Federal regulations require that students establish attendance or participation in their courses each term to be eligible for federal financial aid.
Instructors are required to verify attendance through the 14th day of the term in the following sections:
B Term; and
“Late Start” Term
Students may also establish attendance beyond the first 14 days of a section under extenuating circumstances if they provide documentation of the circumstances to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office.
Attendance is verified for flex sections by the student’s receipt of a final grade for the course that is earned.Flex sections are defined as all other sections that are not full-term, A term, B term or “Late Start” term.Unearned grades are a grade of “Z” (which equates to a student being reported as never attending), “U” or “F” with a last date of attendance.
Sinclair allows instructors to establish an academic attendance policy for each course that they teach.Their academic attendance policy is different from the Financial Aid Student Attendance Policy. Federal student aid is based on the Financial Aid Student Attendance Policy even where an academic attendance policy may report a different result.
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, may have their federal financial aid eligibility adjusted.
Students reported for non-attendance are not withdrawn from the course by Sinclair.
Documented Extenuating Circumstances - Through the use of professional judgment the Financial Aid & Scholarships office will consider the following extenuating circumstances to allow a student to establish attendance beyond the first 14 days of the course:
The student had a severe illness that prevented 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;
The student suffered the death of a close family member and provides a copy of the death certificate;
A campus closure (inclement weather or a natural disaster) cause the student to miss classes, and in addition, the student can document extenuating circumstances that prevented him or her from establishing attendance during the remainder of the 14 day period;
The student attended the wrong section of the course but did establish 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 (the instructor with whom the student established attendance may submit the attendance appeal form);
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;
Any other unforeseen circumstance that a financial aid staff member determines to be extenuating through the use of professional judgment (with or without an appeal filed by the instructor) where the student documents the circumstances.
Students who continue participating in the course after failing to establish attendance within the first 14 days of the course may establish attendance by completing the course as evidenced by a final grade that was earned. Unearned grades are a grade of “Z” (which equates to a student being reported as never attending), or a “U” or an “F” grade with a last date of attendance. The student is responsible for bringing this information forward to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office and complete a personal statement documenting their completion of the course. The Financial Aid & Scholarships staff may use professional judgment in determining whether the student earned a final grade in the course.
Sinclair uses the date that the student withdrew from the course(s), the midpoint of the term or the last date of attendance recorded at an academically related activity to determine the percentage of federal student aid that the student earned.
The following academically related activities may constitute attendance, however this is not an exhaustive list:
Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
Submitting an academic assignment;
Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction;
Attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
Participating in an online discussion about academic matters; or
Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.
Academically related activities do not include activities where a student may be present but not academically engaged, such as:
Logging into an online class without active participation; or
Participating in academic counseling or advisement.
Academically related activities do include, for online courses, completing an assignment given by the instructor that requires students to sign on and agree that they have read and understood all of the materials in the course overview which may include the following: Course Syllabus, Welcome from the Instructor, Faculty Expectations, Course Requirements, How to Submit an Assignment, How Grades are Determined, and When Assignments are Due. This action is considered to be active participation in the course.
If a student has been reported as not establishing attendance in a class due to an attendance reporting error, the student may request that their instructor submit an electronic attendance appeal to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office. The student is responsible for requesting the appeal from the instructor who reported their non-attendance. The instructor is responsible for submitting the attendance appeal form if he or she believes an error in reporting was made or that the student has extenuating circumstances described in this policy.
If the attendance appeal is submitted by the instructor on the basis of extenuating circumstances, the student is responsible for submitting documentation of the extenuating circumstances within 14 days of the date that the appeal was filed by the instructor for the Fall and Spring Terms. All attendance appeals submitted for the Summer term must be completed by September 1 due to federal processing deadlines. For Summer term, students are must submit their documentation for extenuating circumstances prior to the end of the Summer term.
Appeal decisions can take up to 10 business days. The student will be notified through their Sinclair Email account when a decision is made regarding the appeal. All appeal decisions are final. An attendance appeal must be submitted within 30 days after the start of the following term if the course was taken in the Fall and Spring terms. For the Summer term, all attendance appeals and any extenuating circumstances documentation must be submitted by the end of the Summer term and completed by September 1.
The electronic appeal form is available to instructors through their Web advisor account. The Financial Aid & Scholarships office will no longer accept the hard copy appeal form.