Financial Aid

Good Academic Standing For New York State Financial Aid Programs


Students who wish to receive funding from the New York State financial aid programs must maintain good academic standing.
  • Good academic standing consists of Pursuit of Program (POP), which the New York State Education Department defines as receiving a passing or failing grade in a certain percentage of a full-time courseload. Passing grades are grades of D- or better. A failing grade is an "F." Grades of "W," "I," and "WI" are not passing or failing grades. The percentage increases for each year of attendance. See the TAP Eligibility Charts for details.
  • The second element of good academic standing is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP is the number of credits the student earned toward their certificate or degree at the end of each semester, and the cumulative grade point average. Transitional studies courses that students may be required to take do not count toward SAP requirements. See the TAP Eligibility Charts for details. There are 2 TAP charts, one for remedial and one for non-remedial students.

Students will be evaluated for POP and SAP at the end of each semester. Students who fail to meet either POP or SAP standards will lose eligibility for New York state financial aid programs at MCC for the next calendar year. Students who have received the equivalent of six full-time New York State TAP awards will no longer be eligible for TAP at a community college. Program changes will not assist students in regaining eligibility for SAP and GPA requirements in the first semester of the new program.

C Average Requirement

Students who, in prior terms, have received the equivalent of two or more full years of state funded student financial aid payments (have accumulated 24 or more payment points in prior terms) must have a cumulative "C" (2.0) GPA to be eligible for continued state financial aid. Students subject to the "C" average requirement must meet this in addition to POP and SAP requirements. State financial aid programs subject to this requirement include all general and academic performance awards.

Non-Credit Transitional Studies Courses: Students who are required to take non-credit transitional studies courses must be aware of the following:

  • Non-credit transitional studies courses do not count toward completion of SAP requirements.
  • To meet the full-time or part-time requirements for each semester's attendance, students in non-credit transitional studies courses must include in their registration a minimum of 3 credit bearing hours the first semester and a minimum of 6 credit bearing hours in each following semesters. The total number of semester hours (non-credit and credit) must be at least 12 or more for TAP, and 3 to 11 semester hours for Aid for Part-Time Study.

Full-Time Enrollment

The NYS Education Department defines full-time status for TAP certification as a student who is enrolled and attending at least 12 credits that lead toward their degree or certificate (with the remedial combination noted above) in a semester that is at least 15 weeks in length.

Repeat Courses

When a student has earned a passing grade (D- or better) in a course, it generally cannot be included in the calculation of full or part-time status if the student takes the course again. For State financial aid purposes, courses cannot be repeated to raise the GPA or to get a better grasp of the subject matter. Four exceptions to this ruling are:

1. When a grade received is passing but is not acceptable in the degree or certificate program in which the student is matriculated. For example, the student's program requires that the student get a C or better in ABC100 to be graduated, but the student earns a D in ABC100. The student could repeat ABC100 to earn a better grade. The program description in this Catalog & Student Handbook (Programs of Study) must stipulate this for the repeated course to be eligible for financial aid.

2. When a grade received is passing but is not acceptable for the student to move on to the next course in the sequence. For example, ABC101 requires that a student get a C or better in ABC100 in order to take ABC101. The student gets a C- in ABC100 and, therefore, would not be able to take ABC101. Therefore, the student can repeat ABC100 to earn a better grade. The course description in this Catalog & Student Handbook (Course Descriptions) must stipulate this for the repeated course to be eligible for financial aid.

3. When a student must take and pass a course and an associated course concurrently and a passing grade is received in only one of the courses. For example, ABC200 requires that the student concurrently take ABC201. The student earns an A in ABC200 but an F in ABC201. The student must repeat both courses and pass both courses concurrently to receive credit toward the degree or certificate. The student can repeat both courses in order to receive credit toward the degree or certificate. The course descriptions in this Catalog & Student Handbook must stipulate this for the repeated courses to be eligible for financial aid.

4. When a course may be repeated and credit earned toward the degree or certificate each time it is taken. For example, as with physical education courses.

Reinstatement of Eligibility for New York State Programs

Students who fail to achieve good academic standing for state programs have several options for reinstatement of eligibility.

  • First, the student may attempt to make up their academic deficiencies by taking courses without the benefit of New York State aid. If successful, the student could have their aid reinstated for a future semester.
  • Second, the student can sit out from school for at least one calendar year. Upon returning to school, the student could be eligible in their first term for state financial aid. However, if the student has already utilized the equivalent of four TAP payments, 24 paypoints and has less than a 2.0 GPA, sitting out one year will not reinstate eligibility.
  • Third, the student can request a one time Waiver of Good Academic Standing for Pop and/or SAP.

Waiver of Good Academic Standing for POP and/or SAP

Students who fail to achieve good academic standing during a semester may apply for a waiver of good academic standing for the next semester. For New York State programs, students may be granted only one waiver as an undergraduate student. Waiver applications and information are available in the Financial Aid Office. Waivers will be considered only for extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances include the death of a parent, child or spouse; injury or severe illness of the student, student's spouse, parents or children; or other special circumstances. The student will have to provide proof of the circumstance and document that the situation is either under control or will not occur again.

Waiver of C Average Requirement for New York State Programs: Students who fail to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better at the end of a semester (beginning 24th paypoint) may apply for a waiver for the next semester. Waivers will be considered as noted in the above section. Program changes will not assist students in making the C average requirement for the first semester in a new program.