Financial Aid Student Attendance Policy
Financial Aid Student Attendance Policy
Federal regulations and Sinclair policy requires the Financial Aid & Scholarships office to verify that students establish attendance through academic engagement during the first 14 days of the following terms to receive federal financial aid:
- Full Term
- A Term
- 12 Week Term
- B Term
Attendance is verified for flex sections by the final grade earned for that course. Flex sections are defined as sections that are not full-term, A, B, or the 12-Week term. Unearned grades are a grade of "Z"which equates to a student never attending, "W", and a "U" or "F" with a last date of attendance.
Sinclair allows instructors to establish an academic attendance policy for each course they teach, which may be different from the Financial Aid Student Attendance Policy. Federal student aid is based on the Financial Aid Student Attendance Policy even if the academic attendance policy reports a different result.
Federal financial aid may be adjusted for students who have not established attendance in a course or all courses through the first 14 days of the class, or in accordance with the provision for extenuating circumstances described below. Students reported as non-attending are typically not withdrawn from the course.
The following examples of academic engagement may constitute course attendance; however, this is not an exhaustive list:
- Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students. A synchronous course is an online, distance education, or in-person course that happens in real time, often with a set class schedule and required login times.
- Submitting an academic assignment;
- Taking an assessment or an exam;
- Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;
- Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned by the institution; or
- Interacting with an instructor about academic matters.
Academic engagement does not include activities where a student may be present but not academically engaged, such as:
- Logging into an online class or tutorial without any further active participation; or
- Participating in academic counseling or advisement.
Students may want to review the Academic Attendance Policy and the Attendance Policy for Online or Hybrid Courses.
If a student was reported as non-attending in error, it is the student's responsibility to request their instructor to submit an electronic attendance appeal to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office. In a case where the student attended the wrong section of a class, the instructor with whom the student established attendance must submit the attendance appeal form with the date the student established attendance in his/her section. The instructor of the correct section, must also submit an attendance appeal with the date the student established attendance in his/her section. The electronic appeal form is available to instructors on Forms Central, accessed through the Sinclair portal.
Students Who Attended Within the First 14 Days of the Course
The instructor submits the appeal with the first date the student attended the course. The Financial Aid & Scholarships office reviews the student's financial aid award based on the date the instructor reported the student first attended the course.
Students Who Did Not Attend Within the First 14 Days of the Course Due to Extenuating Circumstances
The instructor submits the appeal with the first date the student attended the course and enters a brief explanation of his/her knowledge of the student's circumstance. The Financial Aid & Scholarships office notifies the student of the next steps via Sinclair email (See Extenuating Circumstances section for examples of acceptable documentation).
The Financial Aid & Scholarships office considers the following extenuating circumstances to allow students to establish attendance after the 14th day of the course. The documentation provided must correspond to the attendance taking period for which the student is submitting the appeal:
- Severe illness preventing him or her from attending all classes during the first 14 days of the course and he or she provided documentation from a medical doctor or hospital, and a financial aid staff member agrees that attendance in the first 14 days of the course was not possible, or;
- Death of a close family member and provides a copy of the death certificate or obituary referencing the student's name in relationship to the deceased, or;
- Campus closure (inclement weather or an act of God) causing the student to miss classes, and in addition, the student documents the extenuating circumstances preventing him or her from establishing attendance during the remainder of the 14 day period, or;
- Attended the wrong section of the course or changed sections but established attendance during the first 14 days of the course in that section as evidenced by the instructor for that course, even though the student was not registered in that course at the time attendance was verified, or;
- The instructor ceased teaching the course or is no longer available to submit the attendance appeal form (for example due to death, medical illness or disability, relocating out of state, etc.) and the student has been regularly attending the courses, or;
- Documented extenuating circumstances that a financial aid staff member determines through the use of professional judgment.
If a technical error occurs during the attendance reporting submission or college error prevented accurate attendance reporting, attendance verification may be updated without an attendance appeal if the instructor provides the course roster and documentation of the error to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office. The director of Financial Aid & Scholarships determines if an attendance appeal exception can be approved.
Appeal Review Timeline
Appeal decisions can take up to 10 business days. Students are notified of the appeal decision through their Sinclair.edu email account. All appeal decisions are final. Attendance Appeals for Fall and Spring Semesters must be submitted within 30 days after the end of the term for which they are appealing. Attendance Appeals for Summer must be submitted within 15 days after the semester ends. Note: Processing deadlines may impact Federal Direct Loan eligibility for students with appeals approved after the semester ends. Contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships office for more information.
Reporting Earned Grades
Students who earned grades in a course previously reported by the instructor as non-attending may contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships office within 30 days after the semester ends to review federal aid eligibility for the completed course. Students must report grades earned for courses completed during Summer Semester to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office within 15 days after the semester ends. Note: Processing deadlines may impact Federal Direct Loan eligibility for students with appeals approved after the semester ends. Contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships office for more information.
- Last Revised: 10/27/2022