Beneficial placement is a policy that applies when a recipient of State student aid in good standing transfers to another institution or, within the same institution, changes academic programs.
Beneficial placement applies only with respect to satisfactory academic progress and means that a student can be re-positioned on the progress chart based either on the number of credits accrued (earned) or aid payments received, whichever is more beneficial to the student.
For example, when a student has received 4 semester TAP payments but has earned only six credits that are transferable to the student’s program of study at a new institution, the student would be placed on the chart of satisfactory academic progress based on credits accrued rather than payments received. In this situation, it is to the student’s benefit to be placed at a point on the progress chart that requires the student to earn fewer credits than would be the case if the student were placed at the credit accrual point for a fifth payment.
Similarly, in another example, a NYS student transferring from an out-of-state institution who had never received TAP but has 30 transferable credits would be placed beneficially at the first payment point on the satisfactory academic progress chart. This student would, in effect, have 30 credits “in the bank” and not have to worry about meeting the credit accrual requirements for several terms.
In the case of a student transferring/changing programs within an institution, the same beneficial policy would apply, providing the student is in good academic standing at the time of the change of program. A student who has failed to maintain good academic standing cannot regain eligibility by changing programs in the same institution.
Beneficial placement does not have a bearing on the pursuit of program requirement. For example, if a student has received four or more State award payments, the student is at the 100 percent pursuit level and must complete/get a grade in the minimum full-time or part-time course load to satisfy this requirement.
Although the student’s total entitlement of four years of undergraduate TAP is not affected by beneficial placement, this policy does permit a student in situations similar to the examples above time to adjust to a new institution or new program by having to meet credit accrual requirements at a more gradual rate than might otherwise be the case.