According to U.S. Department of Education regulations, all students applying for federal and/or state financial assistance must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study to receive these funds. These standards require, but are not limited to, attending classes, maintaining acceptable grades, completing a sufficient number of credit hours per semester, and completing the program of study within the maximum amount of allowable credits. A student who does not meet these standards is not eligible to receive federal and/or state funded financial aid. All semesters of attendance are considered for SAP, regardless of whether the student received financial aid during those terms. Adherence to the standards indicated in this document will be necessary for continued financial aid eligibility.
Before financial aid is disbursed, a student’s progress will be evaluated according to policy guidelines. For students new to FVCC, this includes any previous transfer coursework and transcripts. Any student who has not previously received financial aid may not have been notified of his/her status for aid eligibility until he/she has applied for financial aid.
The FVCC Financial Aid Office will attempt to notify in writing any student currently receiving financial aid who is placed on Warning or Suspension status. However, failure to receive such notification does not relieve the student of the requirement to read, understand and follow the SAP standards for financial aid recipients.
Appeal Options for Extenuating Circumstances
A student who has been suspended from financial aid may provide a written appeal if he/she has documentable extenuating or mitigating circumstances that contributed to his/her inability to meet the SAP standards. Students may appeal for one of the following reasons:
- The death of an immediate family member.
- Severe injury or illness of the student that has caused hospitalization for an extended period of time.
- Other extenuating circumstances which may include but are not limited to:
- Severe illness of a relative for whom the student has custodial responsibility.
- Emergency situations such as fire or flood.
- Military reassignment, required job shift change, or job transfer that prevented the student from completing a semester.
- Separation or divorce.
Such an appeal must be accompanied by supporting documents and be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid, who will share the appeal with the Appeal Committee.Second appeals are rarely approved and must have serious new circumstances to be considered.
Review of an appeal for a current semester requires that the appeal be received by the committee prior to the last appeal date during the semester.
Appeal deadlines are:
Fall semester: November 1
Spring semester: April 1
Summer: July 1
A student who has been suspended from financial aid for academic reasons and has not had an appeal approved may be eligible for reinstatement if he/she attends and pays for classes at his/her own expense, and now meets the required SAP standards. While it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office that he/she is now up to standards, the student’s file will be processed accordingly, if the college discovers that the standards have been met.
Requirements for Financial Aid Recipients 2017-18
Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined by:
Qualitative Measurement (GPA)
The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be a 2.0 for all attempted hours.
Quantitative Measurement (Credit Hours)
Students must complete attempted hours according to the following:
- Minimum cumulative and term attempted/completed ratio of 67% (i.e., a student attempts 15 credits, he/she must complete a minimum of 11 credits in order to achieve a minimum ratio of 67%.)
- Course grades of I, W, WI, U, NG, and F are considered attempted and not completed.
- Once a student successfully completes a class for which they received a grade of I or NG, the financial aid status can be reviewed and updated if appropriate upon the student’s request.
Students on warning or with an approved SAP appeal will be required to complete financial literacy training before financial aid funds will be disbursed.
A student will be placed on financial aid Warning if:
- The cumulative GPA is less than the required 2.0 listed in the Qualitative Measurement section.
- The student has not successfully completed 67% of the term credits or the cumulative attempted credits.
A student placed on Warning status will be permitted to receive grants, scholarships, loans, and federal work-study during the Warning period.
By the end of the Warning, period the student must meet all the SAP standards to return to good standing.
A student will be placed on financial aid Suspension after the Warning period if:
- The cumulative GPA remains less than the 2.0 requirement.
- The student still has not successfully completed the minimum 67% of the term or the cumulative attempted credits.
Additionally, a student will be placed on Immediate Suspension if the student receives a non-passing grade (I, W, WI, U, NG, and/or F) in all of his/her courses or fails to receive at least a 1.0 term GPA.
A student placed on Suspension status will lose his/her eligibility to receive financial assistance. Students with a current FAFSA on file will receive a notice by mail, of their Warning/Suspension status. SAP standards are enforced even if no prior financial aid was received. Students have the option to appeal their suspension if they have had extenuating, documentable circumstances for the specific term(s).
Maximum Time-Frame (MXT)
Degree requirements must be completed within a specific amount of credits. The MXT (amount of credits allowed) for a program of study is 150% of the program requirements (i.e. an AS degree requires 60 credits for graduation so the maximum time-frame is 90 attempted credits). Hours attempted at FVCC, as well as hours transferred and accepted by FVCC, are included in the MXT.
Any student who has exceeded the MXT and/or who cannot finish the program within this period will be considered ineligible for financial aid.
FVCC understands that students may change their educational goals and programs of study and that additional education is often needed to enhance career opportunities. These students may complete a written appeal for re-evaluation of their status.
Students Seeking Additional Degrees/Certificates
Students who already earned a bachelor’s degree have limited eligibility for financial aid, because they have already reached their MXT. In extenuating circumstances students may appeal for an extension of financial aid eligibility for student loans.
Students who wish to earn more than one associate degree and/or certificate with financial aid funding are also required to complete a MXT appeal.
Students who have been approved for an MXT and do not earn at least a 2.0 GPA or who complete 50% or less of attempted credits per term will go on MXT Suspension. Second MXT Suspension appeals are rarely considered and require circumstances beyond the student’s control.
Students who meet the 2.0 GPA for the term but do not complete all of their courses will go on MXT Warning if they complete at least 51% or more of their attempted credits.
However, because MXT courses will only be funded one time, if a student repeats a course it will not be funded a second time and will be counted in the attempted/completed ratio.
Students’ records are reviewed for Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement and MXT at the end of each semester.
Withdrawal Policy/Return of Title IV Funds
If a student completely withdraws or stops attending classes before the semester is 60% complete, federal regulations require that the student and/or institution return a portion of the Title IV funds that were disbursed.
Financial aid students who desire to officially withdraw from all classes must visit with the Director of Financial Aid prior to starting the withdrawal process. The director will explain the consequences of withdrawal to the student, and explore possible alternatives that would preserve the student’s eligibility for future aid.
The student’s withdrawal date is determined by whichever occurs first: 1) the date the student began the withdrawal process; or 2) when the student last attended class. For a student who didn’t officially withdraw, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance as reported by the instructor or the 50% point of a semester.
The student’s withdrawal date in calendar days is used to determine the percentage of the semester the student completed. This percentage multiplied by the amount of Title IV funds received by the student determines the amount of aid that was “earned” by the student and that can be kept by the institution and/or student.