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Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress- print this info

 

Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by TCC and the federal government.

These standards include all terms of enrollment, whether or not aid was awarded or received. At TCC, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards also apply to non-federal aid, including state grants, Institutional and Educational Foundation scholarships.

 

Progress is measured throughout the academic program by the student’s cumulative grade point average (qualitative) and by credits earned as a percentage of those attempted (quantitative or pace of completion). In addition, students must complete their programs of study before attempting 150% of the credits required to complete the program.

 

The College Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress before aid is awarded and again after grades are posted for every term, starting with the first term of enrollment.

 

Some career studies certificate programs are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward SAP requirements (GPA, Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe and Developmental Maximum) if the student enrolls later in an eligible program.

 

Note: Federal student loan borrowers must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the point of loan certification and again prior to the disbursement of any loan proceeds.

 

 

Link to Financial Aid TV

Watch a video on SAP.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Status

 

A. Meeting SAP Status Students who are meeting all aspects of the satisfactory academic progress policy or successfully following a designated academic progress plan.

 

B. Warning Status Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term.

 

Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of the warning status term will be placed on financial aid suspension. However, with a successful SAP appeal, those students will retain financial aid eligibility.

 

C. Financial Aid SuspensionStudents who do not meet the credit progression schedule and/or the cumulative grade point average standard will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students in Suspension Status are not eligible to receive financial aid, unless an appeal is submitted and approved.

D. Probation Status Students who have successfully appealed their financial aid suspension may be placed in a Probation Status for no more than one semester. After completion of the Probation semester the student MUST be meeting the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

 

E. Academic Plan Status– Students who have successfully appealed their financial aid suspension may be placed in an Academic Plan. Students placed in an Academic Plan are eligible to receive financial aid for multiple semesters, provided that they meet the term by term requirement of their plan.  Failure to meet the term by term requirements will result in termination of the Academic Plan and the student will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid.

Questions regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards or any information contained in this document should be directed to the campus Financial Aid Office.

 

 

Evaluating Progress
Quantitative Standards or Pace of Completion

Completion Rate (67% Rule): Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67% of cumulative credits attempted. Credits with a grade of A, B, C, D, S or P are considered satisfactory. Courses with a grade of F, W, U, I, R, or X are considered unsatisfactory.

 

The calculation is made by dividing the cumulative total number of successfully completed credits by the cumulative total number of credits attempted. All credits attempted at TCC (except audits, which must be entered as such by the class census date) are included.

All credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. This evaluation will be made prior to aid being awarded and after grades are posted at the end of each semester a student is enrolled at the college.

 
Maximum Hours - 150% Rule

In order to continue receiving financial aid, a student must complete his/her program of study before attempting 150% of the credits required for that program. Developmental and ESL course work is excluded in this calculation.

 

Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the college plus all applicable transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence.

 

  • Transfer Students:  Accepted transfer credits will be counted in the 67% rule and in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility.

 

 

  • Second degree students: Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted.

 

 

  • ESL and Developmental Studies: Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met.

 

English as a Second Language (ESL) credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

 

Additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards
  • Withdrawals (W grades) that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid.

 

 

  • Incompletes (I grades) are included in cumulative credits attempted. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned.

 

 

  • Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative grade point average. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed, but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt. Only the latest attempt will count toward the cumulative grade point average.
Qualitative Standards

Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule):

Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule): In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D and F are included in this calculation.

 

Transfer credits are excluded from GPA evaluation. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required in all courses that are applicable to the degree plan.

 

 

Total Number of Credits Attempted

Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirement

1-15
1.5
16-30
1.75
31+
2.0
 
Developmental Courses
Federal regulations state that students may only receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 credit hours of developmental course work.  Students who wish to take developmental courses beyond the 30 credit hour maximum will not receive financial aid for those additional developmental courses.
 
Auditing Courses
Students are not eligible to receive financial aid for audited courses.  Students who begin in a graded course and then change that course to audited status will lose financial aid eligibility for that course.
 
Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Students who do not meet the credit progression requirements (Quantitative or Pace of Completion) and/or cumulative grade point average requirements (Qualitative) will be immediately ineligible for financial aid. Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment.

 

Unless extenuating circumstances exist and an appeal is granted (see “IV. Appeals” for additional information), a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until satisfactory academic progress requirements are again met.

 

Students who fail to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may request a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid to determine whether they have again met the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

 

If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment. Students should consult their campus financial aid advisors for assistance in appealing their financial aid suspension or to request information on regaining eligibility for financial aid.

 

Appeals

Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet the Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the financial aid suspension. Students must clearly state what caused the suspension and must also clearly indicate what has changed that will now allow the student to succeed.

 

 Appropriate circumstances to consider appealing a financial aid suspension might include:

  • Evidence of substantial academic improvement
  • Documented medical circumstances
  • Death or serious illness of immediate family member
  • Involuntary job transfer
  • Military deployment

Inappropriate circumstances to consider appealing a financial aid suspension include:

  • Errors in judgment involving transportation, availability of finances, academic ability, time management, etc.
  • Misinterpretation or lack of knowledge of college policies and procedures
  • Dissatisfaction with course content or instruction
  • Lack of attendance in course(s)
  • Notification of change in domicile status after the refund period
  • Acceptance of employment or other activity impacting ability to attend class
  • Incarceration in a civilian or military facility

 Students appealing a financial aid suspension must:

 

  • Meet with a financial aid advisor
  • Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form [link]
  • Submit a typed request for consideration which must clearly state what caused the suspension, provide copies of supporting documentation, and must also clearly indicate what has changed. Submit a student success plan
  • Submit a copy of the student’s Degree Progress Advisement Report
  • Enroll in an SDV course if it has not been successfully completed.

 

Only complete Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals, with documentation, will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office. 

 

The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation.  Depending on the circumstances, the student could be required to complete additional requirements (i.e., see a career counselor or limit enrollment, etc.) before an appeal is granted.

 

The student’s ability to improve and once again meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and complete their program of study will be carefully considered. The student will be notified of the decision whether their appeal is approved or denied.

 

Students who have appeals approved will be placed in a probationary status for the coming term. During the term of the probationary status, the student must meet the conditions established for the approved appeal, or the student will return to financial aid suspension.  If an academic progress plan is approved the student must continue to meet the term by term requirements of their plan to continue receiving financial aid.

 

 

Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Student who had a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal denied at the campus level may submit a Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal to the Director of Central Financial Aid.  The second level appeal will be reviewed by the college-wide Financial Aid Management Team. 

 

  • Required documents for Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals:
    • Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form
    • Student’s typed letter providing additional information not previously disclosed
    • Supporting documentation

 

  • Dissatisfaction or disagreement with the initial appeal decision will not be justification, in and of itself, for submitting a second level appeal.  Decisions on Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals will be sent to the students VCCS email account and by U.S. mail.  If a Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal is approved, the student MUST meet with a campus Financial Aid Coordinator to develop an Academic Plan prior to their financial aid being reinstated.

 

  • The decision on all Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals by the college-wide Financial Aid Management Team is final.   For additional information on submitting a Second Level Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal, students should visit their campus financial aid office for assistance.