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SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Wayne County Community College District is required to ensure that students complete their academic programs within the maximum time frame and that pace is measured at each evaluation. This requirement is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and will be monitored by the District Financial Aid Office (DFAO). In accordance with federal regulations, the District Financial Aid Office’s policy is to check Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each Spring semester for all programs longer than one year in length and at the end of each semester for all programs one year or less in length. The DFAO reviews SAP based on the qualitative and quantitative requirements, as established by the U.S. Department of Education.  At each evaluation, a student’s progress, including enrollment periods during which no federal student aid was received, is measured both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Qualitative Measure - Cumulative GPA Requirement
Students must meet the GPA requirement of 2.0.

  • WCCCD uses a fixed GPA standard
  • Transfer credits do not impact a student’s GPA.  Credits may be transferred from another college however, no grades are associated with the transferred credits.  Transfer credits are included in the maximum time frame calculation as credits attempted as well as credits earned.
  • The consequences of not meeting the qualitative standards are that the student will be denied financial aid.  The student must submit an appeal along with supporting documentation indicating the reason for poor performance and outlining how the student will improve his/her performance in the future.
  • Students who are not meeting SAP are notified via email and Web Gate.

Quantitative Measure
The quantitative measure of SAP includes two parts. The first part is to set a maximum time frame, measured by attempted credit hours, by which a student must complete an academic program. The second part includes determining whether a student is on pace to complete the academic program within that set maximum time frame. As soon as it becomes apparent a student will be unable to complete their academic program within the maximum time frame, either by falling below the pace standard or when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete their program within the maximum time frame, the student is ineligible for Title IV aid.

Maximum Time Frame
WCCCD students must complete an undergraduate program of study within 150% of the published length of the educational program. The pace at which a student completes his or her program is calculated by dividing the cumulative hours the student successfully completed by the cumulative hours attempted. 

Examples: Maximum time frame is 90 credit hours for a 60 credit hour program. If a student completes 67% of all classes attempted, the student should complete the program within the maximum time frame. 

For a financial aid eligible certificate program that requires 44 credit hours for completion, the maximum time frame would be 66 credits.  Completing 67% of all attempted classes would allow the student to complete within the allowable time frame.

The nursing program requires 72 credit hours for successful completion of the program.  For the student to finish within the 150% timeframe, they could attempt no more than 108 credit hours.  Again, the student would need to earn at least 67% of the credits attempted.

Part-time attendance counts in the maximum time frame calculation. Attempted hours are counted for all terms, including transfer credits, hours for which the student did not receive financial aid.

Withdrawals and Incompletes are also included in the attempted credits for the calculation of maximum time frame.

A student who is unable to complete the program requirements within the maximum time frame will be denied Title IV aid.

A student who exceeds the maximum time frame is ineligible for Title IV aid (although a student may appeal maximum time frame and may be placed on probation or an academic plan if the appeal is approved).

  • Maximum time frame is set for each academic program based on the number of credit hours required to complete the program.

Students who are determined to have reached or exceeded the number of credit hours for maximum time frame would submit an appeal along with an academic plan.  These appeals will be reviewed and evaluated on an individual basis to ensure that the student will be able to complete his/her academic program within an acceptable number of credit hours.

Pace of Progression
WCCCD students are required to earn at least 67% of the credit hours attempted.  If a student earns 67% of all credit hours attempted, the student should complete the program within the maximum time frame.  The pace at which a student completes his or her program is calculated by dividing the cumulative hours the student successfully completed by the cumulative hours attempted.

Up to 30 credits of combined developmental and ESL courses can be funded with federal student aid.
Repeated and developmental courses are added into credits attempted and are used in the calculation of attempted credits versus completed credits.

Withdrawals and Incompletes are also included in the attempted credits for the calculation of pace.

Transfer hours from another school are counted toward a student’s program as both hours attempted and hours completed.

  • The consequences of not meeting the quantitative standards are that the student will be denied financial aid.  The student must submit an appeal along with supporting documentation indicating the reason for poor performance and outlining how the student will improve his/her performance in the future.
  • Students who are not meeting Standards of Academic Progress are notified via email and on Web Gate.

Financial Aid Disqualification

  • Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress will be placed on financial aid disqualification and will be notified of their financial aid status on Web Gate and via email.
  • Students who are placed on financial aid disqualification will be ineligible to receive federal financial aid for the next semester of enrollment unless they have an approved SAP Appeal.
  • Student may appeal the disqualification of their financial ad by documenting any extenuating and/or mitigating circumstances that may have led to their inability to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Examples of extenuating circumstance include, but are not limited to 1) death of student’s close relative 2) injury or illness of student 3) personal tragedy or event.  Students who submit a SAP Appeal are not automatically reinstated for financial aid. The SAP Committee considers the student’s written appeal, academic plan, other supporting documentation, and federal regulations when making a final determination of financial aid reinstatement.

Appeals
Students who are identified in the SAP evaluation as not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress may file an appeal.
They may request consideration for all SAP standards, qualitative and quantitative.

All appeals must be prepared in writing and must include documentation supporting the student’s reason for failure to meet SAP.  An academic plan signed by an advisor that encompasses the remainder of the student’s program must be included. The appeal must incorporate an explanation of why the student failed to meet the SAP requirements and what has changed in their situation that will allow the student to meet the requirements for the next evaluation.

The SAP Appeal Form is available on the WCCCD website at www.wcccd.edu  and through Web Gate and is submitted electronically.

Students are advised to include all pertinent information with their initial appeal however if their appeal is denied and they feel they have additional information that could influence a positive outcome, they are permitted to resubmit the appeal.

All SAP appeals will be reviewed by the WCCCD SAP Committee. All decisions made by this committee are final.  Notification of the decision will be emailed to the student’s WCCCD email account and via Web Gate.

Appeal Decisions

  • Probation – One semester eligibility. Student must be able to meet SAP standards within the given semester of eligibility. 
  • Academic Plan – Academic Year eligibility. Student must adhere to the academic plan approved during the appeal process by passing all classes and no official or unofficial withdrawals. Failure to do so will result in termination of financial aid eligibility. Students must submit an appeal if they want to change their academic plan.
  • Termination - Financial aid eligibility is terminated for students who did not meet the SAP standards or did not have acceptable extenuating circumstances. Under certain circumstances, students may be eligible to appeal this termination decision during the following semester.

Failure to meet the conditions of probation or academic plan will result in the termination of the student’s financial aid eligibility.

Reinstatement of financial aid is dependent upon professional judgment and other factors.  The following “special circumstances” will be considered when processing an appeal:

  • documentation of a significant medical illness or injury;
  • documentation of a death of a close relative;
  • documentation of another significant event or personal tragedy;
  • documentation of a change in academic program. In accordance with federal regulations, change of academic program will be allowed no more than twice.

Regaining Eligibility
Other than when an appeal is granted, a student can regain eligibility only by taking action that brings him/her into compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of WCCCD’s academic progress standard. A student may take classes at his/her own expense and achieve grades and completion rate that bring him/her back into compliance with SAP requirements.  When the SAP evaluation is performed, if that student is once again meeting SAP standards his/her financial aid will be reinstated for future semesters. Previously terminated students are given the opportunity to appeal on a case by case basis.

Students who lose their financial aid eligibility because they fail to meet satisfactory academic progress will regain eligibility when it is determined that they are again meeting both the qualitative and quantitative standards. They are responsible for the payment of tuition and fees until financial aid eligibility is regained. When satisfactory academic progress standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment. Students are notified of their eligibility via email and Web Gate.

Treatment of Repeated Courses, Audited Courses, Withdrawals, Incompletes &Grade Changes

  • Financial aid funds may not be used to cover the cost of non-credit courses,
    therefore they are not counted as credit hours attempted.
  • Withdrawal grades (W, XW and unearned E) and incomplete grades (I) will be counted as credit hours attempted.
  • Repeated and developmental courses are added into credits attempted and are used in the calculation of attempted credits versus completed credits.
  • Up to 30 credits of combined developmental and ESL courses can be funded
    with federal student aid.
  • Upon notification of an official grade change, the DFAO will re-assess the
    student’s SAP status as needed.
  • College policy requires all students who earn an incomplete “I” grade to complete that course by the end of two consecutive terms after the term in which the “I” grade was given.  Failure to complete the course requirements within the two-consecutive-term time limit shall result in a grade of “E” replacing the “I” grade.
  • Audit courses are not eligible for financial aid. Therefore, they are not included in attempted or credits.

Treatment of Consortium, Change of Major, Second Degree, & Second Major Courses

WCCCD does participate in consortium agreements.  The Financial Aid Office agrees to forward the student’s grades to the home school that the student is attending.  The Financial Aid Office also agrees that the home school will award and disburse the financial aid earned by the student.  The student must then compensate WCCCD for any courses taken here.

Students seeking a second Associate’s Degree or certificate, who are not meeting the quantitative standard of 150%, would need to submit an appeal (please refer to the Appeal Process) in order to have reinstatement of eligibility considered.  Successfully completed credits that apply to the second degree will be considered in the appeal review.

Completion of Degree Requirements

A student who completes the academic requirements for a program but does not yet have the degree or certificate is not eligible for additional FSA funds for that program.

 
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