6.6.4sr - SRTC Procedure: Satisfactory Academic Progress

In accordance with U.S. Department of Education federal regulations, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their course of study to continue receiving Federal Title IV financial aid. Federal Title IV financial aid at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), and Federal Work Study (FWS).

The State of Georgia administered financial aid programs (including HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Grant, Zell Miller Scholarship, HERO, and Student Access Loan - Technical) follow the same requirements as federal aid.

Notification
Each student’s SAP status is evaluated at the end of each term of enrollment, regardless of the receipt of financial aid. Students are notified if there is a change in their eligibility. The Financial Aid Department uses the SRTC student e-mail as the primary means of communication. Students may check their SAP status on BannerWeb at any time. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of SAP requirements and his or her respective SAP status. Failure to receive a notification of SAP status does not exempt a student from the requirements or consequences of their respective SAP status or any applicable deadlines.

GPA Requirements - Qualitative Measure
In order to receive financial aid, students must maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0. All periods of enrollment at SRTC are included when calculating GPA and completion rate for SAP purposes, including terms in which the student did not receive financial aid. All prior terms of enrollment at Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College are also included in the calculation, as this is a cumulative measure.

All attempts of repeated courses are included in the GPA calculation. Grades for Learning Support courses are not included in the GPA calculation for financial aid purposes. Incomplete grades, transfer credit, exemption exam credit, credit for previous experience, grades for audited courses, and articulated credit are NOT included in the financial aid GPA. Grades included in the GPA calculation for SAP purposes are: A, B, C, D, F, and WF.

Pace of Progression (Completion Rate) - Quantitative Measure
In order to receive financial aid, students must successfully complete two-thirds (66.66%) of all credit hours attempted at SRTC to maintain satisfactory progress. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours the student has attempted.

All periods of enrollment at SRTC are included when calculating completion rate, including terms in which the student did not receive financial aid. Credit hours for all prior terms of enrollment at Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College are included in the calculation, as this is a cumulative measure. All attempts of repeated courses are considered attempted hours in the completion rate calculation. Credit hours for which a student earns a grade of I, IP, W, and WF, as well as all Learning Support credit hours are counted as hours attempted for SAP purposes. Incomplete grades, withdrawals, and failures are considered unsuccessful completions.

Transfers of credit are counted as credit hours attempted and earned in the calculation of completion rate. Exemption exam credit, credit for previous experience, grades for audited courses, and articulated credit are NOT included in the completion rate calculation. Grades which are considered successful completions for financial aid SAP purposes are: A, B, C, D, TR, and S. Grades which are considered unsuccessful completions for financial aid SAP purposes are: F, W, WP, WF, I, IP, and U.

Maximum Time Frame for Federal Pell Grant and Title IV Aid Programs
The purpose of the Federal Title IV financial aid programs is to assist students in meeting their educational expenses while they progress toward timely completion of their educational objectives. For that reason, students must complete their educational objective within a maximum time frame of one and one-half times the length of the program in which they are enrolled. Program length is measured in credit hours and is determined by the number of credit hours required for completion of the program. For example, students enrolled in a diploma program that requires 90 credit hours to complete will receive financial aid for no more than 135 attempted hours. Students in programs requiring 126 credit hours will receive financial aid for no more than 189 attempted hours, etc. If it is determined that a student cannot mathematically complete his/her program of study within 150% of the program’s length, then he/she will become ineligible for financial aid. Students who consistently meet the two-thirds (66.66%) completion rate requirement should also meet this requirement. Students who fail to meet the two-thirds (66.66%) completion rate requirement at any time risk exceeding the maximum time frame before completing their program.

All periods of enrollment are included when calculating maximum time frame, even terms in which the student did not receive financial aid. All attempts of repeated courses are included. Credit hours for which a student receives an Incomplete grade (I or IP) are considered attempted hours. Transfer credit hours (TR) which are counted toward a student’s program of study are included in this calculation. Exemption exam credit (EX) and credit for previous work or life experience that is counted toward a student’s program of study is also included in this calculation.

Once a student is found to have exceeded the maximum time frame allowed, he or she will be ineligible for all types of Title IV federal and State of Georgia financial aid. Students may appeal a loss of financial aid eligibility due to maximum time frame requirements if extenuating circumstances prevented them from completing their program within the specified time frame.

If a student graduates from one program and re-enrolls in another program, the maximum time frame will be reset. However, all previous credit hours attempted that count toward the new program will be included in the new time frame calculation. (For example, if a student graduates from the Accounting diploma program, and re-enrolls in the Accounting degree program, all previously taken Accounting courses that are counted toward both programs will be counted in the time frame calculation for the new program.)

Financial Aid Warning
Students who fail to maintain either a 2.0 cumulative GPA or two-thirds (66.66%) cumulative completion rate will be placed on financial aid warning. Students on financial aid warning will continue to receive financial aid for one term only despite not meeting the SAP requirements. Students on financial aid warning must meet all SAP requirements by the end of their warning period in order to receive financial aid in subsequent terms.

Financial Aid Suspension
Students who fail to meet all SAP requirements after their term on financial aid warning are placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible for any form of financial aid. Students have the right to appeal a financial aid suspension if there are extenuating circumstances that have prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements.

Reinstatement of Aid
A student who has been placed on financial aid suspension will regain eligibility for financial aid when he/she has met the minimum cumulative requirements for SAP. Not enrolling for a term or paying for tuition does not automatically reinstate a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements must be met or an appeal must be approved in order to receive aid.

Appeals Process
Students have the right to appeal a financial aid suspension if there are extenuating circumstances that prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements. The appeals process is as follows:

  1. All appeals must be in writing and signed by the student. A Request for Appeal form is available in the Financial Aid Department, and on the College web site.
  2. Appeals will be considered for extenuating circumstances only, which may include, but are not limited to, the death of a family member, an injury or illness of the student or their immediate family member, or other special circumstances that are generally outside of the control of the student. The appeal MUST include information explaining why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow him/her to make SAP within the next term of enrollment. Appeals submitted without this information will not be considered.
  3. All appeals must include documentation of the extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s suspension. Acceptable documentation may include, but is not limited to the following: medical records, birth or death certificates, obituaries, letters on official letterhead from third party sources not related to the student with appropriate signatures and contact information, etc. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee may reject and refuse to consider any appeals submitted without sufficient documentation.
  4. All appeals must be filed with the Financial Aid Department by the published deadline in order to be considered for the next term of enrollment. Appeals submitted after the deadline or with missing signatures or incomplete information may not be considered prior to the start of the next term of enrollment.
  5. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review all appeals and their decision is FINAL. Appeals submitted after the Committee has met may not be considered.
  6. Each student appealing a Financial Aid suspension is responsible for payment of all tuition and fees until an appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee or the student meets SAP requirements and is eligible for aid.
  7. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee has the right to request additional information from the student, the Financial Aid Department, the Registrar's Office, or other sources of information in order to make a more informed decision.
  8. All appeals are considered on a case-by-case basis. Once an official decision has been made on an appeal, the Financial Aid Department will notify the student of the outcome of their appeal through their student e-mail. SAP status will be updated on the student’s BannerWeb account as soon as possible.

Financial Aid Probation
Students whose appeals are approved may be placed on financial aid probation if it is mathematically possible for them to meet SAP requirements at the end of their probation term. Students on probation are eligible to receive financial aid for one term only. In order to receive financial aid after the probation period, a student must meet all SAP requirements. Failure to meet SAP requirements after one term on probation will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension and losing eligibility for all forms of financial aid.

Academic Plans
If it is not mathematically possible for a student, whose appeal was approved, to make SAP by the end of the probation term, the student will be required to follow an Academic Plan in order to maintain financial aid eligibility.

Academic Plans will be developed for each applicable student on an individual basis by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Academic Plans may include any activity or requirement that the Financial Aid Appeals Committee believes will enable the student to meet SAP requirements by a specific point in time and ultimately enable the student to successfully complete his/her program of study in a timely manner.

Students on an Academic Plan are required to meet all the requirements of the Plan each term in order to receive aid for the subsequent term until they meet overall satisfactory academic progress. The Financial Aid Department will verify that all requirements of the Plan were met prior to posting aid for the subsequent term. Failure to meet all requirements of an Academic Plan will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension and losing all financial aid eligibility. A student may appeal a financial aid suspension in this situation if there were extenuating circumstances that prevented him/her from meeting the requirements of the Plan.

Academic Plans are developed with the goal of the student successfully completing his/her current program of study in a timely manner. Should a student change his/her program of study, the Academic Plan may be repealed and the student may be placed back on financial aid suspension until he/she re-submits an appeal explaining how he/she will make SAP in the next term of enrollment with the new program of study. A financial aid hold may be placed on students on Academic Plans to prevent aid from being posted for subsequent terms until program of study, SAP status, and Academic Plan requirements have been verified by the Financial Aid Department.s.

Responsibility:
The Executive Director of Financial Aid has the overall responsibility for ensuring this procedure is implemented.

References:
Federal Student Aid Handbook - IFAP
Georgia Student Finance Commission Grant and Scholarship Regulations

Adopted: 10-20-2014
Implemented: 07-01-2015
Revised: 05-09-2016
Revised: 06-14-2016