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Term Definition
Satisfactory Academic Progress

For financial aid purposes, good academic standing consists of two elements: satisfactory academic progress and pursuit of program. Satisfactory progress is a measure of the student’s achievement, of earning credits toward a degree or certificate with a specified grade point average. Pursuit of program is a measure of the student’s effort to complete a program.

In accordance with section 145-2.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, each institution participating in State student financial aid programs must determine whether a student is in good academic standing based on a standard of satisfactory academic progress comprising a minimum number of credits to be accrued (earned) with a minimum cumulative grade point average in each term an award payment is received. The progress standard is most clearly presented in chart format (see below). 

Initially, the regulation provided that each institution establish and submit for the Commissioner’s approval its proposed standard of progress. However, for the 1995-96 academic year and thereafter, new legislation mandated a minimum cumulative C average after a student has received four full-time semester award payments or the equivalent (24 payment points). 

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. The law enacted in 2006 mandated minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving their first State award in academic year 2006-07 year. 

Program:  Baccalaureate Program
Calendar:  Semester 2015-16 and thereafter (ADA Part-time students)

Before Being Certified for This Payment

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits

O

3

9

21

33

45

60

75

90

105

With At Least This Grade Point Average

O

1.5

1.8

1.8

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

 

Program:  Associate Program
Calendar:  Semester 2015-16 and thereafter (ADA Part-time students)

Before Being Certified for This Payment

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits

O

3

9

18

30

42

51

60

With at Least This Grade Point Average

O

1.3

1.5

1.8

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

 

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar:  Trimester 2015-16 and  thereafter (ADA Part-time students) – C average must be met by 6th payment

Before Being Certified for This Payment

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

11th

12th

13th

14th

15th

A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits

O

2

4

9

17

25

33

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

With At Least This Grade Point Average

O

1.1

1.5

1.5

1.8

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

 

Program:  Associate Program
Calendar:  Trimester 2015-16 and  thereafter (ADA Part-time students) – C average must be met by the 7th payment

Before Being Certified for This Payment

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

11th

12th

A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits

O

2

4

9

15

21

30

37

45

50

55

60

With At Least This Grade Point Average

O

1.0

1.3

1.5

1.5

1.8

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress
for the Purpose of Determining Eligibility for State Student Aid

Effective 2010-11 for non-remedial students receiving first NYS award payment in 2010-11 and thereafter. Remedial students and students enrolled in an approved certificate program will use the 2006 SAP charts.

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Semester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 6 15 27 39 51 66 81 96 111
With At Least This Grade Point Average O 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Programs: Associate Program
Calendar: Semester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 6 15 27 39 51
With at Least This Grade Point Average O 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Trimester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students) - C average must be met by 6th payment
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 4 8 14 22 30 38 46 56 66 76 86 96 106 116
With at Least This Grade Point Average O 1.1 1.5 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Associate Program
Calendar: Trimester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students) - C average must be met by 7th payment
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 2 6 14 22 30 38 46 54
With At Least This Grade Point Average 0 1.0 1.3 1.5 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0



Note: The 2011-12 enacted NYS budget mandates the following standards of progress, enacted in 2006-07, shall be used for non-remedial students who first receive State aid in 2007-08 through 2009-10 and for students who meet the definition of "remedial student" in 2010-11 and thereafter. The enacted budget defines remedial for purposes of SAP. 

Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress
for the Purpose of Determining Eligibility for State Student Aid

Effective 2006-07

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Semester 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 3 9 21 33 45 60 75 90 105
With At Least This Grade Point Average O 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Associate Program
Calendar: Semester Calendar 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 3 9 18 30 45
With At Least This Grade Point Average O .5 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Trimester Calendar 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 2 4 9 17 25 33 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110
With At Least This Grade Point Average O 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Associate Program
Calendar: Trimester Calendar 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 2 4 9 15 21 30 37 45
With At Least This Grade Point Average O .5 .5 .75 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0


Students who received their first award prior to the 2006-07 academic year continue to be subject to the standards of satisfactory academic progress approved by the Commissioner of Education. However, institutions may choose to adopt for all students standards mandated in Education Law by requesting State Education Department approval.

 
Second Degree

According to New York State Education Law, an eligible student is entitled to up to four years of Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards: five years at the undergraduate level if the student is enrolled in an approved five-year program. Effective with the 2010-11 academic year and thereafter, New York State law does not provide TAP funding for graduate students.

TAP is available for students with remaining eligibility who enroll for a second degree at the undergraduate level. However, the law limits a student to three years of TAP if enrolled in a certificate program or an associate level degree program.

Semester Hour

A semester hour is defined in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as “a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments. . . . This basic measure shall be adjusted proportionately to translate the value of other academic calendars and formats of study in relation to the credit granted for study during the two semesters that comprise an academic year.”

According to this definition, the typical 3-credit course would require 45 hours in class and 90 hours of supplementary, outside assignments. 

To be full time for financial aid purposes, a student must be enrolled for at least 12 semester hours in a semester of not less than 15 weeks, inclusive of examination periods, or at least eight semester hours in a quarter.

Although not defined in regulation, a quarter credit hour equals two-thirds of a semester hour of credit. Thus, a student attending a school that operates on a quarter calendar and awards quarter credits must enroll in at least 12 quarter credits in a quarter (twelve quarter credits multiplied by two-thirds equals eight semester hours, as required by the regulation).

Simulated Semester

Section 145-2.1(a) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education defines full-time study in terms of enrollment for a minimum number of credits in a specified time period. Thus, full-time study is defined as “enrollment in credit-bearing courses applicable to the students' program of study, for at least 12 semester hours in a semester of not less than 15 weeks, inclusive of examination periods; or eight semester hours in a quarter; or, in programs not organized on a semester or quarter basis, 24 semester hours for an academic year of not more than 12 months or the equivalent, as determined by the commissioner.”

Note: when the regulation refers to “quarter,” such a calendar consists of three terms, used interchangeably with “trimester.” Thus, a two-semester calendar consisting of 12 semester hours in each semester requires the same total semester hours (24) as a calendar consisting of three quarters/trimesters of 8 semester hours in each term.

If a college’s calendar does not conform to one of these calendar types, there is no basis for determining whether the student is full time for financial aid purposes. In such situations, it may be possible to accommodate atypical calendars by creating “simulated semesters.” For example, if a college offers a 12-week spring term followed by a 6-week internship, neither free-standing term satisfies section 145-2.1(a) and neither is, therefore, eligible for aid. However, by linking the two terms to form an 18-week “simulated semester,” the resulting term is eligible for State student aid. Simulated semesters can also be used to accommodate calendars consisting of four terms in the regular academic year. To comply with the regulation, pairs of adjacent terms are linked to form two simulated semesters. 

To adopt a simulated semester calendar arrangement for financial aid purposes, an institution must request approval from the State Education Department and agree to two conditions:

  1. the combined terms that make up the simulated semester must be covered by a single tuition charge; and
  2. to be full time, a student must register/enroll for at least 12 semester hours to be completed in the simulated semester at the beginning of the first component/module of the simulated semester (the student can enroll in any combination to make up the 12 credits: e.g., 6 and 6, 9 and 3, 3 and 9, etc.).


The student cannot be certified full time until the beginning of the second component of the simulated semester, when the student course load is at least 12 credits.

Good academic standing is determined based on the student’s performance in the combined terms that make up the simulated semester. 

This simulated semester model can also be adapted for institutions operating on quarter/trimester calendars, as simulated trimesters.

Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress

For financial aid purposes, good academic standing consists of two elements: satisfactory academic progress and pursuit of program. Satisfactory progress is a measure of the student’s achievement, of earning credits toward a degree or certificate with a specified grade point average. Pursuit of program is a measure of the student’s effort to complete a program.

In accordance with section 145-2.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, each institution participating in State student financial aid programs must determine whether a student is in good academic standing based on a standard of satisfactory academic progress comprising a minimum number of credits to be accrued (earned) with a minimum cumulative grade point average in each term an award payment is received. The progress standard is most clearly presented in chart format (see below). 

Initially, the regulation provided that each institution establish and submit for the Commissioner’s approval its proposed standard of progress. However, for the 1995-96 academic year and thereafter, new legislation mandated a minimum cumulative C average after a student has received four full-time semester award payments or the equivalent (24 payment points). 

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. The law enacted in 2006 mandated minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving their first State award in academic year 2006-07 year. 

Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress
for the Purpose of Determining Eligibility for State Student Aid

Effective 2010-11 for non-remedial students receiving first NYS award payment in 2010-11 and thereafter. Remedial students and students enrolled in an approved certificate program will use the 2006 SAP charts.

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Semester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 6 15 27 39 51 66 81 96 111
With At Least This Grade Point Average O 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Programs: Associate Program
Calendar: Semester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 6 15 27 39 51
With at Least This Grade Point Average O 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Trimester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students) - C average must be met by 6th payment
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 4 8 14 22 30 38 46 56 66 76 86 96 106 116
With at Least This Grade Point Average O 1.1 1.5 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Associate Program
Calendar: Trimester 2010-11 and thereafter (non-remedial students) - C average must be met by 7th payment
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 2 6 14 22 30 38 46 54
With At Least This Grade Point Average 0 1.0 1.3 1.5 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0



Note: The 2011-12 enacted NYS budget mandates the following standards of progress, enacted in 2006-07, shall be used for non-remedial students who first receive State aid in 2007-08 through 2009-10 and for students who meet the definition of "remedial student" in 2010-11 and thereafter. The enacted budget defines remedial for purposes of SAP. 

Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress
for the Purpose of Determining Eligibility for State Student Aid

Effective 2006-07

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Semester 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 3 9 21 33 45 60 75 90 105
With At Least This Grade Point Average O 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Associate Program
Calendar: Semester Calendar 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 3 9 18 30 45
With At Least This Grade Point Average O .5 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Baccalaureate Program
Calendar: Trimester Calendar 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 2 4 9 17 25 33 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110
With At Least This Grade Point Average O 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Program: Associate Program
Calendar: Trimester Calendar 2006-07, 2007-08 through 2009-10 and 2010-11 and thereafter remedial students (if a student's first award was in 2010-11 and thereafter, and he/she does not meet the definition of a remedial student, see charts for non-remedial students)
Before Being Certified for This Payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits O 2 4 9 15 21 30 37 45
With At Least This Grade Point Average O .5 .5 .75 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0


Students who received their first award prior to the 2006-07 academic year continue to be subject to the standards of satisfactory academic progress approved by the Commissioner of Education. However, institutions may choose to adopt for all students standards mandated in Education Law by requesting State Education Department approval.

 
Summer Study

At institutions operating on a traditional academic calendar (two semesters—fall and spring--or three quarters/trimesters—fall, winter, spring), the summer term is an optional term over and above the regular academic year.

Under certain circumstances, a student can receive an award for summer study that is in addition to the regular annual award. Such additional awards for summer study are considered accelerated TAP.

To be eligible for an accelerated summer payment, a student receiving a first award in the 2006-07 academic year and thereafter must satisfy these criteria in addition to the standard TAP eligibility requirements:

  • Be full time in the prior spring term;
  • Earn 24 credits from the same institution in the prior two terms (3 credit equivalents in remedial study in each term are permitted as part of the total 24 credits, or 18 credits plus 6 credit equivalents); this requirement must be met each time an accelerated award is sought;
  • Enroll part-time for at least six but fewer than 12 semester hours applicable to the program of study for a half-time accelerated payment.
  • Enroll full-time for at least 12 credits applicable to the program of study for a full-time accelerated payment.


Accelerated TAP is available for full-time and half-time undergraduate summer study for students attending degree-granting institutions or two-year programs in registered private business schools. 

For TAP purposes, all summer sessions are combined and treated as a single term.

Supplemental Tuition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) was initially established in Education Law in 1981 to provide one additional year of NYS tuition support for undergraduate students who were educationally disadvantaged and unable to meet an institution’s requirements for admission as a regular student. STAP enabled a student to receive a year of tuition assistance, equal to a TAP award, for full-time or part-time enrollment only in remedial study. 

However, subsequent amendment to the Education Law changed the STAP program so that tuition assistance is now available only in the summer immediately preceding the first academic year of study and/or in the subsequent summer following the first year of study.

Section 145-2.1(a)(3) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education defines study for the Supplemental Tuition Assistance Program as follows:

  • For the supplemental tuition assistance program (STAP), an approved program of noncredit-bearing remediation shall mean the student’s entire noncredit course load taken in the summer immediately preceding and/or immediately following the initial year of matriculated study, subject to the following conditions:
    1. such course load shall have been approved as educationally sound by an institutional official familiar with the student’s academic deficiencies; and
    2. such course load shall consist of noncredit remedial work designed to remedy academic deficiencies which, if not addressed, might prevent the student from successfully completing a degree or certificate program at the institution.


Statute precludes students enrolled in the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Education Opportunity Program (EOP), the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge Program (SEEK), or the College Discovery Program (CD) from receiving STAP awards.

STAP awards do not count against a student’s TAP eligibility.