Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Undergraduate Students
Federal and state regulations require recipients of federal or state financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Students are expected to pass enough hours (quantitative measure) and maintain a grade point average (qualitative measure) and complete their programs within a maximum timeframe to be considered as making SAP. The measures below must be adhered to as outlined regardless of any changes to majors, degrees, or pursuit of a second major. All periods of a student’s enrollment count when assessing progress, even periods in which the student did not receive financial aid.
- The Student Financial Services office monitors SAP for financial aid eligibility, which is reviewed at the end of each payment period, including summer.
- All coursework attempted, including repeated, incompletes (“I”), and withdrawn (“W”) coursework recorded on the academic record at the time of the progress check is considered when determining if the student meets financial aid SAP standards. Courses with withdrawal (W) and incomplete (I) grades will be evaluated as attempted hours, but not hours earned. Courses that are retaken to improve a grade are counted in attempted hours but only one passing grade is counted toward the credit completion pace rate and GPA calculation. Transfer credits on the student academic record are considered for the purposes of financial aid SAP review. Non-credit and audit courses are not considered for SAP.
- Courses assigned an incomplete grade are included in the credits attempted for maximum timeframe and pace. These credits cannot be counted as earned credits until a satisfactory grade is assigned. Grade changes from incomplete to another grade are reviewed as part of the next term’s Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation.
- Maximum Timeframe
The College requires a minimum of 124 semester hours for graduation. Federal regulations require that students complete their program within a maximum time frame of 150% of the published length of a program. For most undergraduate programs, the maximum is considered to be 186 attempted credit hours. A student becomes ineligible for federal aid if and when it becomes mathematically impossible for them to complete their program within 150% of its length. A review of total attempted credit hours is conducted at the end of each semester. In limited circumstances, appeals for exceeding the maximum timeframe will be considered. If the student is a returning student, did not attend any other school while away, and is returning to the same program of study, all the hours the student previously attempted count toward the maximum timeframe.
- If the student is a returning student and returning to a different program of study, then only those previously attempted credits which apply to the new program of study count towards the student's maximum timeframe (as calculated based on the new program).
- Pace - Cumulative (overall) Progress
Federal regulations for financial aid contain a quantitative component, meaning that students are required to make steady progress towards their degree by completing at least two-thirds (66.67 with 66.6649 rounding to 66.66 and 66.665 rounding to 66.67) of all their attempted credit hours.
- Students who do not successfully complete at least 66.67 percent of all attempted credit hours are placed on financial aid warning. Students enrolled part-time (less than 12 hours per semester) must also complete and pass 75% of the credits in which they were enrolled each semester. Part-time students must complete their degree program within a maximum of 10 years of enrollment.
- Grade Point Average (GPA)
The SAP policy requires students to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA in order to remain eligible for financial aid. Students who drop below the minimum cumulative GPA will be placed on financial aid warning. Students must attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
- Financial Aid Warning status is determined by the following criteria:
When a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0, or they do not meet the pace requirement, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester. Any part-time student (enrolled for less than 12 credits during a semester) who does not pass three-fourths (3/4) of the credits in which s/he was enrolled or fails to make a 1.25 average in any semester is subject to being placed on Financial Aid Warning.
- Student Financial Services (SFS) sends the students a letter notifying them that they have been placed on Financial Aid Warning status and the consequences of not meeting the conditions.
- Students may continue to receive financial aid for one payment period. No appeal is necessary. The Registrar assesses students’ academic status at the end of each semester, which is communicated to Student Financial Services.
- If, at the end of the Financial Aid Warning semester, the student’s semester grade point average is above 2.0 but the cumulative average is still below 2.0, he or she is not eligible for financial aid. The student may appeal for Financial Aid Probation status to have his/her financial aid eligibility reinstated.
- A student on Financial Aid Warning whose semester grade point average at the end of the Financial Aid Warning semester is below 2.0, or the pace is below the required rate, is subject to Financial Aid Probation. The student may appeal for his/her financial aid eligibility to be reinstated.
- Financial Aid Probation Appeals
- SFS sends the students a letter notifying them that they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid and the conditions to appeal for Financial Aid Probation status.
- If, therefore, a student appeals a dismissal status with the Registrar and the Petitions Committee, and the appeal is granted, the student will also be allowed to petition for Financial Aid Probation for one semester.
- The student must file a written appeal with the Director of SFS.
- The student’s appeal must include why the student failed to make SAP, and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. The appeal must also include the signed Academic Contract that is required for readmission after academic dismissal status.
- A student must demonstrate extenuating circumstances to be considered for an appeal. Conditions that will be considered include events such as death of a relative, injury, disability, or illness of the student, or other extraordinary circumstances that have significantly affected the student’s ability to achieve academic success.
- The Director of SFS reviews the appeal and makes the decision. The student is notified of the appeal outcome by the Academic Advising Office.
- After the Financial Aid Probation semester, the student must be making SAP, or must be successfully following the academic plan. Evaluation is done by the Academic Advising Office.
- Students may repeat any course in which an “F” grade is earned. A course with a grade of D or above can only be taken one time and still receive financial aid. Only two courses in which a “C-“ or better grade may be repeated. The grade for the most recent course taken, whether higher or lower, will count in the GPA average. Courses that are retaken to improve a grade are counted in attempted hours but only one passing grade is counted toward the credit completion pace rate. The hours of the course are counted only once toward graduation requirements. Transfer or A/P credit hours will be removed from the student’s record if the course is repeated. Students repeating any course are required to notify the Registrar’s Office within the required deadlines.
- Aid is available to assist students in obtaining a degree, which consist of any majors, minors with concentrations or emphases, minors, certificates, or endorsements declared by the student. A student who completes the academic requirements for a program of study but does not yet have the degree is not eligible for further additional federal funds for that program of study. If a student has earned 124 hours by the end of eight semesters, financial aid eligibility may be considered for those courses and hours which are required to complete the program of study. Fifth Year Eligibility petitions and appeals are evaluated by the Academic Advising Office and the Director of Student Financial Services.