Part Six: General Policies and Procedures for Enrollment

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Part Six Contents

CHAPTER 600: Undergraduate Admissions Office


The Undergraduate Admissions Office seeks to recruit and enroll an academically strong and diverse student body. The office also engages in activities that provide various constituencies within the campus community important information relating to new students.


SUNY Cortland participates in The Common Application program of the State University of New York. Admissions recruitment efforts consist of mail, email, online chats and telephone communications, high school and community college visits, and a variety of on-campus recruitment programs. Throughout the year several group information sessions, mini open house and campus-wide open house programs are available to prospective students. Individual appointments with a member of the admissions staff are also available to visitors by reservation. Students entering SUNY Cortland with prior college credit, Advanced Placement credit, or CLEP credit receive an evaluation identifying equivalent Cortland credit.

Admission to graduate programs is coordinated through the Graduate Admissions Office. Applications for graduate degrees and certification are handled through Student Registration and Records Services.

CHAPTER 610: Graduate Admissions Office


The Graduate Admissions Office works with graduate coordinators, department chairs and academic deans to manage the admission process for graduate enrollment. Also a member of Enrollment Management and Marketing, the office coordinates all admission and graduate assistantship application materials. Applications for graduate degrees and certification are handled by Student Registration and Records Services.


Recruitment, graduate admission and graduate assistantships are coordinated by the Graduate Admissions Office. Required documentation is collected by the office and forwarded to respective departments for candidacy review.

CHAPTER 625: Student Registration and Records Services


Student Registration and Records Services is committed to offering quality, accurate and confidential service to students, faculty, alumni and outside agencies. The focus is on the maintenance of the integrity of all academic records, the verification of enrollment status of students and the execution of operational procedures as prescribed by established College policy and the Family Educational Rights and Policy Act (FERPA) guidelines.


  1. Provides academic transcript service.
  2. Coordinates registration and change of schedule activities.
  3. Prepares all end of term processes and provides web access for final grades.
  4. Verifies student status and attendance for scholarship awards, social security benefits and NDSL loans.
  5. Schedules classrooms 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Friday
  6. Prepares the schedule of final examinations and provides web access for faculty and students.
  7. Maintains academic records for attending (current) students.
  8. Prepares and distributes all official college forms to transact Student Registration and Records Services business.
Distributed by

Application for Teaching Certificate (initial or professional)

Dean's Office/Student Registration and Records Services

Application for Master's/C.A.S. Degree and Certificate

Dean's Office/Student Registration and Records Services

Permission to Transfer Credit from Another Institution

Transfer Credit Coordinator/Student Registration and Records Services

Withdrawal from College

Dean's Office/Student Registration and Records Services

Leave of Absence

Dean's Office/Student Registration and Records Services

Withdrawal from Course

Dean's Office/Student Registration and Records Services

Pass/No Credit

Major Department/Student Registration and Records Services

Change of Major

Major Department/Student Registration and Records Services

Drop/Add (Post Web)

Department Chair/Student Registration and Records Services

Audit Form

Student Registration and Records Services

Retake a Course

Student Registration and Records Services

Incomplete/Change of Grade/Original Grade Form

Student Registration and Records Services

Extension of Incomplete

Dean's Office/Student Registration and Records Services

Transcript Requests

Student Registration and Records Services

Room Request Form

Student Registration and Records Services

Enrollment Verification

Student Registration and Records Services

Note: Most college forms are available on the web at myRedDragon.

CHAPTER 630: Summer/Winter Session


Two summer sessions and one winter session are offered each calendar year for students to enroll in credit-bearing courses. The courses offered during the summer/winter sessions vary in the duration and frequency of the class meeting times.


The Extended Learning Office is responsible for scheduling, promotion, registration and administration of Summer/Winter Session.


CHAPTER 640: Advisement and Transition


Advisement and Transition offers services and programs to assist students with academic planning and decision making and with the overall transition to college. The office coordinates the transfer credit processes for incoming and continuing/returning students. The office serves as a general comprehensive advisement resource for students and faculty and coordinates several transitional programs for all students.


The office provides advising information and support to all students and directly advises a case load of pre-major students. Orientation for first-year and transfer students, COR 101: The Cortland Experience, non-traditional and adult student support, transfer student support, graduate student support, learning communities, advising workshops and faculty development workshops are provided through the office. Advisement and Transition coordinates the evaluation of transfer credits for all entering students with prior college credit or from credit-bearing examinations, as well as the coordination of permission to transfer credits process for all current students. In addition, the office contributes to relevant campus-wide initiatives.


Each student at SUNY Cortland is assigned an academic advisor. Students who are undecided about what they eventually will choose for a major are assigned an advisor by Advisement and Transition. Advisors for students with majors are assigned by the academic departments.

A. Advisement Mission Statement

Students come to SUNY Cortland with differing academic experiences, varying needs and diverse backgrounds. Advisement plays a crucial role in helping students grow as engaged citizens, which is part of the College's mission statement. Students and advisors have important responsibilities in this process.

SUNY Cortland views academic advisement as serving two functions. First, the advisement process helps the student to satisfy immediate, short-term needs for selecting courses, scheduling and registration. Second, academic advisement endeavors to assist students to develop meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals. A successful advisement process must represent a balance of these two components: registration and student development. 

B. Guiding Principles

Advisement at Cortland is based on the premise that academic advisement should help students develop a sense of responsibility for their academic program and progress toward their educational goals. To that end, the advisement process should:

  • assist students in becoming independent learners
  • assist students in the process of selecting appropriate educational experiences and planning for the future
  • help students in their pursuit of academic and personal development
  • guide students through their degree and help them clarify academic goals
  • provide students with information about college services that can assist in addressing academic issues and personal concerns
  • help students understand College policies and academic expectations
  • assist students to identify, clarify and assess alternatives as well as potential consequences of academic decisions
  • guide students in becoming a part of a diverse and supportive academic community
C. Responsibilities

1. Responsibilities of the Student

  1. To assume progressively the leadership role in academic program planning and to recognize that the advisor's role is one of mentor and facilitator.
  2. To recognize that the student is ultimately responsible for completing a regular review of degree audit, meeting academic deadlines, developing a workable schedule and fulfilling financial obligations.
  3. To understand and comply with College policies.
  4. To commit a reasonable amount of time, both independently and in meetings with an academic advisor, to plan and implement one's own academic program.
  5. To be familiar with the department advisement manual (where available), the College Catalog and other College/department advisement materials.
  6. To come to schedule and attend meetings with the advisor prepared with necessary registration materials, suggestions for courses to be completed and a plan for meeting graduation requirements, as well as questions to clarify prospective problems.
  7. To seek out the advisor or department chair, in a timely manner, for assistance in negotiating difficulties or changes in academic program plans.
  8. To identify alternatives and the consequences of decisions made during one's college career.

2. Responsibilities of the Advisor

  1. To work with each student advisee to achieve an academic program consistent with the student's preparation, interest and plans for the future.
  2. To help students become familiar with college and departmental requirements as reflected in the College Catalog and degree audit.
  3. To help students recognize their academic strengths and weaknesses, establish realistic education goals and identify the courses necessary to achieve these goals.
  4. To be sensitive to the varied needs of students as they develop academically and personally at Cortland and refer to campus resources as appropriate (e.g., The Learning Center, Advisement and Transition, Associate Deans, Career Services, Counseling Center.
  5. To be available during regularly scheduled office hours or by appointment to meet with students for academic advisement.
  6. To schedule sufficient time in the office for academic advising during critical periods such as registration and drop/add.
  7. To appreciate and advocate for diversity, equity and social justice as indicated in our campus priorities.

(Approved by the Faculty Senate, May 9, 2000 and by President Taylor, July 10, 2000; Amendment approved by Faculty Senate May 7, 2013, and by President Bitterbaum June 10, 2013)


CHAPTER 645: Clark Center for Global Engagement


The James M. Clark Center for Global Engagement fosters cross-cultural understanding and global awareness through study abroad and exchange opportunities for students, faculty and staff at SUNY Cortland. In addition, the office provides support services to help integrate international students and scholars into the community in order to enhance international understanding among community members.


A. Study Abroad

The center operates 30 international programs suited to the interests and needs of students and faculty in a wide variety of departments. It furnishes detailed information about SUNY Cortland programs and serves as a resource for many other opportunities abroad.

B. International Students and Scholars

The center provides support to incoming matriculated and exchange international students, as well as visiting international scholars and staff at SUNY Cortland. The office currently receives exchange students from 15 partner universities.

C. Responsibilities

  • Executes and maintains Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements between SUNY Cortland and its partners
  • Maintains ongoing communication and relationship with partners
  • Conducts recruitment and promotion for incoming and outgoing exchange and study abroad programs
  • Assists incoming and outgoing participants in application procedures
  • Provides information and support services to both incoming and outgoing participants with: orientation, cultural adjustment, housing and dining services, registration procedures, student health, billing processes and immigration procedures.
  • Administers campus-based scholarships of $1,000-1,500 for outgoing SUNY Cortland students.
  • Responsible for issuance of immigration documents and maintenance of Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database for incoming and continuing students.
  • Implements risk management and assessment of programs


A. Application

For students who wish to study abroad, applications must be processed through the center. Specific deadlines apply. Application and deadline information can be found on the center’s website. Generally, study abroad programs have a minimum cumulative grade point average requirement of 2.5, although some programs may require a higher grade point average, and applicants must be in good academic standing the prior semester. Participants usually are juniors or seniors, although qualified freshmen and sophomores may be accepted into certain programs.

B. Changes to Courses Made after Student’s Arrival at Site Abroad

SUNY Cortland students must request changes to course selections and equivalencies after their arrival at the site abroad directly through the associate deans at Cortland by the end of the first full week of classes. The associate deans will secure the consent of both the advisor and the international coordinator. Copies of all changes will be sent by the associate dean’s office to the Clark Center for Global Engagement in Cortland to ensure that the course equivalencies are posted correctly upon the student’s return.

Students from other colleges should be sure to follow the approved procedure at their home institution in order to change classes. Failure to comply with this procedure may jeopardize the fulfillment of the student’s degree requirements.

C. Grades Earned Abroad

SUNY Cortland students should be aware that grades earned overseas will be treated as institutional work as if credit was earned at SUNY Cortland and will be factored into their cumulative grade point average. Students from other colleges should check with their registrar concerning the treatment of grades from abroad at their home institution. Students should be aware of academic calendar and transcript release dates at the host institution and how such dates may affect the timing of their grade posting.

D. Early Departure and Early Exams

Students on SUNY Cortland programs abroad are prohibited from requesting early departure, early exams, pass/fail or incomplete grades. In extraordinary circumstances, a request for special arrangements such as early exams or incomplete grades must be submitted in writing first to the study abroad office at the host institution. The reason for the request must be documented. If the host institution approves the request, it will then be forwarded to The James M. Clark Center for Global Engagement at SUNY Cortland for final approval. The Clark Center will advise the study abroad center overseas and the student of its decision. If the request is approved, the study abroad center overseas will advise the student whether it will make the arrangements on behalf of the student or whether the student is expected to make the arrangements.

Any special arrangements agreed upon, including remaining work and deadlines, should be documented in writing by instructors and by the study abroad center overseas. Copies should be sent to the center in Cortland.

Failure to follow these procedures may result in the student receiving no credit or a failing grade. A student may appeal SUNY Cortland’s decision within five days by contacting his or her dean at Cortland and requesting a review. 


The Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) is the official representative of SUNY Cortland to interact with SEVIS and to deal with other immigration and program administration matters. This official represents and speaks for the school in all matters relating to F-1 students. As such, the PDSO maintains SEVIS records to ensure compliance with federal immigration regulations. The PDSO processes all immigration paperwork for students and scholars admitted to SUNY Cortland on F visas. The PDSO coordinates with other campuses and international agencies on immigration processing for students and scholars with J visas. The PDSO can appoint up to nine Designated School Officials (DSO) to assist with these responsibilities.


International students have the following housing options:

1. Standard residence hall accommodations

International students seeking the fullest possible integration into student life at SUNY Cortland may apply for residence hall housing through the proper channels in Whitaker International Hall, Hayes Hall or West Campus. The purchase of a dining plan will be required for all residence halls, with the exception of West Campus. Residential Services will provide housing for international students during vacation periods. Additional charges will be levied for these services.

2. Off-campus housing

Like their American counterparts, international students at SUNY Cortland under certain circumstances may elect to find their own accommodations off campus.


All matriculated undergraduate and graduate students whose first language is not English will take a mandatory language assessment before they begin their first semester at SUNY Cortland. The language assessment is given during the International Student Orientation and results of the assessment will determine what academic support courses, if any, the student will be required to take in their first semester at SUNY Cortland.

CHAPTER 650: Financial Aid Office


The SUNY Cortland Financial Aid Office exists to support the financial success of Cortland's students. The office's mission is: To provide a broad range of financial services, advice and education to our students, their families and the Cortland-area community. This mission is achieved through a strong focus on the needs of students and families and in conformity with the highest standards of ethics, regulatory compliance and technical competence.


The majority of New York state and federal financial aid programs require annual submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to initiate the application process. In order to be assured of consideration for all possible funding and timely availability of funds, students must submit their completed FAFSA to the federal processor by March 1 prior to the award year. Most students will apply online, but paper applications remain available.


The Financial Aid Office processes application data, collects and analyzes documentation, determines eligibility and communicates with outside agencies to ensure the timely arrival of funds. Once payment has been authorized by the Financial Aid Office, all disbursements, refunds and overage checks are processed by College and Student Accounting Services. Students are responsible for carefully reading and responding to all correspondence from the Financial Aid Office. All correspondence is made to the address/telephone number of record in Student Registration and Records Services, and students are responsible for maintenance of these data.


Each student has an assigned financial aid advisor who is responsible for coordinating the student's package, processing the student's awards and providing financial advice and counseling. Students with financial difficulties or processing questions are encouraged to set an appointment with their advisor. In the rare event that the assigned advisor is unable to address a problem to the student's satisfaction, the student may ask for an appointment with the associate director or director.


The Financial Aid Office is authorized to defer payment of billed charges against approved financial aid. Deferral of charges is not permitted until the student has provided all necessary documentation and allowed for a reasonable processing time. Students who apply late or fail to provide documentation in a timely manner must make suitable payment arrangements with College and Student Accounting Services and will be reimbursed as appropriate when late financial aid funds arrive.


The Financial Aid Office is the College's liaison to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Students seeking VA benefits should apply through their VA regional office. The College is responsible for enrollment certification and benefit processing. Students receiving VA benefits are entitled to a deferral of charges upon positive confirmation of pending payment by the VA.


Students who are awarded under the Federal Work Study Program will be placed into positions by the Financial Aid Office. Preference letters will be sent to all awarded students during the summer. Students are expected to report to their supervisors during the first week of classes to establish work schedules.


All institutional scholarships are coordinated by the scholarship coordinator in the Financial Aid Office. The scholarship coordinator also maintains records of various outside scholarships and posts frequent notices of such opportunities through the College's electronic communications systems.

Policy on nondiscrimination: Scholarships are awarded based on merit or financial need or a combination of both. When awarding scholarships, it is the policy and practice of SUNY Cortland not to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, gender, disability, familial status, pregnancy, arrest record, conviction record and military status, including Vietnam-era veterans, special disabled veterans and other eligible veterans.


A limited amount of funding is available through the Financial Aid Office to assist students with short-term funding deficiencies. No interest is charged on these loans, which are generally repaid when financial aid funding arrives. Emergency loans are not available to students who have not completed all necessary financial aid forms and provided all required documentation.