Federal regulations prevent students from receiving financial aid for classes unless the student has academically engaged in the course.
Academic Engagement

As defined by the Department of Education, is active participation by a student in an instructional activity related to the student's course of study that:

  1. Is defined by the institution in accordance with any applicable requirements of its state or accrediting agency;
  2. Includes, but is not limited to:
    • Attending (physically or online) asynchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field/laboratory activity where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students
    • Submitting an academic assignment
    • Taking an assessment or exam
    • Participating in a tutorial, webinar, or other computer-assisted instruction that is interactive.
    • Participating in a study group, group project, or online discussion assigned by the institution
    • Interacting with an instructor about academic matters

Note: Logging into an online class or tutorial is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate academic engagement.

Enrollment Verification FAQs

This requirement directly affects students with financial aid but it is also important for headcount and enrollment reporting purposes for the university. If a student has no academic activity in their class(es) they will be administratively withdrawn from it/them by the Registrar's Office regardless of financial aid status.

  • An email will be sent from the Registrar's Office indicating that because of non-activity you will be administratively withdrawn from the course.
  • If you have financial aid, we will adjust it (if needed) based on your new enrollment
  • Yes, but it is completely up to the instructor so you would need to contact them to discuss your options.
  • If your professor decides to change their answer, they will communicate that with our office.
  • Both you and your professor will receive an email
    • Your professor's email will have instructions to email our office with their responses so the information can be entered manually.
    • Your email will be informational so you are aware of the situation and can contact your professor as well in an attempt to obtain the necessary attendance verification.
    • Note: If rosters aren't completed during the 7-day window after census date, the resolution of manually entering information can be very time-consuming. We appreciate your patience while this is resolved as quickly as possible.

  • If professors indicate "yes" for all of your classes, nothing will be affected.
  • If one or more of your professors enter "no," we will look at the types of financial aid you've received and adjust accordingly.
    • For example, if you have a Pell Grant and you were enrolled in 12 financial aid eligible hours and a professor indicated "no" for one class, bringing you down to 9 FA hours, your budget for that semester and the Pell grant amount would be reduced to reflect 9 FA hours.
    • This change will not reduce your tuition charges so it could result in a bill.
  • If all of your professors enter "no," you will essentially be withdrawn from the university and any financial aid you have for that semester would need to be canceled. 

The federal requirement of having to attend classes in order to establish financial aid eligibility is not new. Beginning in the Summer 2020 term, a process was developed to provide a more automated method for professors to confirm attendance through class rosters in MyMadison. We hope this process will help make the attendance confirmation requirement easier to manage for everyone involved.

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