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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


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If you have any questions about the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy or about financial aid in general, please ask the Financial Aid Office. It is your responsibility to read, understand, and abide by the policy.


Why does Amarillo College have a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy?
How do I maintain my financial aid eligibility?
What situations will cause me to lose my financial aid eligibility?
What is Pace?
What is Warning?
Once a student goes on Financial Aid Suspension, is it possible to regain eligibility for aid?
What is Maximum Time Frame/mathematically unable?
What other things do I need to know about financial aid?

 

 
 
 
Why does Amarillo College have a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy?
Federal Regulations require any institution that disburses Federal Title IV student aid (grants, loans, and federal work study) to establish, publish and observe a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy as a standard for measuring whether a student who is eligible for student financial aid is maintaining satisfactory progress towards completion of his or her course of study. This progress will be measured in both a qualitative and quantitative standard at the end of each semester.
 
How do I maintain my financial aid eligibility?
To maintain eligibility for Financial Aid at AC, a student must be seeking a degree and have declared a major, either a certificate program or Associate degree, which requires no less than 16 semester hours to complete. For all Financial Aid recipients, enrollment status and funding are based upon the number of semester hours a student is enrolled in and attending as of the census date of each class for the semester. For a student to remain in satisfactory status for financial aid, the student must maintain a cumulative completion rate of 67% and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
 
What situations will cause me to lose my financial aid eligibility?
Qualitative Standard – Grade point average: Students may lose eligibility to receive financial aid if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Grades of A, B, C, D, and F will contribute toward the GPA calculation. Remedial course work will be counted in the cumulative GPA. Transfer grades are not included in the GPA calculation.
 
Quantitative Standard – Pace:Pace measures a student’s progress in a program. Students who do not maintain at least a 67% cumulative completion rate may lose their Financial Aid eligibility. Remedial, academic, and repeated courses in which the student receives a grade of A, B, C, and D will be counted as completed hours. Classes in which a student receives a grade of F, W, I and AU will be counted as attempted hours but will not be counted as completed hours. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of completed hours by the cumulative number of attempted hours. For example, 40 cumulative completed hours divided by 50 cumulative attempted hours equals an 80% completion rate. Therefore, to achieve at least a 67% completion rate, this same student must complete 34 cumulative hours (34/50=68%).
 
 
                                                     Completed Semester Hours    
Additional examples of pace:           Attempted Semester Hours        =   >= 67%
 
Completed
Semester Hours
 
Attempted
Hours
 
67%
Rule
 
 
Completed
Semester Hours
 
Attempted
Hours
 
67%
Rule
4 hours
6 hours
67%
 
24 hours
36 hours
67%
6 hours
9 hours
67%
 
32 hours
48 hours
67%
8 hours
12 hours
67%
 
40 hours
60 hours
67%
16 hours
24 hours
67%
 
52 hours
78 hours
67%
20 hours
30 hours
67%
 
64 hours
96 hours
67%
 
 
The first semester a student does not meet the pace and/or GPA standards, he will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning status. Once on warning, the student may continue to receive Title IV financial aid (grants and guaranteed student loans). If both standards, pace and GPA, are met at the end of the next semester the student attends while receiving aide, the warning will be removed, and the student will return to a satisfactory status. 
Failure to meet the standards while on Financial Aid Warning (meaning for the 2nd consecutive semester the student has less than a 67% cumulative completion rate and/or less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA) will result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Suspension at the end of the semester. Students on suspension will NOT be eligible to receive Federal Title IV funding or state funding (grants, federal work study, and guaranteed student loans).
 
Once a student goes on Financial Aid Suspension, is it possible to regain eligibility for aid?
Students on Financial Aid Suspension for not meeting pace and/or GPA standards may regain eligibility by completing additional credit hours to raise their cumulative completion rate to at least 67% and achieving at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA at AC. Students must submit a Review Request to the Financial Aid Office when they have met the requirements and are eligible for reinstatement. Students using summer hours to lift suspension will not be removed from suspension until the completion of the entire summer semester. 
 
Additionally, students may request a review of their suspension status by submitting a Suspension Review Request form to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office has 30 days to process suspension review request forms. Criteria that may influence the committee’s decision includes class attendance, substantiated academic progress in courses required for a degree, unusual circumstances which occurred during the semesters the student was enrolled, and appropriate supporting documentation of unusual circumstances. Students who are removed from Financial Aid Suspension through the Suspension Review process will be placed on AP Probation for one semester. Students who do not meet standards while on AP Probation will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
 
Students whose suspension status was upheld by the Financial Aid Office and are in good academic standing may appeal the decision to AC’s Financial Aid Appeals Committee. This second appeal must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office within 30 days of the denial notification. Students may submit additional documentation at the time the second appeal is submitted. The Appeals Committee meets once per month as necessary to address appeals. The Appeals Committee decision will be final and will be reported to the student in writing within 30 business days after receipt of the second appeal. Written procedures are available in the Financial Aid Office. During the appeal process, the student must be prepared to pay his own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books & supplies.
 
 
Quantitative Standard – Maximum Time Frame/mathematically unable: Federal regulations specify that the Maximum Time Frame for degree completion may not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s degree program. For example: if the Amarillo College Catalog lists a major which is 60 hours in length, Maximum Time Frame for the degree would be 90 hours (60 hrs x 150% = 90 hrs). 
 
Additional examples of maximum time frame:
Graduation Requirement Hours
Maximum Time Frame Percentage
Attempted Hours Permitted
35 hours
150%
53 hours
70 hours
150%
105 hours
 
 
Once the Financial Aid Office has determined that a student will not successfully complete his degree plan prior to reaching Maximum Time Frame, the student will immediately be placed on Financial Aid Suspension, as required by the Department of Education. For example, a student’s degree plan requires 60 hours for completion; therefore, the maximum time frame limit would be 90 hours. The student has attempted 70 hours, but still requires 30 credit hours to complete the degree. The student will immediately be placed on suspension for maximum time frame, since the student would not be able to complete all 30 hours needed for the degree prior to reaching the 90 hour maximum time frame limit. Accepted transfer hours will be included in this calculation. Remedial hours will not be included in this calculation.
 
Students on Suspension for Maximum Time Frame (mathematically unable to complete their degree due to hours remaining) may submit a Suspension Review Request to the Financial Aid Office. Criteria that may influence the committee’s decision includes reason for excessive attempted hours, number of hours remaining to graduate, and overall academic history. The student will be required to meet with his academic advisor to complete an academic plan, which must be submitted with the suspension review request form.
 
 
What other things do I need to know about financial aid?
Students who receive financial aid at Amarillo College should only enroll in Amarillo College degree required classes. Department of Education requirements state that students may only receive Title IV funds for degree required classes. Students may receive funding for repeated courses in which the student received an F, I, W, or AU; however, both the repeated course and the original course will be counted toward the 150% of the declared degree or certificate. Students who have received credit for passing a course but are choosing to enroll in the course a 2nd time in an attempt to improve their grade may receive funding for the class. However, students who enroll in the class for a 3rd time in an attempt to improve their grade will not be eligible to receive funding for that class. Financial aid may pay for up to 30 attempted remedial or developmental hours. Once a student has attempted 30 remedial hours, financial aid will not pay for any additional remedial or developmental hours. Students receiving assistance through the following exemption plans will be evaluated through the college’s SAP policy for continued eligibility: Hazlewood Dependents Legacy Exemption, Firefighters Taking Fire Science Courses Exemption, and Peace Officers Exemption.
 
 
If you have any questions about the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy or about financial aid in general, please ask the Financial Aid Office. It is your responsibility to read, understand, and abide by the policy.