RCC Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for 2014 – 2015
Effective with the Fall 2011 term, a revised Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy was initiated. The policy became effective with the fall 2011 semester which means that it was first applied when fall 2011 grades were posted in December 2011. All recipients of Federal and/or State aid are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in their course of study. Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by the College and the federal government. These regulations apply to all semesters in which a student has been or will be enrolled whether or not aid was awarded or received. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards also apply to state aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured in two ways:
In addition, students must complete their programs of study before attempting 150% of the credits required to complete the program. This is the Maximum Time Frame. Financial aid will cover a maximum of 30 credits of developmental coursework; this is the Developmental Maximum.
Some career studies certificate programs (i.e., shorter than 16 credits in total length) are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward all SAP requirements (GPA, Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe, and Developmental Maximum) if the student later enrolls in an eligible program.
The College Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress before aid is awarded and after grades are posted for every term, starting with the first term of enrollment.
I. Student Financial Aid Status
A. Financial Aid Good Standing (GS) – Students who are meeting all aspects of the satisfactory academic progress policy or successfully following a designated academic progress plan.
B. Financial Aid Warning Status (WS) - Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term. Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of the warning status term will be placed on financial aid suspension. However, with a successful SAP appeal, those students will be placed on financial aid probation and will retain financial aid eligibility.
C. Financial Aid Probation Status (PS) - Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed in Probation Status (PS). Students in Probation Status (PS) are eligible to receive financial aid for one (1) semester, after which they MUST be in Good Standing (GS) or meeting the requirements of an academic progress plan that was pre-approved by the Student Affairs Committee. (See “IV. Reinstatement and Appeals” for additional information.)
D. Financial Aid Suspension Status (SS) – Students who do not meet the credit progression schedule and/or cumulative grade point average standard, or who fail to meet the requirements of their pre-approved academic progress plan, will be placed in Suspension Status (SS). Students in Suspension Status (SS) are not eligible to receive financial aid. To become eligible for future terms, you should reach a 2.0 gpa and 67% or higher completion rate and then contact the Financial Aid office for an appeal form.
Important: Academic Status (Good standing, Academic Warning, Academic Program, Academic Suspension) differs from financial aid requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Academic status will be noted on the student’s academic record; financial aid status will be noted on financial aid pages in SIS. Any student suspended from the College for academic or behavioral reasons is automatically ineligible for financial aid.
II. Evaluating Academic Progress Standards
1. Minimum Qualitative Progress Standards (GPA Rule)
Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule): In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only credit courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Dual enrollment grades are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are not included. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.
|Minimum Cumulative GPA||Total Number of Credit(s) Attempted|
|1.5||1 to 15|
|1.75||16 to 30|
Completion Rate (67% Rule): Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67% of cumulative credits attempted. This calculation is performed by dividing the cumulative total number of successfully completed credits by the cumulative total number of credits attempted. All credits attempted at the College (except audits, which must be entered as such by the class census date) are included. All credits attempted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. All credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. Developmental coursework is also included in this calculation. Credits with satisfactory grades at the College are those for which a grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P is earned.
2. Minimum Quantitative Progress Standards (67% Rule) or Pace of Completion-Financial aid recipients must satisfactorily complete 67 percent (%) of all course work attempted.
This evaluation will be made prior to aid being awarded and after grades are posted at the end of each semester a student is enrolled at the College.
Additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards
3. Maximum Timeframe (150% Rule)
In order to continue receiving financial aid, a student must complete his/her program of study before attempting 150% of the credits required for that program. Developmental and ESL coursework are excluded from this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all accepted transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence. All terms of enrollment at the College are included whether or not the student received financial aid and regardless of the age of the coursework.
III. Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid
Students who do not meet the credit progression requirements (Quantitative or Pace of Completion) and/or cumulative grade point average requirements (Qualitative) will be immediately ineligible for financial aid. Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment.
If extenuating circumstances exist that caused the student to be placed on Financial Aid Suspension, the student may file an appeal and document the circumstances. If an appeal is granted, a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until satisfactory academic progress requirements are again met.
Students who fail to meet these Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may submit an appeal requesting a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid to determine whether they have again met satisfactory academic progress standards. If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year. Students should consult their campus financial aid advisors for assistance in appealing any element of this policy or to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid.
IV. Reinstatement and Appeals
Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the financial aid suspension. Students must clearly state what caused the suspension and must also clearly indicate what has changed that will now allow the student to succeed. Appeals are encouraged if:
Students appealing a suspension must:
Only complete appeal submissions, with documentation, will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Officer and Student Affairs Committee. Students whose appeals have been denied by the financial aid office have the right to pursue final appeal through the Student Affairs Committee. The decision is final. Depending on the circumstances, the student could be required to complete additional requirements (i.e., see a career counselor or another type of counselor, meet with an advisor to develop an academic progress plan for completion, limit enrollment, etc.) before an appeal is granted.
The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation. The reasonableness of the student’s ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student’s program of study will be carefully considered. Appeals will be approved or denied. Students who have appeals approved will be in probationary status for the coming term.
During probationary status, the student must meet the conditions of the appeal as communicated to him or her in the notification letter, or the student will return to suspension. If an academic progress plan has been pre-approved by the committee, continuing to meet the requirements of that plan will put the student back into good standing.