Regulations of the Commissioner of Education enacted in 1981 adopted specific criteria for determining good academic standing. As specified in section 145-2.2, each institution seeking to participate in State student financial aid programs is required to establish and apply “a standard of satisfactory academic progress which includes required levels of achievement to be measured at stated intervals. Criteria for achievement shall include, but need not be limited to: (i) the minimum number of credits earned, or courses successfully completed at each interval; and (ii) the minimum cumulative grade point average or similar measure at each interval.”
Prior to implementing the standard(s) of progress, as well as any subsequent changes, each institution is required to obtain the approval of the Commissioner of Education.
These requirements for good academic standing as defined by the Commissioner continue in effect for students who receive their first State award during the 1981-82 academic year through academic year 2005-2006.
For first-time recipients in academic year 2006-2007 and thereafter, the New York State Legislature amended the Education Law to specify the satisfactory academic progress standards to be used by all institutions. Thus, the required minimum standards for determining award eligibility are now mandated by law for all students who are first time, full-time students in 2006-2007 and thereafter.
The New York State Legislature mandated additional changes to the minimum standards in 2011. Effective for the 2010-11 academic year and thereafter, New York State Education Law requires a non-remedial student, whose first award year is in 2010--11 and thereafter, must meet new standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Non-remedial students whose first year is 2007-08 through 2009-10 must meet the SAP requirements enacted in 2006. Those meeting the definition of "remedial student" are not subject to the new SAP standards, but will use the requirements established in 2006.
Students who received their first State award prior to that date continue to be bound by the standards approved by the Commissioner for their institutions. An institution can choose to adopt the standards mandated in Education Law for all students in lieu of maintaining and applying two sets of standards. In that case, the institution needs to make a request to the State Education Department seeking Commissioner's approval of revised standards, i.e., the standards established in Education Law.