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K-State Today

March 1, 2012

Regulations require changes to final grade reporting

Submitted by Larry Moeder

Dear colleagues,

This communication is being sent to make you aware of a re-emphasis by the U.S. Department of Education regarding a particular federal student aid eligibility issue. Specifically, Title IV federal financial aid regulations require Kansas State University to verify that students who received federal financial aid are actively engaged in their course work. The university needs your help, as faculty and instructors, in meeting this requirement.

As you are aware, Kansas State University does not have a policy requiring the taking of attendance and no plans exist for the introduction of such a policy. However, to keep our students eligible to receive federal financial aid, the university must comply with this existing eligibility requirement. Again, complying with this regulation will not require faculty to take attendance.

For federal student aid regulatory purposes, a student must establish his/her eligibility for aid by actively engaging in an academic-related activity associated with each enrolled course. For this purpose, any of the following items qualifies as an academic-related activity:

  • Student physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students. (Note: For courses taught exclusively online, mere ‘logons’ devoid of any actual online discussion do not constitute attendance.)
  • Any submission of homework, project, quiz, exam, laboratory work, or other course work by the student.
  • Any discussion between the faculty member/instructor and the student regarding the subject matter of the course.

Currently, to meet federal regulations, K-State’s office of student financial assistance has been contacting individual faculty and instructors after grades have been submitted with requests to verify whether specific students have been, or have failed to be, engaged in academically related activity. We are keenly aware of faculty workload, and thus your efforts in responding to these individual requests have been, and continue to be, very much appreciated.

To significantly reduce the burden on faculty and the office of student financial assistance, the university is working toward a less intrusive and timelier approach that will leverage iSIS’s ability to capture information when final grades are submitted. This effort is being undertaken with insight provided by leaders from the Faculty Senate, the Committee on Academic Policy and Procedures and representation from the office of the provost. Additional information on this development will be disseminated in the coming weeks.

Best wishes,

Lawrence E. Moeder

Assistant Vice President, Division of Student Life