Student Aid

Academic Standing and Progress

State and federal financial aid regulations require colleges and universities to publish institutional criteria of good academic standing and satisfactory academic progress that will be used in determining eligibility for financial aid. The state of New York defines good academic standing in terms of program pursuit and satisfactory academic progress, whereas federal (Title IV) regulations call only for standards of satisfactory progress. Both state and federal regulations require satisfactory academic progress to be defined in terms of total credits and cumulative grade point average (GPA) earned by a given point in time.

Program pursuit -- To remain in good academic standing from the standpoint of program pursuit, an Ithaca College undergraduate student must receive passing, failing, or incomplete grades in 6 credits each semester of the first year, in 9 credits each semester of the second year, and in 12 credits in each of the remaining four semesters. Grades of W (withdrawal) cannot be counted toward meeting these requirements. To be eligible for tuition assistance from the state of New York, a student must declare a major by the beginning of the fifth semester of undergraduate study.

Satisfactory academic progress -- To remain in good academic standing from the standpoint of making satisfactory academic progress, an Ithaca College undergraduate student must earn at least the number of credits and the cumulative GPA indicated in the appropriate table below. The credits and average must be earned by the beginning of the term in which the financial aid is to be disbursed. Incomplete grades represent credit not yet earned. Grades in repeated courses count in the GPA calculation, but the credit counts only once. In order to continue to receive Title IV aid, an undergraduate Title IV aid recipient must complete his or her program within 150 percent of the published length of the program, measured in credit hours attempted. For instance, if the published length is 120 credit hours, the student must complete the program within 180 attempted credit hours. The table below applies to full-time students.

Before term/payment number











student must have accrued
this many credits











with at least this cumulative GPA











Waiver of Standards

The above standards for program pursuit and satisfactory academic progress may be waived, provided a student can show fully documented medical or unusual personal circumstances. Statements explaining the special circumstances that may merit a waiver are on file in the Office of Student Financial Services.

Additionally, under New York State education law, the president of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) can waive the academic progress requirement of a minimum C (2.00) cumulative GPA for a student who has received two years of state-funded aid.

The student may appeal in writing; the circumstances must be specific to the issue of the student's inability to achieve the C (2.00) cumulative GPA as of the end of a particular semester or term. The state's language provides for a waiver of the 2.00 requirement for undue hardship based on the death of a relative of the student, personal injury or illness of the student, or other extenuating circumstances. Use of the one-time president's waiver does not preclude the possibility of waiver of the C (2.00) cumulative GPA requirement alone in a subsequent semester. Conversely, waiver of the C (2.00) cumulative GPA requirement alone in a term does not affect a student's subsequent eligibility for the one-time waiver of the NYSHESC standards. Waivers of standards are granted for one semester only.