Financial Aid Regulations 2020-2021
IX-Y UNDERGRADUATE -FINANCIAL AID REGULATIONS — FEDERAL, STATE, AND INSTITUTIONAL
A. Clarkson University Awarding Policy
Clarkson University bases its Financial Aid Program on two comprehensive criteria:
- Financial need as determined from the results of the FAFSA, and
- Academic achievement.
- Students applying for need based federal, state and institutional aid must file a FAFSA each year.
- Students applying for federal loans and parents applying for the Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) are required to file a FAFSA.
- Students receiving only academic/merit based aid are not required to submit a FAFSA.
Students may only receive federal financial aid (Pell, SEOG and federal loans) for courses that are used to complete degree requirements. Courses taken that are not used to meet degree requirements do not count toward full-time enrollment status for federal aid purposes. To maintain full-time status a student must be enrolled in at least 12 credits that are used toward fulfilling degree requirements.
New York State grants and scholarships (TAP) also require that courses taken are used to complete degree requirements. However, there are special rules that apply to the final two semesters of degree completion.
Institutional aid may be used for courses that do not apply to degree requirements. Full-time enrollment in at least 12 credits is required to receive Clarkson aid. Clarkson aid is generally limited to 8 semesters. Based on recommendations from the Dean of Students and Accommodative Services, a student may be permitted to receive Clarkson aid when enrolled in less than 12 credits.
Clarkson does not provide institutional grants, scholarships or other funds retroactively for prior semesters after the conclusion of the academic year.
Adjustments to offers of Financial Aid may result from the following:
- Retention - Scholarship and grants are retained provided the student maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid. Some Institutional, Endowed and Sponsored Scholarships have a minimum GPA requirement. Most institutional scholarships are limited to 8 semesters. If a student chooses to graduate early, they may not utilize all 8 semesters of aid.
- Federal, State and Institutional aid is awarded on an annual basis and is based on full-time enrollment (12 credits per semester) in both Fall and Spring semesters. If a student is not enrolled in a semester, all aid will be pro-rated for 1 semester of attendance, i.e. ½ of a scheduled Pell Grant, half of the annual institutional scholarship, 1 semester of TAP etc. A student attending at least half-time (6 credits per semester) may be eligible for federal student loans, Pell Grant, and SEOG. A student attending less-than-half-time may be eligible for a Pell Grant and SEOG. Less-than-full-time status is based on information submitted on the FAFSA.
- Verification - Per federal regulations, information on the FAFSA will be compared to the information submitted on the Clarkson Financial Aid Verification Form. Resolution of conflicting information may result in an adjustment to the assistance offered.
- Request for Information - Any requests for information must be responded to by the deadline indicated on the request. Failure to respond with the necessary information may result in an adjustment to the assistance offered.
- Receipt of a final, official high school transcript - No federal, state or institutional financial aid will be disbursed to a student's account without the submission of a final, official high school transcript.
- Necessity of Check-in at the beginning of the semester - No federal, state or institutional financial aid will be disbursed to a student's account until after they have "checked in." Check-in must be completed by the end of the 1st week of the semester. Failure to check-in will result in the cancellation of the financial aid award package.
- Changes in living situation – Financial aid packages will be revised if a student’s living situation changes i.e. a student who lives on-campus or off campus and becomes a commuter (living with parents or other relatives).
- Attendance - Students are required to begin attendance in all courses in which they are enrolled. Failure to begin attendance in a course(s) may require a reduction in the financial aid package. Students who begin attendance and then subsequently stop attending and do not drop or withdraw from one or more courses may also require a revision to the financial aid package for the current and/or future semester.
- Changes in Enrollment - if a student's enrollment drops below full-time during the drop period (first four weeks of the semester), the financial aid package will be revised for less than full-time status. Pell grants will be pro-rated. Students lose eligibility for TAP and all Clarkson need and non-need based grants, scholarships and loans. Direct Loan eligibility will be re-evaluated.
Section A1: Requests for Additional Aid
There are two options available for requesting additional aid:
- Financial Aid Appeal - A student may submit an appeal for additional aid based on academic achievement or financial need.
- Special Circumstance Request - A student may submit a special circumstance request based on changes in the student or family's financial situation (i.e. loss of employment, loss of income, death of a parent, or catastrophic event).
For both types of requests, additional aid is awarded based on the availability of funds.
B. Federal Aid
Federal aid includes the Pell Grant, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, the Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Work-Study. SEOG and Federal Work-Study awards are based on the level of funding received annually from the US Department of Education. Awards are made on a first come, first serve basis and amounts may vary from year to year.
In order to be eligible to receive any Title IV financial aid, a matriculated student must meet one of the following criteria:
- Be a high school graduate - a student must submit a final official high school transcript in order to receive federal funds. Aid will not be disbursed to a student’s account until this document is received.
- Have earned a recognized General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
NOTE: Students are ineligible for all federal aid if they owe a refund or repayment of any previously received Title IV funds or are in default on a previously received federal student loan.
Enrollment - Full time Undergraduate students must register for at least 12 credit hours per semester. Part-time students must register for at least six (6) hours to be considered a half-time student.
Courses toward degree requirements - Students may only receive Federal aid for courses that are used to fulfill degree requirements.
Students must submit a FAFSA each year they are in school.
C. Clarkson University Grants, Loans and Scholarships
Clarkson University offers various need based and non need (merit) based grants, loans and scholarships.
In order to have eligibility determined for need based grants and loans, students must file the FAFSA form and if selected, complete the verification process each year.
Students must register for at least 12 credits hours each semester and have full-time status at the end of the drop period. Only one course per semester that a student has already passed and received credit for, may be repeated and counted towards full-time enrollment status for financial aid eligibility.
Scholarships are retained each year provided that the student meets Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid. Some Endowed and Sponsored Scholarships have additional criteria. Most scholarships are limited to 8 semesters.
Institutionally sponsored loans are awarded annually based on a review of individual circumstances. Renewal of these loans is dependent upon funding availability, continued demonstrated financial need and satisfactory academic progress.
D. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal and Institutional Financial Aid
The US Department of Education has issued new Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements effective July 1, 2011. These requirements are part of the Program Integrity Final Regulations issued on October 29, 2010.
The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy that follows includes the requirements of the Program Integrity Regulations that were effective at the beginning of the Fall 2011 term. Revisions to this policy were made on March 13, 2020 and become effective with the SAP evaluation that was conducted at the end of the Spring 2020 term. Additional revisions have been made and are effective July 1, 2021 due to federal regulatory changes.
Federal regulations require institutions to evaluate Financial Aid SAP at the end of the Fall, Spring and Summer terms. Both full-time and part-time enrollment status must be evaluated as well as periods of enrollment during which the student did not receive financial aid.
All students are encouraged to become familiar with the policy, as eligibility for federal and institutional aid may be an important factor in the ability to continue one's education at Clarkson.
Students must maintain SAP to retain eligibility for federal and institutional financial aid. SAP is comprised of three areas as required by federal regulations. A student must complete their degree within a specified period, demonstrate PACE by earning a minimum percentage of attempted credit hours and maintain a cumulative GPA that is consistent with meeting graduation requirements. Some institutional scholarships (i.e. Honors, Endowed and Sponsored Scholarships) may require higher academic achievement than the standards outlined in this section. Students with questions regarding their specific scholarship are advised to contact the Financial Aid Office.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid are based on a student’s cumulative record and are separate from Academic Standing determinations. A student who is on academic warning, academic probation, or has been approved to continue after separation retains financial aid eligibility provided the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid (detailed below) are met.
1. Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion
Federal regulations specify that a student must complete his/her degree within 150% of the published length of the program. The maximum time frame at Clarkson is measured in attempted hours. A student must earn 120 credits to receive a Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, to retain financial aid eligibility, the maximum time frame to complete the program for full time students cannot exceed 180 attempted credit hours, 6 years, or 12 terms, whichever comes first. A part-time student cannot exceed 180 attempted credit hours. A student pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree with the first Bachelor’s degree must complete the additional required coursework within the 150% time frame period. Effective March 13, 2020 for the SAP evaluation period that will occur at the end of the Spring 2020 term and going forward, a student may appeal the Maximum Time Frame requirement based on extenuating circumstances.
Credits counted in the maximum time are all attempted credits and include:
- Earned hours – Passed (A-D), Pass (P)
- Repeated Courses – all attempts – refer to the REPEATED COURSE section for detailed information.
- Withdrawal (LW) and (W) - Maximum time frame regulations do not allow for the exclusion of courses in which a student has remained past the drop period and earned a grade of ‘W”.
- Failure (F)
- Incomplete (I)
- All accepted transfer credits (including consortium agreements & Study-Abroad courses) &test credit (T)
- All courses attempted at Clarkson, even if they are not used to meet degree requirements.
2. PACE Standards
PACE is defined by federal regulations as steady progress towards degree completion within the 150% time frame.
Clarkson is required to measure a student’s PACE as a percentage as indicated below:
- Cumulative # of Earned Hours divided by Cumulative # of Attempted Hours
Earned credit hours include:
- Grades of A, B, C, D or P (with credit)
- All accepted transfer credits and (including consortium agreements & Study Abroad courses) & test credits (T)
Attempted credit hours include:
- Earned hours – Passed (A-D), Pass (P)
- Repeated Courses – all attempts – refer to the REPEATED COURSE section for detailed information.
- Withdrawal (LW) and (W) - PACE regulations do not allow for the exclusion of courses in which a student has remained past the drop period and earned a grade of 'W'.
- Failure (F)
- Incomplete (I)
- All accepted transfer credits (including consortium agreements and Study Abroad courses) and test credit (T)
- All courses attempted at Clarkson, even if they are not used to meet degree requirements. Periods of nonattendance do not count toward the maximum time frame.
|Cumulative Attempted Credit Hours||PACE – Minimum required percentage of earned credit hours divided by attempted credit hours|
3. Qualitative Standards – Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
Federal regulations require the student to meet minimum cumulative GPA standards to retain eligibility for aid. As indicated in the following chart, after 4 terms a student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA to be eligible for financial aid.
Grades earned in prior attempts of repeated courses are excluded from the GPA calculation.
The chart below indicates the GPA required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid
Transfer students are placed on the GPA chart based on the number of terms they have attended Clarkson.
|End of Semester||Minimum GPA Required at the end of Semester|
A student who does not meet both the PACE and GPA standards is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid. The student is notified by the Financial Aid Office that he/she is on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent term of attendance. During the Financial Aid Warning Term, the student retains eligibility for both federal and institutional aid.
A student who meets both the PACE and GPA standards at the conclusion of the Financial Aid Warning Term is again meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid and is eligible for federal and institutional aid for the subsequent term of attendance.
A student who does not meet both the PACE and GPA standards at the conclusion of the Financial Aid Warning Term is notified by the Financial Aid Office that he/she is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid and is ineligible for federal and institutional aid. The student is also notified of the Appeal Process.
A student may have more than one Financial Aid Warning Term; however they may not be consecutive.
A student may file an appeal based on catastrophic or extraordinary circumstances “beyond the student’s control,” such as personal illness or injury, or the death, illness or injury of a family member, relative or close personal friend. A student is allowed to appeal once based on change of major.
Students who have been disqualified from aid are notified at the end of the term or when readmitted to the University regarding how to begin the appeal process. It is recommended that students submit the appeal within 3 weeks of notification of their disqualified status. Appeals must be submitted no later than the 5th class day of the term.
There are 3 required elements of an appeal:
- A written statement from the student - Federal regulations require a student who is requesting an appeal to submit a written statement explaining:
- Why the student was not able to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards.
- What has changed that will allow the student to meet the standards at the conclusion of the academic plan (see #3 below).
- Supporting documentation - A student requesting an appeal must submit supporting documentation such as a physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or accident, a copy of a death certificate or newspaper obituary, a written statement from clergy, family member(s), or other third party familiar with the student’s situation, or a written statement from an academic advisor, professor or counselor.
- Development of an Academic Plan - As part of the appeal, the student must work with a Program Administrator to develop an academic plan. The academic plan is designed to enable the student to meet both PACE and GPA standards at the conclusion of the plan. An academic plan may entail one or more terms and includes specific requirements the student must achieve. Although the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, federal and institutional aid is reinstated for one term.
A student filing an appeal must authorize the release of pertinent information as part of an investigation of the facts concerning the failure to meet satisfactory academic progress standards.
Each appeal will be investigated and reviewed by the Dean of Students in conjunction with faculty members from the student’s program of study as well as other Clarkson University personnel as necessary.
The Dean of Students will make a recommendation to approve or deny the appeal and notify the Office of Financial Aid. The Director of Financial Aid will make the final decision to approve or deny the appeal.
The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student via email of the final decision.
Upon approval of an appeal including an academic plan the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for the next term of attendance.
At the end of the Financial Aid Probationary term, the student will be evaluated according to the requirements specified in the academic plan. Provided that the student is successfully meeting the conditions of the plan, the student may continue to receive federal and institutional aid for the subsequent term. In cases in which an academic plan includes more than one term, the student will be evaluated at the end of each term. If the student continues to meet the requirements of the plan, the student remains eligible for financial aid.
A student who does not meet the conditions of the academic plan or whose appeal is denied is no longer eligible for federal and institutional aid at Clarkson until both standards are met. A student who is ineligible for aid may regain eligibility by:
Taking courses at Clarkson without receiving federal or institutional aid that raises their GPA to the minimum standards and/or increases earned hours to the minimum PACE requirements. The student must contact SAS at the end of the term to request an evaluation of their financial aid satisfactory academic progress standing and financial aid eligibility.
Transferring in course credit - A transferred course must count toward degree requirements. A minimum of a “C” is required for transfer credits. Transfer credits are included in both attempted and earned hours. Transfer credits for repeated courses may have an effect on the GPA. Transfer credits for non-repeated courses have no effect on the GPA.
Subsequent Appeals - Effective March 13, 2020
A student who does not meet the requirements of their academic plan is permitted to submit a subsequent appeal. The appeal must be based on new extenuating circumstances that have occurred since the first appeal was approved and are outside of the student's control. There is a limit of two appeal submissions while an undergraduate student.
Courses in which a grade of "F" or "W" is recorded on a student’s transcript may be repeated a maximum of 2 times.
- The earned hours are counted once.
- The attempted hours are counted each time and may be used to establish full-time enrollment status.
- The student may receive financial aid for these course repeats.
Courses in which a student has previously earned credit (A, B, C, D)
- Federal regulations allow a student to repeat a course once if the student previously earned credit for the course. The repeated course(s) will be used toward full-time enrollment status and are eligible for financial aid. Courses repeated more than once will not count toward enrollment status and are ineligible for financial aid. More than one course may be repeated per term. This does not apply to students receiving International Scholarships.
- The attempted hours are counted each time.
- The earned hours are counted once.
- The grade from the prior completion(s) is excluded from the GPA calculation.
Academic Grade Changes and Incompletes
For purposes of determining SAP for federal and institutional financial aid, all grade changes including incompletes must be submitted to SAS prior to the 10th day of the subsequent term. This deadline may differ from academic departmental guidelines. The student must contact SAS to request a recalculation of SAP.
A student who has left the University for one or more terms and has been readmitted will have Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid reviewed at the time of readmission. Transfer credits must be received prior to the 10th day of the term in order to be included in the SAP determination.
- If the student is determined to be meeting SAP, federal and institutional aid will be offered provided the student meets all other eligibility requirements.
- If it is determined that the student is not meeting SAP, the student will be notified via email of his/her status and the appeal process.
- There is no guarantee that a readmitted student will receive the same type or amount of institutional aid they received during prior terms.
E. Total Withdrawal from the University - Federal Title IV and Institutional Aid Refund Policy
There are occasions when a student may leave the University prior to the completion of a term. If a student officially withdraws from the University, takes a leave of absence, unofficially withdraws or is dismissed during the semester, for the purposes of financial aid both situations are treated as a withdrawal.
A student intending to leave the University must contact Student Administration Services to begin the official withdrawal process.
The law specifies how Clarkson must determine the amount of the Title IV program assistance a student has earned as of the date of withdrawal. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Federal Direct Student Loans, PLUS loans, and Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (SEOG).
When a student withdraws from the University during the term, the amount of Title IV program assistance that the student has earned up to that point in time is determined by a specific formula. If the student received less assistance than the amount that earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than earned, the excess funds must be returned to the US Department of Education.
The amount of assistance that the student has earned is determined on a pro rata basis. The formula is based upon the number of days the student has attended as a percentage of the total number of days in the term. For example, if the student completed 30% of the term, the students earns 30% of the assistance originally awarded. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the term, the student has earned all of the assistance awarded for the term. Federal regulations require this calculation if the student officially or unofficially withdraws, is dismissed or otherwise leaves the University during a term.
Student transcripts are reviewed at the conclusion of each term. If a student received all “F” grades during a term, federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to obtain additional information from the Academic Department(s). If the Academic Department(s) determines that the student completed yet failed to meet the course objectives in at least one course, no changes to the student’s financial aid for that term is required. If however, the Academic Department(s) determines that the student did not complete all courses (i.e. stopped attending all courses); the student is considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the University. In this case, the last date of an academic related activity (i.e. documented attendance in class, submission of a homework assignment or the taking of an exam) is used to determine the date of the unofficial withdrawal. If the last date of an academic related activity is after the 60% date of the term, no adjustment to a student’s financial aid for that term is required. If however, the date occurs prior to the 60% date, a Title IV refund calculation is required and necessary adjustments to a student’s financial aid for the term will be made. In absence of a documented last date of an academic related activity, federal regulations require Clarkson to use the midpoint (50%) of the term.
The Federal Title IV Refund Procedure is separate and distinct from the Office of Student Account’s refund policy for tuition, fees and other charges at Clarkson. Therefore, a student may still owe funds to cover unpaid institutional charges.
Clarkson scholarships, grants and loans may be reduced based on individual circumstances, the date of withdrawal and the Student Accounts Refund policy,
Satisfactory Academic Progress for students who return to the University for a subsequent term will be reviewed and a determination will be made based on the Maximum Time Frame, PACE and GPA standards as stated above.
F. Cooperative Education Students
Students who are participating in the cooperative education program remain matriculated students at Clarkson University. For the semester that they are on COOP, tuition is not charged, no academic credit is earned and no financial aid is offered.
G. Outgoing Study Abroad/Exchange Students
Students participating in the study abroad/exchange program must apply for financial aid and if required, complete verification. Students are charged tuition at Clarkson University. Any credit in the student's account will be refunded to the student for housing costs incurred abroad. Students must enroll in and complete the equivalent of 12 credits at Clarkson. In order to receive financial aid the courses must fulfill degree requirements at Clarkson.
Clarkson has consortium agreements with American University - Washington Semester, Duke University - Organization for Tropical Studies, and the Marine Biological Laboratory Semester in Environmental Science (Wood's Hole). Students enrolled in these programs may receive federal aid to assist in covering program costs. Institutional aid, TAP, and other NYS aid cannot be used toward program costs.
H. Early Admission Students - The Clarkson School
All Early Admission students are required to fill out a Federal Aid Certification Form regarding his/her enrollment in high school. Students who are still enrolled in high school are ineligible for all federal aid.
The term "enrolled in high school" includes, but is not limited to, the concurrent pursuit of a high school diploma while enrolled in The Clarkson School. It also includes (i) a student who has completed the requirement for his/her high school diploma but not yet received it and is taking coursework for which his/her high school will give the student credit or (ii) a student who has not received a high school diploma and is considered by his/her high school to be enrolled, e.g. as a requirement for participation on an interscholastic sports team or in any other curricular or extracurricular activity for which enrollment in the high school is a prerequisite.
I. Athletic Financial Aid Recipients Code of Conduct
Scholar athletes who receive athletic financial assistance must be aware of their high visibility within the Clarkson community. It is essential that each student athlete exemplify the highest standard of personal conduct. This is especially true for those student athletes who represent Clarkson at the Division I level. To assist all athletes with special emphasis on those who receive athletic financial assistance, the Athletic Administration requires each student to abide by the following Athletic Code of Conduct.
Student athletes must prioritize academics over athletics. To that end class attendance is mandatory. Should the need arise, procedures are available to have faculty notified of absences for legitimate reasons.
Academic achievement levels are prescribed by both Clarkson and the NCAA as requirements for participation. Additionally the coaching staff, based upon feedback from the academic community may require mandatory study halls or other proactive measures designed to enhance student athlete academic performance.
Each student athlete must be aware of the University code of ethics relative to academic integrity. Plagiarism and cheating are considered to be serious offenses, which must be brought before the Academic Integrity Committee.
Student athletes must take great care to avoid all violations of the law, especially the abuse of alcohol and controlled substances.
Each student athlete is expected to adhere to regulations governing life in the University residences. These regulations are published annually in the University Regulations. The Athletic Administration and appropriate coaching staff will review disciplinary actions taken by the Dean of Student’s Office against student athletes. Serious or repeat offenses may result in a serious misconduct finding against the student athlete.
Honesty, above all else, is expected of each student athlete.
Student athletes are reminded of the regulations relative to their required amateurism to be eligible for inter-collegiate competition. The receipt of athletic financial aid requires that the student athlete maintain their amateur status.
Student athletes are reminded that athletic financial aid may be immediately withdrawn based upon serious misconduct, academic ineligibility, falsifying eligibility information, or actions compromising the student's amateur status. In addition, Clarkson Athletics advises student athletes that non-compliance with elements of the Code of Conduct will result in disciplinary actions. Should the offense involve legal sanctions, academic integrity or disciplinary action through normal university processes a finding of serious misconduct may be applied thereby causing cancellation of the student's athletic financial assistance. Should this occur the student, based upon NCAA guidelines, will be given the opportunity to request a hearing regarding the cancellation of their athletic financial assistance.