Financial Aid FAQ

Financial Aid FAQ2018-04-09T12:23:42-04:00
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress2017-04-20T11:11:10-04:00

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e).668.32(f) and 668.34)   require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance and that the school certify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree.

This determination of progress is made at the end of each semester (fall, spring and summer) for all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate degree candidates. The review includes a determination as to whether the student has met the cumulative qualitative and quantitative standards set forth in the College’s SAP policy. Specifically included in the review is a measurement of the student’s Pace to ensure that the student will complete the program within the maximum timeframe. Students will be notified in writing of the results of an evaluation that impacts the student’s eligibility for federal and institutional financial assistance.

Qualitative SAP Standards

2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average for undergraduates

3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average for graduates

Quantitative SAP Standards (PACE and Maximum Timeframe)

PACE: Students must have earned at least 67% of their attempted course credits to be considered to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress minimum standards. In other words, a student’s pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits that the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits that the student has attempted.

Maximum Timeframe:  Students are permitted to receive federal student aid up to the maximum timeframe of 150% of the published length of the education program in attempted and transfer credits. Students are not eligible to receive federal financial assistance beyond this point.

Example: Published length of an Associate of Arts in Human Services is 60 credits. Students are permitted to receive federal student aid up to the maximum of 90 credits in pursuant of an Associate Degree.

Transfer credits are counted in both the cumulative number of successfully completed and attempted credits.

Attempted credits include incompletes (I and EI), repeated courses, failures (FNS, FWD and F), or withdrawals (WP).

Repeated courses

Students may not receive financial aid for more than one repetition of a previously passed course. Courses repeated due to an earlier failing grade are eligible for federal student aid if the course is a requirement for the student’s degree program.


Attempted hours are those hours for which students were still officially registered at the conclusion of each semester’s Add/Drop period. Withdrawals made after the close of the Add/Drop period are classified with a grade of “WP”, and are counted as courses attempted and toward the maximum time frame for eligibility. Withdrawals made during the Add/Drop period do not count as attempted hours.

Change in Majors

Students who change their majors will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 150% maximum time of normal program completion.

Reviewing SAP

Students meeting all minimum SAP standards are packaged for the full academic year. Students not meeting all minimum standards are subject to financial aid warning and suspension of financial aid eligibility. Alternatively, students may appeal the decision to regain eligibility.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who drop below the required qualitative and quantitative standards will receive a Financial Aid Warning for one semester.

Maintaining/Regaining Eligibility

Students can regain eligibility for financial assistance after the warning period as soon as they meet the qualitative and quantitative standards for SAP as stated above.

Financial Aid Suspension

A student on financial aid warning who has not met all SAP qualitative and quantitative standards by the end of the next semester of enrollment and who does not have an approved appeal on file with the financial aid office is no longer eligible to receive financial aid assistance.

A student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs for reasons of academic progress can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at MCNY at his/her own expense and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete his degree requirements in a more regular fashion.

Right to Appeal

A student who becomes ineligible for financial aid (after receiving a financial aid warning and suspension) may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Request for Review to the Director of Financial Aid Office including the following information:

  • Explanation of mitigating circumstance such as death of a family member, or a student’s personal illness or injury that resulted in the failure to meet SAP,
  • Explanation of what has changed that will allow student to demonstrate SAP progress at the end of the next evaluation period, and/or
  • An “academic plan of action” completed with an academic advisor.

The appeal along with all required statements and documentation will usually be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid within ten business days of receipt of appeal. The Director of Financial Aid will consider waiving the SAP standards for a student who documents mitigating circumstances that contributed to their academic difficulties.

In some cases, it may be mathematically impossible for a student to repair his or her SAP deficiencies with one term of enrollment. In such cases, a student’s SAP appeal may be approved with an academic plan to restore SAP deficiencies over more than one term. In these cases, the Office of Student Services in consultation with the Director of Financial Aid will develop an academic plan with the student that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet the College’s SAP standards by a specific point in time. The academic plan may require the student to fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who do not meet the qualitative and quantitative standards and have successfully appealed to regain their financial aid eligible are placed on Financial Aid Probation. Students on financial aid probation retain both federal and institutional aid eligibility for one semester or as stated on the academic plan of action.

If the student continues to not meet the minimum SAP standards, s/he is no longer eligible for federal or institutional aid until these standards is met.

New York State TAP Program Pursuit and Academic Progress Eligibility Charts

To be eligible for TAP, you must be a full -time matriculated student. New York State regulations require recipients to maintain satisfactory academic progress and program pursuit. The charts below outline each TAP payment requirements.

New York State Satisfactory Academic Progress Charts


Baccalaureate Program: Students First NYS Award Payment in 2010-11 and After – non-remedial

Before Being Certified for This Payment









A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits









With at Least This Grade Point Average (GPA)










Associate 2 Year Program: Students First NYS Award Payment in 2010-11 and After – Non-remedial

Before Being Certified for This Payment






A Student Must Have Accrued at Least This Many Credits






With at Least This Grade Point Average (GPA)






The table above illustrates the specific requirements needed to receive TAP. It is important to note that the number of credit hours that must be completed and earned depends on the number of TAP payments the student has received, not on the year of enrollment. Visit the NYS HESC website for full information.

Waiver of Academic Standing Requirement

Students who are academically ineligible for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) due to a documentable circumstance may apply for a one-time waiver of the Academic Progress/Programs Pursuit requirements and a one-time waiver of the grade point average requirement. However, multiple waivers for the TAP progress and pursuit requirements are not granted. Valid circumstances include illness, death of a family member, or other situations that may have adversely affected their academic work. Students who would like to be considered for a TAP waiver should contact the Office of the Registrar.

How do I apply for veterans’ benefits?2017-02-13T19:13:18-05:00

To apply for veterans’ benefits, bring a certified copy (or copy #4) of your DD214 form to the office of the registrar with your acceptance letter. MCNY is approved for the training of veterans by the New York State Department of Education.

Veterans may be certified for benefits for one semester at a time and must contact the registrar prior to the start of each new semester to be recertified. Veterans should be aware that any change in student status, such as nonattendance or withdrawal, may affect their benefits and must be reported immediately to the registrar.

The office of student services provides tutoring to veterans and counselors make every effort to assist veterans in making the most of their potential as students. For more information, students should contact: New York State Regional Office of the Veterans Administration, 252 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, 212-620-6514.

What other sources of financial aid should I check out?2017-02-13T17:57:24-05:00

If you or your parents are employed ask your company or labor union if it has a tuition reimbursement program.

Check to see if the church or community organization you or your parents belong to has an educational grant or scholarship program.

If you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or the child of a veteran, you may be eligible for veterans’ educational benefits. Learn about your eligibility for these benefits at the Veterans Administration GI bill website.

Vocational and Educational Services for individuals with Disabilities (VESID) is a NYS government office that provides a variety of educationally related services and some financial assistance for eligible students.

You may be eligible for a Hope or Lifetime Learning education credit, both of which you claim when you file your taxes.

The New York State Department of Education, in conjunction with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), makes a number of academic merit and service awards each year. For more information about more than a dozen NYS sponsored academic award programs, please visit HESC’s Grants, Scholarships and Special Awards page.

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, the World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship was established for the victims and families of victims of the attacks. Visit the WTC Memorial Scholarship Information Page to learn more about this and other scholarship resources available to victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

For those who wish to conduct your own scholarship searches, you may want to try the following free scholarship searches:


Note: The use of any scholarship search that charges a fee is not recommended.

To find out more information on federal student aid and for help in completing the FAFSA, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov.

For general information about federal student financial assistance programs or help in completing the FAFSA, or to obtain federal student aid publications, call 1-800-433-3243.

Additional Resources include:
www.studentloans.gov – For information on student loans.
www.hesc.com – General information on your TAP grant.

If you cannot find the information you are looking for, send us an email at sfs@mcny.edu and we will get back to you within two business days.

I got an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the financial aid office?2017-02-13T17:51:50-05:00

Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from sources outside of MCNY, you must report the scholarship to the Financial Aid Office. We may adjust your financial aid package to compensate. Nevertheless, the outside scholarship will have some beneficial effects. For instance, outside scholarships may be used to replace loans.

Can I get Pell for repeating a course?2017-02-13T17:51:24-05:00

Sometimes if a higher minimum grade in a major course is required, you can receive federal aid again for that course. You should remember that repeating a course may limit your ability to meet the Satisfactory Academic Performance requirements for receipt of federal student aid.

What is a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)?2017-02-13T17:51:01-05:00

FSEOGs are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need, i.e., those with the lowest expected family contribution (EFC) numbers. Federal Pell Grant recipients receive priority for FSEOG awards.

How do I apply for a Pell Grant and other types of need-based aid?2017-02-13T17:50:27-05:00

You should file a FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and indicate your interest in student employment and student loans by checking the appropriate boxes on the FAFSA. Checking these boxes does not commit you to accepting these types of aid. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline each part of your aid package later. Leaving these boxes unchecked will not increase the amount of grants you receive.

What is a federal Pell Grant?2017-02-13T17:49:56-05:00

Pell Grants are the foundation of federal student aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. Pell Grants are for undergraduate students.

How much aid can I get?2017-02-13T17:49:35-05:00

Aid from most programs is awarded based on financial need (except for unsubsidized and PLUS loans).
An expected family contribution (EFC) number is used to determine need. The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated from the information you report on the FAFSA.

To be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, your EFC must be below a certain number, which can vary from year to year. The EFC (expected family contribution) formula must be applied to each family’s financial information, so we can’t tell you here whether you’ll be eligible for federal student aid or estimate how much aid you might get.
You will need to apply to find out exactly how much you will be eligible for. If you want to see exactly how the EFC formula works, you can get detailed worksheets from the website www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs. Click on the year under The EFC Formula.

Who gets financial aid?2017-02-13T17:48:47-05:00

The financial aid administrator at your college can help determine what you’re eligible for. There are, however, some basic guidelines for all applicants. They must:

  • Demonstrate financial need; this means that your cost of education is greater than your family contribution.
  • Be working toward a degree.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, be a New York state resident for NY state aid (TAP).
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service (if required).
  • Maintain academic progress once in college.
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate.
  • Not be convicted of selling or possessing illegal drugs while receiving aid.
  • Not be in default of federal student loans or state student loans for NY state financial aid (TAP).
Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid at a particular university?2017-02-13T17:48:07-05:00

No. You can apply for financial aid any time after January 1. To actually receive funds, however, you must be admitted and enrolled at the college.

I probably don’t qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?2017-02-13T17:47:33-05:00

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don’t qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Direct and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. There is no good excuse for not applying.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?2017-02-13T17:47:07-05:00

Yes. You must apply for financial aid every year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. Note that your eligibility for financial aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credits and achieving a minimum GPA.

How soon after January 1 should the FAFSA form be sent in? Is it better to wait until the income tax forms have been completed?2017-02-13T17:43:25-05:00

Send in the form as soon as possible after January 1. Do not wait until your taxes are done. Although it is better to do your taxes early, it is ok to use estimates of your income, so long as they aren’t very far off from the actual values. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later. If you wait too long, you might miss the deadline for scholarships and/or campus based aid such as work-study.

Why can’t I submit my financial aid application before January 1?2017-02-13T17:42:39-05:00

The need analysis process for financial aid uses the family’s income and tax information from the most recent tax year to judge your eligibility for need-based financial aid during the upcoming academic year. Since the base year ends December 31, you cannot submit a financial aid application until January 1.

When should I apply?2017-02-13T17:42:15-05:00

You can apply for financial aid even before you’ve been accepted to a college or soon after you file your taxes. Most applicants follow this guideline:

For summer and fall, we recommend that you apply immediately after January 1, but not before this date. Any application that is received before January 1 for the fall semester of the following year will not be processed and you’ll have to reapply.

For spring, we recommend that you apply before November so that your financial aid application is processed before you begin classes.

I missed the link to TAP on the website when I completed my FAFSA online. Can I get it done any other way?2017-02-13T17:41:48-05:00

Yes. You could wait until you receive either an email or a postcard with the Web address of TAP on the Web or you can visit www.tapweb.org. You can then set up a PIN number, which will allow you to access the TAP on the website and you can complete your TAP application and have it submitted to HESC.

You can also call 1-800-433-3243 for help with filling out your FAFSA.
You can also call 1-888-697-4372 for help with filling out your TAP.

I don’t think I’ll be eligible for a TAP grant. Why should I bother to complete the application?2017-02-13T17:40:55-05:00

You’ll never know if you are eligible for TAP until you apply. By applying, New York State will determine whether you are eligible for a TAP grant. The application is free and you just might qualify. Many students who are not eligible for Pell Grants still qualify for TAP.

How do I apply for TAP?2017-02-13T17:40:28-05:00

The TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) application is for New York State residents to apply for NY State financial aid. Once you complete your FAFSA online, you will get to the Confirmation Page. Click on the link to apply for New York State-based financial aid and you will be directed to the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) website in order to fill out your TAP application. If you miss the link, you will get an email within a week from HESC with information on how to complete your TAP application. If you do not supply an email address on your FAFSA, you will be notified by a postcard on how to complete your TAP application.

How do I apply for financial aid?2017-02-13T17:37:44-05:00

You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically from your computer or with a paper application. The FAFSA is the application form required for all federal and state aid.
The FAFSA form can be found on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you don’t have a computer, you can use one at your library or Student Financial Service’s computer lab. This is an interactive Web page. You’ll be able to fill out the application online and submit it over the Internet. Be assured that your answers will be kept confidential.

What is student financial aid?2017-02-13T17:34:23-05:00

Financial aid covers school expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. The various categories of student financial aid are grants, work-study, loans and scholarships.