Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

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Taft College

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY (SAP)

Reference: 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 668.34

 

PREFACE

 

Taft College is dedicated to providing financial aid to those eligible students who are achieving consistent progress toward a specific educational objective.  The student is responsible for setting an objective, achieving adequate grades and completing the courses required.

In order to be eligible to receive financial aid, students are required to enroll in a course of study leading to an associate degree, an eligible vocational certificate, or a transfer degree program to a four-year college or university, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and have not reached their lifetime eligibility limit. Effective with the 2012-2013 Academic Year new federal regulations defines the lifetime eligibility limit as 6 full time years for Pell Grants.

INTRODUCTION

 

Federal regulations require schools to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for students applying for and receiving federal aid. These regulations require the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to review all periods of a student’s enrollment history regardless of whether financial aid was received, to determine if a student is making satisfactory academic progress towards an educational objective. At Taft College, a student’s progress will be evaluated at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters by the standards outlined below. All periods of enrollment will be evaluated regardless of whether or not financial aid was received. Any official academic transcripts from other colleges received by Taft College will be utilized in the review of our Satisfactory Academic Progress standards once the transcript has been evaluated and units have been posted to the Taft College transcript.

These standards apply to all students who apply for and receive financial aid from the following programs:

 

  • AmeriCorps
  • Cal Grant A, B and C, and Student Success Completion Grant
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Osher Scholarship
  • Work Study Programs
  • Federal Direct Loans

 

 

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS CRITERIA

 

Recipients in all Federal, State and Institutional programs are determined to be making satisfactory academic progress under the following circumstances:

Earn a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all classes attempted.  Grade symbols of A, B, C, D, P, or CR earned during Fall, Spring or Summer will be considered as acceptable for courses completed, and satisfactory academic progress consideration.

Courses completed with an F, FW, I, NC, NP, IP, EW or W will not be considered acceptable for satisfactory academic progress. Courses completed with a MW (withdrawal for military service) are excluded from the determination.

Remedial Units: Students are allowed to receive financial aid for remedial units, if the remedial classes are a prerequisite for entrance into a regular college program. Financial aid cannot be received for more than 30 attempted units of remedial classes. ESL course work does not count towards the maximum time length but will count toward the 2.0 GPA and 67% unit completion requirement. Remedial units are defined as precollegiate units. (Refer to the Taft College catalog for a list of classes.) It is advised for remedial units to be taken in the recommended sequence.

 

GRADE POINT AVERAGE

 

Grade symbols of A, B, C, D, F or FW will be used in grade point average calculation. Courses completed with a P, NP, CR, NC, I, IP, UG, EW or W will not be used in grade point average calculation.

However, please note non-passing grades, which are not used to determine grade point average, will be used to determine minimum unit requirements. Additionally, even though a “D” is considered a passing grade, the total cumulative GPA must not fall below 2.00 for each semester. Repeated courses may be considered in the GPA calculation.

 

PACE OF PROGRESSION

 

Federal regulations require institutions to measure a student’s pace toward his/her educational objective to ensure completion within the maximum time length for his/her program.

For a student pursuing an Associate Degree or Certificate the pace cannot be less than 67%.

67% of the cumulative units attempted for each pay period (Fall, Spring and Summer) must be completed with a passing grade.  The total number of successfully completed units must be equal to or greater than the calculated total of attempted units multiplied by .67. Note: Courses repeated multiple times will be counted each time as attempted units but only once as completed. For example: if you repeat a 3 unit course then you will have 6 attempted units and 3 completed units total for the course.

MAXIMUM TIME LENGTH

 

Federal regulations require institutions to establish a maximum time period or unit total for a student to complete an educational objective (degree/certificate) if financial aid is received. Financial aid recipients are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress if they complete their educational objective in the time frame indicated below. The educational objective as indicated by the student’s choice of major/program of study will be used for this determination.

  • For an undergraduate program measured in credit hours, a period no longer than 150 percent of the published program length.
  • For an undergraduate program measured in clock hours, a period no longer than 150 percent of the published program length, as measured by the cumulative number of clock hours the student is required to complete and expressed in calendar time.

 

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVE

 

Students receiving financial aid at Taft College must be enrolled in an approved course of study leading to an A.A. degree, an A.S degree, an A.A.T degree, an A.S.T degree or a certificate.

 

Associate Degree: Typically requires completion of a minimum of 60 units. Students must complete their objective by the time they have attempted 90 units. Other programs such as Dental Hygiene and Engineering may have a program length greater than 60 units. 150% will be calculated on the amount of units required for those specific programs.

 

Certificate: Taft College offers a number of certificate programs each requiring a specific number of units for completion. Students enrolled in certificate programs must complete their objective by the time they have attempted 150% of the number of units required for the specific requirement. For example, a student enrolled in an 18-unit certificate program, must complete their objective by the time he/she has attempted 27 units.

 

All English as a Second Language classes and up to 30 units of remedial course work are deducted from the units attempted when determining satisfactory academic progress for maximum time.

 

Transfer Students to Taft College: Students are encouraged to submit official transcripts from all previous colleges attended to Taft College’s Admissions and Records Office.  Degree applicable units posted on the Taft College transcript will be included in academic progress calculations.

 

INCOMPLETE GRADE

 

In the case of a student receiving an incomplete grade (I), the student must complete all work necessary to remove the incomplete grade within 8 weeks from the beginning of the next semester.

A progress report signed by the instructor involved must be submitted to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office by the end of the 4th week of the next semester.  If the incomplete grade is not made up, the letter grade to be assigned will be used to determine the financial aid status.

FINANCIAL AID WARNING/DISQUALIFICATION

 

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will evaluate each financial aid recipient’s academic progress each semester. Each evaluation will include a GPA review, an assessment of the Pace of Progression calculation, as well as the Maximum Time Length standard. Students placed on financial aid warning or disqualification will be notified as to his/her change in status.

FINANCIAL AID WARNING: Students will be placed on financial aid warning for one semester if they earn less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA for all courses attempted or do not meet the Pace of Progression calculation. Financial assistance will be continued during this warning semester.

If, at the end of the warning semester, a student completes the Pace of Progression calculation with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00, they will be removed from financial aid warning. Students not completing sufficient units to meet the Pace of Progression calculation requirement and/or the minimum GPA requirement during the warning semester will be subject to disqualification from financial assistance.

FINANCIAL AID DISQUALIFICATION: Financial aid recipients will be disqualified from financial assistance if, for two subsequently enrolled semesters they earn less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA and/or do not meet the Pace of Progression calculation.

Financial aid recipients will also be disqualified from financial assistance if they exceed the Maximum Time Length standard.

CHAFFEE GRANT: Students receiving the CHAFFEE grant are required to meet with a counselor for an educational plan after second term of not meeting SAP. They can petition for financial aid after the fourth term of not meeting SAP.

 

 

Loss of Eligibility for the California College Promise Grant

A student shall become ineligible for a California College Promise Grant if the student is placed on academic or progress probation, or any combination thereof, for two consecutive primary terms.  Loss of eligibility shall become effective at the first registration opportunity after such determination is made.

A student may appeal the loss of a California College Promise Grant eligibility with the Admissions and Records Department due to documented extenuating circumstances, or when a student with a disability applied for, but did not receive, a reasonable accommodation in a timely manner.  Extenuating circumstances are documented cases of accidents, illnesses, or other circumstances which might include documented changes in the student’s economic situation or evidence the student was unable to obtain essential student support services.  Extenuating circumstances also includes special consideration of the specific factors associated with Veterans, CalWORKs, EOPS, and DSPS student status.

Foster Youth shall not be subject to loss of a California College Promise Grant due to placement on academic or progress probation.  This exemption for Foster Youth is effective until the date specified in Education Code Section 66025.9(c).

REINSTATEMENT/APPEALS PROCEDURES

 

REINSTATEMENT: A student, who was previously disqualified, may have their financial aid reinstated if they meet the Pace of Progression calculation with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.

APPEALS/PROBATION STATUS: A student disqualified for not meeting satisfactory academic progress standards may appeal based upon the following documented extenuating circumstances which directly affected their academic performance:

  • Death of an immediate family member,
  • Serious medical condition affecting the student or immediate family member,
  • Family emergency directly affecting the student,
  • Or other documented extenuating circumstances.

In addition to the criteria above, only the stated major on the Financial Aid Disqualification Petition form will be accepted for those who are disqualified for reaching the maximum time length. A change in major or additional degree will not be accepted or paid on after petition approval.

Steps to be taken:

  1. A student who wants to appeal his or her disqualification status must meet with the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships to obtain a Financial Aid Disqualification Petition Director will explain the form and the steps the student must follow to complete the required paperwork. When the Director receives all the required forms/documentation and determines it meets the extenuating circumstances criteria the packet will be submitted to the Financial Aid Advisory Committee (FAAC). If the required forms and/or documentation is not complete or doesn’t meet the extenuating circumstances criteria it will be denied by the Director. All denied packets at the Director level will be presented to the FAAC as an informational item only.
  2. The FAAC will review the student’s appeal and supporting documentation and make a decision regarding the student’s financial aid status. A written notification will be mailed to the student within three (3) working days of the committee’s decision. All decisions made by the FAAC are final and binding.

 

Any student who is on financial aid disqualification and wishes to appeal his/her status is required to meet with a counselor to establish a comprehensive educational plan.

A student who has been placed on financial aid disqualification will not automatically be reinstated simply by paying for his/her own classes (i.e., not receiving Title IV aid) for a semester, or by sitting out a semester.  The student must bring his/her cumulative GPA up; complete the required units for his/her enrollment status or go through the appeal process for review if a special circumstance exists.

Barring an approved petition for unusual or mitigating circumstances, a student can reestablish eligibility only by taking action which brings the student into compliance with the required GPA of 2.00, the Pace of Progression calculation, and Maximum Time Frame standard.

Any student who petitions for financial aid and is determined ineligible to meet SAP by the end of their educational plan will be denied.

INELIGIBLE TO APPEAL

 

Students who do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines based on the Pace of Progression calculation or GPA may not be eligible to appeal again if, in the last semester enrolled at Taft College, the student appealed and the appeal was approved.  Unless the student has made Satisfactory Academic Progress or the institution determines the student met the requirements specified by the institution in the academic plan for the student another appeal could not be filed for the next enrolled semester. The student would need to reinstate themselves (without financial aid) by meeting the Pace of Progression calculation with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 while enrolled in classes at Taft College.