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Advising Handbook

Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office reviews eligibility for need-based financial aid for undergraduate students annually for each of four years (eight regular fall/spring semesters) of full-time attendance in an approved degree program. Transfer students are reviewed until the graduation date that was established at the time of admission.

Returning students who do not complete their financial aid application by May 1 should be aware that they are not guaranteed full consideration for University need-based assistance and may have their institutional grant aid reduced due to limited funding.

Requesting Additional Aid

Students who are in need of additional aid during the school year can appeal with a detailed letter to the Financial Aid Office. Please be aware that University assistance is limited and supplemental loans may be the only additional aid option.

Contact information for all of the counselors as well as their alpha-case load can be found on the financial aid website .

Limits on Financial Aid

Institutional aid is limited to eight semesters for students admitted as incoming first-year students. Transfer students are limited to receiving institutional aid only to the graduation date that was established at the time of admission.

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) recipients must not have depleted the maximum amount of 48 TAP points in their receipt of TAP from all attended institutions.

Students who believe they need an additional semester or year to complete the degree requirements outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin due to extenuating circumstances can appeal to the Financial Aid Office to request institutional aid beyond the semester limit established at the time the student first enrolled at the University of Rochester.

The Financial Aid Office consults with the Dean’s Office to determine if an appeal should be granted. Appeals are not automatically approved and loans may be the only option available.

Summer Enrollment

Alternative loans are the primary source of financial aid for the summer. Institutional aid is not awarded by the Financial Aid Office for summer enrollment. Federal and state aid are available in limited circumstances. Part-time enrollment may qualify the student for federal and/or state aid. A summer aid application is required for all students to determine eligibility.

We recommend students discuss their situation with a financial aid counselor to determine potential eligibility as well as application requirements for the summer. Additional information can be found on the financial aid website.

Full-Time Attendance

Institutional, state, and most federal financial aid programs require full-time attendance, defined as a minimum of 12 credit per semester. The federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan program can be pro-rated for less than full-time attendance, as can alternative loans, though half-time attendance is usually required. Repeats of courses previously passed do not count toward these minimums.

Undergraduate students in the College must maintain full-time status in order to be eligible for institutional grants and scholarships.

If a student is permitted to officially drop to part-time status mid-semester, then any institutional grants and scholarships a student is receiving will be pro-rated for the portion of the semester that the student paid full-time tuition. No grants or scholarships will be provided for the portion of the semester that the student is paying part-time tuition.

Degree Program and Major Declaration

Students must be enrolled in an approved degree program to be eligible for institutional, federal, and state aid. Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree are ineligible for institutional, state, and most federal aid.

New York State TAP funding requires that students must have been accepted into an official major by October 1 of the junior year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must accrue a specified number of credit hours and achieve a specified cumulative grade point average at the end of each academic year (for institutional and federal aid purposes) and the end of each semester (for state aid purposes). Failure to meet these standards will result in the loss of eligibility for institutional, federal, and state aid. (For part-time students, the credit and GPA requirements are the same, but the time interval is one academic year instead of one semester.)

Transfer students are evaluated only with respect to courses taken at the University of Rochester. They enter the schedule based on the number of credits transferred (12 credits equals one semester of attendance).

Courses that are dropped, previously passed courses which are successfully repeated, and incomplete courses will not count toward the number of credits successfully completed or toward the cumulative GPA. Courses that are failed will not count toward the number of credits successfully completed, but will affect the cumulative GPA.

Failure to Meet Standards

Students who fail to meet these standards can appeal to the Financial Aid Office and explain any extenuating circumstances, including an outline of the student’s plan to complete his or her course requirements.

The Financial Aid Office consults with the Dean’s Office to determine if an appeal should be granted. Appeals are not automatically approved and alternative loans may be the only option available. TAP recipients should discuss their situation with a financial aid counselor since there is a different set of waivers related to academic standing for TAP funding.

A student who has been denied aid as a result of failing to meet these standards should contact the Financial Aid Office to request information about the reinstatement of their eligibility for financial assistance after bringing their GPA and/or accumulated credits up to the level required.

Students who are separated for academic reasons and who leave the University for one year are normally eligible for a re-evaluation of their record upon readmission. However, in determining satisfactory academic progress, federal guidelines require that the Financial Aid Office consider all coursework completed at the University of Rochester as if the re-evaluation had not occurred.

More information about the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy can be found on the financial aid website .

Standards Table

Standards of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes
At the end of this semester...123456789
A student must have successfully completed at least this many credits...8203244567288104120
And have at least this GPA...1.51.81.82.02.02.02.02.02.0

Student Employment Opportunities

The Financial Aid Office works with faculty, the community, and all University departments to create employment opportunities for students.

Over two-thirds of undergraduates work throughout the course of the academic year. Some students work consistently during the year, averaging between eight and twelve hours a week. Other students work periodically and have secured jobs that allow them greater flexibility in their work schedules. Students work on and off campus, as part of the Federal Work-Study Program or on regular payroll.

On-campus opportunities range from office work to research. Off-campus work is even more varied. The work can be carefully designed to fit the needs, interests, and skills of the student.

Federal Work-Study Jobs

Federal Work-Study is a federally funded program created to promote greater access for students to employment opportunities both on campus and in the surrounding community. A student’s eligibility for the program is based on financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office. The federal government provides a portion of an eligible student’s wages, making it easier for a department to employ student workers.