review these documents prior to awarding federal financial aid. Additional documentation from the student may be required.

New York State Satisfactory Academic Progress
New York State academic standards require that a student complete a certain number of credits during each term an award is received, accrue degree credit at specified levels, and maintain a certain grade point average. The requirements are based on the number of state awards received, no matter at what institution, as outlined in the charts below. An Aid for Part-Time Study or part-time summer TAP award counts as one­­–half of a TAP award. Use of a part–time TAP award reduces the remaining number of awards available on a prorated basis (based on the number of credit hours at the time of each award).

New York State Academic Progress Requirements*

Chart 1 - For students who first received state aid prior to Summer 2010 or for students in a program of remedial study**:
After this award 1 2 3 4 5
This many degree credits must be accrued. 3 9 18 30 45
This grade point average must be attained. 0.5 0.75 1.30 2.0 2.0
In the term of this award, this many hours must be completed. 6 6 9 9 12

Chart 2 - For students who first received state aid in Summer 2010 or thereafter:
After this award 1 2 3 4 5
This many degree credits must be accrued. 6 15 27 39 51
This grade point average must be attained. 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0
In the term of this award, this many hours must be completed. 6 6 9 9 12

*Academic requirements are continually reviewed by the state and federal governments and are subject to change.

**Students are considered to be in a program of remedial study if they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Placement exam scores indicated the need for remediation for at least two semesters.
  2. Enrolled in at least six credit hours of non-credit remedial courses in the first term a TAP award is received.
  3. Enrolled in an opportunity program such as EOP

If a student fails to meet the academic standing requirements outlined above due to extenuating circumstances, New York State allows the college to consider a request for a waiver of the requirements. The student’s situation must be viewed as an exceptional and extraordinary case, meaning the circumstances preventing the student from meeting the requirements were highly unusual and most probably out of the student’s control. The student must be an otherwise serious and successful student. A waiver of the state requirements may only be granted once in a student’s educational career. If a student feels his/her situation warrants use of this lifetime one-time only waiver, the application process is begun in the Center for Counseling and Transfer, located in the Siek Campus Center.

Students must have attained a grade point average of 2.0 at the end of the fourth term in which the student receives state aid. If a student does not meet this requirement due to circumstances that can be demonstrated to have affected the student’s ability to achieve a “C” average at the end of a particular term, the student may request a waiver. Requests for waiver of this requirement are separate from the Waiver of Good Academic Standing Requirements and should be made directly to the Registrar’s Office.

Remedial Courses
In determining state financial aid eligibility, the credit hour equivalent of remedial courses is counted toward enrollment status if the student is required to take the courses based on placement test results. For TAP purposes, first-time TAP recipients must be enrolled in at least 3 credit hours per term that pertain to their degree program. Students who have received TAP previously must be enrolled in 6 credit hours per term that apply to their degree program.

Repeat Courses
Courses in which a grade of “D” (“C”, if that is the course’s passing grade) or better was previously earned do not count toward a student’s enrollment status for New York State grants and scholarships.

Scholarships
The college offers a quality education at a fraction of the cost of most private colleges and universities. Each spring semester, the college and the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation are proud to offer nearly 100 scholarship opportunities that make Hudson Valley even more affordable. Information for both new and currently enrolled students can be found on our Web site at www.hvcc.edu/scholarships or by contacting the Foundation at (518) 629-8012 or e-mailing foundation@hvcc.edu.

Each academic year, the college and the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation are proud to offer almost 100 scholarship opportunities that make Hudson Valley even more affordable. Information for both new and currently enrolled students can be found at or by contacting the Foundation at (518) 629-8012 or e-mailing .