Instructors are required to indicate the last known date of attendance when a final grade of "F" or "U" is assigned to a student and in some cases must indicate the Attendance Hours if the student never attended the course. This requirement is associated with a federal regulation that necessitates the collection of this information that may have an effect on two federal financial aid programs. Specific information regarding the federal financial aid programs that are impacted by this requirement are located on the Office of the Registrar - Policies webpage.
Last Attendance Date and Attendance Hours Instructions
The following instructions only apply to students that earn a final grade of "F" or "U" at the end of the semester:
- Last Attendance Date must be entered in the format of MM/DD/YYYY. The date entered must fall within the scheduled meeting dates of the term of the course. (Last Attendance Date is not required for any grade entered other than "F" and "U.")
- Attendance Hours entry instructions are explained below in the following scenarios:
- If the student had never attended class - Enter the 1st day of instruction as the Last Date of Attendance and then enter "0" (zero) in the Attendance Hours field.
- If the student had partially attended class (one or more days of instruction) - Enter the last date of recorded class participation as the Last Date of Attendance and leave the Attendance Hours field blank.
- If the student attended class for the entire semester and earned a failing grade - Enter the last day of instruction as the Last Date of Attedance and leave the Attendance Hours field blank.
Do not enter a Last Attendance Date for students that earn an "ABS" final grade. An ABS grade is defined as "absent from the final exam," not absent from the course.
Last Attendance Date is required during final grade submission for all students that earn a grade of "F" or "U." However, failure to indicate the Last Attendance Date when using the traditional "Final Grade Entry" interface in Faculty Self-Service will prevent all submitted grades from being saved and subsequently uploaded to Banner during final grade processing. Instructors that choose to use the new "Grade Entry (Mid-Term & Final)" interface will notice that failure to indicate the Last Attendance Date does not prevent all submitted non-failure grades from being saved into the interface.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does this policy mean that instructors need to take attendance?
No. Regular class attendance is expected of all students (Student Code 1-501). Absent a formal attendance requirement, the federal financial aid regulations prescribe campus action to determine and document unofficial withdrawal. That is, instructors are to determine the last time the student was academically engaged (see next question).
What if I do not take attendance?
If you do not take attendance, instructors are to provide the date of the last known student engagement in academically related activity. Examples of academically related activities may include the following:
- Examinations or quizzes
- Computer-assisted instruction (this requires more than just logging in)
- Academic conferences
- Completing an academic assignment, paper, or project
- Attending a study group required by the university where attendance is recorded
What if I do not know if the student attended class and I have no record of academic activity?
Indicate that the student never attended the course by entering the 1st date of instruction as the Last Attendance Date and enter a "0" (zero) in the Attendance Hours field. According to federal regulations, a student is considered to have not begun attendance if the institution is unable to document the student’s attendance.
Who must provide the last date of attendance information in the system in order to track “unofficial withdrawal”?
The instructor or instructors assigned to the course sections in Banner are the only individuals who can access this information on the Final Grade Entry page in Student Self-Service and are therefore responsible for entering the Last Attendance Date information.
How was this approach involving instructors and Banner determined?
Prior to Banner, the campus approach to track unofficial withdrawals has been to run reports, identify specific students, and contact instructors after grade entry. However, obtaining the information was difficult, did not meet federal reporting deadlines, and was not compliant with financial aid regulations for Pell Grant recipients. The implementation of Banner provided a centralized collection process at which a designated point in time can be determined and recorded from which our documentation and follow-up reporting can occur. The implentation was reviewed by the Council of Deans, the Council of Undergraduate Deans, the Graduate College, and Senate leadership.
Why is the Last Attend Date information being collected for all students who receive an F or U (instead of limiting it to students receiving aid specific to the regulation)?
Approximately 75% of all students receive some form of financial aid. A student could become a financial aid applicant at any point during the academic year, therefore this information must be collected for all students (Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional) so that financial aid eligibility can be accurately determined. Instructors are responsible for collecting this information for any student that earns a grade of "F" or "U" and are required to report it during final grade submission. Financial aid (whether merit-based, grants, loans, or other) is private information and any student receiving financial aid will not be identified to faculty members.
Why are the Last Attend Date and Attend Hours fields not required for ABS grades?
An ABS grade is assigned when the student fails to take the final exam in a course without an acceptable excuse (Student Code 3-103). In this circumstance, the student has attended class for the entire term but was absent from the final exam and an ABS grade should be assigned if the student may have passed the course if he or she had taken the final exam. If it is clear that taking that final exam could not have resulted in a passing grade for the course, a grade of F may be assigned instead of ABS.
The ABS grade is counted as a failure in the calculation of the GPA. In addition, an ABS grade may be changed to a letter grade only with the additional approval of the dean of the college in which the student was registered at the time the original grade was assigned.
What happens if the instructor just leaves the grade or Last Attend Date field blank?
When instructors do not enter grade information for registered students, a grade of "NR" (Not Reported) will appear on a student's transcript. A student that receives a grade of "NR" could be negatively impacted in determining their academic standing and financial aid eligibility for subsequent terms. Any student that receives a "NR" grade and is a recipient of some form of financial aid, department and financial aid administrative staff will need to contact instructors and document the situation in order to be compliant with regulations.