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Below are common questions we receive from our students about various topics related to financial aid that we can answer in general terms, but, if you have specific questions that relate to your application or award, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How can I talk to my financial aid counselor?

The Office of Financial Aid Services at CT State offers appointments both in-person and virtually. Appointments are encouraged, but drop-ins are welcome. Please contact your financial aid office for available times.

What is your policy on documents and signatures?

It is your responsibility to be aware of any documents required to be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid Services.  All notifications from our office will be made to your college email account or through postal mail.  Any forms that are required of you are available within your Self-Service Banner account in the Requirements section.  You can find these forms here. You must print, complete, and provide a wet signature on documents requiring a signature.  Secure electronic document submissions may be made through the Student Document Upload, located on the Financial Aid card in your myCTState portal but may also be submitted by fax, mail, in person, or through an encryption from your student email account.  Unencrypted documents and documents submitted from any personal email account will not be reviewed.

Do you provide any accommodations for disabilities?

All of our offices at each campus have at least one handicap-accessible space, as well as signage in braille.  If you have questions or need a specific accommodation, please contact your Financial Aid Office for assistance. 

What is financial aid and how can I get it? 

Financial aid is funding that helps students pay for college costs, such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. It can be in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, or loans. Financial aid comes from a combination of sources, such as the US Department of Education, State of Connecticut, CT State, and other private sources.  To be eligible for financial aid, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be matriculated in a financial aid-eligible degree or certificate program at the college
  • Have a valid high school diploma or a recognized equivalent 
  • Have a valid Social Security Number, if required
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan or, if in default, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the loan holder
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Not have been convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs that occurred while the student was enrolled and receiving Title IV aid
  • Fill out the FAFSA every year that you’re enrolled in classes

Once you have completed your FAFSA, our office will receive your application from the US Department of Education for processing and awarding.  Using your Student Aid Index (SAI) and your Cost of Attendance (COA) in a calculation to determine your “financial need,” we will determine what sources and amounts of financial aid you are eligible to receive.  Please note, the U.S. Department of Education sets the definition of financial need for students, not CT State.

How do I know my enrollment status?

Your enrollment status is defined by how many credits you take within your academic program each semester.  In general, your status is finalized at the 21st day of each regular semester, and your financial aid will be revised in accordance with how many credits you are registered for at that point.  In the summer session, the census date will be after the beginning of all summer modules.  Any coursework dropped prior to each enrollment census will not be considered toward a student’s overall enrollment status and subsequent financial aid payment.  In addition, any coursework added by a student who has already had their enrollment status determined will not have their additional courses considered toward their overall enrollment status and subsequent financial aid payment. 

Enrollment Status

Credit Level

Full Time

12 or more credits

Three Quarter Time

9 to 11 credits

Half Time

6 to 8 credits

Less than Half Time

1 to 5 credits

Please be mindful of any enrollment status requirements that exist for any of your financial aid awards.  For example, you may need to be enrolled full-time to receive specific types of funding.

Can I receive financial aid for any courses I register for?

No, federal regulations indicate that you may only receive federal student aid for courses that are applicable to your chosen program of study. Our state and institutional sources of financial aid are treated the same way as federal aid. If you wish to take courses outside of your academic program, you will be responsible for the cost. If you aren’t sure if the courses you want to take are part of your program, please contact your Guided Pathways or Faculty Advisor.

How will I know if I registered for courses outside of my program?

Your Guided Pathway Advisor will reach out to you to let you know you have registered for a course that does not fit into your program and for which you cannot receive financial aid. You will also notice an amount due to the college for these aid-ineligible courses. If you aren’t sure, contact your Guided Pathways Advisor or the Financial Aid Office.

I need to take remedial/developmental/preparatory courses, are those covered by financial aid?

Yes, this type of coursework is covered by financial aid. However, you are only allowed financial aid for no more than 30 credits worth of coursework in this area.

I need to take ESOL courses, are these covered by financial aid?

Yes, ESOL courses are covered by financial aid.

What is the difference between a federal loan and a private loan? 

Federal loans are made under the Federal Direct Loan Program through the US Department of Education. You will be responsible to pay it back, with interest, to the Federal government. If Federal Loans do not meet your borrowing needs, there are many private lenders that offer a variety of supplemental borrowing programs. These loans are considered consumer loans, and approval is based on a good credit history and a satisfactory debt-to-income ratio.  You should carefully review and compare fees, interest rates, and repayment options before applying as interest rates and repayment terms may not be as favorable as those from federal sources.

What happens if I want a private loan to cover the costs of my education? 

As a student at CT State, you are allowed to use private loans to help cover the costs of your education. First, you will need to find a lender and then initiate an application for a private loan. 

After you apply for a loan, the lender will contact the school and send over loan certification documents. 

When a request for certification is received, the Financial Aid Office checks to see if you are enrolled. If you are eligible to receive federal financial aid but haven’t taken advantage of that yet, you may get contacted by our office for a consultation.  

Once your loan is certified by the school and you have signed all the necessary documents with the lender, your loan will be disbursed directly to the school according to your course schedule. 

My private loan is more than my student account bill. Can I get a refund to help cover my living expenses? 

When your private loan funds are received by the school, they are automatically transmitted to your student account. The Business Office will then review the account and process a refund if the funds exceed your student account charges.

Do you have any preferred lenders that I could reach out to? 

CT State Community College does not maintain a preferred lender list, or refer student borrowers to specific lenders.

What are my rights and responsibilities?

Your student rights are: 

  • The right to know what federal, state, institutional, and private sources of financial assistance are available.
  • The right to be provided information about their financial aid application. 
  • The right to know the cost of attendance at CT State.
  • The right to confidentiality concerning their application as guaranteed by the Federal Right to Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • The right to appeal to the Office of Financial Aid Services for not meeting federal guidelines for Satisfactory Academic Progress. 

Your student responsibilities are:

  • Reporting circumstances that may have changed to our office after you had certified your information as correct upon completing the FAFSA.
  • Reporting and updating mailing addresses and using their CT State student email. 
  • Reporting third-party benefits such as Veterans Benefits and scholarships. 
  • Understanding CT State’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. 
  • Reading the contents of CT State’s financial aid website.
  • Completing loan program requirements such as a master promissory note, as well as entrance and exit counseling.
How do I apply for financial aid?

We know that applying for financial aid may get confusing. Don’t worry, we are here to help! We’ll try to make this process as easy as possible for you and your family, and we’ll be there to answer your questions every step of the way. If you need any assistance throughout your financial aid application process, don’t hesitate to contact us.

First, let’s start with the basics about the application process, which collects financial and other information to help our office determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Remember, the FAFSA must be completed each year that you are attending any of our institutions.

  1. To be considered for federal financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). This can be completed as early as October 1st of each year for the following academic year.
  2. If this is your first time filling out the FAFSA form, you will need to create an FSA ID. This ID will allow you (and your parents, if you are a dependent student) to access Federal Student Aid's online system.  Dependent students, parents, and independent students (all contributors) need to apply for their own separate FSA IDs. The FSA ID consists of an account username and password, serves as your legal signature when completing electronic documents, and is also used when accessing the online Federal Student Aid website. 
  3. You're able to list up to 20 colleges online that you would like your FAFSA sent. You must add the federal school code 007635 on your FAFSA.
How do I know if I am eligible to receive financial aid?

To be considered for financial aid, you must, at a minimum, satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Be accepted for admission to the college and enrolled in a degree or eligible certificate program.
  2. Have a high school diploma, GED, or recognized equivalent.
  3. Be a US citizen with a valid Social Security number or be an eligible non-citizen with a valid alien registration number.
  4. Complete the FAFSA or Renewal Application for the correct academic year.
  5. Have a clean NSLDS record (no outstanding loan payments or holds).
  6. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as stated in the Student Handbook.
  7. Provide any other documents requested by the Financial Aid Office for completion of the student’s financial aid file.

If your financial aid file is incomplete or if you’re selected for verification, you will receive an electronic notification via email to log in to myCTState. In addition, we will try to reach out to you personally to make sure you’re aware of the missing documents, and we will help with any questions you may have.  Please be sure to frequently review your college email account for messages from the Financial Aid Office.  Your college email account is our official method of communication to you.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to provide all the information, documentation, forms, and signed documents in a timely manner when/if requested to do so. Unfortunately, failure to follow through with such requests will result in a delay of the financial aid process and/or eligibility for financial aid.

What if I am an undocumented student?

If you are an undocumented student, we have good news! Under Connecticut Public Act 18-2, undocumented students who are Connecticut residents (eligible for in-state tuition) are eligible for institutional financial aid funding by way of completing the Aid Application for Undocumented CT Students (AACTUS).  Information on the AACTUS, including the paper application, is available from the main Connecticut State Colleges & Universities website and CT State's website.  You must sign the AACTUS document in front of a Notary Public and submit it to the financial aid office via mail, fax, or in person. 

To be considered for institutional financial aid as an undocumented student, you must meet certain age, residency, and criminal history requirements in addition to signing an affidavit of eligibility.

Eligibility requirements and deadlines are as follows:

Institutional aid may only be granted if you would have otherwise qualified for aid except your undocumented status. For example: 

  1. You must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards to receive aid. 
  2. Dependent students must supply parent information.
  3. Dependency overrides may be possible per college policy and professional judgment. 
  4. Students and parents earning over that year’s filing threshold must file an income tax return.
What are the deadlines?

Please don’t forget to pay close attention to the deadlines! It is important to submit everything in a timely fashion. This way, you will ensure that you have access to all available funding options and your financial aid is awarded properly before the tuition bill is due. 

The FAFSA application cycle is 21 months. Applications are typically accepted in the beginning of October through June of the following year.

For 2024-2025, applications are accepted beginning December 31, 2023 and through June 30, 2025. You must use federal school code 007635 for CT State on your 2024-2025 FAFSA.

If you wish to have your financial aid in place as a payment method for courses before they begin, you should plan to have your application and all requested documents complete by the priority filing deadline (this includes the AACTUS application). The following priority dates will help you maximize your financial aid package.

  • Fall Semester: July 15
  • Spring Semester: November 15
  • Summer Semester: April 1
What is verification? 

Each year, many students are selected by the US Department of Education for an application review process called verification. This is done to ensure that the information you entered into FAFSA is correct, and that no mistakes were made anywhere on the form before federal financial aid is awarded.  The US Department of Education will select your application for this review, and asks us to obtain certain information to help you complete the process. Your FAFSA Submission Summary will let you know that you have been selected for verification, and we will also contact you to request documentation to complete the process.

What should I do if I am selected for verification?

If you are selected, please know that verification is mandatory for you to complete and you should act quickly to ensure that you are still able to maximize your financial aid package since funding is limited. Please make sure to read this section carefully. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to reach out!

  • To complete verification, we have partnered with Inceptia, a nonprofit organization and verification expert. If you are selected, you will receive a welcome email from Inceptia with instructions to follow.
    • If you are a dependent student, your parent will receive a similar email with instructions from Inceptia, and they will have to follow the prompts to complete verification for their student.
  • In that email, you will be instructed to go to the Verification Gateway (VG) portal to authenticate your account and begin the process. VG is easy to use, mobile friendly, and it guides you through each step of verification.  You can access VG by using a mobile phone, tablet, gaming console, or computer.
  • You have 3 options for authenticating your VG account:
    • If you have trouble completing option one or two, please email or call 833-932-1877, and a customer service representative can authenticate the account with you over the phone.
    • Provide First and Last Name, Last four digits of SSN, and answer three questions from FAFSA submission with 100% accuracy.
    • Provide First and Last Name, Date of Birth, and full SSN.
  • Once you register and log into VG, complete the items on your personalized Task List and upload requested documents. Once a task is completed, the task bar will turn green, and the button will say, “Completed.”
  • Once all items on the Task List are complete, you will need to sign your verification. This can be done in two different ways:
  • E-Signature: (recommended) E-Sign is a fast and simple way to sign. This speeds up the verification process and is also easy to update if corrections need to be made or additional information is required.
  • Ink Signature: This option requires the student (and parent, if the student is dependent) to print out the form, sign it, and mail to Inceptia to manually load into the Verification Gateway.
  • If you do not have access to the internet or are having trouble accessing Inceptia’s Verification Gateway portal (or documents), please contact the financial aid office and we will help you troubleshoot.
  • In very rare cases we may ask you to submit verification documents directly to the college. If that is the case, we will communicate with you directly via your school email or phone to let you know what steps you need to take.
What are the deadlines for the verification process?

It is very important to follow all the deadlines because your financial aid can only be awarded once you complete the whole verification process. Remember, it is your responsibility to complete and submit all requested information and documents to Inceptia in a timely fashion.

  1. CT State Community College maintains a verification priority deadline of July 15, as certain forms of aid are limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. Meeting this deadline does not guarantee awarding of financial aid.  This is why it is always best to adhere to the July 15 priority deadline.
  3. If you are unable to meet the July 15 priority deadline, then you must submit all requested verification documents within 30 days of the end of the term in which you need your financial aid.
  4. If the term is the summer semester, then you must submit the verification documents prior to the end of your assigned academic year.
What are the acceptable documents and forms?

Information in your Verification Gateway (VG) will specify the exact required forms and documentation. Do not provide documentation unless specifically requested to do so. Here is a list of acceptable documentation that you may be asked to provide:

  • A verification worksheet that is completed accurately, legibly, and signed by you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student).
  • Official tax information using one of the options below:
    • Use the Future Act Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX) to transfer unchanged tax data into your FAFSA
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax transcripts. For information on how to get a tax transcription, please check here:
    • Signed tax returns are accepted if all other options are unavailable
  • If you are a non-tax filer, but report income earned from work, you will be required to provide W‐2s and an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter (VNF) dated on or after October 1 of the corresponding tax year.
  • Signed statement by you (and your parent, if you’re a dependent student) concerning any untaxed income or benefits (e.g., statement confirming child support paid/received; all untaxed income reported on U.S. individual tax returns, excluding schedules; W-2 forms for contributions to retirement plans; etc.).
  • Signed statement by you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student) confirming the family/household size.
What if my financial aid award changes because of the verification process?

If for some reason your financial aid award needs to be adjusted as a result of verification, we will send you a notification by email to login into myCTState to view your revised award.

What is a student budget?

A student budget is also known as the cost of attendance (COA). The COA includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, food and housing, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. It is important to remember that your COA is only an estimated budget for attending college for the year; it is not an amount you owe to the college. While your actual costs will depend on your personal expenses and your lifestyle as a student, the only costs owed directly to the college are tuition and fees, and books and supplies if you choose to utilize our bookstore.

How is my budget determined? 

The basic student budget used by the Office of Financial Aid Services includes the components identified below.  Your initial budget is provided based on the assumption that you are enrolled full-time (12 or more credits per semester) for both the fall and spring terms.  Your final budget will be adjusted according to your actual enrollment status. 

  • Tuition and Fees: Tuition and fees are set annually by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. Our office may utilize prior year rates to create your initial budget and update it if the Board chooses to make an update. Some programs, such as Manufacturing or Nursing, also include additional program-specific fees in the cost of attendance. You can always view the most up to date rates by visiting our tuition and fees section.
  • Books and Supplies: Books and supplies costs are taken from the most recent Trends in College Pricing publication by the College Board for two-year colleges.  
  • Food and Housing: Your food and housing budget will vary depending on whether you live off campus or at home with your parents.  Your dependency status from the FAFSA will also be considered. Please note that none of our campuses offer on-campus housing.
  • Transportation: Your transportation budget will also be determined by your housing situation, whether you live off campus or at home with your parents. 
  • Miscellaneous Personal Expenses: Similar to your transportation budget, your miscellaneous personal expenses will be determined by whether you live off campus or with your parents.
  • Loan Fees: Loan fees are a calculated average amount for undergraduate students.

    You are able to review your COA at any time by reviewing your College Financing Plan within your myCTState account.

    What if I have additional costs not included in my current budget? 

    To ensure consideration of all educationally related expenses when awarding financial aid, you may request an appeal if needed. Budget appeals are allowable in situations where your student budget is not reflective of your true educational expenses and may subsequently influence the award amount. Budget adjustments are considered on a case-by-case basis, and are processed as a Professional Judgment. Supporting documentation is always required with an appeal and enforced through the Professional Judgment process.

    • Dependent Care (child or elder). We will use Professional Judgment to add dependent care costs to your budget. Please let us know if you have these additional expenses and provide the number of children or elders for which these costs are incurred.   
    • Additional Educational Costs for Students with Disabilities. You must notify the Financial Aid Office if you have these additional expenses.  This is handled through Professional Judgment, and documentation of the expense will be required.
    • Computer Expense. If you purchased a personal computer/laptop, and you want it reflected in your budget, you will have to go through Professional Judgment, which will require documentation of the cost.  This cost will then be added to the Books and Supplies budget component.
    • Transportation. Students with higher than average transportation expenses due to circumstances beyond their control may provide documentation for consideration.
    • One-Time Exceptions. Students with a one-time exceptional expense beyond their control which increased their educationally related costs (e.g. COVID-19, natural disaster) may provide documentation for consideration.

    The appeal form is available from our office. Please submit your form with all appropriate documentation within the award year for a determination to be made.  If non-existent or inadequate documentation is submitted, or if the appeal and documentation is submitted outside of the specified deadline, the appeal will be automatically denied.

    How do you award and package financial aid? 

    The Office of Financial Aid Services will notify you of your financial aid award through your college email account when your financial aid package is ready. It is your responsibility to review your financial aid package.

    Our office utilizes the Federal Pell Grant as the foundation award for all financial aid packages. This means we award the Pell Grant first and then build the financial aid package from there.  Your eligibility for state and institutional grant awards will be assessed next. Finally, your eligibility for our last-dollar free tuition program will be made to round out your financial aid package after all other forms of financial aid have been awarded to you.

    CT State will automatically package you with federal student loans. Loans can be accepted or declined in myCTState.

    If I can’t file the FAFSA due to my immigration status, can I still receive a financial aid award?

    By state law, institutional aid is available to students who are not eligible to receive federal aid through the FAFSA.  Student eligibility for this subset of institutional aid is derived by completing the Aid Application for CT Undocumented Students (AACTUS).

    When will you package my financial aid award? 

    Federal, state, and institutional aid award packaging begins in the spring for the upcoming fall term. As our office learns of final funding levels for state and institutional aid closer to the start of the fall term, we may repackage financial aid awards, as necessary. If that happens, you will be notified at your college email. Generally, we put together financial aid awards on a rolling basis, provided you are not missing any documents. Please check for any missing documents in myCTState.   

    How do you determine the financial aid award amounts?

    Annual Federal Pell grant amounts are determined by the US Department of Education and are announced to schools each spring.  Any changes to Federal Direct Loan amounts and institutional financial aid are generally provided around the same timeframe. Please remember that funding for state, institutional, and some federal programs is limited and awards are made on a first come, first served basis.

    State financial aid program allocations are announced by the State of Connecticut and depend on the budgetary cycle. 

    Institutional aid is awarded to help with any gaps between the financial aid package and direct costs (tuition, fees, and an allowance for books and supplies).  If other funding sources (such as outside scholarships) become apparent later, they will replace some or a portion of the previously awarded institutional aid. We will then redistribute that institutional aid to students with more financial need, as determined by the financial aid office. If you ever have a question about your aid package, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

    What if my financial aid award exceeds my cost of attendance?

    In some cases, financial aid, as well as some other funds coming from outside sources (such as local scholarships, AmeriCorps, etc.), may result in an “over-award.” An over-award happens when the need-based aid that has been awarded exceeds the student’s unmet need, or when the financial aid award exceeds the cost of attendance. If you have an over-award in your financial aid package, we will update your financial aid award and notify you via email. Don’t fret though, Federal Pell Grant amounts are never reduced to resolve an over-award situation. 

    I have an AmeriCorps benefit, what should I do?  

    If you have an AmeriCorps benefit, you should first submit a request through the AmeriCorps account to have funds certified for application to your student account. After the request is received, we will determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. AmeriCorps will then release the funds, and the Bursar will apply these funds to your account. In some cases, AmeriCorps awards affect other aid awarded. The Financial Aid Office will review your account and notify you via email of any changes to your aid.

    My employer may be paying for my educational expenses. Is that acceptable? 

    Absolutely! If part of your employer benefit package consists of tuition remission/reimbursement, you should definitely take advantage of that amazing benefit. Please work with the Bursar office to have your employer send the funds to the school. In some cases, these funds may affect other aid awarded. Our office will review your account and notify you via email of any changes to your aid. 

    Am I eligible to receive financial aid if I take classes in the summer term? 

    If you received 100% of your Pell grant in the fall and spring semesters, you may be eligible to receive additional Pell funding if you are enrolled during the summer. Please contact the financial aid office to discuss your eligibility for summer financial aid. 

    What happens if my financial circumstances change? Can I appeal my financial aid award? 

    If you have a concern regarding your financial aid award due to a change in your family’s financial situation, please reach out to our office. We will be able to discuss your circumstances and determine if you qualify for a revision to your award due to an extenuating circumstance. If you do, we will ask you to complete a Special Circumstances Appeal. When your financial circumstances change, we utilize a process called “Professional Judgment,” and sometimes it may result in an updated financial aid package. Each individual situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you contact us as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances. 

    What kinds of special circumstances would you consider for Professional Judgement? 

    There are a few situations that can be considered Professional Judgement. Some of these circumstances include, but are not limited to: 

    • Loss of employment due to a termination, layoff, disability, retirement, company closing, plant shutdown, etc. (for you; your spouse; or your parent, if you are a dependent student).
    • Separation or divorce (for you or your parent, if you are a dependent student).
    • Death of an individual whose information was reported on FAFSA.
    • Documented excessive medical or dental expenses (for you or your parent, if you are a dependent student). 
    • Childcare or dependent care expenses (for you or your parent, if you are a dependent student).
    • Natural disasters affecting a family’s income or assets.
    • Conversions of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs (for you; your spouse; or your parent, if you are a dependent student).
    • Family relationship where it is impossible or unsafe to collect parental information (if you are a dependent student).

    The following special circumstances will not be considered: 

    • An independent student trying to become a dependent.
    • Costs incurred after students are no longer enrolled (for example, graduate school admissions tests) cannot be added to the Cost of Attendance.
    • Home repairs.
    • Discretionary debt.
    • Previous education debt. 
    • Mortgage/vehicle payments.
    What happens after I submit all my documents? 

    After all documentation is collected, a representative committee will evaluate your materials for Professional Judgment consideration. If this process results in a change in your financial aid package, a revised award letter notification will be emailed to you. You will be able to see your new financial aid award in myCTState.

    What is a financial aid disbursement? 

    Disbursement is a process by which your financial aid funds are made available to you to help cover educational expenses. These funds are disbursed to your student account and are used to pay for billed charges, such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. If after your disbursements you have excess funds on your account, it means you have a credit balance, also known as a refund. Refunds are processed within 14 days after your disbursement date.

    When is financial aid disbursed each term?  

    The first disbursement for each term is normally made ten days after the census date. The census date is the 21st day of each Fall and Spring semester. You will be notified via your college email of all disbursement information, including dates on which refunds will be delivered.

    I have a balance from a previous year. Can I use my current financial aid to cover past balances or future charges? 

    CT State uses an online form to collect authorization from students to pay up to $200 of prior year charges, called the Title IV Authorization. You must have enough aid to cover your current year charges before aid can apply to a prior year. The maximum amount we can retroactively pay is $200. Contact the Bursar Office if you still owe a balance even after aid applies toward your prior balance. This authorization form is located within myCTState.

    What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

    Federal regulations require that all students receiving financial aid make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, you must be making satisfactory progress towards completion of your program. The SAP standards are set in order to ensure that you complete your program in a timely manner and maintain an adequate GPA to receive financial aid. SAP evaluations are made at the conclusion of each term once your grades are posted to determine eligibility for the next period.

    Please note, SAP for financial aid is different than the Academic Progress standard for the college. For more information on Academic Progress, please visit your academic advisor or your Student Handbook.

    How is SAP evaluated? 

    There are three criteria evaluated each semester to make sure you are meeting SAP:

    • Maximum Time Frame Requirement: You must successfully complete your educational program within a maximum period. This period cannot exceed 150% of your normal program length. For example, students enrolled in a 60-credit degree program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours (60 credit program length x 150% = 90 credit maximum timeframe). Similarly, students enrolled in a 30-credit certificate program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours.
      • All attempted credits at the college are included in the calculation. The 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors, change programs, or who pursue a double major.  
      • Students who transfer credits from another institution will have those credits counted as both attempted and earned credits for SAP purposes.
      • Students lose eligibility for financial aid at the point at which the student can no longer complete their program within the 150% maximum timeframe. 
    • Cumulative GPA: Students must meet specific cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements at specific points during their enrollment in order to make SAP. These requirements are listed in the table below. 
    • Minimum Pace: To meet the minimum Pace requirement, a student must complete a certain number of the credits attempted. 
      • Pace is calculated as the cumulative number of credit hours of courses successfully completed divided by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted for all courses.
      • If you have transfer credits earned from other institutions, they are counted in the calculation as both credits attempted and earned credits.

    Please note, the Office of Financial Aid Services is required by law to consider all cumulative credits you have taken at the college in your lifetime.  Therefore, if you had attended our college several years ago, we still must consider those credits in the SAP calculation … even though they may not count toward your Academic Progress standing with the college. This is true even if you have taken advantage of the “Fresh Start” option at our school.

    SAP Standards for Certificate-Seeking Financial Aid Recipients

    The minimum standards increase based on the number of credits attempted.

    Credits Attempted

    Minimum Cumulative GPA

    Minimum Pace Requirement

    0 – 11.99



    12 +



    SAP Standards for Degree Seeking Financial Aid Recipients

    The minimum standards increase based on the number of credits attempted.

    Credits Attempted

    Minimum Cumulative GPA

    Minimum Pace Requirement

    0 – 11.99



    12 - 30.99



    31 - 49.99



    50 – 59.99



    60 +



    What happens if I don’t meet SAP?

    If you don’t meet one SAP requirement, you will be placed on Warning. You may hold a Warning status only one time during your academic career at our college. You will have one semester to meet SAP standards. If you fail to do so, you will be put in an Unsatisfactory Academic Progress status and you will be ineligible for financial aid until you meet SAP standards again. If you are not making SAP and are ineligible for aid, you are responsible for paying your bill to the school.

    Can I submit a SAP appeal? 

    Yes, you can appeal your Unsatisfactory Academic Progress status. You will need to submit the following items to the Financial Aid Office for your SAP appeal:

    1. A completed SAP form 
    2. An explanation of why you failed to meet SAP.
    3. An academic plan created with your academic advisor. 

    You will receive a response within 14 days of submitting all documents. 

    While there is no overall limit on the number of SAP appeals you may make during your academic career at our college, you are only allowed to submit an appeal once per term. If your appeal is denied, you may not appeal again until the following semester. If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on Probation for one semester.

    SAP appeals must be submitted by the enrollment census date each semester (the 21st day after the first day of class).

    What happens on SAP Probation?

    Probation lasts one semester. At the end of the probationary semester, your academic progress will be evaluated. If you have met the minimum SAP standards, your status will be updated in accordance with making satisfactory progress. If you have not met the minimum SAP standards but are meeting the required terms of your academic plan, you may continue to receive financial aid the following semester through continued Probation.

    If you do not meet the terms of your academic plan in any subsequent semester, you will become ineligible to receive aid from any financial aid program (this includes Federal, state, and institutional) at the college until you are able to meet the minimum SAP requirements. Your progress will continue to be evaluated at the end of each semester with the same terms in place until you are in compliance with the SAP policy.

    How do you evaluate different non-punitive grades? 

    Besides the letter grades A through D, you may receive a variety of other grades or notations on your transcript. Here is how CT State treats those items in determining your SAP status.  

    1. AU grades - Audited courses are not eligible for financial aid and are neither included in the GPA calculation nor considered as attempted coursework.
    2. F grades – Failed grades are treated as attempted credits that are included in the calculation of GPA as zero points earned.  Unofficial withdrawals will be assigned an F grade with a last date of participation noted.  
    3. I grades - Incomplete courses are not included in the GPA calculation and are considered a non-completion of attempted work.
    4. M grades – Maintaining progress grades in developmental courses are similar to an incomplete grade and are treated as attempted credits that were not earned and are not included in the calculation of GPA.
    5. P grades - Passing grades in a pass/fail option are treated as attempted credits, which are earned but are not included in the calculation of the GPA.
    6. TR grades – All transfer credits added into the Banner system for a student are treated as attempted coursework which has been earned but are not included in the calculation of the GPA.
    7. W grades - Course withdrawals are not included in the GPA calculation and are considered a non-completion of attempted work.

    Grade Changes. Grade changes and other updates (such as grades reported that were not previously submitted and Incomplete grades that are updated with a final grade) will be included in your next available SAP evaluation.

    What happens with my SAP status if I repeat a class?

    Financial aid recipients are limited to one repetition of a previously passed course in their program of study. The second repetition of a previously passed course will not be eligible for financial aid payments.  

    For SAP purposes, all grades earned in courses that are repeated will count in the GPA.  Every attempt (initial and repeated) will be treated as an attempted credit.

    What if I take classes at another college?

    If you are unable to register for a required course at CT State, you may request a Consortium Agreement to take the course at another college. This agreement includes applying any remaining financial aid to pay for the course. All coursework taken at other colleges under this agreement must be transferred back to CT State at the end of the term of enrollment. The credits are treated as credits attempted and earned for passed coursework, and as attempted but not earned for coursework not passed.   This coursework is not included in GPA calculation.  

    What happens if I change my major?  

    If you decide to change majors or change between certificate and degree programs, your cumulative academic history is still included in the determination of your SAP status for financial aid eligibility.   All prior coursework is included in the determination of Pace and in the cumulative GPA calculation in determining your SAP standing. 

    If you changed majors and consequently fell out of SAP due to the maximum time frame requirement, you have the right to an appeal.

    What if this is my second degree?

    All students pursuing a second degree are treated the same under the SAP requirements.  This holds true if you are a transfer student with a prior degree, or if you are seeking a second degree from our school.  All prior coursework is included in the determination of Pace and in the cumulative GPA calculation in determining your SAP standing.

    What happens to my financial aid if I leave CT State?

    By federal regulation, our office is required to re-evaluate Federal financial aid (grant and/or loans) eligibility for any student who withdraws, drops out, is dismissed, or takes a leave of absence prior to completing all enrolled classes. This re-evaluation is called a “Return of Title IV Funds calculation” or R2T4 calculation. This includes “unofficial withdrawals,” which are defined as students who stop attending their classes but do not follow college policy and officially withdraw from class(es).  In some cases, this re-evaluation requires our office to return a portion of your federal funds back to the US Department of Education.

    If you are considering withdrawing for classes, we recommend talking to the Financial Aid Office first in order to determine the financial impact that the Return of Title IV funds calculation will have on your specific financial situation.

    How will my financial aid be re-evaluated through the R2T4 calculation? 

    The R2T4 calculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using a federal formula.

    If you earned less aid than was disbursed, the college is required to return a portion of the funds, which may result in you owing a balance to the college.  

    If you earned more aid than was disbursed, the college will make a post-withdrawal disbursement to your account within 180 days of the withdrawal.

    If you owe money back to CT State because you withdrew, you will be notified within one week via your college email and/or postal mail.

    Could there be a situation where you don’t have to return my Federal aid after my withdrawal?

    Yes, there are many situations where we are not required to return Federal financial aid funds after your withdrawal, such as:

    • You earned 100% of your aid based on attending classes beyond an established point of the enrollment period (usually a term)
    • You withdrew before being awarded Federal financial aid. 

    • You withdrew from some coursework but remain enrolled in other courses.

    • You did not receive a Federal grant or a loan.

    • You did not apply for or are not eligible for Federal grant or loan aid.
    How would you figure out my withdrawal date? 

    If you officially withdrew from your program, we would look at your submitted withdrawal date at the Registrar’s Office. If you did not officially withdraw, we would look at your most recently documented date of academic engagement at the college. This information would be submitted to the Registrar by your faculty.

    Will I receive a tuition refund if I withdraw or stop attending classes?

    We do have a policy on refunds and course withdrawals. Generally, you may be eligible for a tuition refund if your course withdrawal occurs within the first 20% of the semester.

    This policy is located at

    Can I submit a refund appeal?  

    If you dropped and/or withdrew from classes, you may submit an appeal for your tuition and fees charges. Appeals must fall under one of the following categories to be considered: 

    • Military relocation or deployment

    • Documented medical emergency

    • Documented personal emergency

    • Incorrect advisement for program of study

    No appeals will be considered or accepted once the term for which the appeal is being made has finished. 

    I am a veteran and have to drop my courses because of military obligations. What will my refund process look like? 

    If you are entering the armed services; being relocated by the military; or deployed, before earning degree credit, you will have 100% of term charges cancelled upon submitting notice in writing and providing a copy of your orders, or a certified copy of enlistment papers.

    Statement on Suspected Student Fraud

    The US Department of Education requires colleges to refer any suspected cases of Title IV aid fraud, abuse, or misrepresentation to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). If the Office of Financial Aid Services suspects that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information and/or altered documentation to increase Federal Student Aid eligibility or to fraudulently obtain Federal funds (i.e. identity theft), it must report those suspicions and provide evidence to OIG. A case of fraud is different from a simple mistake made on a form. Fraud is intended to deceit, and therefore it is punishable. 

    Office of the Inspector General can be reached by phone at 1-800-HHS-TIPS.