State Aid Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In order to remain eligible for federal and state aid programs, students must satisfy minimum academic standards.

At the end of each semester, our office evaluates whether students satisfy both federal and state standards. If a student fails any of these standards, our office forwards the student a letter and may be required to cancel all financial aid for which the student is ineligible.

The student may be responsible for any outstanding balance resulting from this cancellation. For example, if a student has a $1,000 Pell award and loses eligibility due to unsatisfactory academic progress, our office will cancel this award and the student may be responsible for paying a $1,000 balance.

While the standards described below appear complicated, students only need to remember these general guidelines:

  • maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at Plattsburgh
  • complete at least 12 credits of non-repeat courses required for graduation each semester
  • do not withdraw from too many courses
  • declare a major before earning 57 credits
  • graduate within four to six years (eight to twelve semesters)
  • Consult with Financial Aid Office for exceptions to these guidelines

New York State Eligibility Standards

Students must satisfy minimum academic standards in order to remain eligible for federal and state aid programs. Financial Aid evaluates whether students satisfy these standards at the end of each semester. Once the evaluation is complete, FAO assigns each student a satisfactory academic progress (SAP) status for the upcoming semester.

The standards for state aid programs depend upon the number of TAP points earned by the student (see table below).

A student earns 6 points for each TAP award used during the spring and fall semester (12 per year), and earns 3 TAP points for using a part-time TAP award during summer sessions or for a single APTS award.

For example, in order to meet state standards, a student with 30 TAP points must have completed 12 required credits during the last semester with a TAP award at Plattsburgh, have earned at least 45 credits during his/her academic career, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at Plattsburgh.

New York State Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility - Current Standards til June 30, 2011

TAP Points Earned Completed Credits Last Semester with TAP Cumulative Credits Earned Plattsburgh Cumulative GPA Declared Major if less than 57 Earned Credits Maximum Timeframe (in TAP Points)
6 6 3 1.1 No 48
12 6 9 1.2 No 48
18 9 21 1.3 No 48
24 9 33 2.0 No 48
30 12 45 2.0 No 48
36 12 60 2.0 Yes 48
42 12 75 2.0 Yes 48
48* 12 90 2.0 Yes 48
54* 12 105 2.0 Yes 54
60 Max. TAP earned No further eligiblity     60
*Only EOP students are eligible

New York State Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility - Standards Effective July 1, 2011

TAP Points Earned Completed Credits Last Semester with TAP Cumulative Credits Earned Plattsburgh Cumulative GPA Declared Major if less than 57 Earned Credits Maximum Timeframe (in TAP Points)
6 6 6 1.5 No 48
12 6 15 1.8 No 48
18 9 30 2.0 No 48
24 9 45 2.0 No 48
30 12 60 2.0 No 48
36 12 75 2.0 Yes 48
42 12 90 2.0 Yes 48
48* 12 105 2.0 Yes 48
54* 12 120 2.0 Yes 54
60 Max. TAP earned No further eligiblity     60
*Only EOP students are eligible

TAP recipients are also required to declare a major by the time fifty-seven credits are earned by the student. Unlike federal regulations, the state does not have a probationary semester. The first time a student fails one of these standards, the student is ineligible for TAP and other NYS awards the following semester. Note that incomplete (I) and failure (E) grades are considered completed credits, although the following are not: withdrawal (W), withdrawal failing (WE), unknown (UK), noncredit (NC), non-available (N), proficiency (PR) and audit (U). Students may appeal to waive ineligibility.

Appeal for a Waiver

If students have not exceeded the maximum timeframe for federal aid or maximum TAP points, students can regain eligibility through two options.

First, students can attend without federal and state aid while addressing all of the failed standards. Students will become eligible again once all the minimum standards are satisfied again. In this situation, students could consider using an alternative loan to help fund educational expenses.

Second, students may appeal for a waiver. Waivers are warranted under extraordinary and unusual circumstances beyond the control of the student that had an inevitable impact on academic performance. Examples may involve an unexpected acute physical illness, unforeseen acute psychological condition, or unanticipated catastrophic event experienced by the student, parent, spouse or partner. The student must thoroughly and comprehensively document the circumstances in writing from credible sources. There must also be a reasonable expectation that the student will meet all future requirements. In general, students may only receive one waiver in their academic career. A waiver is only valid for one semester. By the end of this semester, students must satisfy all of the academic standards in order to regain eligibility.

Students may not appeal the maximum timeframe for federal aid or maximum TAP points for state aid. The form is available in the directory of forms.

Contact Information

For more information about Financial Aid at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Financial Aid Office
Location: Kehoe Administration Building, Suite 401-410
Phone: (518) 564-2072
Toll-Free Phone: (877) 768-5976
Fax: (518)564-4079
Email: finaid@plattsburgh.edu

Our mailing address:

Financial Aid Office
SUNY Plattsburgh
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-12681