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Attendance Verification

To remain in compliance with Federal Regulations, Stony Brook University must determine if a student maintained eligibility for Title IV Financial Aid.  Financial Aid eligibility is determined based on a student’s attendance or participation in an academically related activity in the class. 

New attendance process
  • Beginning of Term Verification
    • At the beginning of the term, instructors will be asked to indicate if a student enrolled in a course has not attended at all.
  • Last Date of Attendance
    • After final grades have been posted, for any students receiving a failing grade, instructors will be asked to enter if a student has not attended at all, completed the course, or has not attended since a specific date (the last date of attendance will need to be entered).
Academically- related activities include:
  • Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students
  • Submitting an academic assignment
  • Taking an exam, completing an interactive tutorial, or participating in computer-assisted instruction
  • Attending a study group that is assigned by the school
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course

Why is attendance information required?

The University does not require instructors to take attendance. However, the U.S. Department of Education requires the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services to determine if a student, who receives financial aid and fails to earn a passing grade in a course, has actually attended and/or completed the course, or if they withdrew from a course without providing official notification to the University.  For students who officially withdraw, we are required to document that they also began attending the course(s) from which they withdrew in order to determine the type and amount of financial aid they may be eligible to retain.  Because a student could be a financial aid applicant at any point during the academic year, we must collect this information for all students, so that financial aid eligibility can be accurately determined.

Who must provide the attendance information?

Since the instructor is the only person at the institution who can document whether a student attended class or participated in an academically related activity, this documentation must come from the instructor.

What if I do not take attendance?

If you do not take attendance, you should provide the date of the last known *academically-related activity.  If there is no documented attendance or academically-related activity, you must select "Never Attended."

*Examples of academically-related activities are:  taking an exam or quiz; tutorials; computer-assisted instruction; completing an academic assignment, paper, or project; or attending a study group required by the university where attendance is taken.

What if I do not know if the student attended and I have no record of academic activity?

Indicate the student did not attend.  If attendance cannot be documented through actual attendance records or an academically-related activity, you must report that the student never attended.

I teach an online class, how do I document attendance?

If attendance is not taken, provide the date of the last *academically-related activity.  The student is considered to have not begun attendance if the institution is unable to document the student's attendance.

*Examples of academically related activities are:  taking an exam or quiz, tutorials, computer assisted instruction, completing an academic assignment, paper, or project, or attending a study group required by the university where attendance is taken.

Where do I find class rosters?

Class rosters can be found in SOLAR under the Faculty Center. 

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