Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

The SAP policy can be complex to understand because of federal financial aid program rules. After reading the policy, you may have additional questions and are encouraged to talk with a financial aid counselor to better understand the policy and its impact on your financial aid award and studies. Maintaining your financial aid eligibility is very important.

SAP Overview

Overview

Financial aid recipients are expected to make reasonable academic progress to obtain a degree or certificate as a condition to receive federal, state or NVCC financial aid funds. Your entire academic history at NVCC, transfer credits, remedial classes, repeated classes, consortium agreement credits or college classes taken while a high school student are reviewed to ensure your timely progression toward graduation. Even if you were not a financial aid recipient in the past, your entire academic history must be reviewed, if applying for federal or NVCC financial aid programs.

Your financial aid academic progress for continuation is assessed based upon three items: 1) qualitative, 2) quantitative and 3) maximum time frame measures. You must be meeting all measures or you risk "disqualifying" yourself from financial aid eligibility at NVCC.

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requires financial aid recipients to do the following:

1. Meet minimum cumulative grade point averages.
2. Satisfactorily complete the minimum required percentage of cumulative credit hours attempted. 
3. Complete your degree/certificate program within the maximum time frame of credit hours allowed.


PROGRAMS GOVERNED BY THIS POLICY:

Federal Grant Programs:
Pell Grant
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Federal Loan Programs:
Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Work Programs:
Work Study

Connecticut Scholarship & Grant Programs:
Robert B. Willis Scholarship Programs
NVCC Aid Programs:
Institutional Scholarship & Grant Programs
NVCC Grant

Private (non-federal) Alternative Loan Programs:
Eligibility varies depending upon the lender

Private Donor or Third Party Scholarship Programs:
Eligibility varies depending upon the donor's criteria

SAP Policy & Standards

POLICY:

Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients in both certificate and degree programs is determined using a student’s cumulative academic history at the college, by means of Cumulative Grade Point Average (qualitative) and Cumulative Pace (quantitative) components. A student must successfully complete the designated pace percentage (earned credits/attempted credits) according to their program of study. For financial aid purposes, all attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative transcript notation will be included in the quantitative calculation. Incomplete courses, course withdrawals, course repetitions, noncredit remedial courses (with appropriate credit equivalency evaluation), and ESL courses are also included in this assessment. Transfer credits are counted as both attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining satisfactory academic progress.

For students who change majors or change between certificate and degree programs, a cumulative academic history is still considered and assessments will be performed based on the primary program of study. A student's cumulative academic history will be evaluated at the end of each payment period and prior to the subsequent term’s financial aid disbursement. This policy will be used to evaluate all students uniformly, regardless of their enrollment level. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required in all courses that are applicable to the program of study.

Standards for Certificate-Seeking Students

Credits Attempted Minimum Cumulative GPA Minimum Completion Pace
0 - 11.99 0.0 0.00%
12+ 2.0 67.00%

Standards for Degree-Seeking Students

Credits Attempted Minimum Cumulative GPA Minimum Completion Pace
0 – 11.99 0.0 0.00%
12 – 30.99 1.7 50.00%
31 – 49.99 2.0 50.00%
50 – 59.99 2.0 60.00%
60+ 2.0 67.00%


Repeat/Audit Coursework
Financial aid recipients are limited to one repetition of a previously passed course in their program of study. The second repetition of a previously passed course will not be eligible for financial aid payment. Audit courses are not financial aid eligible.

Communication
Students will receive notification prior to the start of a period of enrollment via postal mail or email that will describe any changes to the status of their academic progress. Updates to academic progress status will also be made available to students through myCommNet.

Maximum Credit Hours
Students may receive financial aid for any attempted credits in his/her program of study that do not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s educational program at the college. For example, students enrolled in a 60 credit degree program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours. Similarly, students enrolled in a 30 credit certificate program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. Any attempted credits at the college must be included in the calculation. The 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors, programs, or who pursue a double major.



SAP Status

SAP STATUS:

Financial Aid Warning Status 
Students who fail to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard will be placed on Financial Aid Warning only once during their academic career at the college. Students on Warning may continue to receive financial aid for the student's next semester or period of enrollment at the college. Those students who achieve Satisfactory Progress after a Warning period but fail the academic standards at a later date will have an Unsatisfactory Progress status. The college will communicate the Warning status to these students and inform them that they must meet the academic progress standard by the end of the subsequent enrollment period to maintain eligibility to participate in the financial aid programs at the college.

Unsatisfactory Progress
Students who fail to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible from the financial aid programs at the college. The college will communicate a status of Unsatisfactory Progress to students and inform them of the available Reinstatement and Appeal processes.

Reinstatement Process
A student's financial aid eligibility will be automatically reinstated when the student meets the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard. Reinstatement to the financial aid programs may also occur upon a successful appeal by the student (see Appeal Process below).

Financial Aid Probation Status
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible from the financial aid programs at the college. Ineligible students can file an appeal regarding their unsatisfactory progress within the assessment for financial aid programs. Students who have failed the academic progress standard and have been approved with a successful appeal will be considered on Financial Aid Probation. The terms of Financial Aid Probation are set by the college during the Appeal Process.

if you have successfully appealed a Financial Aid Termination, you will be placed on Probation for one term. If you meet the SAP standards at the end of the Probation term, your SAP Status will reset back to Meets SAP. If you do not meet the SAP standards at the end of your Probation, you will be placed back into Termination.

If you are placed on financial aid probation you have one semester (or time as specified by the Financial Aid Office) to meet SAP requirements and remain eligible for financial aid.

Students on probation must follow terms of the plan put in place by the Financial Aid Office. They continue to receive financial aid while on financial aid probation but will be monitored.

Appeal Process

APPEAL PROCESS

Students may request consideration for reinstatement to the financial aid programs through the following Appeal Process:

If a student feels their failure to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard was the result of an unusual or extraordinary situation that affected successful progression, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Examples of personal mitigating circumstances could include illness or injury of the student or dependent of the student, a death in the family, or other undue hardship as the result of special circumstances. An appeal form is available in the Financial Aid Office.

To provide consistency in decision-making, a designated administrator or committee at the attending institution will make all appeal decisions in a timely manner upon review of the appeal form and any applicable documentation. The student must:

1. In writing, explain the extenuating circumstances causing the non-compliance;

2. In writing, give a detailed explanation of specifically what has changed that will  allow satisfactory progress to be demonstrated at the next evaluation; and

3. Substantiate it with third party documentation (i.e. physician’s note).

Should an appeal be approved and the student is not mathematically able to return to satisfactory academic progress after the subsequent enrollment period, a designated administrator at or committee at the attending college will devise an appropriate academic plan for the upcoming semester with the student. For example, the terms of an academic plan may be as follows:

1. Register and successfully complete a minimum of six (6) credits; and

2. Successfully complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

At the end of the semester, grades will be evaluated. If the student has met the required terms of the academic plan, the student may remain on Financial Aid Probation and continue to receive financial aid the following semester. If the student fails to meet the terms of the academic plan in any subsequent semester, the student will become ineligible to participate in all financial aid programs until the student is able to once again meet the minimum requirements for academic progress. Student progress will continue to be monitored at the end of each semester with the same terms in place until the student is in compliance with this policy.

If the student’s appeal is denied and the student is already registered for the upcoming semester, the student is responsible for any monies owed to the college. If the student pays for the next semester and successfully completes all classes with a GPA of 2.0 or better, the student may appeal again after that semester.

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