Attendance/Participation/Academic Engagement

Students are expected to attend and actively participate in all regularly scheduled classes and laboratory sessions.  Not only must a student be registered for a class, but students must also be actively participating to count as “enrolled” for financial aid eligibility purposes. This is often referred to as “Academic Engagement.”

Students must have their class participation verified by their professors prior to financial aid being disbursed.  Participation in academically related activities includes, but is not limited to:

  • Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students,
  • 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.

Participation in academically related activities do 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 participation (Logging into an online class or tutorial for a specific period of time is not sufficient documentation of attendance in that class); or
  • participating in academic counseling or advising.

Participation in academic counseling and advising are no longer considered to be academic attendance or attendance at an academically related activity.

In a distance education context, documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance by the student. A school must demonstrate that a student participated in class or was otherwise engaged in an academically related activity, such as by contributing to an online discussion or initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course-related question.

During the fifth week of 15 week sessions and the third week of Accelerated sessions of the Fall and Spring semesters, faculty report to the Registrar’s Office students who have not been participating in/attending their courses. Participation reporting for the summer sessions occurs in the second week of each session.  Students identified as “never participated” or “stopped participating” will be notified by the Registrar that they are being withdrawn from the class.  If a student believes this report was an error, the student must meet with the instructor to correct the error and process a reinstatement with the Registrar. All errors must be addressed within one week (the specific deadline will be identified in the letter received by the student). Administrative withdrawals for participation will only be processed in response to the fifth week report. After this point, official course withdrawals must be initiated by the students. It is important to note that instructors may submit last dates of participation through the end of the semester, including at the end of the term with the final grade roster.

If a student never begins participation in a course or stops participating in a course prior to the semester census date, which is the last day that a student can add a full semester course with instructor permission each semester (generally the 15th day of the semester), that course is not financial aid eligible, and it may result in a decrease or full cancellation of a student’s financial aid award.  Please see Census Date Policy below.

Census Date Policy

Eligibility for most federal and state financial aid programs, as well as some institutional financial aid programs, is based on the number of credits that a student is enrolled in as of the financial aid census date, which is the day after the last day that a full semester class can be added with instructor permission for the semester (generally the 15th day of the semester). The Census date for fall 2023 is September 20th and the census date for spring 2024 is January 31st.

Students that are enrolled as of this date, but are not enrolled in at least twelve eligible credits, will have their tentative financial aid awards revised to reflect their actual Title IV enrollment status and the institutional packaging policy.

Students that are enrolled as of the census date will not be eligible for financial aid for any classes that are dropped or abandoned prior to the census date.  Students that are actively enrolled in less than six eligible credits as of the census date will typically not be eligible for federal student loans for that term.

Students that begin attendance during a term and fully withdraw from college prior to the census date may be eligible for limited post-withdrawal disbursements in accordance with federal and state regulations.

Classes added after the census date may be included in a student’s Title IV enrollment on a case-by-case basis if there are extenuating circumstances that caused a delay in a student’s registration.  Examples include but are not limited to:  Registration for a directed study class, retroactive registration authorized by a Dean or other campus official, class section changes, and registration extensions due to weather/school closure.

Late registration for modular classes after the census date will never be considered a valid extenuating circumstance. Students that register for late starting modular classes, or classes offered during an accelerated session, after the census date will not be eligible for additional federal Pell grant funds but may be eligible for additional state grant funds or federal student loans.

Students that would like to take a course at another institution and receive Federal and/or State grant funds from Massasoit must submit a completed Consortium Agreement to the Massasoit Financial Aid Office prior to the census date.

Students that apply for financial aid after the census date will have their Pell Grant eligibility based on their enrollment as of the date that Massasoit receives their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Eligibility for other funding will be based on the student’s enrollment status at the time of the award, and on available funding.

Students may be eligible to receive financial aid retroactively for any completed payment periods within the award year if otherwise eligible.  However, students may only receive Pell Grants retroactively for the eligible credits completed for the term.  This includes earned F’s and incompletes that are not converted to “F” grades because the student failed to complete the course work.

  • What happens to my financial aid if I drop some, but not all, of my courses before the drop/add deadline (census date)?
    Your financial aid eligibility for federal grants and most state grant programs is based on the number of credits you are enrolled in as of the financial aid census dat.  If you are enrolled on this date but are not enrolled as a full-time student (12+ credits), your financial aid award will be adjusted to reflect your actual enrollment and eligibility. You will not be eligible for federal and most state grants for any class that you drop or stop attending prior to the census date.
  • What happens to my financial aid if I drop some, but not all of my courses, after the drop/add deadline (census date)?
    If you drop a course in which you had been participating in on or after the census date, you may still receive aid for the class, and, in most cases, your financial aid for the current semester will not be impacted.  However, if you drop to less than six credits, and you have a student loan that has not yet disbursed your loan will be cancelled.
  • What happens to my financial aid eligibility if I withdraw from all of my courses, stop attending before completing the semester, or do not complete all modules for which I registered?
    Federal and state regulations require financial aid funds to be awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which assistance was awarded.  If you withdraw, or are withdrawn, from all of your courses for any reason (including academic dismissal, suspension or expulsion) prior to completing at least 60% of the term, you may no longer be eligible for the full amount of federal and state funds that you were originally awarded.
  • Massasoit is required to recalculate your financial aid eligibility based on the percentage of the period that you completed and applicable federal and state regulations.
    A pro-rated schedule is used to determine the amount of federal funds that you have earned at the time of the withdrawal. Thus, a student who withdraws in the second week of classes has earned less of his/her federal financial aid than a student who withdraws in the fifth week. Once more than 60% of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of his/her financial aid, and his/her financial aid will not be prorated.

If you officially withdraw** from Massasoit, the withdrawal date used to determine your financial aid eligibility will be:

  1. The date the Registrar Office received your withdrawal request, or
  2. The date that you expressed an intent to withdraw to a Massasoit staff member acting in an official capacity, or
  3. The date that you last attended a course, as reported by your professor(s), or
  4. The date that you last participated in an academically related activity.

** Withdrawal instructions.

If you unofficially withdraw from Massasoit by abandoning all of your classes, the withdrawal date used to determine your financial aid eligibility will be:

  1. The date that you last attended a course, as reported by your professor(s), or
  2. The midpoint of the period for which aid was awarded.
  • What if I don’t earn any passing grades for a term in which I received financial aid?
    If you do not officially withdraw and you fail to earn a passing grade in at least one course offered over the entire term, and none of your professors confirm your attendance beyond the 60% point of the term on their final grading rosters, Massasoit must assume, for Title IV purposes, that you have unofficially withdrawn.  Your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated according to the Return of Title IV (R2T4) Policy.
    Additional information – Return of Title IV (R2T4) Policy

How will my tuition and fee charges be impacted if I withdraw from a course?
Tuition and fee charges will be adjusted based on the Deadline & Refund Schedule.