Oct 28, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


 

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships advises students who need financial assistance to finance a college education. SUNY Oneonta only utilizes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to evaluate financial need for incoming students. Please visit suny.oneonta.edu/cost-aid/applying-aid for complete application instructions.

Loans

Federal Unsubsidized Student Loan Program and Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program: Students can use these federal student loans to assist with the costs of a graduate degree. Apply by completing Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) at www.studentaid.gov. Loan eligibility and amount is determined by the results of the FAFSA application, estimated cost of attendance, and prior borrowing history. Eligible students must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States, admitted to or enrolled as a half-time student at an approved post-secondary institution in the United States or foreign country.

Fellowships, Scholarships and Assistantships

Fellowship funds are appropriated on an annual basis and are subject to change. Interested applicants should consult the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The Alumni Association offers scholarships that are open to qualified graduate students. Contact the Scholarship Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Graduate and Teaching Assistantships: The College has offered assistantships to some full-time graduate students who are enrolled in degree programs. Assistantships may involve tuition waivers and/or stipends. Interested applicants should contact specific departments for additional information.

Graduate Opportunity Program

The Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP) is funded by each SUNY campus that has an Educational Opportunity Program. GOP provides financial support for tuition and fees associated with graduate study at SUNY Oneonta to former EOP (Educational Opportunity Program), HEOP (Higher Educational Opportunity Program), and SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) program graduates. All three programs provide academic and financial support to economically and educationally disadvantaged undergraduate students at public institutions of higher education (EOP), private or independent colleges or universities (HEOP), and City University of New York colleges and universities (SEEK).

Applicants for GOP funding must be New York State residents who are admitted and enrolled in a graduate degree program at SUNY Oneonta. Continuation of GOP support requires that a recipient maintain good academic standing and demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. Funding is contingent upon the New York State budget.

To apply for a GOP scholarship, students have to be admitted to a graduate program at SUNY Oneonta. Interested students should contact the Office of Access and Opportunity Programs for procedures on how to apply for the GOP.

Financial Aid Return of Title IV Funds Policy

This policy applies to federal Title IV financial aid recipients. Title IV aid is awarded and disbursed to students in anticipation of students' successful completion of their courses and progression toward graduation. The U.S. Department of Education regulates the management of these funds and in some cases, a student who receives Title IV financial aid but does not complete their coursework is not considered to have "earned" the Title IV aid they received.

When a student officially withdraws from all of their courses, audits all of their courses, receives unsatisfactory grades in all of their courses, or otherwise fails to attend the full period of enrollment, the College is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid the student was scheduled to receive.

The earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid are determined as of the date a student ceased attendance, based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance. Up through the 60% point in each period of enrollment, a prorated schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point in the period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period.

For a student who officially withdraws at any time through the 60% point of a period of enrollment, the official withdrawal date is:

  • The last date the student attended class or participated in an academically related activity

For a student who fails to officially withdraw (does not complete the official withdrawal process but receives unsatisfactory grades in all their courses, either:

  • For a student who unofficially withdraws due to circumstances beyond their control, the date the College determines is related to circumstance that was beyond the student's control.
  • For all other students who unofficially withdraw, the last date the student attended class or participated in an academically related activity (as reported by his/her instructors).
    • If the College is unable to determine the last date of class attendance or academic activity, the 50% point of the payment period will be used as the unofficial withdrawal date and the calculation.

When a student is determined to have withdrawn, either officially or unofficially, the College will use federal law/regulation to make the following determinations and complete the following activities:

  • Determine the amount of the student's institutional charges.
  • Determine the Title IV aid disbursed to the student.
  • Determine the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed to the student (if any).
  • Determine the student's official withdrawal date.
  • Calculate the amount of the student's earned and unearned Title IV aid.
  • Calculate the amount of Title IV aid the College must return.
  • Calculate the amount of Title IV aid the student must return.
    • It is SUNY Oneonta's policy that if Federal Grant funds are determined as required to be returned by the student, the College will return these funds from the student's account, and the student will be required to pay any balance due resulting from this return by the College on the student's behalf.
  • Notify the student of the determinations and calculated values used in the calculation.
  • Notify the student of the resulting balance owed to the College.

When returning Title IV funds to the U.S. Department of Education, the College returns them in a specific order per federal regulations.

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Federal PLUS Loans
  4. Pell Grant
  5. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

IMPORTANT NOTES:

Amounts required to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education by the College become debts immediately due and payable to the College upon completion of the calculation and will be billed to the student. The student MUST make prompt payment or payment arrangements to satisfy the debt owed to the College and the College reserves the right to turn the debt over to the NYS Attorney General for collection.

Amounts returned by the College to the U.S. Department of Education on the student's behalf and owed to the College must be paid directly to the SUNY College at Oneonta Student Accounts Office. Do not send payments to any other department or agency.

These procedures as well as the federal laws/regulations they are based on are subject to change without advance notice.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) GRADUATE

All degree/certificate seeking students must meet certain academic progress standards in order to establish and maintain eligibility for financial aid. Federal Student Aid regulations require SUNY Oneonta to establish, publish, and monitor your progress toward completion of your degree program. Standards of satisfactory academic progress are reviewed annually in July, including the previous fall, spring and current summer semesters.

Progress is measured by both the qualitative and quantitative standards listed below.  Meeting these standards is required to maintain financial aid eligibility, including Federal Student Loans.  Campus based scholarships/fellowships are not affected by this standard; decisions for these funds are made by the awarding department.

Please note: These standards are for financial aid funding purposes only, and does not supersede academic policies.

REQUIREMENTS:

  1. GPA Requirement: All graduate students receiving federal funding must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. GPAs under 3.0 are reviewed by the Committee on Student Progress and Status. If the student is approved on probation by the Committee on Student Progress and Status, this approval constitutes an appeal approval for financial aid purposes. Please review the Academic Policies and Standards  section of the catalog.
  2. Pace of Completion Requirement: Graduate students must also complete 67% of credits attempted annually. 
    • To be considered successfully completed, the course must have a reported grade of A, B or C.
    • Attempted but not considered completed are reported grades of W, I, D or E.
    • Repeated coursework can be counted as completed in the SAP process provided it meets the Degree Applicable Credit guidelines. 
    • Remedial & ESL coursework is NOT counted as credit earned.

Example:  A student registers for 6 credits fall/6 credits spring and after add/drop each semester drops one course & receives a "W".  Attempted credits total 12, completed total 6 so the student completed only 50% of attempted coursework and is not meeting the academic progress standards.

MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME REQUIREMENT: Federal aid recipients must complete their program within 150% of the published credit requirement.  For example, a program that requires 30 credits must be completed within 45 attempted credits (30 * 150%), or the student will forfeit federal aid eligibility.*

  • Transfer credits accepted by the college are considered attempted and completed coursework.
  • Graduate students who wish to change their major prior to completion may do so.  However, all previous credits earned will be included in the total 150% time frame calculation when determining aid eligibility.
  • A student's aid eligibility ends when all requirements included in their degree program are completed, regardless of their decision whether or not to graduate.

*Please Note:  If a SAP evaluation makes it clear that a student cannot complete his/her declared degree program within the maximum 150% timeframe, or raise their GPA to the required 3.0, that student's financial aid eligibility ends at that point.

INCOMPLETES AND WITHDRAWALS: GPA and pace of completion are affected by course incompletes and withdrawals. Transfer courses must count as both attempted and completed when measuring pace of completion.

REPEATED COURSES: Federal aid programs may only be used one time for retaking previously passed coursework. The most recent/last grade earned in repeat coursework will be used in the GPA computation and only courses taken and repeated at SUNY Oneonta will count towards a student's GPA. Each course attempted is included in the quantitative and maximum timeframe components of SAP review. 

NOTIFICATIONS OF SAP ISSUES AND APPEALS:

The Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress are evaluated and students are notified of any SAP standard not being met annually in July. Students are also notified of the option to appeal and possibly attain a federal SAP waiver.

APPEALS:

Students not meeting SAP standards may appeal if there are extenuating circumstances, which led to academic difficulties. SAP appeal requests are submitted on the myOneonta portal under My Verification.

*Extenuating circumstances are those over which the student has no control and may include death in the student's immediate family, hospitalization, accidents, or illness, etc. Additional supporting documentation may be required.

SAP Appeals must include:

  • A SAP narrative from the student describing the extenuating circumstances
  • Supporting documentation from the student, if any
  • A copy of the student's academic plan

SAP Appeals must be reviewed by a Financial Aid Advisor and may be referred to a committee for review.

  • In order for an appeal to be approved, student must either be able to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the next period of enrollment; or the student must be placed on an Academic Plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student will be able to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress by a specific point in time (beyond the next period of enrollment).

Please Note: If a review of a SAP appeal makes it clear that a student cannot mathematically complete his/her declared degree/certificate program or cannot raise their graduation GPA to the minimum 3.00 within the maximum timeframe, the appeal will be summarily denied and the student will NOT be eligible for federal financial aid.

When considering an appeal:

  • Transfer credit hours that do not fulfill graduation requirements in the student's current program are excluded from the maximum timeframe calculation.
  • Students who successfully appeal are notified by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, and are given any terms of the waiver approval.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Students that lose their financial aid eligibility (appeal has been denied, or no basis for an appeal) due to not maintaining the minimum GPA may regain it by successfully completing coursework at SUNY Oneonta without the benefit of aid and successfully raise the GPA to the minimum requirement.

Please Note: Time Limit for Completing Degree Requirements

THIS TIME LIMIT IS SEPARATE FROM THE 150% MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME REQUIREMENT

As stated in the Graduate Catalog, in order to receive a degree or certificate, candidates must meet all requirements within a period of six calendar years. The time limit begins the term in which the earliest enrolled course is credited to the degree program. Courses completed prior to admission to a degree or certificate program that are accepted toward the degree cannot be more than six years old at the time the degree is awarded. This requirement may be modified only in special circumstances. In some circumstances, when students are admitted to a program, they may be given less than six years to complete their course of study, at the discretion of the academic department.

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

GRADING SYMBOLS

  • The following are credits successfully completed for SAP purposes: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and P.

INSTITUTIONAL GPA

  • Institutional GPA includes all coursework receiving a letter grade excluding Pass/Fail letter grades (and including developmental/remedial coursework) taken while at SUNY Oneonta. The Institutional GPA also appears on the transcript. The Institutional GPA includes developmental/remedial coursework (classes with course numbers below 100), but does not include transfer coursework.

Student Rights and Responsibilities for Financial Aid

It is the responsibility of each prospective aid applicant to become familiar with the policies, procedures, and deadlines for financial aid.

It is the right of each student to request and receive an explanation of how their financial aid award was determined.

It is the responsibility of each aid recipient to notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of any additional awards received that were not included in the original financial aid package.

It is the right of the student to review his/her financial aid folders. Students do not, however, have access to parents' financial information except with written permission.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of any change in his/her status.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the Registrar of an address change.

Full-time financial-aid eligibility for any given semester is based upon enrollment in at least 12 credits (semester hours) that are degree-applicable. Degree-applicable credit is any credit that, according to College Catalog requirements at matriculation, fulfills the student's primary major requirements, and related course work requirements, as well as sufficient elective courses to complete the minimum number of semester hours required for graduation. Students cannot receive financial aid for coursework that is not required for degree completion, and the college must comply with federal and state financial aid regulations.

When a student changes a major, it may affect the student's financial aid eligibility. Therefore, students contemplating changing their major should seek advice from their financial aid advisors.

It is also recommended that students meet periodically with their financial aid counselors to review their academic plans and the effect on financial aid eligibility. Additional information about these requirements is available on our website. Ultimately, it is the student's responsibility to be aware of the regulations affecting financial aid eligibility, and it is the responsibility of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to apply the rules that determine aid eligibility.

Questions concerning financial aid at the College may be addressed by contacting the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at finaid@oneonta.edu or 607-436-2532. Information contained herein is current and accurate as of the date of publication of this Catalog. With the passing of time, this information will become outdated so students should secure the most current information from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, 123 Netzer Administration Building.