Loading

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Standard of Satisfactory Progress for Determining Eligibility for Financial Aid for Hobart and William Smith Colleges Baccalaureate Degree Programs

In compliance with federal and New York State regulations and HWS policies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have established satisfactory progress standards for financial aid. Students must meet these standards to be eligible to receive HWS, federal or state financial aid payments. These guidelines have been updated to meet federal regulations effective July 1, 2011. Please note this is separate from academic progress as monitored by your Dean's Office.

I. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements for Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Federal Financial Aid Programs

To be eligible to receive financial assistance under any institutional or federal grant, loan, or work program, students must demonstrate minimum qualitative and quantitative academic measurement standards. The qualitative and quantitative standards used to measure SAP are cumulative and encompass all enrollment periods, including periods of enrollment during which the student did not receive federal aid. Evaluations are conducted at the end of every semester.

A. Qualitative Measurement

The qualitative measurement standard is expressed as a minimum cumulative grade point average (CUM/GPA). The minimum requirement for Hobart and William Smith students to remain eligible for federal financial aid is a CUM/GPA of 2.0 ('C' average) after 2 years of enrollment.

B. Quantitative Measurement

The quantitative measurement standard has two considerations: a maximum time frame in which the student is expected to finish a degree program; and a comparison of the number of courses the student attempted with the number of courses the student successfully completed to determine whether the student is progressing at a rate which will allow the student to finish the program within the maximum time frame. This is referred to as the minimum completion ratio.

Maximum Time Frame: The maximum time frame in which a student is expected to finish a baccalaureate degree program is defined as 150% of the published length of the program measured in attempted courses. For example, according to the HWS catalogue, the Colleges require 32 courses to complete a degree. Therefore, the maximum time frame for which a student may be eligible for aid is the period during which the student attempts 48 courses (32x1.5= 48).

Minimum Completion Ratio: The percentage of attempted courses a student must successfully complete to demonstrate SAP is the minimum completion ratio. For the baccalaureate degree program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, this percentage is 67%. The minimum completion ratio is determined by dividing the program courses required for graduation by the maximum time frame courses.

The application of the completion ratio is cumulative. Therefore, a student must successfully complete 67% of all courses attempted to demonstrate SAP for financial aid. For example, if a student attempted 16 courses during the first four semesters of enrollment, this student would need to successfully complete a minimum of 10 courses to satisfy the SAP minimum completion ratio requirement (16 X .67 = 10.7). The following chart demonstrates completion requirements:

Semester Enrolled 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Courses Successfully Completed 2 5 8 10 13 16 18 21 24 27 29 32

Grades of Incomplete: Grades of incomplete are only acceptable if changed to a standard passing or failing grade before completion of the next semester of study.

Grades of W (withdrawal): Grades of W do not constitute grades which indicate that the student passed, failed, or completed all work in a course and cannot be counted toward meeting either qualitative or quantitative standards of the federal policies however they are included as courses attempted.

Repeated Courses: Repeated courses are allowed only for those with a grade of D or lower, must be required for your degree and must be approved by your Dean. Approved repeats will replace the previous grade with a recalculated GPA. For additional information on the Hobart and William Smith repeated course requirements, see the HWS Catalogue.

C. Evaluation Periods and Frequency of Measurement

The review of a student's SAP is done each semester after grades are posted by the Registrar. All students are reviewed regardless of the student's enrollment status or number of semesters attended during the academic year.

D. Cumulative Grade Point Average (CUM/GPA)

The CUM/GPA is the CUM/GPA as determined and recorded by the Colleges' Registrar on the student's official HWS academic record. Grades earned at other institutions for transfer credits are not taken into consideration when determining a student's HWS CUM/GPA or for SAP CUM/GPA requirements.

E. Attempted Courses

For purposes of SAP, a course is considered attempted unless the student's academic record indicates it is non-credit bearing. Courses transferred into Hobart and William Smith Colleges are also considered attempted courses.

F. Earned Courses

A course is considered successfully completed and earned if the student's academic record reflects a CR, or an A through D grade for that course. Transfer courses are also included as earned courses.

G. Transfer Courses

Courses transferred into Hobart and William Smith Colleges are considered as both attempted courses and earned courses for the SAP quantitative measurement standards, maximum time frame, and minimum completion ratio.

H. Failure to Demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who do not meet the standards listed above will be placed on a Financial Aid Warning Status for one semester. Students in a warning status will be notified in writing by the Office of Financial Aid and will be allowed to receive HWS and federal aid for that semester. If the student fails to be in compliance the following semester he or she will lose eligibility for all HWS and federal aid. Students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress may appeal for a waiver based on extenuating circumstances and if approved, will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for the following semester.

Waivers

SAP requirements for HWS, federal and state aid may be waived for undue hardship based on:

  1. the death of a relative, loved one or student;
  2. the personal injury or illness of the student;
  3. other extenuating circumstances.

Process for Obtaining a Waiver: The written notification sent to students who do not meet the minimum requirements for SAP outlines the process for obtaining a waiver. The student must complete the SAP Waiver Request Form and return to the appropriate Dean's office within 2 weeks of receiving notification. Students on Leave of Absence or Withdrawn who plan to return for the fall semester must submit the request for waiver by March 1 or November 1 for the spring semester. The waiver request must include 1) letter from the student explaining the extenuating circumstances for failing to meet SAP, 2) supporting documentation i.e. doctor's statement, and 3) an academic plan approved by the Dean/academic advisor that will bring student back into SAP compliance. The Dean will make a recommendation to the Office of Financial Aid to approve or deny the request for a waiver and the Office of Financial Aid will notify the student in writing within 10 business days of receipt of the recommendation whether or not a waiver is granted. Note: A waiver will be granted only when there is a reasonable expectation that the student will meet future satisfactory academic progress requirements and a waiver for financial aid SAP is different than an appeal to be readmitted to HWS. See the HWS catalogue for additional information on the process for readmission.

Appeals: A student can submit a letter of appeal within five business days to the Office of Financial Aid after being denied a waiver. The Office of Financial Aid will review the appeal in conjunction with the appropriate Dean and will promptly notify the student of the decision.

I. REINSTATEMENT OF AID ELIGIBILITY

If a student fails to meet the standards of SAP for HWS or federal awards, he/she is not allowed to receive further financial aid unless a waiver is granted or until the student is again meeting minimum standards. For federal awards, if minimum standards are met during the academic year, some aid may be reinstated for the remainder of the year. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for details at finaid@hws.edu.

II. NEW YORK STATE PROGRESS STANDARDS

New York State has established progress standards for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and other State aid programs. For New York State, the student is subject to three progress standards: program pursuit, satisfactory academic progress, and a 'C' average requirement.

A. PROGRAM PURSUIT

Program pursuit is defined as receiving a passing or failing grade in a certain percentage of a full-time course load, in each semester for which a State aid award is received in order to be eligible for the next semester's payment. The percentage increases from 50% of the minimum full-time course load (3 courses) in each semester of study in the first year for which an award is received, to 75% of the minimum full-time course load in each semester of study in the second year for which an award is received, to 100% of the minimum full-time course load in each semester thereafter. The following chart illustrates the program pursuit requirements for New York State aid. The chart defines the number of courses a student must complete during the semester for which a State aid payment was received according to the student's cumulative number of State aid payments received.

Number of State Aid Payments Received: Minimum Courses:
1 2
2 2
3 2
4 2
5 and above 3

For program pursuit, a course is considered completed if the student received an A through F or CR grade.

Grades of I (Incomplete): Grades of incomplete are only acceptable if changed to a standard passing or failing grade before completion of the next semester of study.

Grades of W (Withdrawal): Grades of W do not constitute grades which indicate that the student passed, failed, or completed all work in a course and therefore cannot be counted towards the pursuit of one's program.

Repeated Courses: Repeated courses are allowed only for those with a grade of D or lower, must be required for the degree and must be approved by a Dean. Approved repeats will replace the previous grade with a recalculated GPA. For additional information on the Hobart and William Smith requirements see the HWS Catalogue.

B. SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

The New York State satisfactory academic progress measurement defines the minimum number of earned courses and the minimum CUM/GPA which must be met for each term of study in which a State award is received. The following charts illustrate these standards. A course is considered successfully completed and earned if the student's academic record demonstrates a CR or A through D grade for that course.

Students receiving their first NYS award in 2007-08** through and including 2009-10 and opportunity program students first receiving aid in 2007-08 and thereafter

Before being certified for this payment number: A student must have successfully completed (earned) at least this many courses: With this minimum CUM/GPA:
1st0.0
2nd21.1
3rd41.4
4th71.7
5th102.0
6th132.0
7th172.0
8th202.0
9th*242.0
10th*282.0

Students receiving their first NYS award in 2010-11 and thereafter**

Before being certified for this payment number: A student must have successfully completed (earned) at least this many courses: With this minimum CUM/GPA:
1st 0 .0
2nd 2 1.5
3rd 3 1.8
4th 8 1.8
5th 12 2.0
6th 15 2.0
7th 19 2.0
8th 23 2.0
9th* 27 2.0
10th* 32 2.0

*Only students enrolled in an approved Education Opportunity Program may receive a fifth academic year of payment.
**New regulations enacted with the 2011 New York State budget.

C. 'C' AVERAGE REQUIREMENT

Students who received their first NYS award payments prior to 2007-08 and have received the equivalent of two or more full years (4 semesters) of New York State-funded student financial aid payments must have a minimum CUM/ GPA of 2.0 ('C' average) to be eligible for subsequent State aid payments. Students who received their first NYS award payment in 2007-08 and thereafter and have received the equivalent of 4 semesters of New York State-funded student financial aid payments must have a minimum CUM/GPA of 2.0 ('C' average) to be eligible for subsequent State aid payments.

D. EVALUATION PERIODS AND FREQUENCY OF MEASUREMENT

New York State SAP and program pursuit standards are measured at the end of each semester for which the student received State aid. Students who do not meet the eligibility requirements will be notified, in writing, by the Office of Financial Aid. Letters will also be sent to the appropriate Dean's office and Student Accounts.

E. REINSTATEMENT OF NEW YORK STATE AID

Students who have lost good academic standing and payment eligibility under New York State SAP, program pursuit, or 'C' average requirements may regain eligibility in one of the following ways:

  1. Make up the academic deficiencies without the benefit of New York State aid.
  2. Apply for and be granted a waiver (see below) based on extenuating circumstances.
  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.

Waivers

The satisfactory academic progress requirements for State aid may be waived for undue hardship based on: 1) the death of a relative, loved one or student; 2) the personal injury or illness of the student; 3) other extenuating circumstances. The waiver is intended only to accommodate extraordinary or unusual cases directly related to academic performance and the student's failure to meet the minimum requirements. Documentation must show the relationship of circumstances to the student's failure to achieve the requirements and the waiver will be granted only when there is a reasonable expectation that the student will meet future satisfactory academic progress requirements.

Process for Obtaining a Waiver: The written notification sent to students who do not meet the minimum requirements for satisfactory academic progress outlines the process for obtaining a waiver. The student must complete the SAP Waiver Request Form and return it to the appropriate Dean's office within 2 weeks of receiving notification. Students on Leave of Absence or Withdrawn who plan to return for the fall semester must submit the request for waiver by March 1 or November 1 for the spring semester. The waiver request must include 1) letter from the student explaining the extenuating circumstances for failing to meet SAP, 2) supporting documentation i.e. doctor's statement, and 3) an academic plan approved by the Dean/academic advisor that will bring student back into SAP compliance. The Dean will make a recommendation to the Office of Financial Aid to approve or deny the request. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student in writing within 10 business days of receipt of the recommendation whether or not a waiver is granted.

Note: A waiver for financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress is different than an appeal to be readmitted to HWS. See the HWS Catalogue for additional information on the process for readmission.

Appeals: A student can submit a letter of appeal within five business days to the Office of Financial Aid after being denied a waiver. The Office of Financial Aid will review the appeal in conjunction with the appropriate Dean and will promptly notify the student of the decision. New York State aid regulations state that a student may receive an extenuating circumstance waiver only once for the Satisfactory Academic Progress and program pursuit requirements. An extenuating circumstance waiver of the 'C' average requirement may be granted more than once.

CONTACT

If you have any questions regarding the financial aid process, please contact the Office of Financial Aid:

Phone: (315) 781-3315
Fax: (315) 781-4048
Email: finaid@hws.edu