New York State Financial Aid

New York State Financial Aid Academic Requirements

Students may only receive these New York State Financial Aid funds provided they meet New York State’s Good Academic Standing requirements.

A student is considered in “good standing,” meeting program pursuit standards, and making satisfactory academic progress to receive New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grants if the minimum requirements established below are maintained.

Eligibility

Secondary Education Requirements

To be eligible for New York State student financial assistance, a student first receiving aid in academic year 1996-97 to 2006-2007 must have a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such certificate, or receive a passing score on an approved ability-to-benefit test. For students first receiving aid in academic year 2006-07 and thereafter, the certificate of graduation must be from a recognized school providing secondary education within the United States; or the recognized equivalent of such certificate; or the student must have received a passing score on a federally approved ability to benefit test that has been identified by the Board of Regents and has been independently administered and evaluated as defined by the Commissioner.

According to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, a student can earn a high school equivalency diploma in New York State in one of three ways: (1) by taking and earning passing scores on a TASC test or (2) by completing 24 semester hour credits in specified subjects as a recognized candidate for a degree in an approved (accredited) institution or (3) through the National External Diploma Program. For more information on High School Equivalency Diplomas visit nysed.gov.

Students with foreign high school diplomas, or otherwise invalid high school diplomas, may be eligible for acceptance into Berkeley College academic programs; however, such students will not be eligible for TAP and other NYS awards, unless and until additional steps are taken (see above). The College also reserves the right to make determinations regarding the validity of apparent diploma mill documents, pursuant to guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Enrollment Requirements

Students must be enrolled full-time, attempting at least 12 credits applicable to their degrees, to receive a TAP award. “Full-time” is defined as 12 credit hours per term. A student may register for up to 15 credits under regular full-time charges and up to 18 credit hours overall in a term (or up to 21 with special approval by the Academic Advisement Department); however, enrollment in more than 12 credit hours does not entitle the student to a TAP award greater than the maximum per-term award available to students carrying 12 credit hours.

An exception to the 12 credit hour rule is the use of remedial (developmental) courses. In the first year of study, up to six equivalent units of non-credit remedial (developmental) courses may be counted toward the 12 credit hours required for TAP eligibility. In the second year of study, up to three equivalent units of non-credit remedial (developmental) courses may be counted toward the 12 credit hours required for TAP eligibility. In the third year of study, non-credit remedial (developmental) courses may not be counted toward the 12 credit hours required for TAP eligibility.

Another exception to the 12 credit hour rule is when a student needs less than 12 credits to graduate. In this case a student may take additional credits, resulting in “full-time” and TAP eligibility, which are not applicable to the student’s program of study. However, a student may have only one graduating term. This exception does not extend beyond the term of expected graduation.

In considering TAP eligibility, New York State defines a “year of study” as 12 “usage points,” with each semester worth six usage points. For purposes of TAP eligibility, students who have used no more than 11 points are considered to be in their “first year”; students who have used 12 to 23 points are considered to be in their “second year”; students who have used 24 to 35 points are considered to be in their “third year”; students who have used 36 or more points are considered to be in their “fourth year” and will not be eligible unless they are pursuing a Bachelor's degree. Please note that points used are not college-specific, so TAP usage points will follow the student from one institution to another. For example, a transfer student starting at Berkeley already having already used 24 points would be treated as a third-year TAP recipient. See Beneficial Placement Section, below, for more information.

Pursuit of Program

Program pursuit must be determined independently from satisfactory academic progress. A measure of effort, it is based upon coursework completed, whether passed or failed, rather than achievement (credits earned).

The program pursuit requirement is the same for all students, including those enrolled in remedial (developmental) college skills courses. Students are required to complete a certain percentage of the minimum full-time load. The minimum full-time load at Berkeley is 12 semester credits applicable to the degree the student is pursuing. Therefore, the student at the 100 percent pursuit level (24 TAP points or more) must complete 12 semester hours of credit-bearing courses. (See detailed charts below.)

Under certain circumstances New York State regulations allow a “medical/health waiver” for students unable to engage in full-time study due to health or medical reasons. Such waivers are rarely granted, however, and their use is not encouraged.

TAP recipients must complete/receive a grade (including a failure) for the following number (see chart below) of required credit hours in order to maintain “program pursuit”:

PURSUIT OF PROGRAM TAP TABLE EFFECTIVE SUMMER 2016

Term/Payment Must Receive a Grade For:

Semester Points used to date Minimum number of 
credits that must be 
completed and graded
Maximum number of 
credits completed that are 
allowed to be remedial
1 0 6 (50% of full-time) 6
2 6 6 (50% of full-time) 6
3 12 9 (75% of full-time) 3
4 18 9 (75% of full-time) 3
5 24 12 (100% of full-time) 0
6 30 12 (100% of full-time) 0
7 36 12 (100% of full-time) 0
8 42 12 (100% of full-time) 0

Effective fall 2011 (for academic year 2015-2016)

When to Use

Associate's Degree Programs

Before being certified for this payment 1 2 3 4 5 6
A student must have accrued at least this many credits 0 18 30  45 
With at least this grade point average 0 .75 1.25 1.50 2.00 2.00
Minimum number of credit hours that must be completed the prior semester 0 6 6 9 9 12

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Before being certified for this payment 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
A student must have accrued at least this many credits 0 21  33 45 60 75 90 105
With at least this grade point average 0 1.10 1.25 1.50 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
Minimum number of credit hours that must be completed the prior semester 0 6 6 9 9 12 12 12 12 12

Effective fall 2011 (for academic year 2015-2016)

When to Use

Associate's Degree Programs

Before being certified for this payment 1 2 3 4 5 6
A student must have accrued at least this many credits 0 15  27  39  51 
With at least this grade point average 0 1.30 1.50 1.80 2.00 2.00
Minimum number of credit hours that must be completed the prior semester 0 6 9 12 12 12

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Before being certified for this payment 1 2 3 4 5 10 
A student must have accrued at least this many credits 6 15  27 39 51 66 81 96  111
With at least this grade point average 0 1.10 1.25 1.50 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00  2.00   2.00
Minimum number of credit hours that must be completed the prior semester 0 6 9 12 12 12 12 12 12  12

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The minimum standards of satisfactory progress for students attending Berkeley College, for federal financial aid purposes, contain both qualitative and quantitative measures. New York State regulations specify different measures of “program pursuit” and “satisfactory academic progress.”

College skills courses (credits earned and GPA) are not included in the computation of TAP Standards of Progress. However, “remedial students” (students in developmental courses) are subject to a different set of standards than non-remedial students. (See charts, above, for details on TAP satisfactory academic progress requirements.)

TAP Academic Standing

If a student is unable to meet the “program pursuit” or “satisfactory progress” standards during any semester in which a TAP grant was received, the student is not eligible for a TAP award in the subsequent term. Similarly, when a student who has received a TAP award officially or unofficially withdraws from all scheduled classes during a term, the student automatically loses TAP eligibility for the subsequent term. If a student successfully completes a term and is otherwise making satisfactory progress for both state and federal financial aid, but fails to enroll for the subsequent term, TAP eligibility upon re-enrollment at some later date is unaffected.

Note: If a student is subject to dismissal under either the federal or state progress policy, and the College grants an appeal under the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, the student remains ineligible for a TAP award during the subsequent term unless the College also grants a TAP appeal or waiver (see below).

Reinstatement of Good Academic Standing

A student who loses good academic standing for TAP may restore TAP eligibility in one of the following ways: (1) remedying academic deficiencies and meeting good academic standing requirements by completing one term of study without TAP program funds; (2) successful appeal to the Director, Financial Aid, after readmission to the College after an absence of at least one calendar year; (3) transferring to another institution; or (4) applying for and receiving a one-time waiver based on extenuating circumstances. TAP appeals and waivers must be approved by the Director, Financial Aid.

One-Time Waiver of Good Academic Standing Requirement

A one-time waiver of the good academic standing requirement for TAP may be granted during a student’s period of enrollment. This waiver is permitted under New York State regulations for extraordinary or unusual cases where the student was unable to complete successfully the required academic coursework due to mitigating circumstances. For example, a waiver may be warranted for: a) death of a spouse or parent; b) divorce or separation; c) extreme illness documented by a physician; or d) another unusual or extraordinary reason beyond the student’s control that is documented and approved by the Director, Financial Aid. When applying for a waiver, students must demonstrate that the circumstances which impeded their academic performance have been resolved.

New York State Education Department (SED) has two sets of standards. Effective for the 2010-11 academic year and thereafter, New York State Education Law requires a non-remedial student whose first award year is in 2010-11 or thereafter to meet new standards of SAP. Non-remedial students whose first year is 2007-08 through 2009-10 must meet the previous SAP requirements, enacted in 2006 for students receiving their first State award in academic year 2006-07. Students meeting the definition of "remedial student" also are not subject to the new SAP standards, and will use the 2006 requirements.

A “remedial student” at Berkeley College and as accepted by SED is defined as a student: (a) whose scores on a recognized college placement exam or nationally recognized standardized exam indicated the need for remediation for at least two semesters, as certified by the College and approved by the SED; or (b) who was enrolled in at least six semester hours of non-credit remedial (developmental) courses, as approved by SED, in the first term the student received a TAP award.

TAP Accelerated Study

Any student attending Berkeley College for two consecutive semesters is considered, by New York State, to be an accelerated student when attempting the third consecutive semester. 

To be eligible for an accelerated TAP payment (which is the third consecutive semester while receiving TAP), a student must have completed a full-time load with a passing grade. That would be 24 credits over the two semesters. No more than three developmental credits per term may be counted toward the 24-credit requirement.

Students are entitled to a total of four years of TAP. A “year” of payments is measured in points, and a year of payments equals 12 points for a lifetime total of 48 points. At Berkeley, each semester’s usage counts as six points.

TAP Beneficial Placement

Berkeley College applies New York State’s approved Beneficial Placement policy in measuring a student’s satisfactory academic progress to determine TAP eligibility. The policy allows a TAP recipient who has either transferred to Berkeley or changed from one Berkeley program to another to be repositioned on the SAP chart (above) based on either the number of credits the student has earned or the number of aid payments the student has already received, whichever measure is more beneficial to the student. For example, when a student has received terms of TAP payments but has earned only six credits that are transferable to the student’s program of study at Berkeley, it would benefit the student to be evaluated for SAP based on credits transferred rather than points used. It is important to note that, even with Beneficial Placement, a student who has used 24 or more points must maintain a minimum 2.00 GPA.

Beneficial Placement also affects the number of remedial credits a transfer student can apply toward the 12-credit (full-time) prerequisite for TAP eligibility. Using the same example above (using a semester example), without Beneficial Placement the student (having used 18 points of TAP) would need to take at least nine academic credits to reach the 12-credit threshold. With Beneficial Placement, the student is only required to take six academic credits toward a 12-credit full-time load and the rest can be remedial.

The same Beneficial Placement policy would apply to a student who has changed programs while attending Berkeley, as long as the student is in good academic standing at the time of the program change. Please note, however, that a student who has failed to maintain good academic standing cannot regain eligibility by changing programs.

Seven-Week Session Students

Students who begin session B without first completing session A (new or returning students) are not eligible for New York State Grants. Assuming all eligibility criteria are otherwise met, the student will become eligible in session A of the following semester. Disbursement, however, cannot be made until attendance begins at least 12 credits of course work, which can be a combination of courses in session A, session B and/or a 15-week semester.

Enhanced Tuition Awards Program (ETA)

The Enhanced Tuition Awards (ETA) program provides tuition awards to students who are New York State residents attending a participating college located in New York State.

The ETA is $6,000 minus the award you receive through the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (“TAP”), if eligible. Of the resulting amount, NYS HESC pays 50 percent and the other 50 percent is matched by Berkeley College.

The College may initially award all (or a portion of) the required institutional match amount through another Berkeley College grant or scholarship. Such other grant or scholarship will be reallocated to and reclassified on the student’s account as the Berkeley College ETA Match (up to the required institutional match amount). No additional institutional aid will be awarded. If the other grant or scholarship is less than the required institutional match amount, the Berkeley College ETA Match award will be increased up to the full required institutional match amount. Students who do not otherwise qualify for any other Berkeley College grant or scholarship will receive the full required institutional match amount in the form of a Berkeley College ETA Match award.

Other than remaining in good academic standing, there is no specific GPA requirement. However, you must meet the eligibility requirements, which include, but are not limited to:

  1. Maintain continuous enrollment;
  2. Earn a minimum of 30 credits (excludes remedial courses);
  3. Remain on track to graduate within two (2) calendar years for an Associate’s degree or four (4) calendar years for a Bachelor’s degree; and
  4. Satisfy all other NYS HESC requirements.

In addition to all other requirements listed on the NYS HESC website, students must live in New York State for the number of years equal to the awards received. For example, if you received two awards while pursuing your associate’s degree, you would be required to live in New York State for two years after college. Additionally, if you are employed during those years, you must work in New York State. If you move or relocate outside of New York State during the required period of residency, your award will convert from a grant to a loan.

For full eligibility requirements and information click here