FAQS - Financial Aid

General Information

 Q: Where can I get information about the financial aid process and the various aid programs?
There are several sites on the Internet that can provide you with information about financial aid. These include:

www.studentaid.ed.gov - the U.S. Department of Education website offers detailed information about Federal Student Aid programs and applying for financial aid.  You may also create a "MyFSA" account which will help you decide on a career, research schools, and find scholarships.

studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/12-13_Guide.pdf - Funding Your Education brochure:  Learn about the U.S. Department of Education's federal student financial aid programs and how to apply for them.

fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/f4cForm?execution=e1s1 - FAFSA4caster - Any student, regardless of age or year in school may begin exploring financial aid options and get an early start on the financial aid process. Receive an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid.

www.pin.ed.gov - where students and parents can request a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN can be used as an electronic signature for FAFSA on the Web, Renewal FAFSA, and Corrections on the Web, and can also be used to access the National Student Loan Data System.

www.fafsa.gov - for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online, also known as FAFSA on the Web. It's a fast, free, secure, and easy way for students to apply. Students who apply online will get their application results faster than if they mail a paper FAFSA.  You may also make corrections to your FAFSA, check the status of your FAFSA, and view or print a copy of the completed FAFSA called your Student Aid Report.

www.hesc.com - where residents of New York State may complete the Tuition Assistance Program application to see if they are eligible for grants, scholarships, or awards.


Q: I thought you told me I'd done everything I needed to do. Why does there always seem to be something else I need to sign or turn in to this office?
Students frequently ask, "Is this all I need to do?" when turning in forms. It's a fair question, but one that needs to be placed in context. Often a student will ask that question when completing the FAFSA. For our purposes the student is all set. However, when we submit the data to the Federal Processor, they may select the student for "verification" which means we must then ask the student for additional information. Our goal is to make the process of applying for financial aid as easy as possible for each and every student.


Q: How is financial aid applied to my account?
Your aid will generally be divided between semesters as shown on your award letter. You will receive credit on your account for scholarships, loans and grants for which we have received actual award notices thus reducing the amount you are required to pay. When the actual funds are received they will be used to pay your tuition, fees, and, if appropriate, room and board charges.


Q: What if the financial aid that I accept is greater than the charges on my bill?
Any aid in excess of your bill will be refunded to you once the Bursar's Office receives the funds from the federal or state government. You will receive notification via your SUNY Poly e-mail that your refund is available in the Bursar/Student Accounts Office.  Photo identification is required when picking up refund checks. As funds are not usually available during the first few weeks of classes, you should come prepared to meet your living expenses during this period. Emergency loans will not be issued at this time.


Q: Can changes to my or my parent's financial situation be considered when determining my financial aid?
We want to know if there has been a substantial change in the family's financial situation (loss of employment, decrease in income, death in family, separation/divorce). We may be able to use your current year's estimated income to determine your eligibility for federal aid.


Q: If I receive unanticipated aid during the year, will my financial aid be affected?
By law, financial aid and the family contribution are not permitted to exceed your estimated expenses for a given year, therefore, we are required to adjust your total aid to keep it in balance with your estimated expenses. You are required to let us know of any additional scholarships, grants, or loans not shown on the award letter.


Q: Can my financial aid be cancelled?
All federal financial aid will be cancelled if a student is currently in default on an educational loan, owes a refund on a federal grant, has borrowed in excess of set loan limits, or fails to meet the academic eligibility requirements.

Further, students who are not matriculated by the 30th day after classes begin may lose their eligibility for financial aid and become responsible for their entire bill.

The availability of funding is tentative at the time awards are made. The college may change or cancel any awards offered if the anticipated funding does not materialize.


Q: How often do I apply for financial aid?
Financial aid is not automatically renewable; you must apply each academic year at www.fafsa.gov starting each January 1.




What are the requirements for receiving federal financial aid?
To be eligible for federal aid programs, a recipient must:

  • demonstrate financial need (visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/funding for more information)
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • have a valid social security number
  • register (if you haven't already) with Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25
  • be a high school graduate holding a General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  • not be in default on any government loan and owing a refund on any previously received federal grant, and
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress in postsecondary school

See www.studentaid.ed.gov for more details.


What are the requirements for receiving NYS TAP?

  • Be a legal resident of New York State
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled as a full time student taking 12 or more credits per semester
  • be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing
  • Meet income eligibility limitations
  • Have declared a major no later than 30 days from the end of the add/drop period in the first term of your junior year in an approved four year program

For further details, visit www.hesc.ny.gov.


What are the academic requirements for receiving financial aid?

  • be matriculated (accepted into a degree program);
  • be enrolled for at least:

6 credit hours (undergraduate students) and 5 credit hours (graduate students) for the federal aid programs including federal student loans (undergraduate students may qualify for Pell at less than half time status)

12 credit hours (6 during the summer) for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP); courses you have previously passed and are not repeating cannot be counted toward the required hours

6 credit hours for Part-Time New York State TAP

3 but less than 12 credit hours for the New York State Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) Program

  • be making satisfactory academic progress


What is satisfactory academic progress?

Generally speaking, undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA, pass at least one course every semester, and pass 66% of all SUNY Poly credit hours attempted.


Application Process

Q: How do I apply for Federal Financial Aid?
The basic document necessary to apply for federal financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found online at www.fafsa.gov.  Click here to view some of the eligibility requirements fo federal student aid.  Further details are available at www.studentaid.ed.gov.


How do I apply for New York State Financial Aid?
The basic document necessary to apply for NYS financial aid is the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application found online at https://www.tapweb.org/totw/.  Click here to view some of the eligibility requirements for TAP.  Further details are available at www.hesc.ny.gov.


Q: Where can I get the forms I need to apply for financial aid?
You can visit our web site at www.sunypoly.edu/financial_aid/forms to print many of the documents that you will need. You can visit www.fafsa.gov to access the electronic Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the electronic Renewal Application; to submit corrections to a previously submitted application; or to request a duplicate Student Aid Report (SAR). Paper copies of the FAFSA can also be obtained by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or by downloading a copy at www.fafsa.gov under the heading "FAFSA Filing Options".


Q: I have financial aid now, but what about next year? Is it necessary to apply again?

Yes, you must apply each academic year to renew your financial aid. If you already received financial aid for a school year, you will receive a Renewal Reminder via email from Federal Student Aid reminding you to use FAFSA on the Web to reapply for aid.  It is important to ensure your email that is listed on the current FAFSA is up-to-date so that you are able to receive the email reminder.  

After January 1 but before March 1, review your Renewal FAFSA record at www.fafsa.gov and revise the information to reflect your income for the preceding year (and other information only if it has changed) and send the application electronically. Be sure to add SUNY Institute of Technology's school code "011678" to ensure we receive your FAFSA information.  You may estimate your income if you don't have your taxes on file with the IRS.  After your taxes are on file with the IRS, we highly recommend using the FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool to update your esimated income figures to the actual income figures.  The tool allows students and parents to transfer their IRS tax return information directly into the FAFSA.  If you are eligible to use the Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool as it may reduce your likelihood of being selected for income verification.

You should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) (it is a summary of your FAFSA) from Federal Student Aid 3-5 days by email or approximately 7-10 days after submitting the FAFSA by mail. You may also view the SAR online by returning to www.fafsa.gov a day or two after completing your FAFSA. Promptly read this report and change your FAFSA, if needed, to avoid delays in your financial aid at SUNY Poly. 

Check your "junk" or "spam" folder in your email files. The email from Federal Student Aid might be delivered there instead of your inbox. Add FederalStudentAidFAFSA@cpsemail.ed.gov to your email address book to help avoid delivery problems.


Q: What is SUNY Poly's federal and state school code?
You may list up to 10 schools on your FAFSA.  SUNY Institute of Technology's federal school code is 11678. You may list one school code on the TAP application.  SUNY Institute of Technology's undergraduate state TAP school code is 4975 and graduate state TAP school code is 5695.


Q: My parents don't support me and won't contribute to my education, so why am I still considered a "dependent" student?
It's a federal regulation. There are questions on the FAFSA that you must answer to determine your dependency status for financial aid purposes. Keep in mind that your dependency status for financial aid purposes is not based upon the IRS tax filing criteria.

If you do not meet these requirements, but have an extraordinary circumstance and believe you are truly independent of your parents, you may apply for a "dependency override" with our office.

Additional information can be found at: www.studentaid.ed.gov.




Q: What is "Verification?" Does it mean I did something wrong on the FAFSA?
Verification is the process whereby we review the information you reported on your FAFSA and compare the figures to your and/or your parents' IRS tax return information.  If there are differences, your FAFSA information may need to be corrected.  It does not mean that you made a mistake or that you are suspected of misreporting. It simply means that you were picked as part of a sample to be reviewed. If your file is chosen for verification, it is important for you to submit any requested information and/or documents as quickly as possible. Financial aid cannot be offered to you until verification has been completed.



Award Letter

Q:How do I tell what my financial need is and the total of the financial aid I’ve been offered?
You can determine your financial need by subtracting your “Total Resources" from your “Total Estimated Cost."  The total amount of financial aid offered can be calculated by adding the figures in the “Annual Total” column of your award letter.

Q: Why is the total estimated cost on my award letter different than my bill?
When we award financial aid we include all expenses you might incur while attending SUNY Poly. In addition to tuition, fees, room and board, the budget also includes allowances for books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.


Q: What are the total resources shown on the award letter?

Resources include the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that was determined from the financial data you provided on your FAFSA application.  The EFC is usually comprised of student and parent contributions.  The resources are used to help us determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible for.


Q: How do I accept or decline the financial aid offered on the award letter?
You must accept or decline all financial aid offered (excluding the Federal Pell Grant).  Place a "X" in the "Accept" column to accept the loans.  The grants and scholarships have already been accepted for you. You can accept a smaller loan amount by crossing out the amount and writing in a lesser amount. You must sign and return the original copy to our office by the deadline date shown on the letter. If you are a returning student with a SUNY Poly username and password, you can also accept your financial aid online by following the instructions on the slip that comes with your award letter.

We will send you any additional forms you will need to complete. If this is the first time you have taken a student loan, you will be required to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before any funds can be processed. You can accomplish this online by going to www.studentloans.gov.




Q: Where can I find out information about SUNY Institute of Technology scholarships?
Generally, scholarship candidates are selected at the time the student is accepted to SUNY Poly.  The Admissions Office will notify students if they have been awarded a scholarship.  Visit the undergraduate catalog http://www.sunypoly.edu/pdf/UGCat.pdf for a list of SUNY Poly scholarships and http://www.sunypoly.edu/financial_aid/scholarship for first-year, transfer, and returning student scholarship information.


Q: Where can I find information about scholarships from other sources?
Sources of information about private scholarships:

These sites have at least one search program that can generate a list of scholarships for which you may be eligible. In addition the Financial Aid Office receives notifications of non-college scholarships and posts them here: http://www.sunypoly.edu/financial_aid.scholarship.announcements 




Q: Who is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and a Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)?
Eligibility for both programs is based on undergraduate status and financial need. The Federal Pell Grant is for full- and part-time students who are financially eligible. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) funding is extremely limited so awards are made only to students with exceptional financial need.




Q: How do I apply for a student loan?
The FAFSA serves as the application for the Federal Direct Student Loan program. No other application is required. The maximum amount you can borrow from the Direct Student Loan program will be listed on your financial aid award letter. You only need to indicate whether you accept or decline the amounts listed (you can also reduce the amount listed) and sign and return the award letter to our office. If you are a returning student with an assigned SUNY Poly username and password, you may accept or decline your awards online.  We will send information regarding any other documents you would need to complete.


Q: What is a Federal Direct Loan?
SUNY Institute of Technology participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, therefore Federal Direct Subsidized, Federal Direct Unsubsidized and/or Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) loans are not processed through a bank and bank loan applications are not required. All loans at our school must be processed through the Direct Loan program, and no exceptions will be made. A brochure can be downloaded from: www.ed.gov/DirectLoan/pubs/studentpubs.html


Q: What is the difference between a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan?
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are based on financial need (estimated expenses minus family contribution and other aid).  The government will pay the interest on this loan while you are in school.  ed at least half time (6 credit hours a semester for undergraduate students and 5 credit hours a semester for graduate students), during a six-month grace period, which begins after the student drops below six hours or during authorized periods of deferment.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans can be used to meet any unmet financial need or to replace an expected family contribution, but you will have to pay all interest charges.  Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan as it accrues or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal).

Additional information about these loans can be obtained at:
http://www.studentaid.ed.gov and to view current interest rates visit www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/directloan/calc.html


Q: Can I reject all or part of my loan?
Yes, you can reject all or part of your loan. However, if later in the academic year you find that you need to reinstate all or a portion of your loan simply submit to the Financial Aid Office a signed document indicating which loan you'd like to reinstate, for which semester, and the dollar amount.


Q: Can I take out more in a Federal Direct Student Loan than I was offered?
The offered amounts of the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are the maximum amounts you are eligible to borrow. You may be eligible for a greater loan amount if you decline an offer of Work-Study, SEOG, Perkins loan, or Nursing loan. It is possible that the amounts of the loans can change upon receipt of aid from other sources or changes in the data used to calculate your eligibility.  Contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you are eligible for more loan funds.


Q: I signed a Direct Loan promissory note last year. Why don't I have to sign one this year?
The Master Promissory Note can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (not to exceed ten years). It was designed to reduce paperwork and loan processing time for both students and schools.

Remember, your promissory note is a legally binding document. Read over it carefully and contact our office if you have any questions regarding the note.


Q: How do we apply for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan)?
If you are a dependent student and you have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), we will automatically determine your parents' PLUS Loan eligibility and notify you via your financial aid award letter. Enclosed with the award letter will be an additional one-page Parent Loan Information Form which requests specific information from your parents. Once we have received the written acceptance of the PLUS Loan and the completed Parent Loan Information Form, the parent will be mailed directions to complete an electronic master promissory note. After the parent has completed and signed the promissory note, the PLUS Loan request will be submitted for a credit check. Upon credit approval, the PLUS Loan funds will be scheduled to be sent to the school just prior to the enrollment period for which you applied.  The loan interest rates is fixed and at 7.9%. In addition, an origination fee of 2.5% is deducted from the amount borrowed. Repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement.

A good source of information about the PLUS Loan program can be found at:


Q: What happens if my parents are denied the PLUS Loan?
Your parents can pursue two different options if they are denied the PLUS loan: they can appeal the credit decision or pursue an endorser. Both of these options are handled with Direct Loans ­not SUNY Institute of Technology. If your parent was denied the PLUS Loan and does not wish to appeal the credit decision or pursue an endorser (co-signer), then you (the student) may request unsubsidized loan money in your name. You, the student, must request this unsubsidized loan through the Financial Aid Office. It will not be awarded automatically due to the PLUS Loan denial.


Q:My parents don’t want to take out a PLUS loan and I don’t have enough money to meet my expenses. What can I do?
There are several banks which offer Alternative Loans. These are education loans from private lenders, which may have interest rates different than the Federal Direct Loans. In most cases you could borrow the difference between your estimated expenses and your financial aid. There may be an origination fee.  Please contact us for additional information.


Q: What do I do if I can't get enough help from the federal aid programs?
One option available is an alternative education loan which is a private (non-federal) loan. The terms vary widely as do the eligibility criteria. You (and your co-borrower) should carefully research the options (including variable versus fixed rates) and apply for the alternative loan that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that usually your best option is to pursue Federal Direct Loans. Apply for all of the federal loans for which you are eligible before you consider and compare your private loan options. If you do wish to take out a private educational loan, you need to provide any documentation requested by the lender of the loan and follow the application procedure that is specific to that loan.

It is important to understand that the interest rate on an alternative loan may be higher than that on a Federal Direct Student Loan and that you cannot consolidate an alternative loan with your other student loan when you begin repayment.

In most cases, the Financial Aid Office must certify your alternative loan. Our office certifies that you are enrolled in school and that the loan you requested is within the allowable cost of attendance established by SUNY Institute of Technology. If you elect to take an alternative education loan you may be required to complete the FAFSA and notify the Financial Aid Office that you want to decline federal student loans.

Example 1:
A student with an $11,500 cost of attendance who has received $5,500 in financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, VA benefits, etc.) has $6,000 in remaining eligibility that could be funded through an alternative loan. Our office could certify an alternative loan application for the student's requested amount, not to exceed $6,000.

Example 2:
A student with an $11,500 cost of attendance who has received $11,500 in financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, VA benefits, etc.) has no remaining eligibility. Our office could not certify an alternative loan application for this student.

If you have any questions about your remaining loan eligibility, please contact our office.


Q: If I accept a Federal Direct Student Loan, when do I begin repayment?
Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have a 6-month grace period that starts the  day after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.  You don't have to begin making payments until your grace period ends. Further, an exit interview is required at the time you drop below half-time enrollment.


Q: How can I find out the total amount I've borrowed for college?
You can find out your cumulative loan balances from all colleges by going to National Student Loan Data System Web site (www.nslds.ed.gov) and clicking on Financial Aid Review. (Please note, you will need your Federal PIN to access your information.)


Q: What is the difference between the Federal Perkins and Nursing Loans and the Federal Direct Student Loans?
The basic differences are the Perkins and Nursing loans have:

  • an interest rate fixed at 5%
  • no origination fee so the student receives the full amount borrowed
  • repayment doesn't begin until 9 months after the student drops below half-time

Additional information is available on the internet at http://slsc.albany.edu/



Tuition Assistance Program

Q: How do I apply for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

You may be eligible for an award of funds to use towards tuition at SUNY Poly.  If you are a New York State resident you can apply for the TAP program by filing the FAFSA. If you submit the FAFSA online, there will be a highlighted link on the FAFSA on the Web Confirmation page entitled "Optional Feature - Start your state application." Click on this link and you will be taken to the TAP on the Web application. Complete and submit the application. If you missed this link on the FAFSA or if you submitted a paper FAFSA, you can go to www.tapweb.org/totw to complete the TAP on the Web application.

Your estimated TAP award is certifed by the Bursar's Office after tuition liability is zero (generally around the 6th week of the semester).  Click here to view some of the eligibility requirements or visit www.hesc.ny.gov for more information.  Contact the Financial Aid Office if your TAP was removed and, as a result, you owe for the semester.

What is SUNY Poly's New York State TAP school code?

SUNY Institute of Technology's TAP school code is 4975 for undergraduate students and 5695 for graduate students. 



Work-Study Employment

Q: What is the Federal Work-Study program?
The Federal Work-Study program offers you the opportunity to work approximately 6-7 hours per week. If Work-Study funds are included in your financial aid award, the amount indicated represents maximum possible earnings. It does not guarantee you a job, as jobs are competitive. If awarded Work-Study, you may view available jobs at: Work-Study Positions. Paychecks will be disbursed directly to you in accordance with normal payroll procedures and cannot be used to defer your bill.


Q: My award letter says I have a $1,500 Federal Work-Study award, but it doesn't show up on my semester bill. Why?
Some types of financial aid reflected on your award letter are not transferred to the Bursar's Office. Federal Work-Study aid is an example. These funds must be earned over the course of the year. The figure reflected on the award letter is the maximum potential earnings you are allowed. Work-Study students receive a paycheck every two weeks for the hours worked and reported on a timesheet signed by their supervisors.


Q: Is it true that if I have a Work-Study award I can get a job helping elementary school kids learn reading and math skills?
It certainly is possible. SUNY Poly offers students an opportunity to provide a valuable community service.  Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.




Q: I am a full-time undergraduate student living on campus, what can I expect my bill to be each semester?
You would pay your tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board. A sample bill is at: www.sunypoly.edu/financial_aid/semester_bill


Q: What if I decide to live off campus?
In that case, you would only have to pay the college for your tuition and mandatory fees. A sample bill is at www.sunypoly.edu/financial_aid/semester_bill


Q: I have extraordinary expenses, can they be reflected in my financial aid?
Extraordinary expenses, such as unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance, may be considered in determining your financial aid. You should submit documentation of those expenses to the Financial Aid Office for review.



Estimated Financial Aid

Q: I know my bill showed I had financial aid before. Why isn't it there now?
Usually this means you had some financial aid listed on your bill as "Estimated." While it's great for "holding" your registration when the bill comes due, don't assume it will automatically pay at the beginning of the term. Only if you've followed through completely, including signing Promissory Notes, will that aid be credited against your bill. It pays to be thorough because Estimated Financial Aid won't appear on your bill forever, and once it disappears you run the risk of late fees.



Changes in Enrollment

Q: I want to drop a class. How will it affect my financial aid?
You may have to repay all or part of the aid (loans and/or grants) you received during that semester. Refer to the "Satisfactory Academic Progress" section to see what effect dropping a course would have on your academic eligibility for aid for subsequent semesters. Contact the Financial Aid Office before you decide to drop a class or withdraw completely.

Q:What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from all classes or do not pass any classes during the semester?
If you withdraw from all classes or do not pass any classes, you may be required to repay a portion of your aid in accordance with the college’s refund policy as published in the college catalog.  Contact the Financial Aid Office before you decide to withdraw or stop attending school.



Satisfactory Academic Progress

Q: What are the academic requirements for students receiving financial aid?

To be academically eligible for financial aid, you must:

  • be matriculated (accepted into a degree program)
  • be enrolled for at least:
    - 6 credit hours (undergraduate students) and 5 credit hours (graduate students) for the federal aid programs, including federal student loans. Note: undergraduate students may qualify for Pell at less than half time status.
    - 12 credit hours (6 during the summer) for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP); courses you have previously passed as are now repeating cannot be counted toward the required hours
    - 6 credit hours for Part-Time TAP
    - 3 but less than 12 credit hours the New York State Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) program; and
  • be making satisfactory academic progress


Q: Why do I have to meet these requirements to receive financial aid?
In the early 1980s, students would enroll for classes, collect their financial aid refunds and then stop attending classes. They would then enroll for the next semester, again collect their financial aid and then stop attending classes, in effect making no progress toward earning a degree. To stop this abuse, both the federal and state governments required colleges to establish academic requirements that students must meet in order to continue receiving financial aid.


Q: What aid programs are covered by these requirements?
All financial aid programs are covered by these requirements. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supp. Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work-Study Program
  • Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
  • Federal Nursing Student Loan Program
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program
  • NYS Tuition Assistance Program
  • NYS Aid for Part-Time Study Program
  • NYS Veterans Tuition Awards


Q: What do I have to do to be making satisfactory academic progress for Federal Student Aid?
There are three different criteria that you must meet in order to be academically eligible for the federal financial aid programs.

1. At the close of each spring semester undergraduate students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or greater and graduate students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater. You must also maintain a cumulative grade point average greater than that which would result in academic dismissal (this information is listed in the college catalog); and

2. You must pass at least 66% of all credit hours attempted (grades of “A-D” are considered passing, “I”, “IP”, “F” and “W” are not passing grades). The 66% measurement will be reviewed at the close of each spring semester. For example, if you have attempted 48 credit hours, you must pass at least 32 credit hours in order to remain in good academic standing for federal financial aid.

3. You must meet all degree requirements within a certain number of credit hours attempted. Federal regulations allow you 150% of the credit hours needed to earn your degree. For example, if your degree requires a total of 124 credit hours and you transfer in 64 hours, you need only 60 hours to earn your degree. However, the federal regulations allow you up to 90 credit hours of attempted work (124 - 64 = 60 X 150% = 90) to earn your degree.


Q: Are the requirements for New York State aid programs different than for Federal Student Aid programs?
Yes. While the three categories are the same, the individual criteria differ.  For New York State aid programs:

1. The cumulative grade point average you must maintain varies according to the number of state awards you have received. As a general rule, if you maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average you will meet this requirement.

2. The number of credit hours you must “complete” each semester varies according to the number of state awards you have received. As a general rule, if you complete at least 12 credit hours each semester you will meet this requirement. Please note that while you must “pass” the credit hours for federal financial aid, you only need to “complete” the credit hours for state financial aid. Therefore, in addition to grades “A - D”, grades of “F,” “S,” “U,” “I” and “IP” are also considered “completed.”

3. The total number of credit hours accumulated toward your degree increases with each additional state award. This means the number of hours you transferred in plus the number of hours you have passed at SUNY Poly must be equal to or greater than the number required for your next state award. Please refer to the Financial Aid Information section of the SUNY Poly College Catalog for detailed information about these requirements.

Visit www.hesc.ny.gov for more information.


Q: Can I receive financial aid for a course I'm repeating?
A repeated course will count toward the minimum hours enrolled requirement if your original grade failed to meet the minimum grade required for the course. For example, accounting majors must have a “C” or better in all courses in their major. If the student wanted to retake a required course because he/she received a “D” or an “F,” that course would count toward the minimum credit hours. However, if the student previously received a “C” or better grade, the repeated course would not count.


Q: What happens if I don't meet the federal satisfactory academic progress requirements?
You will be placed on financial aid “suspension” if you do not pass at least 66% of all credit hours attempted toward your degree, or, if you do not have the appropriate minimum cumulative gpa (2.0 gpa for undergraduates and 3.0 gpa for graduates). If you are placed on financial aid suspension, you are not eligible to receive federal aid (including student loans) until the requirements have been met. If you do not complete your degree requirements within the 150% time frame, you will lose your eligibility for federal financial aid for subsequent semesters.


Q: If I am academically dismissed, withdraw from all classes, or do not pass any classes (Incompletes and Inprogress do not count as passing grades), do I lose my eligibility for financial aid?
If you find yourself in one of these situations please check with the Financial Aid Office to see how it will affect your financial aid.


Q: What if I fail to meet the New York State requirements?
The failure to meet any of the state requirements results in the loss of eligibility for state awards for subsequent semesters of enrollment. Please see the question on how to regain your eligibility.


Q: If I am on financial aid "suspension" can I still take out student loans?
No. Student loans are a form of federal financial aid and as such are subject to the same academic eligibility requirements as the other federal aid programs.


Q: There must be some way I can regain my eligibility for financial aid.
There are two ways you can re-establish your eligibility.

1. A student may receive a waiver of the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. If you are an otherwise academically successful student (defined as an undergraduate student maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative gpa and a graduate student maintaining at least a 3.0 gpa and having passed at least 66% of all credit hours attempted) and experienced an extraordinary circumstance of a one-time nature (death in the immediate family, prolonged medical condition which prevented you from attending classes, etc.) which resulted in your not meeting the minimum standards, you may submit a Waiver of the SAP request form to the Financial Aid Office along with supporting documentation. If warranted, a waiver may be granted for federal and/or state aid programs. Students may request only one waiver for federal aid and one for state aid per degree.  Students whose waivers are approved will be placed on Financial Aid probation. Students who fail to meet the terms of their probationary period will be denied aid until they regain their eligibility.

2. You can enroll at SUNY Poly and pay your college costs (tuition, fees, etc.) from your own resources and/or other aid programs for which you remain eligible. Once you meet the appropriate standards, your eligibility would be reinstated for your next semester of enrollment (federal and state aid).


Q: If I have a grade changed from an "I" or "F" to a passing grade would my eligibility be reinstated?
It would depend on whether your revised hours passed and cumulative grade point average met the minimums. It would be your responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office of such a grade change so that we may review your status.


Q: I would like additional information about the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Where would I look?
A detailed description of the SAP requirements is published in the SUNY Poly College Catalog. You may also give us a call or stop by the Financial Aid Office should you wish to discuss these requirements.




Q: Can I get a parking permit if my aid hasn't paid yet?
Yes, as long as your actual financial aid (estimated aid is not considered actual aid) is greater than the charges you owe SUNY Poly. You need to have the Bursar's Office add the Parking Fee to your account and then you can pick up your permit in the University Police Office, Kunsela Hall. You will need your license plate number in order to register your vehicle with University Police.


Q: Can I use my financial aid to buy books?
Yes, as long as your actual financial aid (estimated aid is not considered actual aid) is greater than the charges you owe SUNY Poly, you're registered for at least 6 credit hours, and have not been issued a refund check for the current semester, you can apply for book credit by stopping by the Financial Aid Office.


Q: Are any of the aid funds I receive taxable?
Portions of scholarships, grants, assistantships, work-study, etc. in excess of tuition and fees may be considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. Please contact the IRS if you have any questions.



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