For each registered semester, SUNY Cortland will track whether your credits count towards your degree program using Registration Compliance Tracking (RCT), an application that integrates with Degree Works. For federal and state financial aid programs, students may only receive financial aid (including federal loans), for courses required for their degree program. Students that enroll in courses not required for their program may have their financial aid reduced or canceled.
Each time the student registers for a course, a message will be displayed in myRedDragon if the course is or is not aid-eligible. Note that a student can still register for courses that are not aid-eligible. The message in myRedDragon is an informational warning only, and does not prevent registration.
How will RCT benefit students?
When students only enroll in courses required for their degree program, they can graduate faster, spend less money and reduce loan debt. Additionally, there are lifetime limits to financial aid so graduating sooner will help ensure students do not run out of financial aid eligibility.
Do you need to be full time in credits towards your degree program?
No. Students may be eligible to receive financial aid based on fewer credits, but the amount of aid eligibility may vary. To be eligible for full time aid, you must enroll in 12 or more credits towards your degree program.
Please note: if you are in your final two semesters and receive state financial aid, we recommend you contact your financial aid advisor to determine your aid eligibility.
Which aid programs are impacted by RCT and how many credits are needed in each program?
Required credits for financial aid programs at SUNY Cortland:
* Students covered under the Americans with Disability Act may be able to receive these aid programs if they attend less than full-time.
What types of coursework are considered required?
Where can I see which courses are required?
Status The status of the course from the registration form. Ex: Web Registered – the course was registered via the web.
CRN The Course Recognition Number of the course.
Subj The subject of the course.
Crse The course number.
Sec The course section.
Cred The number of credits for the course.
State Aid Indicates if the course is eligible for State Aid.
Fed Aid Indicates if the course is eligible for Federal Aid.
In Program Yes = Counts in student’s program. No = does not count in student’s program.
Repeat Indicates if a previously passed course is being repeated.
Fed Violation Indicates if a previously passed course has been repeated more than once
Audit ID The Degree Works Audit number associated with the audit results.
Degree The degree associated with this registration compliance record.
Level The level associated with this registration compliance record.
What are my options if a course is flagged as ‘not required’?
Students should contact their academic advisor or academic department if you disagree that a class is not required.
How will I be notified that a course is not aid eligible?
Students will be notified at their Cortland.edu email address if enrolled courses are not eligible for financial aid.
There is a course I want to take but it’s not required for my degree program. What should I do if I need financial aid to pay for it?
Undergraduate: As long as a student is enrolled in at least 12 credit hours toward degree program, they will qualify for federal and state financial aid.
*An important exception is the Excelsior scholarship, which requires 30 credit hours per year to maintain eligibility. Any unrequired coursework will not count towards overall credits for the Excelsior Scholarship.
Graduate: As long as a student is enrolled in at least 6 credit hours towards their degree program, they will be eligible for federal loans. If the student adds additional unrequired coursework beyond 6 credit hours towards degree program, they will remain eligible for the same amount of federal loan. Please refer to the chart above to determine how many required courses are needed in addition to unrequired courses to receive financial aid.
Will changing my major affect my financial aid eligibility?
It may, depending upon when the major change takes effect and courses you are enrolled in at that time. Only courses required for your major are eligible for financial aid. Please contact your financial aid advisor if you receive financial aid and plan to change your major.
Can I repeat courses and still receive financial aid?
Federal Aid: Students may repeat a course one time and receive federal financial aid. Note that withdrawals do not count as a previous attempt for the repeat policy (but all withdrawals are included in the student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation).
State Aid: Only courses previously failed may be retaken for state aid. If a student’s program requires that a certain grade be achieved in a specific course and the student earned below the minimum, the student may retake the course and receive state aid for it.
For more information on retakes and effects on financial aid, please refer to the college catalog.
I want to take a course to enhance my degree or help get into graduate school or another program.
Courses you would like to take that do not fulfill a graduation requirement are not eligible for financial aid. However, by taking a combination of required and non-required courses, students can still receive financial aid (refer to ‘required credits for financial aid programs at SUNY Cortland’ information above).
I do not receive federal or state financial aid. Does this apply to me?
These regulations only affect students receiving federal (including loans) and state aid. If you pay for courses on your own, you are free to take whatever courses you choose. However, taking courses outside of what is required for your major may prolong the time it takes to obtain a degree, which will cost more. We encourage you to perform a degree audit periodically to ensure you are on your way to completing your degree.