To assist students and parents in meeting the costs of an education at Sage College of Albany, the Office of Financial Aid offers a variety of scholarship, grant, loan and employment programs. These programs are sponsored by federal, state and private sources. Additionally, a commitment of more than $5 million from The Sage Colleges is provided to assist students. Most assistance is based on financial need, which is the difference between the cost of education and the estimated contribution of the student and family (Estimated Family Contribution or EFC). The EFC is determined through a measurement of family resources that is consistent for all applicants and is a reflection of the first principle of college financial aid: The student and family have primary responsibility for meeting college expenses.
In addition to aid awarded on the basis of need, Sage College of Albany sponsors a number of scholarship programs that recognize academic achievement, talent, and other individual characteristics. Private organizations, societies and agencies also make available grants and other awards for individuals who meet their eligibility criteria. Secondary school guidance offices, public libraries, and websites are the best sources of information about private scholarship opportunities.
Those seeking consideration for aid must be enrolled as degree- or certificate-seeking students on at least a half-time basis (six credit hours per semester for undergraduates) to qualify for most financial aid programs. Most grants and scholarships provided directly by Sage College of Albany require full-time attendance. United States citizenship or permanent resident status is also required for all programs. It should also be noted that federal and state legislation frequently modifies requirements and eligibility standards for financial aid.
Because financial aid is awarded on an annual basis, these application procedures must be followed each year. While admission is not required to initiate an application for financial aid, new students will not receive confirmation of their status until the Office of Financial Aid is notified that the admission process is complete.
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed as soon as possible after January 1, but no later than March 1, preceding the academic year for which assistance is requested. Students are requested to file the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Electronic filing is an accurate and fast means of filing for financial aid. When filing electronically, New York State residents may file for TAP at the same time (see below).
- New York State residents should also complete the application for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation will mail this form to your home if you opt not to file electronically.
- Applicants and their parent(s) (when the applicant is dependent), selected through the FAFSA process for verification, must submit all pages of completed tax forms upon request by the Office of Financial Aid. A verification worksheet must also be submitted. Failure to complete the verification process prior to the start of the academic year may result in the loss of institutional grants.
- Early action applicants for the Sage College of Albany can request appropriate aid forms from the Office of Admission in December of their senior year to obtain an early estimate of their financial aid package.
Sage$en$e Online is the Financial aid portal at The Sage Colleges. It can be utilized by students and parents to access a student’s financial aid information. Sage$en$e Online is also an interactive financial planning tool. Students financial aid will not be posted to a student’s financial account until the student has accepted their awards through Sage$en$e Online, and completed all relevant tasks associated with their awards.
Sage$en$e Online is accessible for students through Sage Advisor. Students will use their Sage Net Log in and password to log into Sage Advisor. From the Student’s Menu Information simply click in the Sage$en$e Online link. Students have the option of providing authorization for parents, guardians or other third parties to access Sage$en$e Online.
Conditions of Financial Aid Awards
Terms and Conditions
- All aid is awarded on an annual basis and aid amounts are credited to student’s account for each semester’s charges based upon enrollment.
- Refunds of any excess credit will be made approximately halfway through each term through the Office of Student Services. Refunds are generated when the student account reflects a credit balance resulting from direct payments and/or the posting of financial aid.
- Earnings from student employment are paid bi-weekly directly to the student. Therefore, awards from college work-study should not be included in calculations to determine a student’s account balance.
- Since aid is awarded on the basis of annual financial information from students, and college costs change each year, financial aid awards may vary depending on the changing circumstances.
- Outside sources of assistance — such as private scholarships and Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) — must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. Financial aid already awarded could be modified as a result.
- All awards of federal and state aid are tentative, pending approval and receipt of funds from the source.
- Costs on which financial aid eligibility is calculated include direct expenses (such as tuition, fees, and room and board for resident students) and indirect expenses (such as books, supplies, personal and incidental expenses, and transportation and home maintenance for commuting students).
- Returning students are expected to file the FAFSA by April 1 preceding the academic year for which assistance is requested. Students filing after April 1 may not be eligible for institutional grants previously awarded.
- Students receiving institutional academic scholarships are required to maintain good academic standing and full-time enrollment status to continue receiving these monies.
Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal regulations (Section 667.16(e), 668.32(f), and 668.34) require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance and that the school certify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree. This determination of progress must be made at least once a year and before the financial aid office disburses any federal aid funds for the subsequent semester.
Students who are aware of learning or other disabilities should immediately contact the Office of Disability Services so that appropriate accommodations can be made. A student with a documented disability and functional limitations is still held to the same academic expectations as other students. If the student is registered with the Office of Disability Services and is receiving appropriate accommodations, the student should be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility purposes.
Pursuant to federal regulations, the following constitutes The Sage Colleges policy on satisfactory academic progress for undergraduate students.
Maximum hours to earn degree: To quantify academic progress, a school must set a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete a program. For an undergraduate program, the maximum time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted. The majority of undergraduate programs require 120 hours for graduation. The maximum time frame for students in these programs is 180 attempted hours (120 x 1.5=180). Studnets whose programs require more than 120 hours for a degree will have a higher limit.
- As expressed in years: Students are normally expected to complete an undergraduate degree by the end of 4 years of full-time study. Therefore, students will forfeit their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs after 6 years of full-time enrollment (4 x 1.5 = 6).
- Withdrawals: Grades of W are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame.
- Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of “attempted hours.”
- Pass/Fail Courses: These hours do count within the total attempted and earned hours.
- Transfer Credits accepted for the student’s academic program or degree are counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree or program. The Sage Colleges do not accept for credit any transfer grades lower than C.
- Repeat Policy: Federal and institutional aid students can repeat a course once. The most recent attempt will count towards GPA as well as in the calculation for attempted and completed credits.
- Double Major and/or Minors: Students who receive permission from their Dean to pursue a double major/minor will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.
- Change in Major: Students who change their major will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.
- Second Bachelor’s Degree: A student who has already been awarded a bachelor’s degree may apply for a second degree only if the second degree is different from the first degree. Ordinarily, a second degree at the undergraduate level is discouraged, and a graduate degree is encouraged.
- Students working toward a second bachelor’s degree are no longer eligible for Federal Pell Grants and Federal SEOG grants.
- Undergraduate students are limited in how much they can borrow under the Federal Stafford Loan Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program. These limits are not increased for students working on a second bachelor’s degree.
Satisfactory Progress Definition
Students have a limited amount of time to complete their undergraduate degree requirements. To earn the basic undergraduate degree, students must successfully complete 120 credit hours. Undergraduate full-time status equals 12 or more credits per semester. Federal or institutional aid recipients enrolled less than full-time are required to meet these standards on a basis proportional to their enrollment status. For transfer students, satisfactory academic progress will be measured by equating transfer credits accepted by Sage to the number of cumulative credits earned.
For a student to be considered as progressing normally and maintain eligibility for federal and institutional financial aid, students must achieve specific quality (grade averages) and quantity (credits earned) standards. Below are the academic standards which must be met to comply with federal and institutional requirements. Academic progress is monitored by the Office of Financial Aid through established institutional guidelines.
Baccalaureate Degree Students
||Grade Point Required
||Credits To Be Completed
Qualitative Standards: Grade Point Averages
In accordance with federal regulations, by the second calendar year of enrollment in a post-secondary educational program, the student must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA to be considered making satisfactory progress for continued participation in federal aid programs. Students who do not meet this test will be ineligible to participate in federal financial aid programs until this deficiency is corrected.
Students who are receiving aid on a conditional or probationary basis must resolve all incomplete grades BEFORE the Office of Financial Aid can make a final determination that they meet the satisfactory academic progress guidelines. Students must report any grade changes that impact their aid directly to the Office of Financial Aid.
Financial Aid Warning: There is a minimal amount of time between when final fall grades must be posted and the start of spring semester, and even less time between the posting of final summer grades and the start of the fall semester. Students incur a financial liability to the Sage Colleges as soon as a semester begins. Therefore, under most circumstances, we believe it would be unfair to retroactively remove a student’s aid once the semester begins IF this is the first documented occurrence of a student’s academic difficulty. These students will receive a “financial aid warning” letter which will remind them of the minimum academic requirements for their aid programs AND strongly urge them to take advantage of the academic services that are available to students. Students will be eligible to receive financial aid during this semester. These students will be notified that their records will be checked again at the end of the semester and that further action may be taken if there is not significant improvement during the current semester. Students can only receive aid for one semester under this “warning” status.
Each aid recipient’s record will be evaluated at the end of the spring semester to determine that the student is meeting the standards described above. If the student has reached the maximum number of scheduled hours without earning the degree, the student must be excluded from further participation in federal financial aid programs.
Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students, even first-time applicants who have previously enrolled at the Sage Colleges, or to those who have not been formally placed on probation.
Financial Aid Probation: If the student has not reached the maximum number of scheduled hours and it is determined that the student has fallen below the completion ratio standards for satisfactory progress, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and notified that his/her continued eligibility for federal financial aid assistance is in jeopardy. Students who fail to maintain the rquired minimum GPA will also be placed on financial aid probation. Students will normally be allowed only one probationary period during their academic program.
Students on financial aid probation will receive a separate letter that will outline the academic requirements the student must meet in order to receive aid for the following semester. If the student on financial aid probation meet the terms of the probation, he/she will be permitted to continue to participate in the federal student aid programs for a subsequent semester. Students who have been placed on probation shall be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for the purposes of receiving financial aid as long as the student continues to meet the academic requirements outlined in their probationary letter.
The Office of Financial Aid will review the records of students who are on financial aid probation at the end of each academic year. If the student does not meet the terms of the probation, the sutdent will forfeit eligibility for all federal and institutional financial aid programs.
Loss of Eligibility due to Lack of Satisfactory Progress
A student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal and institutional aid programs for reasons of academic progress can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at the Sage Colleges at his/her own expense and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester with any failures, incompletes, or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete his/her degree requirements in a more regular fashion. The mere passage of time will restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory progress.
Students who have been academically excluded from the Sage Colleges but are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal, state, or institutional programs. Admissions decisions are totally separate from funding decisions.
Right to Appeal
Students have the right to appeal any decision of ineligibility to continue to receive financial assistance. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of notification that aid eligibility has been lost. An appeal must be typed and sent to the Senior Director of Financial Services, Office of Student Services, 65 First Street, Troy, NY 12180. The appeal may not be based upon your need for assistance or your lack of knowledge that your assistance was in jeopardy. An appeal would normally be based upon some unusual situation or condition which prevented you from passing more of your courses, or which necessitated that you withdraw from classes. Examples of possible situations include documented serious illness, severe injury or death of a family member.
If you do not have grounds for an appeal, or if your appeal is denied, you may still be able to regain your eligibility for future semesters. This is done by enrolling at the Sage Colleges at your own expense - without financial assistance - and meeting the Sage Colleges satisfactory academic progress guidelines.
Appeal Approval Conditions
Appeals can only be approved if the Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines:
- that the student will be able to meet the Sage Colleges’ satisfactory academic progress after the next payment period; and,
- there is a letter of support from the student’s academic advisor.
If an appeal is granted, the student will receive aid on a conditional basis for one semester. The conditions will be outlined in the letter sent to the student granting the appeal. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student’s record at the end of the semester to determine his/her status for the following semester. Students who fail to meet the conditions outlined by the committee during their conditional semester will not be allowed to submit a subsequent appeal.
Satisfactory Academic Progress for New York State Aid
To be eligible, and remain eligible, for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), students must:
- be a full-time (12 credits or more per semester) and matriculated student at each level of study, and
- maintain good academic standing by meeting program pursuit and satisfactory academic progress requirements as detailed below.
Program Pursuit is defined as:
- completion of at least six credits during each term of study in the first year for which an award is received; or
- completion of at least nine credits during each term of study in the second year for which an award is received; or
- completion of at least 12 credits during each subsequent term for which an award is received.
|Before being certified for this payment
||A student must have accrued at least this many credits
||With at least this grade point average
Major Sources of Financial Aid
Federal Direct Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
Students must complete the FAFSA application and demonstrate financial need according to the federal formulas in order to be eligible for subsidized direct loans. These loans are processed through the Department of Education. Under this program, the federal government will pay the interest on the loan as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program and for six months thereafter. Students must also maintain satisfactory academic progress towards completing their degree requirements.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Eligibility for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan is not based on a family’s demonstrated need. These loans are processed through the Department of Education. The government does not pay the interest on behalf of the borrowers under the Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program. You are charged interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. The student borrower has the option to pay the interest while in school, or to allow the interest to accumulate, which adds to the principal amount of the loan and increases the amount to be repaid.
Federal Direct Stafford Loan Limits
The federal government sets limits on the amount of money a student can borrow. The Sage Colleges awards students that have filed the FAFSA the maximum amount eligible under such limits. The annual limit applies to the most a sutdent can borrow in one academic year, while the aggregate limit applies to the maximum a student can borrow in a lifetime.
|Year in School
||Subsidized/Unsubsidized Base Amount*
||Unsubsidized Base Amount*
|First Year (0-23 credits)
|Second Year (24-52 credits)
|Third Year (54-87 credits)
|Fourth Year (88 credits)
*For all students. The additional $2,000 in unsubsidized funding was new in 2008-2009.
**For independent students and for dependent students whose parents are rejected for PLUS loans.
Federal Direct Stafford Loan Interest and Fees
The interest rate in effect for 2011-2012 for Federal Direct Subsidized loans for undergraduate students is fixed at 3.4% and 6.8% for Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans. In addition to interest, all Federal Direct Loans have a 1.0% origination fee. However, you will receive a 0.5% rebate at the time of origination based on payment of your first 12 monthly payments on time, so the assessed fee is only 1/2%. This fee reduces the amount that disburses to your student account. for example, if you borrow $3,500 for the academic year, $17.50 will be deducted from your loan amount and paid directly to the Department of Education.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
The Federal Direct PLUS loan enables parents with good credit histories to borrow funds to pay the educational expenses of each dependent undergraduate child enrolled at least half time. The annual limit of a Direct PLUS is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. A maximum origination fee of 4% will be deducted from each loan disbursement. However, an up-front rebate of 1.5% is offered for borrowers as a repayment incentive. In order to keep the upfront rebate, a borrower must make their first twelve monthly payments on time.
The Federal DIrect PLUS has a fixed interest rate of 7.9%. Parent borrowers can choose to defer payments on a Federal Direct PLUS loan until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Accruing interest could either be paid by the parent borrower monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly. Payments on interest can be tax deductible with no penalties for early payoffs.
Other Federal Programs
Pell Grants For the 2011-12 award year (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012), the maximum scheduled Pell Grant award is $5,550 for undergraduate students enrolled on a full-time basis. The maximum amount can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you get will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) Up to $1,500 annually for undergraduate study. These grants are available to students with high financial need.
Federal Work Study Student employment funded by Sage and the government. The jobs are in a variety of areas, primarily on campus (examples are the libraries, campus centers, food services, offices and departments), are usually limited to 7-10 hours per week, and generally pay at the prevailing federal minimum wage or slightly above.
Perkins Loans The Perkins Loan is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. This is a campus-based loan program, with the school acting as the lender using a limited pool of funds provided by the federal government. It is a subsidized loan, with the interest being paid by the federal government during the in-school and 9-month grace periods. There are no origination or default fees and the interest rate is 5% with a 10-year repayment period.
Veterans’ Administration Benefits The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides eligible veterans serving after 9/11/01 with assitance for up to 100% of tuition and fees, plus benefits for books, supplies and housing. Plus, there are other Veterans Administration programs to assist veterans with their college goals. Details can be secured from Sage’s Office of Financial Aid or by contacting the Veterans Administration.
Ombudsman When reasonable efforts through other channels have not resolved a dispute or problem regarding federal education loans, students can contact the Student Financial Assistance Ombudsman. The U.S. Department of Education’s Ombudsman Office can propose solutions that may help students and other parties come to a final agreement, although an ombudsman can’t reverse a decision or take sides. Reach the ombudsman at:
Office of Ombudsman
Student Financial Assistance
Room 3012, ROB #3
7th & D Streets, SW Washington, D.C. 20202
Alternative Loan Programs
A private alternative loan is a non-federal education loan, through a private lender, typically in the students name and requiring a cosigner. Approval and interest rates are based on creditworthiness of the borrower and cosignor. Approval and interest rates are based on creditworthiness of the borrower and cosigner. Each alternative loan lender has different eligibility requirements, loan rates, terms and conditions. Atlernative loans are not regulated by the federal government and therefore generally have higher interest rates and fewer repayment options than federal loans. With an alternative student loan, you may borrow up to the full cost of your education, less other aid.
At the Sage Colleges, we firmly believe that families should exhaust their eligibility for all federal loan programs before turning to this resource. We strongly urge students to apply for Stafford loans and parents of students to apply for PLUS loans before resorting to alternative loans. However, alternative loans may be an effective method for financing unmet costs of education for some students.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Up to $5,000 per year for undergraduate full-time students who have been New York State residents for at least one year. TAP awards are based on the net taxable income of the family and are renewable for four years of baccalaureate study. Students in the Higher Education Opportunity Program or in approved five-year curricula may receive TAP awards for one additional year.
Aid for Part-Time Students (APTS) New York State grant available to students carrying from three to 11 credit hours per semester and who are able to demonstrate need for assistance. To be eligible, individuals must be matriculated in a degree-granting program. Acceptance of an APTS award will reduce lifetime TAP eligibility.
Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) Available to educationally and economically disadvantaged residents of New York State. In addition to extensive financial assistance, students receive counseling, tutoring, and assessment support throughout their years at Sage. A five- or six-week summer program prior to the first year of enrollment is required of students who qualify. Eligibility is determined on the basis of academic background and family income.
Miscellaneous New York State administers assistance programs for children of deceased or disabled veterans, deceased corrections officers, and deceased firefighters. Direct grants are available to Vietnam-era veterans.
Native Americans may be eligible for assistance for undergraduate study from both New York and federal sources.
New York State also provides grants and scholarships to students who concentrate in specific fields of study — including education, nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Although separate application procedures are required for state-sponsored aid programs, information and guidance can be secured from the Office of Financial Aid.
Sage awards merit scholarships to its most academically competitive applicants ranging from $4,000 to $15,000 a year. When you apply for admission to Sage, you are automatically considered for merit scholarship; there is no additional application. Awards are renewable, provided the student remains in good academic standing and enrolled full-time.