The Financial Aid Office reviews eligibility for need-based and merit based financial aid for undergraduate students annually.
Incoming, first year students are eligible to receive financial aid at the University of Rochester for up to a total of eight semesters of full-time attendance or until the minimum requirements for their first bachelor degree are met, whichever is first (for dual degree programs, students have up to 10 semesters or until their dual degree requirements are met, whichever is first). Students should work closely with an academic advisor to develop an academic plan that supports on-time degree completion.
Transfer students are reviewed for eligibility for need-based and merit aid based on the number of transfer credits transferred in, in addition to the number of semesters of aid used at Rochester. Every 16 credits transferred in, counts as a semester used toward the maximum of eight semesters of eligibility. For example, if a student transferred in 32 credits, that student would have 6 remaining semesters of aid for full-time attendance or until the minimum requirements for their first bachelor degree are met, whichever is first. Students should work closely with an academic advisor to develop an academic plan that support on-time degree completion.
In order to be eligible for financial aid, students are expected to maintain full-time attendance (registered for a minimum of 12 “new” credits) in coursework required for their degree program.
Returning students who do not complete their financial aid application by March 15 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. Students should 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 for up to eight semesters of full-time attendance or until the minimum requirements for the first bachelor degree requirements are met, whichever is first. 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 or on the departmental website, 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. Appeals are approved on the basis of extenuating circumstances and are not automatically allowed; loans may be the only option available. Students should consult with an advisor in the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) for additional assistance.
Alternative loans are the primary source of financial aid for the summer. Institutional aid is not available 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 and must be submitted through FAOnline after February 15th.
The Financial Aid Office recommends that 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.
Institutional, state, and most federal financial aid programs require full-time attendance, defined as a minimum of 12 credit per semester of required coursework. 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 drops to part-time status (fewer than 12 credits) during the add/drop period (first four weeks of the semester), their enrollment has now changed to part-time and they are not eligible for University aid. All other aid will be updated as necessary for part-time status as well
If a student withdraws from a class(s) after add/drop with a grade of a W, then that class is still counted and there is no enrollment status change, thus no change to aid. However, this may negatively impact a student’s ability to graduate on time as well as meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for aid eligibility in future terms. Students should consult with an advisor if they are considering making any changes to their course schedule since these changes may negatively impact eligibility for financial aid.
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 (SAP)
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.)
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 credits in the GPA. Courses that are failed will not count toward the number of credits successfully completed, but will affect the cumulative GPA. All courses attempted that are included in the academic history are counted as attempted.
Failure to Meet Standards
Students who fail to meet SAP standards will be provided a warning semester and if SAP is not achieved by the SAP review at the end of the warning semester, a student can submit an appeal with an academic plan to the Financial Aid Office. An appeal form will need to be completed with an explanation of any extenuating circumstances, including an outline of the student’s plan to complete his or her course requirements. The appeal should include an academic plan completed with an advisor in CCAS or the student’s College advisor, to be submitted by CCAS to the Financial Aid Office. An appeal form can be provided by your financial aid counselor and/or CCAS.
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. In some cases, the appeal for federal/institutional aid can be used for the one time allowed TAP appeal.
A student who has been denied aid as a result of failing to meet these standards should contact their financial aid counselor 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 SAP, 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 Standards policy can be found on the Financial Aid Office’s website.
Federal regulations require that universities monitor the academic progress of students who are eligible for financial aid. Undergraduate students should be aware that they will reach their maximum time frame for degree completion once they have accumulated a total of 192 attempted credits. While it is rare to reach this threshold, students who consistently overload and carry a large number of credits, and/or have a large amount of transfer credit on their academic record, should be aware of this policy. For more information, students should discuss their situation with their academic advisor and their financial aid counselor.
Student Employment Opportunities
The Student Employment 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 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.