Maintaining Federal Eligibility
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Federal Academic Requirements for Aid
The Federal Department of Education requires all recipients of financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their chosen degree program. All matriculated students are evaluated equitably, regardless of full-time or part-time status or receipt of federal aid for the semester being evaluated. At the end of each academic semester (summer, fall, and spring), students are evaluated for their adherence based on the standard indicated in this policy.
Failure to meet the standards of SAP will result in a warning or probation for one semester or suspension of financial aid eligibility. Students may appeal for reinstatement of aid based on extenuating circumstances. However, students lose federal financial aid eligibility when the school determines it is impossible for the student to complete their program within 150% of their program length.
Treatment of Coursework & Grades
Coursework is evaluated differently for federal SAP than Academic Standards. This section identifies how these course statuses are treated in the evaluation of SAP.
- Dropped courses (D): Courses in which the student dropped during the applicable Add/Drop period will not be included in the SAP calculation.
- Withdrawal courses (W,MW,AW): Courses in which the student has withdrawn after the Add/Drop period will be included in the SAP calculation after all payment periods, including summer. Courses with the above mentioned grades will be included in the calculation of pace and maximum timeframe, as attempted but 0 earned credits.
- Incomplete Grades (I): Courses in which a student has been allowed to take an incomplete grade will be included in the SAP calculation, as a 0.00 toward GPA and 0 credits earned for pace and maximum timeframe. It is the student's responsibility to inform the Office of Financial Aid of a grade change for these courses. A student's eligibility will be re-evaluated based on the completion of this course.
- Transfer Courses/Grades: All credits allowed to transfer into FLCC will be counted for pace and maximum timeframe. Grades for transfer courses will not be counted into the GPA evaluation for SAP.
- Repeated Courses/Grades: Students repeating a course will have the grades and credits counted in both GPA, pace, and maximum timeframe each time it is taken.
- Audited Courses (AU): Courses audited or taken as non-credit are not included in the calculation for enrollment and/or the SAP calculation.
- Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U): Courses graded with a pass/fail option will be included in all criteria of the SAP calculation. Failed grades will be evaluated with a 0.00 toward GPA and 0 credits earned. Passed grades will be evaluated with a 2.0 toward GPA and the appropriately assigned credits attempted and earned.
- Winter session courses: Unlike summer, which is considered a distinct academic term for SAP, courses taken during the winter term are counted in the SAP calculation at the end of the spring semester, as winter session is combined with the spring for federal financial aid purposes. Grades will be evaluated as described in this section.
- Non-attendance Grades/ 'X' Grades: Courses with NA or X grades will be included in all criteria of the SAP calculation, GPA, pace and maximum timeframe with a 0.00 toward GPA and 0 credits attempted and earned.
- Remedial Courses: Remedial course grades will be included in the GPA calculation of SAP. It is not counted in the pace and maximum timeline evaluation.
Federal SAP Standards of Measurement
Minimum Cumulative GPA (qualitative measure): Students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0, to stay on track to complete their program on-time (within 63-64 credits) or within the 150% timeframe (95-96 credits). All graded coursework is included in this calculation, unless otherwise noted in the previous section. Students who fall below the 2.0 cumulative GPA criteria for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Subsequent failure to comply may result in either Financial Aid Suspension or Probation (see Appeal for Reinstatement section).
Pace of completion (quantitative measure): Students must successfully complete 67% or 2/3 of all courses attempted, cumulatively, to stay on track to complete their program on-time (within 63-64 credits) or within the 150% timeframe (95-96 credits). Students who fall below the 67% completion rate for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Subsequent failure to comply may result in Financial Aid Suspension or Probation (see Appeal for Reinstatement section).
Maximum Timeframe toward completion: Student must complete all degree program requirements within 150% of program length. FLCC programs range from 63-64 credit hours required to earn a degree. Based on this, students must complete their degree program within 95-96 attempted hours. Failure to comply may result in Financial Aid Suspension or Probation (see Appeal for Reinstatement section).
Federal SAP Statuses
Good Standing: Students meeting all criteria of federal SAP requirements (cumulative GPA, pace and maximum timeframe) are considered in good standing and eligible for federal aid in the subsequent semester.
Financial Aid Warning: Students who fail the cumulative GPA or pace criteria federal SAP requirements (cumulative GPA or pace) for the first time will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning status for one semester. No appeal is necessary. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student of this status and how they are able to regain good standing in the subsequent semesters.
Financial Aid Suspension: Students who again fail the cumulative GPA or pace criteria federal SAP requirements (cumulative GPA or pace) after the Financial Aid Warning semester become ineligible for federal financial aid and placed in Financial Aid Suspension status. Students who have not met the maximum timeframe criteria will be placed in Financial Aid Suspension Status. The student may appeal this status. Additional information is in the section, "Appeal for Reinstatement."
The Office of Financial Aid will inform the student of their status and how they are able to regain good standing in subsequent semesters and within 150% of their program length.
Financial Aid Probation with Academic Plan: Students who successfully appeal the Financial Aid Suspension status will be placed in Financial Probation status and required to develop an academic plan outlining how they will regain good standing in subsequent semesters and within 150% of their program length.
Appeal for Reinstatement
Upon Financial Aid Suspension, students may appeal for reinstatement of their federal financial aid based on extenuating circumstances. Federal regulations limit the circumstances that we may consider to: personal injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other circumstances beyond the student's control.
An appeal must include all of the following:
- Explanation of why the SAP criteria was not met.
- Explanation of what has changed in their situation and how they plan to regain good standing in the subsequent semester and within 150% of their program length.
- Documentation and/or a statement from someone knowledgeable of their situation, in support of their appeal may be provided, at the discretion of the student.
Appeals will be reviewed by a committee led by the Director of Financial Aid and comprising other appropriate college representatives. If the appeal is approved, the student will be required to meet with a financial aid staff member to develop an academic plan. Academic advisors from the Offices of Academic Standards; Academic Success & Access Programs; Academic Advising, Career, and Transfer Services may be consulted in the development of this plan.
If the appeal is denied, the student is ineligible for federal student aid until they have regained good standing in subsequent semesters and within 150% of their program length.
Financial Aid Academic Plans
Upon successful appeal for reinstatement of federal aid, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation with an academic plan that will outline how the student will re-establish good standing within no more than 2 semesters/payment periods, including summer session and excluding winter session (i.e. fall, spring, summer). If the student is unable to regain good standing after this timeframe (no more than 2 semesters), federal aid will be suspended with no further appeal.
FLCC's Fresh start Program and federal SAP standing: The FSA program regulations do not allow for academic amnesty or academic renewal, which is equivalent to FLCC's Fresh Start Program. If a student leaves FLCC and returns in a later semester or year, their federal SAP status does not change. The student is permitted to submit an appeal for reinstatement.
Degree Program changes: In the event that a student changes their program after being placed on Financial Aid Warning or granted Probation through appeal, the Financial Aid Office may determine it's in the best interest of the student to disregard coursework in the prior program that is not being counted toward their subsequent program for federal SAP calculation purposes. The accommodation for a program change may be allowed once during the students' enrollment at FLCC.
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