Good Academic Standing

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Term Definition
Good Academic Standing

Good academic standing for financial aid purposes is defined in section 145-2.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. From 1981 onward, good academic standing consists of two elements, both of which must be met: satisfactory academic progress and program pursuit.

Satisfactory academic progress is an achievement requirement and is defined as accruing/earning a minimum number of credits toward a degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average in each term an award is received. Beginning in 1981, regulations required each institution that participated in State student financial aid programs to submit for Commissioner’s approval a proposed standard of satisfactory academic progress, in almost all cases in chart format. 

However, for first-time recipients in academic year 2006-2007 and thereafter, Education Law specifies the minimum credit accrual and cumulative grade point average requirements for two-year and four-year degree programs. These standards were increased for non-remedial students effective with the 2010-11 academic year and thereafter. For students who received their first award prior to academic year 2006-2007, institutions can choose to continue to follow the standards of progress approved by the Commissioner or can adopt the statutory standards for all students.

The second element of good academic standing is program pursuit. Program pursuit is defined in regulations as completing—getting a grade in--a percentage of the minimum full-time course load in each term an award is received. The percentage, as specified in regulations, begins at 50 percent of the minimum full-time course load in each term of the first year an award is received increases, to 75 percent in each term of the second year an award is received, and to 100 percent in each term of the third year an award is received and thereafter. 

Pursuit is an effort or completion requirement rather than an achievement requirement, so courses in which a student receives either passing or failing grades can be used to satisfy the pursuit requirement. Thus, grades of A through F and any other grade that indicates the student completed the course and all necessary assignments (P, S, U, R) are acceptable to meet the pursuit requirement. W grades or any grade which indicates the student failed to complete the course or assignments cannot be used to satisfy the pursuit requirement. Incomplete (I) grades can be used to meet the pursuit requirement providing college policy requires the grade to be resolved to a passing or failing grade no later than the end of the subsequent term.

While only credit-bearing courses can be used to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements (credit earned toward a degree), students can meet the pursuit requirement by completing remedial and/or credit-bearing courses.

See also...

Failure to Make Progress
Failure to Pursue
TAP Manual, Chapter 3, section 3.01(g)