C Average Requirement

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Term Definition
C Average Requirement

Effective with the 1996-97 academic year, Education Law section 661 requires that a student have at least a cumulative C average (2.0 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent) after the student has completed the second academic year of study. In practice, this requirement is interpreted to mean that a student must have a C average or better after the student has accumulated 24 payment points (received 4 semester payments or the equivalent) to be eligible for further awards. In other words, a student seeking a fifth semester award payment must have a C average. 

All State grant and scholarship programs (except STAP) are subject to this requirement.

Transfer Students

Institutions generally accept in transfer only courses in which grades of C or better were earned. Therefore, students with transferable credits who have already received four semester payments are presumed to meet the C average requirement and are eligible for the initial term at the new institution.

To determine the eligibility of transfer students, an institution may elect to include, for financial aid purposes, the grades earned for courses accepted in transfer providing this policy is applied to all financial aid applicants. 

Readmitted Students

A student readmitted to an institution attended previously who has received two or more years of award payments must have a C average or better to receive further State student aid. The student’s cumulative grade point average would be based on prior grades earned at the institution. 

Change of Program

A student who does not meet the C average requirement cannot regain eligibility by changing programs within an institution.

Regaining Eligibility

Students can regain eligibility in one of two ways:

  • Complete additional course work without State support until a C average is achieved; or
  • Be eligible for and be granted a waiver.

The President of the Higher Education Services Corporation may grant a waiver of the C average requirement. This waiver is in addition to the one-time waiver of good academic standing requirements permitted under section 145-2.2(b)(5) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. 

As specified in Education Law, the C average requirement may be waived for undue hardship based on:

  • Death of a relative of the student;
  • Personal injury or illness of the student; or
  • Other extenuating circumstances

Institutions must maintain documentation of the reason(s) a waiver is granted but do not have to report the waiver in the certification process. If warranted, a C average waiver may be granted more than once.

Note: The C average waiver may not be used to regain eligibility for a Part-time TAP award, a program that requires the student to have and maintain a C average. 

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