Skip to main content
A community college sponsored by Niagara County

© 2019 SUNY Niagara | All rights reserved.

Financial Aid

Student Outcome Tracking/SOT

SUNY Niagara has implemented Student Outcome Tracking (Course Eligibility for Financial Aid). This program will assist students in determining financial aid eligibility for each of their courses.  Both students and faculty should familiarize themselves with this information.

Students cannot be awarded financial aid for classes that do not count toward their degree or certificate program requirements. SUNY Niagara utilizes Degree Works to verify if registered classes will count towards a student’s degree/certificate.   If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward their degree, those courses cannot be used to determine enrollment status and aid eligibility.  All registered courses must apply to the student’s program as a general education requirement, a major requirement, elective, or remedial/foundation course.

If your advisor is substituting a course, please remind them to submit the electronic Sub/Waiver form so that it can be processed immediately and will appear in Degree Works as a required course.

Check your Degree Works evaluation to review courses used/not used. You must log in using your T-wolves username and password.

Students who repeat courses they have taken previously either at SUNY Niagara or another institution and received a passing grade may impact both federal and state aid programs (To maintain full-time status for financial aid, a student’s coursework must be at least 12 credits without the repeated class).

  • Federal Aid, including student loans, will pay for a student to repeat a passed course only once.
  • State aid (TAP and other NYS scholarships) – Previously passed classes will not be included for state aid eligibility.
  • Courses that have a minimum grade requirement, or a minimum age requirement, that was not met may be repeated for financial aid eligibility.

If a student’s program does not require them to earn a higher grade for graduation, but the student is being advised to repeat coursework for academic reasons, it may be advisable for the student to be enrolled in at least 12 credits of new coursework (in addition to any repeated course) in order to maintain their full time status. For example, a student may need MAT 164 as a prerequisite for an institution they plan to transfer to.

A general misconception is that a student must be full time in order to receive financial assistance. That is incorrect.  Students may be eligible to receive financial aid based on the following credit hour requirements.

Required credits for aid programs:

  • Federal Pell grant: 1-12 or more credits
  • Federal SEOG: 6-12 or more credits
  • New York State TAP: 12 or more credits
  • New York State Aid for Part Time Study: 6-11 credits
  • Federal Direct Loans (Student and Parent): 6 or more credits

Student Outcome Tracking FAQ

Can I drop classes once school has begun if I find out that i’m not going to receive financial aid for them?

If you drop classes you will be charged according to financial liability fee schedule starting on the first day of the semester, according to the college catalog guidelines. View the refund schedule.

How will I know if i’m not taking the right courses to satisfy the financial aid requirements? How will I be notified?

You should always double check your Degree Works evaluation after registering and after making any registration changes in order to ensure courses are being used toward your major requirements. You will receive an electronic message from the Financial Aid office via your T-Wolves email.

I do not receive any federal or state aid. does this apply to me?

These regulations only affect students receiving federal (including loans) and state aid. If you pay for courses on your own you are free to take whatever courses you choose. However, taking courses outside of what is required for your major will prolong your time at SUNY Niagara and cost you additional funds. We encourage you to perform a Degree Evaluation using Degree Works to ensure you are on your way to completing your degree.

I am currently taking non-credit/remedial courses that are not part of my major. Will I receive financial aid for these courses?

Yes, the federal and state governments consider these preparatory classes for successful completion of college level courses. However, you must be registered for at least 6 credit-bearing/non-remedial courses. Examples of remedial/foundation coursework include, but are not limited to: AAC 042, MAT 012, MAT 023, MAT 046, ENG 099

I recently filled out a program/major change and certain courses were excluded from my GPA. Will these courses still affect my financial aid eligibility?

They may. Only courses that are required in your program are eligible for financial aid. If you received a grade of D or higher in any of your excluded courses they will be viewed as completed requirements and will be used again (when determining financial aid) if there is room in your new program.

If I repeat a course will I still receive financial aid for that course?

  • You may receive financial aid for all courses with ‘F’, ‘W’, and ‘U’ grades.
  • You will receive state aid for courses with a D if the program states you must have a grade of ‘C’ or higher for that course.
  • Federal aid (PELL/loans) will pay for a passed course to be repeated only once (withdrawing does NOT count as your one time repeat) regardless of the program or pre-requisite requirements.

What are prerequisite courses?

  • These are courses that prepare you to complete a required course successfully. They may or may not be required as part of your program. For example, students seeking entry into certain Allied Health majors may need to pass a Biology/Chemistry course with a grade of C or higher to gain entry into this major.
  • Pre-req courses are not aid eligible if they are not required in the major. Students can do the 12+ credit hours if they are needed, get aid for part-time study, pursue loans/scholarships or look into Liberal Arts.

What do I do if I find out my courses are not going to be paid for by financial aid?

You will need to readjust the courses within your program and take courses that do count for financial aid. Otherwise you will be responsible for payment for all courses that do not meet program requirements.

What will happen to my financial aid if I choose to take course(s) that are not within my program?

You will only receive financial aid for courses in your program and your financial aid award package will be reduced to reflect the number of courses you are taking that do apply to your program. If you are enrolled in 12 credits, but only 9 credits count toward your major, you will be considered part time for financial aid eligibility purposes.

Why is it important to take courses that match my program requirements if I receive financial aid?

The Federal and State governments have mandated that all students receiving financial aid must take courses that apply to their programs. Schools will be held accountable to make sure students are taking the proper courses and could lose their ability to offer financial aid to students if they do not comply with this regulation.

Will this only affect full time students?

No. Part time students must adhere to the same guidelines.


Financial Aid Office
Fax: 716-614-6820
Location: Enrollment Center (Notar Admin Bldg)
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:00pm*

*New and current financial aid advisors receive training from the follow professional financial aid organizations in an effort to train new financial aid advisors and keep updated on both federal and state financial aid regulations: