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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require all federal financial aid recipients be enrolled in a degree-seeking program and maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree to remain eligible.  Satisfactory academic progress standards for federal financial aid apply to all students whether or not they are receiving federal aid, and must be taken into consideration when a student begins to receive federal aid.

Student academic transcripts will be reviewed annually.  Entering students are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress. The college is required to apply qualitative (grade point standard), quantitative (pace of completion standard), and maximum allowable time frame standards in measuring academic progress. Students not meeting the requirements after one academic year, or two consecutive terms, will lose future aid eligibility.  If a student fails to meet SAP, they will receive a letter from the financial aid office stating they have lost federal aid eligibility.


Qualitative Requirement – Grade point standard

Cumulative grade point average (GPA) for associate’s degree program

Number of Hours Attempted

Cumulative GPA

0-29

2.00

30-59

2.00

Cumulative GPA for bachelor’s degree program

Number of Hours Attempted

Cumulative GPA

0-29

2.00

30-59

2.00

60-89

2.00

90

2.00


Quantitative Requirement – Pace of completion

Students must successfully earn annually a cumulative minimum of 2/3 or 66.7% of all hours attempted.  Successfully completed hours are earning a letter grade of a D or higher. Some courses may have a specific passing grade requirement.  In such cases, the student must earn the specified grade to be considered to have successfully completed the hours.

Maximum Allowable Time Frame

Students cannot receive federal aid after attempting 150% of the hours required for the completion of their academic program. This is referred to as the maximum allowable time frame.  Example: A degree takes 120 hours to complete, so a student may attempt up to 180 credits (120 x 150% = 180) before being ineligible for federal aid.

A student who loses federal aid eligibility because of not meeting SAP will regain eligibility when it is determined that the standards have been met or when an appeal has been approved.  It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office of any adjustments in their transcript, and if the student meets the standards, then financial aid will be reinstated.


Transfer Credit

Transfer credit will be counted as attempted and earned hours.  Incoming GPA will be used to assess the qualitative requirement. Courses that are repeated will count towards attempted hours each time the course is repeated but will be included as completed only once.


Withdrawals and Incompletes

Eligibility for federal programs will be evaluated as part of the initial application process and again annually.  Students must complete and pass 2/3 or 66.7% of the classes attempted. In the evaluation process, all grades of “WP” and “WF” (withdrawn) or “I” (incomplete) will be counted as hours attempted but not passed, and will also count towards the 150% maximum allowable time frame.   When evaluating SAP, incompletes will be considered the same as an “F”. A student MUST complete the class in order for the “I” to be changed to an actual letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F) before SAP is evaluated.


Preparatory Courses

Students taking pre-requisite courses necessary for admission to a degree program must contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if they are eligible to apply for Financial Aid and the conditions necessary to maintain funding. All pre-requisite courses required for entry into the degree program must be documented and completed within one calendar year to maintain federal aid eligibility. Please note that students working on pre-requisite courses are only eligible for Direct Loans.


Repeating Courses

The Registrar’s office will calculate the GPA for students who repeat a course at the end of each term. Courses that are repeated will count towards attempted hours each time the course is repeated but will be included as completed only once. Students must notify the Financial Aid Office if a course is to be repeated to determine if it would impact academic progress. Students may only receive financial aid funding for one repetition of a previously passed course.


Additional Bachelor’s Degree

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree but are working on another undergraduate degree may be eligible to receive Federal Direct Loans at the undergraduate level. New borrowing may be affected by the aggregate limits of prior undergraduate borrowing.  Students must submit a completed Additional Bachelor’s Degree Form to the Financial Aid Office (forms may be acquired from the Financial Aid Office).  Students will be monitored under this Satisfactory Academic Policy. The maximum time frame allowed is 150% of the additional hours needed to complete an additional bachelor’s degree with the existing “overall” credit hours previously attempted for the first bachelor’s degree. This new value will establish the new maximum time frame that the student can receive financial aid.


Financial Aid Suspension and Probation

Financial Aid Suspension: The student is not in compliance with the standard policy and will lose eligibility for federal aid and be placed on financial aid suspension, until they come into compliance with the standard policy or until they have appealed with a favorable decision.

Financial Aid Probation: Students who have successfully appealed will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. While on probation, a student is eligible for financial aid. During the period of probation (one term) the student is expected to come into compliance with the standard SAP Policy as described above or maintain compliance with the academic plan outlined for them. Failure to meet the terms of the academic plan will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension and the student will not be eligible to appeal.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Process

Eligibility for financial aid may be reestablished by citing extenuating circumstances which have caused a hardship through an appeals process.  An appeal would be in the form a written request with supporting documents submitted to the financial aid director. Extenuating circumstances are generally beyond one’s control, such as an accident, illness or death in the immediate family.  It is the student’s responsibility to secure and provide a full written appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Appeals made without supporting documents will not be considered.  Appeals will not be accepted through verbal requests. The appeal will be reviewed by an Appeals Committee and a decision issued in writing within 7 business days. All decisions are final. If an appeal is denied, the student may attend Williamson College, but will be responsible for their own educational costs. If the appeal is denied, students must earn reinstatement on their own. Student’s granted a reinstatement of financial aid through the appeal process will have their progress checked in their next term, and then annually, to stay in compliance with the SAP policy.  A student must show academic progress to remain eligible for federal aid.  The deadline to submit an appeal is 2 weeks prior to the first day of the term the student is requesting federal aid.


Academic Plan

The Appeals Committee may approve a request for reinstatement of financial aid but request an academic plan for the student. The academic plan can require that a student meet a specified number of hours per term or a specific GPA other than the requirement of the SAP policy. Students placed on an academic plan must meet the requirements of that plan in order to retain federal student aid eligibility for future terms.


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