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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
EFFECTIVE DATE: JULY 1, 2011
The U.S. Department of Education requires Colby Community College to define and administer Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for students receiving Title IV Federal Financial Aid. The SAP policy at Colby Community College for Title IV students is the same as, or stricter than, the school's standard for students enrolled in the same educational program who are not receiving Title IV aid.
Students receiving Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study, any W.D. Ford Direct Loan Programs, and/or any other Federal or state aid must meet the following standards to ensure that only those students demonstrating satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their educational programs continue to receive financial aid.
The standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress measure a student’s performance in three areas: cumulative completion rate, cumulative grade point average, and maximum time frame. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured at the end of every payment period. Notification of failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will be mailed to the student’s permanent address at that time.
CUMULATIVE COMPLETION RATE
Cumulative completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of cumulative credit hours earned by the number of cumulative credit hours attempted. Students must earn 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted. A student failing to complete 67% of his/her attempted hours will be placed on warning for the following payment period for which the student is enrolled. A subsequent payment period of unsatisfactory progress will result in suspension.
The following criteria are used in the measurement of this comparison:
|Hours for which Title IV Aid Received||Minimum Hours to be Completed|
|Full time (12 or more hours)||9 hours|
|Three-quarter time (9-11)||7 hours|
|Half-time (6-8 hours)||5 hours|
|Less-than-half-time (3-5 hours)||3 hours|
Attempted hours include any course the student remained enrolled in past the refund period. Earned hours include any hours for which the student earned an A, B, C, D, P, WF, WP, or I. Failures, withdrawals, audits, and incompletes are considered as attempted hours, but not earned hours. Failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted, but not earned. Repeated and remedial courses are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours.
Any grades that are not posted at the time of SAP review will be considered as hours attempted, but not earned. You must contact the Financial Aid Office to resolve any discrepancies related to classes with grades posting after the review.
Some cases may be handled on an individual basis with consideration given by the Director of Financial Aid, Associate Director of Financial Aid, and the Vice President of Student Affairs.
A student must also maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. A student failing to meet the cumulative GPA standard will be placed on warning for the following payment period for which the student is enrolled. A subsequent payment period of unsatisfactory progress will result in suspension.
MAXIMUM TIME FRAME
Students at Colby Community College are expected to complete course work for an Associate degree within a maximum of 93 hours of enrollment (62 hrs. x 150%). Students pursuing certificate programs must complete their programs within 150% of normal enrollment. This maximum time frame includes prior coursework, transfer hours, repeated coursework, and remedial hours.
- Transfer Hours: All previous college attempted and completed coursework will be counted when determining a student’s GPA, minimum completion rate, and maximum time frame. Per federal regulations, all hours must be counted whether the student received financial aid for those hours or not.
- Repeated Coursework: Passed courses—Students needing to retake a previously passed course can receive financial aid for one additional attempt. A, B, C, or D is considered passing regardless of the program of study.
Failed/Withdrawn Courses—Students needing to retake a failed (F) or withdrawn (WP or WF) course can receive financial aid until they pass the class with a “D” or better.
- Remedial Hours: Developmental course hours are included as hours attempted, completed and in the GPA for the federal financial aid satisfactory academic progress evaluation.
Students who have attempted 93 or more credit hours but have not met their program requirements will be placed on suspension and will be required to complete the “Aid Extension Request” form before Federal Financial Aid is considered. Only specific courses required to complete their programs are eligible for Federal Financial Aid.
If a student has completed more than 62 credit hours or has attempted 93 credit hours and wishes to continue at Colby Community College, he or she must have permission from the Financial Aid Office to receive further financial aid. Individuals will be considered for this continuation of aid under the following guidelines:
- A change in degree status
- Required update of skills for continuation in a field of work.
- Program modification
Each case will be handled on an individual basis with consideration given by the Director of Financial Aid, Associate Director of Financial Aid, and the Vice President of Student Affairs.
FINANCIAL AID WARNING
At the conclusion of each payment period, all students receiving Title IV aid will be evaluated to determine whether or not they are maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Students who do not meet the minimum requirements for SAP will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester or the next semester that a student attends, but will continue to receive federal financial aid.
At the end of the warning semester, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative completion rate of 67%. If the student fails to meet satisfactory academic progress standards after subsequent payment periods on warning, the student will be placed on Financial Aid suspension.
There is no warning status for students who have exceeded the Maximum Time Frame stated above or for students who pass 0 credit hours or receive a 0.00 GPA for the previous semester.
FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION
Suspension means that a student’s eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work study has been suspended due to one of the following situations:
- Total withdrawal or failure to successfully complete any credit hours enrolled in for the semester (i.e. all “W’s,” “F’s,” or “I’s”).
- Did not meet requirements of the earlier financial aid warning
- Exceeded the Maximum Time Frame stated above
Students placed on Financial Aid Suspension will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid office as soon as possible after the determination of the suspension. Financial Aid Suspension does not mean that a student is prohibited from attending Colby Community College as long as all other requirements for attendance are met. They are not eligible to receive Federal Financial Aid funds and assume responsibility for the payment of the direct costs (tuition, fees, books, housing, etc) at the time of enrollment.
FINANCIAL AID REINSTATEMENT
Students placed on Financial Aid Suspension have the right to appeal the suspension if they feel they have unusual circumstances that warrant an exception to policy. The appeal process is available to any student placed on Financial Aid Suspension that has specific mitigating circumstances which prevented the student from maintaining SAP.
Students must follow the appeal process outlined below.
- Suspended students will receive a letter and a Suspension Appeal form at the end of the fall, spring, or summer semester in which they failed to meet the warning or minimum requirements.
- The Suspension Appeal Form with supporting statements and documentation from appropriate sources (i.e. physician, certified psychologist, psychiatrist, mental health clinic, attorney, academic counselor, employer, etc.) and with an action plan prepared with the Retention Specialist must be returned to the Financial Aid Office by the first day of class for the semester of enrollment following the suspension. Student appeals need to include “Why they failed to make SAP” and “What has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation.”
- Students placed on suspension who have pre-enrolled will not have their enrollment deleted for non-payment. Financial aid that may have been awarded for the next academic term will be deleted from FA entry on the student’s record. Required payments become the student’s responsibility unless financial aid eligibility is reinstated following the appeal.
- If an appeal is not granted, or if the appeal is not submitted, students must complete a minimum of (12) twelve credit hours (half-time students or less-than-half-time students must complete a minimum of (6) credit hours) at their own expense and attain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students who meet this requirement will have their financial aid reinstated upon written request.
- Students who receive “Incomplete” for a grade and are placed on suspension due to this “I” will remain on suspension until the incomplete is changed to a passing grade. Therefore, if a student does not complete the class before final enrollment for the next term, he/she will be expected to pay or make arrangements with the business office. It is the student’s responsibility to report all grade changes to the Financial Aid Office. A re-evaluation of the student’s SAP will be conducted at that time. The student may also submit a financial aid appeal for consideration in regard to the “Incomplete” if it is not satisfied by the next award period.
- The Director of Financial Aid, the Associate Director of Financial Aid, and the Vice-President of Student Affairs review all appeals and generally consider the following factors in determining whether a student should be reinstated: the student’s prior record, the student’s GPA, the student’s reason for lack of progress, and the documentation provided. Terms of the appeal could include a limit on the number of hours that a reinstated student may enroll. Other conditions of reinstatement may be imposed at the discretion of the Financial Aid Director. Colby Community College will notify students of the results of the SAP review.
- If the appeal is granted, the student status will be considered on “Financial Aid Probation” and a student must make SAP or must be successfully following an academic plan to be eligible for Federal Financial Aid in the next semester enrolled.
FINANCIAL AID PROBATION
If a student successfully appeals the Financial Aid Suspension, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation, which means that the probationary student is eligible for federal aid for one additional semester. After the probationary semester, students meeting the required SAP standards will be placed back in satisfactory status. However, students not meeting the required standards will once again be placed on Suspension. A status of probation for one semester can only be assigned to students for whom it is mathematically possible to meet the minimum SAP standards within one semester.
Academic Plans, as defined by the Department of Education, may be used for students who appeal their Suspension and it is not mathematically possible for them to meet the minimum SAP standards within one semester. Academic Plans are individualized and are at the discretion of the Financial Aid Office. If a student is granted an appeal based on an Academic Plan, he/she will be eligible for federal aid on a term-by-term basis. Students must follow their Academic Plans in order to continue to receive federal aid. If a student does not follow his/her personal Academic Plan, the financial aid status will revert to Financial Aid Suspension. Once a student is again meeting the minimum SAP standards, his/her Academic Plan will be removed.