How Many Year*s are in a Year?

Report
How Many Years
are in a Year?
1
2011 NJASFAA FALL CONFERENCE
DANIELLE MASON, SR. NATIONAL DIR OF F/A
LINCOLN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
EVELYNNE BLATT, DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL AID
UNION COUNTY COLLEGE
Academic Years - Why Define Them?*
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 How you define your program(s), make the
difference in how you fund them.



Every eligible program, including graduate programs,
must have a defined academic year.
The academic year is used to determine the student’s
eligibility for a Pell Grant, Stafford loan awards, etc.
A school may have different academic years for
different academic programs.
* FSA HANDBOOK, 2011/12 VOLUME 3, CHP 1
Academic Years – Different Programs
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 Although a school may have different academic years
for different programs, it must use the same
academic year definition for all FSA awards for
students enrolled in a particular program.
Academic Years - Minimums
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 The FSA academic year that a school defines for a
program has to meet the regulatory minimums for
both clock or credit-hours AND weeks of
instructional time.

Awards are affected when a program does not meet
one of the academic year standards
Academic Years – Minimum Hours
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 The law and regulations set the following minimum
standards for coursework earned by a full-time student
in an academic year in an undergraduate educational
program


24 semester or trimester credit-hours (or 36 quarter
credit-hours) for a program measured in credit-hours;
or
900 clock-hours for a program measured in clock-hours
 An academic calendar that uses semesters traditionally
has two terms, in the fall and spring.
 A trimester academic calendar traditionally has three
terms, in the fall, spring, and summer.
Academic Years – Minimum Weeks
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 An academic year for a credit-hour program must be
defined as at least 30 weeks of instructional time and
for a clock-hour program, at least 26 weeks of
instructional time.

Academic progress is measured in semester credit-hours, and
full-time is at least 12 semester credits.
 The Academic Calendar is not necessarily a 12
month period of time.
SAY versus BBAY*
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 The definition of the academic year determines when a
student is eligible for a new annual loan limit. A school must
used either a SAY or BBAY:
 (SAY) Scheduled Academic Year
 Used more commonly by Traditional Calendar Programs
 Generally begins / ends the same time each year
 (BBAY) Borrower Based Academic Year
 “Floats” with the student’s enrollment


IE: Starts that happen on a monthly basis on rotation.
Must use if the school doesn’t have a SAY calendar, regardless
of clock hour, SE9W or Not SE9W terms, etc.


SE9W: Substantially equal terms of 9 weeks or more
*FSA Handbook 2010/11, Vol 3, Chp 6
Payment Periods
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 For FSA purposes, you will use either “term-based”
payment periods (the payment period is the term), or
payment periods based on the completion of credit
or clock-hours and weeks of instructional time.
 The payment period you use depends on the kind of
academic calendar your school uses, as described
below, and the FSA program for which you are
disbursing funds.
 The payment periods make up your academic year
and calendar.

Definition of payment periods: 34 CFR 668.4
Academic Years
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 Schools offer programs with many kinds of academic
calendars that differ from the traditional Fall-Spring
school year.

For purposes of the FSA programs, there are three basic
types of academic calendars: standard term, nonstandard
term, and non term (also Clock Hour).
 Generally, a term is a period in which all classes are
scheduled to begin and end within a set time frame, and
academic progress is measured in credit hours.

However, if these periods overlap within a program, they
may not be treated as a term-based program for FSA
purposes. Term-based programs can have either standard
terms or nonstandard terms.
Program Delivery, Traditional Example
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 Traditional – Concurrent courses, that each extend
the entire payment period.


Ex: 4 courses, different total hours each, all take 15
weeks to complete.
2 Semesters: Fall / Winter … OR Winter / Spring, etc
Program Delivery, Concurrent Example
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 Concurrent – Taught at the same time.
 Multiple courses, / modular format (could be taught
same day/split day)

(A 6 hr day,… 2 courses @ 3 hrs, each)
Program Delivery, Sequential Example
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 Sequential – One after the other
 Non-Traditional Calendar / Modular format
 Could be online, single course at a time….

(mod 1, mod 2, mod 3, mod 4)
Standard Terms
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 Standard Terms are made up of semesters, trimesters, and quarters.
 Semesters & Trimesters:
 Terms that are generally 14 to 17 wks long.
 Academic progress is measured in semester credit hours, full time
and is at least 12 semester credits
 Quarters:
 Terms are approximately 10-12 weeks in length.
 Academic progress is measured in quarter credit hours, full time, and
is at least 12 quarter credit hours.
 Standard Term: Payment period terms are “substantially equal”.
 34 CFR 668.4(h)(1),(2)
 “Substantially equal” that means that no term in the program is more
than 2 weeks of instructional time longer than any other term in that
program.

“Not substantially equal in length” means nonstandard terms that have at least 1
term more than 2 weeks of instructional time longer than another in the same
program
Standard Term Examples
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 Example #1:
( traditional)

While the student may by taking a different course
load for each semester, the weeks are equal.
 Example #2:
(modular)

While the semesters are “uneven” 16wk/16 wk/ 15 wk,
they are defined as “substantially equal” … within 2
weeks
Standard Term
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 Generally:




Title IV aid is paid on attempted credits.
Students who fail courses can still be paid for attempting
the failed course(s) – as long as the student is making
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
Student’s funding is based on equal payment periods and
equal payments.
Permits grade level progression when reaches annual loan
limit.
 (Usually) Pell, formula 1, dividing the scheduled award by the # of
payment periods in the academic year.

(Can be) Pell, formula 3, General Formula for any Term
Based program.
Non – Standard Terms
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 Non standard terms are terms (all course work is expected to begin
and end within a set period of time) that are not semester,
trimester or quarter terms.
 Unlike Standard terms, the length of the term is not necessarily
associated with the type of credit hours awarded.
 The terms are unequal in length.
 Non Standard Term: Payment period terms are “substantially
UNequal”.


34 CFR 668.4(h)(1),(2)
“Not substantially equal in length” means nonstandard terms that
have at least 1 term that is more than 2 weeks of instructional time
longer than another in the same program

“Substantially equal” that means that no term in the program is more
than 2 weeks of instructional time longer than any other term in that
program.
Non Standard Term example
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 Example #1:


Student is enrolled in a 15 wk / 15 wk / 4 wk program.
The terms are substantially “unequal” in length…
greater than 2 weeks.

Defined as Non Standard, even if the credit value is the same.
Non – Standard Terms
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 Generally,


Title IV aid is paid on successfully COMPLETED credits.
Students who fail courses can NOT be paid for the failed
course(s) – even if the student is making Satisfactory
Academic Progress (SAP).


A Term is extended until successful completion
Student’s Pell and Stafford loan funding is based on
enrollment status.
 Schools use a formula to determine enrollment status and
eligibility for Title IV aid:
 Enrollment status equals # of credits in AY X # wks in payment
period / the # weeks in AY.
 Title IV awards are based on this enrollment status
Standard Term & Non Standard Term
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 Schools “CAN” combine shorter terms with longer terms
and treat them as part of the semester.


The terms can NOT overlap (they don’t in this example)
And, the program would be defined as having 2 semesters.
 Otherwise,… the program would be defined as non-
standard, and all the terms in the program would be
treated as non standard.
Clock Hour
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• In a Clock Hour program, the minimum Definition of
an Academic Year must be defined for each clock
hour program in your school
•
It can be the same for all programs or different for all
programs…
• However, an Academic Year must contain
at least
900 clock hours and 26 weeks of instructional
time.
•
The program is paid on hours.
Clock Hour
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 Determining your Payment Periods in a Clock Hour Program
 The payment period is defined by both hours and weeks of
instructional time
 A student must successfully complete the clock hours AND
weeks of instructional time in a payment period to progress to
the next payment period.


“Successfully Completes” 34 CFR 668.4(h)(1),(2)
A student “successfully completes” credit or clock-hours if your school
considers the student to have passed the coursework associated with
those hours.
 Clock Hour Programs are treated like non-term programs.
 The important factor is the payment period.
 Calculating the scheduled award…remember,…
 The scheduled award is always taken from the Full Time PELL
Payment Schedule.
Non term
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 If a program measures progress in clock hours, it is always
treated as a non - term program.

A school may choose to consider a program that consists of
consecutive modules as a non term program, (& measured as nonstandard term) as well.
 A program that measures progress in credit hours is considered to
be using a non - term calendar if it has:
courses that do not begin and end within a set period of
time;
 courses that overlap terms;
 Sequential courses that do not begin and end within a term.
 A student must successfully complete the clock hours (or credit
hours) AND weeks of instructional time in a payment period to progress
to the next payment period.

Pell Formulas
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 After you have defined the Academic Year and
program type(s) that your school offers,… you would
use one of the Pell Formulas to calculate the Pell
Award Amount for the Term or Non Term calendar
in the academic program.
 Pell Formulas are determined directly by how you
define your program
Pell – Formula 1
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 Formula 1:
 Standard Term programs with Academic Calendars of 30+ weeks.
 For a program with a traditional academic calendar, the program




Must have an academic calendar that consists, in the fall
through spring, of two semesters or trimesters, or three
quarters (note that summer may not be a standard term);
Must have at least 30 weeks of instructional time in fall
through spring terms;
Must not have overlapping terms; and
Must define full-time enrollment for each term in the
award year as at least 12 credit hours and must measure
progress in credit hours.
 For formula 1, the term is the payment period, and you divide the student’s award
by the number of terms in the program’s FSA academic year.
Pell - Formula 2
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 Formula 2:
 Standard term programs with less than 30 wks,
Fall through Spring.

May be used for programs that would qualify for
Formula 1 except that the program’s academic
calendar provides less than 30 weeks of
instructional time in the fall through spring terms.
 Simplifies the calculation payments by providing
the same calculation for all payment periods in the
award year.

Only a small number of schools use Formula 2.
Pell - Formula 3
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 Formula 3:
 General Formula for any Term Based program.
 May be used for programs that would qualify for Formula 1 except that
the program’s academic calendar provides less than 30 weeks of
instructional time in the fall through spring terms.
 Any term-based program may use this formula for Pell calculations,
but you must use this formula for a term-based program that
does not qualify for Formulas 1 or 2, for instance, a program that
uses only nonstandard terms.
 Standard Term:

For Standard Terms, use the minimum enrollment standards
 Less than half time = 0-5.999;
 Half time = 6-8.999;
 Three Quarter time = 9-11.999;
 Full time =12 +
Pell – Formula 4
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 Formula 4:
 Clock Hour and Non Term Credit Hour programs

All Clock-Hour Programs must use Formula 4 no
exceptions……
 Calculating Pell Payments



The annual award for a student in a clock-hour or nonterm
credit-hour program is taken from the full-time payment
schedule, even if the student is attending less than fulltime.
Pell Grants must be paid in installments over the course of
the academic year or program of study to help meet the
student’s cost in each payment period.
The payment period determines when Pell funds are
disbursed and the exact amount to be disbursed.
Pell – Formula 5
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 Formula 5:
 Correspondence Study
 Offers 2 Formulas, … 5A & 5B
 They must be used for correspondence students.
How Many Years are in a Year?
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Any Questions?

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