Financial Aid

Office of Financial Aid
315-859-4962 (fax)

Financial Aid Policies

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In accordance with federal regulations, the following constitutes Hamilton College’s financial aid policy on satisfactory academic progress. Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students receiving federal and/or state financial aid.  This policy is administered and executed by the Financial Aid Office at Hamilton College.  All questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Policy Definition

To quantify academic progress, a school must set a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete a program. The maximum time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted. Students at Hamilton College are allowed financial aid for 8 semesters. The Director of Financial Aid must approve a 9th semester of financial aid eligibility.

Students must complete their program of study at an annual cumulative pace of 67%.  Typically, students register for/attempt a total of 8 full credit bearing courses per academic year (4 each semester).  A minimum of six of those courses must be successfully completed each year to meet SAP standards.

Upperclass students must have at least a 1.7 cumulative GPA to be considered making satisfactory academic progress by the second calendar year of enrollment for continued participation in federal and/or state aid programs.  Students who do not meet this test will be ineligible to receive federal and/or state financial aid until this deficiency is corrected.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who may be in jeopardy of losing their federal and/or state financial aid will be sent a warning letter (email) which will remind them of the minimum academic requirements for financial aid and to take advantage of the academic services available to students. Students will still be able to receive financial aid for the upcoming semester.

Financial Aid Probation

If a student has not met the minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress, after their warning term, the student will be placed on financial aid probation and notified of his/her denied access to federal and/or state financial aid. A student on probation must submit an academic plan that has been determined with consultation from the Dean of Student’s Office or an academic advisor. It must be specific and demonstrate how the student will regain satisfactory standing for his/her remaining semesters until graduation.


When the student has entered the probationary phase, he/she may submit a formal appeal.

Students wishing to appeal their federal and/or state financial aid ineligibility or who have exceeded the maximum timeframe for completing their degree must submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office explaining the circumstances involved in their lack of academic progress.

The following circumstances may be considered for appeal:

  •  injury or illness (must provide a letter from a health professional)
  •  disability (must provide a letter from Dean of Students)
  •  death in the family; or
  •  other special circumstances

As part of the formal appeal, the student must submit an academic plan that has been determined with consultation from the Dean of Student’s Office or an academic advisor. It must be specific and demonstrate how the student will regain satisfactory standing for his/her remaining semesters until graduation.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student’s request and make a final determination.   If the student's appeal of his/her financial aid probation is granted, the student will be notified of the approval via email.  The financial aid award will be for only one semester. Future funding will depend on the successful completion of the semester based on the academic plan and any additional requirements listed in the approval letter.

If you will be taking a semester off, or making arrangements to pay for classes without financial aid, please be advised that in order to regain eligibility for financial aid, you must meet the minimum requirements based on the original class year in which you entered.

Repeated Courses

A student who fails a course and takes it a second time will have both grades calculated into the cumulative average.

Incomplete Grades

Any grade of incomplete reported by an instructor must first be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing. Such approval is given rarely and only in circumstances beyond a student's control, such as a medical or family emergency. Approval permits the student to complete the required work for the course by a deadline set by the instructor and the chairperson of the Committee on Academic Standing. Normally this deadline will be no later than six weeks from the end of the semester for which the grade of incomplete was assigned. If all remaining work is not submitted by the deadline specified when the incomplete is granted, the grade will automatically be changed to F.

An instructor may not change a grade, other than the removal of an incomplete within the deadline, without the approval of the chair of the Committee on Academic Standing.

Please note: Should you take a leave of absence or withdraw during the semester, you will not be eligible for institutional financial aid during your leave.

Required notice of federal student financial aid penalties for drug law violations.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires that all colleges notify a student that "a conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV, HEA program funds, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work study assistance." Additional information regarding Hamilton's policies can be obtained from the Student Handbook.