Path to Cortland

Blaze the Red Dragon standing next to other university mascots

Transfer Advising for Tompkins Cortland Community College and SUNY Broome Students

SUNY Cortland has partnered with Tompkins Cortland Community College and SUNY Broome to create a clear transfer path for students.  

Appointments can contain but are not limited to:

  • Overview of SUNY Cortland
  • Major and career exploration
  • How to apply to SUNY Cortland and requirements for the application and majors on campus
  • Course recommendations for upcoming semesters to prepare for transfer
  • Evaluation of transfer credits, as well as AP/IB/CLEP evaluations
  • Transfer policies at SUNY Cortland
  • Academic concerns
  • Connection to campus resources and other areas of interest at SUNY Cortland

In order to receive federal and state financial aid (including loans), students must be enrolled in a minimum number of credits that count toward their degree to retain that aid. The minimum number of credit hours depends on the type of aid the students is receiving and relevant aid regulations.

Registration Compliance Tracking (RCT) helps monitor eligibility when a student registers or makes changes to their schedule. RCT will let students know if they meet the minimum number of credit hours needed to be eligible for aid that term and which courses count, or do not count, toward that eligibility.

Each time they register, their financial aid compliance results will be available to review in myRedDragon. This is highly individualized by student and the type of aid they are receiving.

Supporting Students
As an academic advisor, you can help guide students if they have questions about their courses and how they apply to their degree program.

Reach out to Financial Aid

  • Ask the student if they have either received an email and/or spoken with the Financial Aid Office regarding any course work not counting toward their degree program.
    1. No – then advise the student to first reach out to the Financial Aid Office to determine what impact the non-eligible coursework will have.
    2. Yes – Work with the student to find appropriate coursework or alternative resolution.

Schedule change
The student may choose to drop the course identified as not required and seek your assistance in adding another course which is required for their degree program. If no additional appropriate coursework is available work with your department chair and/or Associate Dean to determine an appropriate resolution (overenrolling a closed course, identifying a course exception, etc.) 

Remain enrolled in the coursework
Students may choose to remain enrolled in the non-required coursework. The student’s financial aid eligibility will be determined based on the required course work enrolled in. Advise the student to notify Financial Aid if they choose this option so they can understand the long and short term consequences.

Degree Works Exceptions
Review the student’s course schedule and determine if a course exception or substitution is anticipated. Degree Audit Exception Requests need to be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office (with all appropriate signatures) in a timely manner.

Course is required
If you reviewed the required courses for the correct catalog term and believe the course identified is a required part of the student’s degree program or should be counting toward elective credit, reach out to the Registrar’s Office.

Plan Ahead

  • Know your curriculum: In advising students, be familiar with your curriculum and program requirements. Be aware of prerequisite requirements, course sequencing and what semester courses are offered. Working with students to plan ahead will be critical in assisting students to remain aid eligible throughout their time at Cortland. Be aware of the number of credits required for the major and potentially how many free electives a student may have.
  • Minor course work: Course work in a minor needs to be taken as part of elective credit to be considered aid eligible.
  • 4 + 1 programs: Student in 4 + 1 programs need to wait to do graduate work until all the undergraduate requirements are met and they are “accepted” or “transitioned” into a graduate program.
  • Non-eligible coursework:
    • Coursework taken currently at another institution is not financial aid eligible. Students need to enroll in enough course work at SUNY Cortland required for their degree program to make them eligible for financial aid.
    • Additional courses required for a certificate or additional credentials offered from a third party but not required for the degree program.

 Types of coursework required for degree program and financial aid eligible:

  • General education requirements
  • Major courses
  • Concentration areas required for specific major.
  • Courses outside of major that are specific degree requirements (i.e. writing intensive, foreign language).
  • Electives needed to earn enough credits for graduation after all general education requirements and major course are considered.
    • There is a cap on the number of electives a student needs. Once met, additional courses cannot be counted as an elective.

Time Sensitive Items

  • Course Exceptions: Exceptions/substitution paperwork needs to be submitted immediately so the student’s degree audit can reflect how the course applies to their degree and is financial aid eligible.
  • Concentrations: Students should declare their concentrations as soon as possible, otherwise courses taken to fulfill a concentration requirement will not be considered financial aid eligible.
  • Major Changes: Students who are changing majors need to be careful about when the major change takes effect. Financial Aid eligibility is based on the current major and current course work enrolled in.  If they do not match, then the student may lose financial aid eligibility.