Financial Aid Policies

Aid Eligibility

Houghton University uses the federal methodology formula to determine financial need. The student aid index (SAI), which is a calculation of the federal methodology formula from the FAFSA data, is subtracted from the cost of attendance to determine need. The Student Financial Services Office attempts to meet the financial need of each student through various financial aid programs.

All grants, scholarships, and loans are credited to the student’s account each semester. Federal college work-study earnings are paid by check (or direct deposit if requested) to the student on a bi-weekly basis.  Any credit created by loan proceeds may be disbursed to the student or parent by request.

Requirements for Financial Aid Consideration:  A student must be a matriculated student making satisfactory academic progress to receive financial aid. A matriculated student is one who has met the entrance requirements and is pursuing a program of study toward a degree.

Rights and Responsibilities: Students receiving financial aid have certain rights and responsibilities.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for federal and institutional financial aid

According to Title IV financial aid regulations, students must make satisfactory progress toward a degree in order to remain eligible to receive financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress includes both a qualitative (grade point average) and quantitative (number of credit hours completed) measure of the student's progress. For a four-year (8 semesters) bachelor’s degree program, there is a 12-semester maximum for the receipt of federal aid.

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress will be subject to the following:

Financial aid warning

The first time that a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements, he or she will be sent a financial aid warning letter which will indicate that the student is in danger of losing aid eligibility unless he or she improves his or her academic record. A student on financial aid warning may continue to receive financial aid for the next payment period.

Financial aid probation

The second time that a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements; he or she will lose eligibility for financial aid. However, the student may petition the Committee on Satisfactory Academic Progress to request a one-time waiver of the necessary academic requirements. Petitions will be considered when accompanied by written evidence of injury or illness, significant personal difficulty, family trauma or other special circumstances. This appeal must also include an academic plan for successfully meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements. If the student is approved for this one-time waiver, he or she will be considered to be on financial aid probation and will be eligible to receive financial aid for the next payment period. Students can appeal the 150% rule due to extenuating circumstances such as illness, full-time employment, significant personal difficulty, family trauma, or other special circumstances. This applies to all students (including Online Education), and the appeal process is the same as above.

Unsatisfactory academic progress

If a student’s appeal is denied by the Committee on Satisfactory Academic Progress or if the student fails to meet the requirements after being on financial aid probation, then the student is no longer eligible to receive federal and institutional financial aid. Aid eligibility may be reinstated in the future if the student successfully attains the necessary satisfactory academic progress requirements.

Transfer of credits from other schools

When a student (including Online students) transfers courses to Houghton from another college, the Transfer Credit Assessor or academic dean’s office will determine the number of credit hours acceptable toward a Houghton degree. The number of credit hours accepted will be counted as both hours attempted and hours completed. Grades from the other school will not be considered in the GPA calculation.

Change of Program

In the event of a change of major, the hours and grades earned in the first major are considered in making satisfactory academic progress determinations.

Repeating of courses

Students have the option of repeating courses in which they earned D+ or lower. In such cases, the higher grade will count in GPA calculations, but the course credit hours earned will count only once. Both courses and both grades remain on the transcript with an indication of which course is counted. A student may only repeat a previously passed course once. Failed courses may be repeated until successfully passed. Students needing to repeat a course more than twice should consult with the Student Financial Services Office. Repeating a course may influence a student’s financial aid or athletic or other co-curricular eligibility.

Withdrawals and incomplete courses

Courses from which a student withdraws may have an impact on GPA, depending on the date of withdrawal. The credit hours of the course count toward hours attempted for satisfactory academic progress purposes (even if they do not count in GPA calculations). Any incomplete courses are counted in hours attempted. When the "I" is changed to an actual grade, the course will be considered complete and the GPA reviewed for satisfactory academic progress purposes.

Audited and remedial courses

Audited courses and courses taken which are intended to bring a student to readiness in terms of language facility, performance level or specific content will be excluded from the satisfactory academic progress requirements.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Chart for Federal and Houghton University Financial Aid
Semesters Min. accrued
credit hrs.
Cum. grade
point average
1 6 1.1
2 15 1.5
3 27 1.75
4 39 2.0
5 51 2.0
6 63 2.0
7 78 2.0
8 93 2.0
9 108 2.0
10 125 2.0


Students must successfully complete the following percentages of all cumulative credits attempted.

First year 55%
Second year 60%
Third year 65%
Fourth 70%
Fifth 70%
Sixth 80%

Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

New York State uses a different satisfactory academic progress standard than the federal Title IV requirements. All satisfactory academic progress policies mentioned above apply to state aid except for the differences described below:


Transfer students and students who return after an absence of at least one year are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress by their admission acceptance. The assessment and information concerning the number of semesters the student previously received aid will be used to place the student at the appropriate point on the academic progress chart. Placement may be either in accord with the number of payments received or the number of credit hours earned, whichever is more beneficial to the student.


Students who are not meeting the NYS satisfactory academic progress requirements may apply for a one-time waiver as described in the financial aid probation section listed above. If a waiver is granted, the student will be given the next term before advancing to the next level on the chart.

New York State Satisfactory Academic Progress Chart

For TAP and other state awards, students must meet the following requirements:

Satisfactory Academic Progress Chart for New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
Semesters Min. accrued
credit hrs.
Cum. grade
point average
1 6 1.5
2 15 1.8
3 27 1.8
4 39 2.0
5 51 2.0
6 66 2.0
7 81 2.0
8 96 2.0
9 111 2.0

Loan Cancellation Policy

Pursuant to, and in compliance with Code of Federal Regulations ((CFR) Title 34, Part 668 under Title IV, HEA programs, section 668.165), from the time you receive your billing statement notifying you that your Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized and/or PLUS) is disbursed onto your account, you have 14 days to cancel it by submitting a written request to Houghton University.  The Houghton University Student Financial Services Office must receive your written request within 14 days of the print date on your billing statement. You may contact the Student Financial Services Office to discuss an alternate payment plan, if necessary.

Request Mailing Address:

Student Financial Services Office
Houghton University
One Willard Ave
PO Box 128
Houghton, NY  14744-0128

Financial Aid Refund Policy

Houghton University’s Refund Policy can be found at the Student Accounts Policies page.

Houghton University Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals

An institutional financial aid professional is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity.  In doing so, a financial aid professional should:

  • Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
  • Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves.
  • Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
  • Refrain from directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications.
  • Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
  • Refrain from accepting call center or financial aid office staffing assistance.
  • Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.
  • Refrain from contracting any arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender.
  • Disclose to his or her institution, in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.