COVID-19 Financial Aid Policies

Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) and Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

For the Fall 2022 Semester, Berkeley College will be awarding Emergency FSEOG (EFSEOG) to self-identifying students. These are students that have contacted the college requesting additional assistance, without which they will be unable to attend. In addition, we will be identifying Fresh Start students who need more assistance to return to class in the Fall 2022 or Winter 2023. This approach, helping Fresh Start students, was recommended by the Department when awarding HEERF. As we have a minimal amount of HEERF Funds available. We will award the HEERF to these students until exhausted and then pick up with EFSEOG.

Berkeley’s policy is to review the student’s account and determine if there is any additional Government or Berkeley Financial Aid that can be added to the student’s package. This includes pursuing Professional Judgement review/activity.

After this, if there is still a need for additional assistance the college will awards EFSEOG to students that have completed their FA file and have been awarded and sent an award notice for 2022-2023.

The EFSEOG awards will be provided as follows:

  1. To TIV eligible students who are in a TIV eligible program, which includes Certificate and Undergraduate Degree programs.
  2. Awards will be made for both the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 semesters – in equal portions
    1. A decision will be made in the Winter, based on availability of funds, if any EFSEOG funds will be available for Winter/Spring students
    2. Those awarded for Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 can request funds for Spring 2023, however, that will not be pre-awarded
      1. Decisions will be made on availability of funds and a request
        1. There is not an official request form. Just communication from the student.
  3. Full-Time students (12 or more credits per semester) will be awarded based on their individual need with a maximum of $2,000 per semester
    1. Students who apply for the Spring 2023, if there should be an award, that award cannot exceed the total 2022-2023 Pell Grant which is $6, 895.
      1. This makes it possible for a student to receive three $2,000 awards that in total equals $6,000.
  4. Part-time students (3-9 credits), as long as they are matriculated, can receive up to $1,500 per semester

Updated: Fall 2022


Policy dated Winter 2022

Policy dated Winter 2021

Original Policy dated Winter 2020


Based on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Pub. L. No. 116-136, and guidance provided by the US Department of Education (USDOE) on May 15, 2020 (updated on June 16, 2020), Berkeley College has adopted an Interim Satisfactory Academic Progress ( 34 CFR 668.34) policy of waiving “WF” and “WP” grades (occurring on or after March 12, 2020). Based on updated guidance, the College has adopted a somewhat different policy for students who withdraw from classes during the Spring 2020 semester and forward.

According to USDOE guidance dated May 15, 2020: “Section 3509 of the CARES Act allows institutions to exclude from the quantitative component (pace measurement) of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) attempted credits a student was unable to complete as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. It is not necessary for a student to have filed an SAP appeal for an institution to exercise this flexibility. However, to exclude attempted credits from SAP, an institution must have reasonably determined that the student’s failure to complete those credits was the result of a COVID-19 related circumstance. Allowable circumstances include, but are not limited to, illness of the student or family member, need to become a caregiver or first responder, economic hardship, added work hours, loss of childcare, inability to continue with classes via distance education, inability to access Wi-Fi due to closed facilities…For example, the pace of a student who has completed 78 of 120 attempted hours is 65 percent (78/120), below what is necessary to be making SAP. However, if the 12 credits the student attempted but was unable to complete in (Winter) of 2020 are excluded due to a COVID-19 related circumstance, the pace becomes 72 percent (79/108) and the student is making SAP.”

Berkeley Collegecollects student waiver requests via the Attestation eform. The eform must be submitted with documentation regarding COVID-19 impact for the semester in question. Based on June 16th guidance, the College has extended this policy through the end of the semester when the national emergency is canceled.

Attestation Eform Process

The College sends all appropriate students an email that includes a link to an eform attestation. The attestation should be completed by the deadline indicated. Those past the deadline may or may not be considered for waivers. The eform must be accompanied by documentation that reflects how COVID-19 impacted the student’s ability to attend for that semester.

If the College denies a student’s eligibility for waiver, based on the guidelines from the US Department of Education referenced above, the student will be given the ability to appeal via the appeal committee’s email address. The committee’s determination is final.


Updated: Fall 2022


Policy dated Fall 2020

Original Policy dated Summer 2020


Federal regulations require that a college perform an R2T4 calculation for every withdrawn student. As Berkeley is not an attendance-taking institution, unofficial withdrawals, per federal regulation, are brought to the 50% point for this calculation. The college/student must return all the federal financial aid, as indicated by the results of the R2T4 calculation. The waiver, provided by the CARES Act, allows the college to not return the funds or, if the college already did so, to re-disburse the aid to the student’s accounts. If there is an open balance, Berkeley will apply the aid to that first. Any remaining credit will be refunded to the student.

This interim policy is based on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Pub. L. No. 116-136, (CARES Act), and guidance provided by the US Department of Education (USDOE) on March 5, 2020 (updated March 20, 2020), April 3, 2020 and May 15, 2020 (updated June 16, 2020).

The May 15, 2020 guidance clarified the timeframe for R2T4 waiver eligibility. Specifically, the guidance states: “For any student who begins attendance in a payment period or period of enrollment that begins on or includes March 13, 2020, and subsequently withdraws from the period as a result of COVID-19-related circumstances, an institution is required to return Title IV funds.” This means that all students who withdrew from Berkeley College’s winter 2020 semester, and forward (until the national emergency is canceled), are potentially eligible for the R2T4 waiver.

Those students who are eligible for the waiver and already had the R2T4 calculation completed, and funds were returned, Berkeley will request funds back on behalf of the student. If retrieved funds cause a credit balance, Berkeley will refund the student within 14 days of that credit.

Students who withdrew due to COVID-19 and were left with open balances as a result, that appealed for and received an offsetting credit and had their aid reinstated, will have the offsetting credit removed before the college determines the amount of student refund available.

Based on June 16th guidance, we have extended this policy through the semester during which the national emergency is canceled. For these semesters, every student will require an attestation to receive an R2T4 waiver.

Attestation Eform Process

The college is sending all appropriate students an email that will include a link to an eform attestation. The attestation should be completed by the deadline indicated. Those past the deadline may or may not be considered for waivers.

If the college denies a student’s eligibility for waiver, based on the guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education referenced above, the student will be given the ability to appeal via the appeal committee’s email address. The committee’s determination is final.

As the CARES Act waives all student loans disbursed to eligible withdrawn students, Berkeley will not request permission to reinstate or not return loan(s) from these students. Disbursement letters will be sent to students, as required by the regulations, when funds are received the second time. Students will still have the option to decline the loan, however, as the loan is being forgiven it is expected that students will not do so and instead will accept refunds as anticipated by the CARES Act.

Berkeley will report the names and aid values that would have otherwise been returned as required by USDOE.


Updated: Fall 2022


Policy dated Fall 2020

Original Policy dated Summer 2020


New York State (NYS) defined impacted students as those who are (a) unable to complete courses for the term or (b) earn fewer credits or a lower grade than required by award programs due to COVID-19, regardless of where or how, including:

  • Students enrolled in or who were supposed to begin travel-abroad experiences and were either called back to the US or were not able to begin
  • Students who met full-time requirements, but because of COVID-19, have fallen below the credit requirements
  • Students who have come in contact or become sick with the virus and could not complete a class
  • Students impacted by emergency closures or temporary campus closures in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Students impacted by other related emergency events to prevent the spread of COVID-19

For students, that meet the above criteria, NYS has allowed colleges that have collected documentation (in Berkeley College’s case we have been using the same attestations collected for the federal waivers), to certify students as COVID impacted.


Updated: Fall 2022


Policy dated Fall 2020