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Term Definition
Readmitted Student

A readmitted student is a student who is returning to an institution previously attended.

Students who are dismissed and have failed to maintain good academic standing for financial aid purposes may regain eligibility for State student aid upon readmission under the following conditions: the student is returning to college after an absence of at least one calendar year; has not received State financial assistance at another institution; and meets the institution’s academic requirements for readmission. Note: if the student was dismissed for academic reasons but nevertheless met the TAP good academic standing requirements for a subsequent payment, the student is eligible on readmission.

In readmitting a student who has been dismissed for academic reasons, the institution should maintain a record that shows that due consideration has been given to the reasons for the student’s prior loss of good academic standing. Additionally, the institution should determine that the student can benefit from study at the institution and that the institution will provide the instructional and other support the student needs to remedy academic deficiencies and complete the program. 

Students who have lost good academic standing, are absent from school for at least one calendar year, and are then readmitted by the institution may be placed on the chart of satisfactory academic progress based either on the number of credits earned or number of award payments received, whichever is more beneficial to the student. The student is eligible for an award for the first term upon readmission but must then meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements to be eligible for subsequent awards.

A student readmitted to an institution that they 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.

While “beneficial placement” affects a student’s position on the chart of satisfactory academic progress, the student’s pursuit requirement is based on the total number of award payments the student had received, before and after readmission.

Regaining Eligibility

A student who fails to maintain good academic standing for financial aid purposes—for failure to make satisfactory academic progress or failure to pursue or both—loses eligibility for a subsequent award.

Section 145-2.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education specifies that “Following a determination that the recipient of an award has lost good academic standing, further payments under the award shall be suspended until the student is restored to good academic standing by either:

    (i) pursuing the program of study in which he is enrolled and making satisfactory progress toward the completion of his program’s academic requirements for a period of one term; or
    (ii) establishing in some other way, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, evidence of his ability to successfully complete an approved program.”

In practice, there are four ways by which a student who has lost good academic standing can regain eligibility:

    (1) make up deficiencies without benefit of State student aid (as specified in subparagraph (i) above). For example, if a student was at the 75 percent pursuit level but received a grade in only six semester hours rather than the nine hours needed, the student can take and complete at least a three-credit course and make up the deficiency to regain eligibility;
    (2) apply for and be granted a waiver in accordance with the institution’s established waiver policy;
    (3) be readmitted to the institution after an absence of at least one calendar year (and without receiving State student aid at another institution) by meeting the institution’s academic requirements for readmission. (Note: if a student has met the TAP standard of satisfactory academic progress but is academically dismissed based on an institution’s academic standard that is higher than the TAP minimum, the student is eligible for State student aid immediately upon return, regardless of the length of the student’s absence from the institution.);
    (4) transfer to another institution where the student must meet the new institution’s admission requirements.

A student cannot regain eligibility by changing programs within an institution. Such students can regain eligibility only by being granted a waiver, by making up deficiencies at their own expense, or by being readmitted to the institution after an absence of at least one calendar year.



Registered Program

To be eligible for State student financial aid, Education Law specifies that a student must be matriculated in an approved program. An approved program is one that the State Education Department has reviewed, found to be in compliance with the standards for program registration set forth in theRegulations of the Commissioner of Education

Section 145-2.3(b) of the Regulations lists the types of programs that are approved for general and academic performance awards: collegiate level degree programs and certificate and diploma programs creditable toward a degree; noncollegiate hospital programs of professional nursing; and noncollegiate, two-year programs of at least 1440 instructional hours’ duration offered by registered private business schools.

The Department maintains an Inventory of Registered Programs, available on the Department’s web site, which lists every approved program by institution. The Inventory is also searchable by subject matter category and by level of program (below the baccalaureate and baccalaureate and higher).

When certifying students for State financial aid, institutions should assure that the record of their approved programs in the State Education Department’s Inventory is consistent with the programs offered and described in the catalog. Any discrepancies should be resolved with the Department to preclude any possible issues upon audit.

Religious Study

Regulations of the Commissioner of Education implements the statute by specifying that “General and academic performance awards shall not be provided for study in programs that, in the determination of the commissioner, provide professional training in theology or religious education. . .”

The regulation also stipulates that financial aid shall not be provided for programs leading to the following theological degrees:

Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.)
Bachelor of Religious Education (B.R.E.)
Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.)
Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.)
Master of Arts in Religious Education (M.A. in R.E.)
Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.)
Master of Theology (Th.M.)
Master of Arts in Theology (M.A. in Th.)
Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Doctor of Religious Education (D.R.E.)
Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)

These are degrees for students seeking professional training for the purpose of being ordained as a member of the clergy.

Students who study religion in the liberal arts context in programs that lead to liberal arts degrees such as the Bachelor of Arts are eligible for State financial aid.

Remedial Definition for SAP

Effective with the 2010-11 academic year, Education law requires a student who's first award year is in 2010 -11 and thereafter to meet new standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Those meeting the definition of “remedial student” will not be subject to the new academic standards, but will remain on the 2006 SAP chart. For purposes of determining whether students shall be considered remedial, the following definition has been enacted:,/p>

“Remedial student” is defined as a student:
(a) whose scores on a recognized college placement exam or nationally recognized standardized exam indicated the need for remediation for at least two semesters, as certified by the college and approved by the State Education Department (SED); or
(b) who was enrolled in at least six semester hours of non-credit remedial courses, as approved by SED, in the first term they received a TAP award; or 
(c) who is or was enrolled in an opportunity program (HEOP, EOP, SEEK CD).

Remedial Study

Students can receive state student financial assistance while enrolled in remedial courses.

For TAP and other general awards, the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education permit a full-time student enrolling for up to 12 semester hours to carry at least six credit equivalent hours of remedial courses as part of the minimum full-time course load, except that in the first semester of college level study, a student need carry only three degree credits.

A part-time student who enrolls for a minimum course load of at least six semester hours can include three credit equivalent hours of remedial study. However, for certain award programs that require a minimum of only three credits, a student who enrolls for the minimum would not be able to enroll in a remedial course. 

  • Remedial courses do not carry credit, since credit is defined in the regulations as a "unit of academic award applicable towards a degree at the institution."
  • Remedial noncredit courses can be used to determine full-time status, but only credit-bearing courses need to be applicable to the student's program as a general education requirement, major requirement or elective. Since remedial courses do not carry credit, they are not applicable to the student's program requirements nor are they included in a student's grade point average.
  • Remedial courses can be used to meet the pursuit requirement, because pursuit is a measure of effort. Thus passing or failing grades, in credit-bearing or noncredit remedial courses, can all be used to meet this requirement. Effort means the student has enrolled in a full-time (or part-time) course load and has completed--received a grade in--a specified percentage of that course load.
  • Remedial courses cannot be used to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements since SAP is a measure of achievement, of credits earned toward a degree with a minimum grade point average. 
Repeated Course

A student can repeat a course and have the course count as part of the minimum full-time or part-time course load for financial aid purposes when the student did not previously earn credit for the course.

A student who receives an F or a W in a course does not earn credit; therefore, courses in which F or W grades have been earned can be repeated and count towards full-time or part-time study requirements.

There are certain other circumstances in which a student can repeat a course and have it count as part of the minimum course load:

  1. the grade earned is passing at the institution but not considered passing in a particular curriculum. For example, a student receives a D in a nursing course; D is a passing grade; however, any grade lower than a C in a nursing course is considered a failing grade. Thus, the nursing course in which the student earned the D can be repeated as part of the minimum full-time or part-time course load.
  2. the course can be repeated and credit earned each time, such as physical education courses or certain language courses.

A student who earned a passing grade in a course but wishes to repeat the course in the hopes of improving the grade and overall grade point average cannot count the repeated course as part of the minimum course load.

In addition to the effect on full-time and part-time status, a repeated course in which a passing grade was previously earned cannot be used to meet the pursuit of program requirement (completing a certain percentage of the minimum full-time or part-time course load in each term an award is received) to maintain good academic standing. In other words, a course that an institution does not require a student to repeat in order for the student to earn credit toward a degree cannot be considered in determining whether the student has satisfied the pursuit requirement for a State award.

Repositioning (Beneficial Placement)

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.


New York State Residency

Education Law (Section 661-5) requires a student to be a legal resident of the state of New York in order to be eligible for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and most other state scholarships and other awards. A New York court decision defined “residence” as the equivalent of “domicile” as it is used in the statute.

"Proper construction of the term "resident" depends on the particular subject matter in which it is used, and where this section proscribes "residence" as qualification for privilege or enjoyment of benefit, word is equivalent to 'domicile'." 

Guidelines and Principles

  1. Attendance at an educational institution, albeit a continuous and long-term experience, is interpreted as temporary residence; therefore, a student neither gains nor loses residence status solely by such attendance.
  2. Students attending a New York college or university may perform many objective acts, some of which are required by law (i.e. payment of taxes), and all of which are customarily done by some nonresidents who do not intend to remain in New York after graduation, but are situationally necessary and/or convenient (i.e. registering to vote, obtaining a driver’s license). Such acts and/or declarations alone are not sufficient evidence of the establishment of legal and permanent residence or domicile.
  3. A nonresident student attending a New York college or university on more than a half-time basis is presumed to be in the state primarily for educational purposes.
  4. An individual is not deemed to have acquired status as a resident of New York until he or she has been in the state for at least a year primarily as a permanent resident (except as noted in E.) and not merely as a student.
  5. Unless residency has been established in another state, a student who resided in New York at the time of graduation from an New York high school and has resided in the state with a parent or legal guardian for the two semester prior to graduation from high school will be eligible for grants and scholarships or financial aid provided by the state.
  6. All married persons shall be treated as equal under this policy. Each spouse in a family shall establish his or her own residence status on a separate basis. Exception: when a nonresident marries an already established resident of New York, the nonresident may be considered a resident after documentation of the marriage and proof of domicile(12 months in NY) are satisfied.
  7. The burden of proof of establishing New York residence or domicile, including providing any supporting documentation, shall be upon the applicant. Each case will be judged by HESC, based upon a review of documentation and consistent with legal definitions. No definitive set of criteria can be established as sufficient to guarantee classification as a resident of New York.
  8. Initial classification as a nonresident student shall not prejudice the right of a person to be reclassified thereafter for following semesters or terms of enrollment as an New York resident provided that he or she can establish proof of residence in accordance with criteria and procedures as set forth in this policy.

Independent Students
If a person who is independent of parental domicile can provide adequate and satisfactory proof having established domicile in New York, unrelated to college attendance, that person may be granted resident status for financial aid purposes at the next enrollment occurring after expiration of 12 months following the establishment of domicile in New York.

Dependent Students
The legal residence of a dependent person is that of the student’s parents, or the legal residence of the parent who has legal custody or the parent with whom the student habitually resides. If the student is under the care of those other than the parents, the legal residence is that of the student’s court sanctioned legal guardian.

Eligible Non-Citizens
An individual who is not a U.S. national may become eligible for classification as an New York resident provided that the individual holds lawful permanent residence status as defined by U.S. Department of Education Title IV, evidenced by whatever documents may be required under applicable federal law, who has resided in New York for at least 12 consecutive months, and who meets other applicable criteria for establishment of domicile as set forth in this policy.

Retroactive Matriculation

To be eligible for State student financial aid, a student must be matriculated in an approved program. Section 145-2.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education describes the criteria for a student to be considered in matriculated status. 

In certain limited circumstances, a student can be matriculated retroactively and be eligible for financial aid as provided by paragraph (d) of section 145-2.4, as follows:

  • Retroactive matriculation by the school shall not establish retroactive eligibility for student aid unless such retroactive action was necessary to correct clerical error or administrative delay in reviewing the application of a student who was in fact eligible for matriculation as of the retroactive date.

The onus is on the institution to demonstrate that the student was eligible and that the delay in establishing the student’s matriculated status was due to clerical error or delays in reviewing the student’s application. 

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