• Financial Aid
  • Financial Aid Policies

    To insure that you receive all of the aid you are eligible for, you must register for Session I and II at the same time. It is also important to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) each academic year and to keep close track of deadlines each semester. LaGuardia Community College’s Student Financial Planner  provides a month-by-month outline of all that you need to do to secure and maximize your financial aid awards.

    Federal Programs

    Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Federal Aid (Title IV): 

    LaGuardia Community College measures student’s academic progress annually in accordance with the Department of Education’s Program Integrity Regulations. Effective July 2011, if a student is not making satisfactory academic progress, he/she is ineligible for Title IV aid.

    Federal regulations stipulate that a student at LaGuardia Community College may remain eligible to receive Title IV assistance upon achieving at least a "C" average, or its equivalent according to the College’s retention policy, and accumulating credits towards the degree according to the following standards:

    • A student's earned credits are equal to or greater than two-thirds of the credits the student has attempted at the institution;
    • The credits a student has attempted are not more than 150 % of the credits normally required for completion of the degree. If the standard in:

    If the above requirements are not met, eligibility may be retained by meeting the following conditional standard:

    The credits the student has earned are equal to or greater than .875 of the total amount of credits attempted minus 21. Students who fail to meet the conditional status will lose Title IV eligibility. Students may file a Financial Aid Waiver Appeal through the Academic Standing Committee.The decision of the committee is final.

    Special Value Courses: To be eligible to receive Title IV, you must, according to Federal guidelines, be "making significant progress toward your degree," meaning that you must be earning credits at a sufficient rate. The federal guidelines for achieving full-time status in a semester do allow you to include, along with credits, the tuition units of the "special value" courses, but there is a limit: after you have registered (and received Title IV money) for 30 or more "special value" tuition units, Title IV programs will not pay for any additional "special value" courses. For example, if you register for Basic Writing 099 and Math 095, those two courses count for a total of 10.0 "special value" tuition units. If those units are used in calculating your Title IV award for the semester, you will have 20.0 "special value" tuition units remaining in your account.

    If, however, you register for other, "non-special value" courses that make you full-time without using the "special value" tuition units, you would still have 30 "special value" tuition units in your account.

    Once you have used up your 30 "special value" tuition units, you can only receive Title IV money for "non-special value" courses. Any future awards will be based on the credit values of regular courses only. It is therefore to your advantage to try to take "special value" courses along with regular courses, if you have met the prerequisites.

    Note: Although ESL courses are listed as "special value" courses, they do not count toward the Title IV maximum.

    Probation: Satisfactory academic progress is monitored each term. Students who do NOT meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards are NOT eligible for aid. Students can file an appeal. Appeals are reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee, and the decision is final. If the appeal is granted, the student will be eligible for aid.

     Additional Regulations: For Federal Pell awards, students under 24 years old as of January 1st must prove their independence if they claim to be independent of their parents. They must also have unusual circumstances, which must be documented.

    Students are reminded that attendance is a requirement for receiving financial aid. Failure to attend classes could result in a reduction or loss of financial aid. If students charge tuition and/or books and attend classes, they are still liable for the costs and will be billed accordingly.

    Permanent residents who have not had their status confirmed by INS/DOH must also submit a copy of their permanent resident card. Students who have an I-94, with the following endorsements, are no longer eligible for Title IV Aid: a) Adjusted Applicant, b) 245 c) 245 Applicant, d) Applicant for Permanent Residence, e) Voluntary Departure, and f) Deferred Action.

    Total Withdrawals and The Return of Title IV Funds:

    The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended in 1998 (Public Law 105-244) revised the rules to return Title IV funds (e.g. federal Pell) for students who completely withdraw from a term of enrollment. The rules require that students earn their financial aid based on the period of time they remain enrolled.

    During the first 60% of the term, students earn Title IV funds in proportion to the time they are enrolled. If a student received more aid than he or she earned, the unearned portion must be returned to the Department of Education. If a student received less aid than the amount earned, he or she may be eligible for a late disbursement.

    The portion of aid the student is entitled to receive is based on a percentage generated by comparing the total number of days in the semester to the number of days completed before the withdrawal. For example if you completed 20% of the semester, you would have earned 20% of your Title IV aid. If you received 100% of your Title IV aid, you would have to return the unearned portion. The regulation stipulates that the amount to be returned is to be shared by the College and the student in proportion to the aid that each possessed. The College's share of the excess funds is the lesser of the total amount of unearned aid or, institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was unearned.

    The College's share is allocated to the Title IV programs as determined by statute. The student's share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the College's share. This is also allocated to the Title IV programs as determined by statute. The law provides that any amount that the student returns to a grant program be reduced by half. The amount to be returned is also considered an overpayment and must be returned within 30 days to the Department of Education. If the student does not repay the overpayment in full or make a satisfactory payment arrangement within 45 days from the date of notification, the student will become ineligible for future Title IV funds.

    Students who remain enrolled beyond the 60% point of the term are considered to have earned all their aid and do not have to return any Title IV funds.

    Effects of Withdrawing on your Title IV Aid: 

    Federal Pell Grant - If you withdraw from one or more of your classes after the first day of classes, but before the official withdrawal date listed in the schedule of classes, and remain with at least 1.0 tuition unit through 5.5 tuition units, the amount of Pell funds you receive for the session will be reduced. If this amount is less than the amount you charged or credited towards tuition/fees and a book voucher, you will immediately have to pay the difference to the Bursar's Office.

    Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan (FPL), Federal Work-Study (FWS) - If the class or classes you withdraw from by the official withdrawal date reduce(s) your enrollment status to less than half-time status (as described in the Schedule of Classes), you will not receive any funds for the session from these programs. If you work in the Federal Work-Study Program, you must stop working the day you withdraw (officially or unofficially) to below half-time status.

    Federal Direct Loan Program (FDL) - You must maintain at least a half-time enrollment status (as described in the Schedule of Classes) throughout the semester, otherwise you are not eligible for funds from the above loan programs. If you drop to less than a half-time status, you immediately start using your grace period and must contact your loan service for an Exit Interview and repayment information.

    Use the following examples to help determine your eligibility for financial aid: 

    Example I. Withdrawing from all classes 

    Student originally registers as a full-time student. After the last day of the tuition refund period, the student withdraws from all of the classes. Student is currently receiving payment #2 from TAP.

    Title lV Aid-Pell Grant -
    During the first 60% of the term the student’s award will be pro-rated based on the number of days completed before the withdrawal.

    FSEOG, FPL, FWS, FDL - Same as Pell Grant.

    College Discovery – Student is not eligible for C.D. funds after withdrawing from all classes and dropping below full-time status.

    TAP – The student will pay for the session from which all classes have been withdrawn since it is after the last day of the tuition refund period. The student will be seeking TAP payment #3 when the student returns the following semester.

    In order to receive TAP payment #3, the student would have had to earn 9 credits or more, have a GPA of at least 0.75 and complete 50% of the courses in the semester the student received TAP in the prior term.

    Therefore, since the student withdrew from all classes and did not complete 50% of the courses in the semester for which the student received TAP payment #2, the student would not be eligible for TAP payment #3. (See Progress and Pursuit Chart.)

    Example II. Withdrawing From One Class After the Last Day of the Tuition Refund Period: 

    Student originally registers as a full-time student and withdraws from a class after the last day of the tuition refund period. The student becomes ¾-time with 9 credits/9 tuition units. Student is currently receiving payment #3 from TAP.

    Title IV Aid – The Pell Grant will be reduced from full-time to ¾-time payment. If Session II brings student back up to full-time, remaining payment could then be received.

    FSEOG, FPL, FWS, FDL – Payment will remain okay.

    College Discovery – The student is not eligible for C.D. funds after dropping below full-time status. If Session II brings the student back up to full-time, payment could then be received.

    TAP – The TAP will pay for the semester since it is after the last day of the tuition refund period. When the student returns he or she will be seeking TAP payment #4 the following semester.

    In order to receive TAP payment #4, the student would have to have18 credits or more, have a GPA of at least 1.30 and complete 75% or 9 credits. (See Progress and Pursuit Chart).

    State Programs

    Academic Requirements for State Aid (TAP): 

    In order to be eligible for TAP, the following major requirements must be met:

    »Students must be registered as full-time. Students should check each semester at registration to be sure they are registering for a full-time program. A major must be declared the first semester when the student registers.

    » Students must be making satisfactory academic progress toward their degree. In each semester that they wish to receive an award, they must successfully pass a specified number of credits and achieve a grade point average at a specified minimum level (see chart below).

    » Students must pursue their courses at a specified level of completion. Completion means receiving any LaGuardia grade except WA, W or WU (grades of R and F are acceptable). Prior term (see chart below).

    In addition to the academic requirements described, students must also meet certain residency requirements, citizenship requirements, and financial program criteria. For a full explanation of these regulations, students should contact the Financial Aid Office. 



    First Payment in 2006-07 through & including 2009-10 and for students who meet the definition of "Remedial Student" in 2010-11 and thereafter

    First Payment in 2010-11 and thereafter for Non-Remedial Students

    Payment #

    Equated Credits completed in prior term (sessions I & II)

    Cumulative Credits Earned

    Cumulative GPA

    Cumulative Credits Earned

    Cumulative GPA

















































    The Academic Performance chart above illustrates the requirements. If you fail to meet these requirements, you become ineligible for your next scheduled TAP payment. 

    If you received TAP awards at another school prior to attending LaGuardia, you must meet the academic performance for your TAP payments based on the number of transfer credits you received. 

    Requirements for Part-Time TAP Eligibility: 

    1. Student must have started college in Fall 2006 or thereafter.
    2. Student must have earned 12 credits or more in each of two consecutive semesters.
    3. Student must have a GPA of 2.0 or above.
    4. Courses must count toward the student’s major.
    5. Student must be enrolled for less than 12 credits (6cr or less than 12cr).

    Effects of withdrawing on your State Aid (TAP): 

    College Discovery (CD) - You must maintain a full-time status either in Session I or in a combination of Session I and Session II to remain eligible for C.D. funds in that semester.

    Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) - If you withdraw from part or all of your classes after the first day of classes but before the last day of the tuition refund period (listed in the Schedule of Classes), TAP will pay only the amount of any tuition liability. You will use a semester's worth of TAP eligibility and you may lose TAP eligibility for the semester or future semesters depending on TAP standards for Progress and Pursuit (see chart).

    If you withdraw from part or all of your classes after the last day of the tuition refund period (listed in the Schedule of Classes) you will receive the amount of TAP award charged or credited towards tuition for the session, BUT you may lose TAP eligibility for the next semester or future semesters depending on TAP standards for Progress and Pursuit.

    Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): 

    Application Procedures: Applicants must complete TAP application.

    The Higher Education Services Corporation (H.E.S.C.) determines the applicant's eligibility and mails an award certificate directly to the applicant indicating the amount of the grant.
    Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards: The Tuition Assistance Program is an entitlement program based on financial need.

    The applicant must: 

    1. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (permanent resident alien).
    2. Be a New York State resident for at least one year.
    3. Be registered as a full-time student, enrolled in courses in his or her major.
    4. Have graduated from a U.S. High School or have a G.E.D. or have passed a federal approved exam (ATB); all subjects showing the meet cut point.
    5. Be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in a good academic standing; have at least a "C" average after receipt of two annual payments.
    6. Be charged at $200 tuition per year.
    7. Not be in default on a student loan granted by H.E.S.C. and not be in default of any repayment of state awards.
    8. Meet income eligibility limitation:
        a)  if dependent, have a N.Y.S. family net income below $80,000.
        b)  if independent, have a N.Y.S. net income below $10,000.


    The current definition of independent status is as follows (independent status under the State definition does not necessarily insure independent status for federal aid programs):

    » Thirty-five years or older on June 30, 2009 or

    » Twenty-two years or older on June 30, 2009, and not

    » A resident in any house, apartment, or building owned or leased by parents for more than 2 consecutive weeks in calendar years 2008, 2009 or 2010, or

    Claimed as a dependent by parents on their Federal or State income tax returns for 2007, 2008

    Under 22 years of age on June 30, 2009 and meeting all other requirements of (2) above, and able to meet at least one of the following requirements:

    a) Both parents are deceased, disabled or incompetent

    b) Is receiving public assistance other than Aid as a Dependent Child (ADC) or food stamps

    c) Is a ward of a court

    d) Is unable to ascertain parents' whereabouts

    e) Is unable, due to an adverse family situation, to submit parents' income

    f) Was married on or before December 31, 2008

    Undergraduate students may generally receive TAP awards for four years of study. Students enrolled in approved five-year programs may receive awards for more than a total of eight years of undergraduate and graduate study.

    Award Schedule: The amount of the TAP award is scaled according to level of study, tuition charge, and net taxable income. The income measure is the family's (or independent student's) New York State net taxable income, and (for dependent students) support from divorced or separated parents. This income is further adjusted to reflect other family members enrolled full time in post secondary study.

    Aid For Part-Time Study (APTS): 

    Application Procedures: Application is made through the CUNY Financial Aid Supplement form. This program is opened to eligible students who meet income requirements and who are taking at least 6.0 to 11.5 credits. Students must make academic progress toward a degree in accordance to the NYS TAP/APTS program pursuit and academic progress requirements and must not have exhausted TAP eligibility. Since funds are restricted, applicants are advised to apply early.

    Upcoming Implementation of the MyData Button on NSLDS 

    • Later next month the new "MyData Button" will be available on the NSLDS Student Access Web site. The MyData Button will allow students to download their loan, grant, enrollment, and overpayment information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) into a machine-readable, plain text file.
    • The MyData Button was developed as part of the Education Data Initiative, an initiative designed to make education-related data available, machine-readable, and accessible, while protecting personal privacy. A primary goal of the initiative is to empower students with their own data and assist them in making informed decisions about higher education—where to enroll, how to pay for it, and how to manage their debt if they borrow.
    • With the implementation of the MyData Button on NSLDS, students will be able to receive their own data in a simple text file, rather than being limited to viewing their data in a PDF document or on a Web page.
    • Additional information may be found here.


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