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Responsibilities

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students who wish to receive financial aid from South Georgia Technical College must be making satisfactory academic progress, as outlined below.

Students are responsible for maintaining an acceptable level of progress regarding quality and quantity of work. Progress will be reviewed no less than once each term. Records are reviewed after grades are posted at the end of each semester.

GPA Requirements

In order to receive financial aid, students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. All periods of enrollment at SGTC are included when calculating GPA for SAP purposes, even terms in which the student did not receive financial aid. Grades for all attempts of repeated courses are included in the GPA. Grades for Learning Support courses are not included in the GPA calculation for financial aid purposes. Incomplete grades, transfer credit, exemption exam credit, credit for previous experience, grades for audited courses, and articulated credit are NOT included in the financial aid GPA. Grades included in the GPA calculation for SAP purposes are: A, B, C, D, F, WF. WF is counted as an F. Grades that are NOT included are: I, W, WP. The financial aid GPA for SAP purposes is calculated in Banner after final grades have been posted by the Registrar at the end of each term.

Pace of Progression (Completion Rate)

In order to receive financial aid, students must successfully complete 67% of all credit hours attempted at SGTC to maintain satisfactory progress. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours the student has attempted. This calculation is performed in Banner by the Financial Aid Office after final grades are posted by the Registrar at the end of each term.

All periods of enrollment at SGTC are included when calculating completion rate, even terms in which the student did not receive financial aid. All attempts of repeated courses are included in the completion rate calculation. Credit hours for which a student earns a grade of “I”, “IP”, “W”, “WP”, and “WF”, as well as all Learning Support credit hours are counted as hours attempted for SAP purposes. Incomplete grades, withdrawals, and failures are considered unsuccessful completions. Transfers of credit from other institutions are counted as credit hours attempted and earned in the calculation of completion rate. Exemption exam credit, credit for previous experience, grades for audited courses, and articulated credit are NOT included in the completion rate calculation. Grades which are considered successful completions for financial aid SAP purposes are: A, B, C, TR. Grades which are considered unsuccessful completions for financial aid SAP purposes are: D, F, W, WP, WF, I, IP, F*, W*, WF*, I*, IP*. Grades of EX, AU, and AC are not included in the calculation of completion rate.

Maximum Time Frame for Federal Pell Grant and Title IV Aid Programs

The purpose of the Federal Title IV financial aid programs is to assist students in meeting their educational expenses while they progress toward timely completion of their educational objectives. For that reason, federal regulations require that students must complete their educational objective within a maximum time frame of one and one-half times the length of the program in which they are enrolled. Program length is measured in credit hours and is determined by the number of credit hours required for completion of the program. For example, students enrolled in a diploma program that requires 90 credit hours to complete will be allowed no more than 135 attempted hours. Students in programs requiring 126 credit hours will be allowed no more than 189 attempted hours, etc. If it is determined that a student cannot mathematically complete his/her program of study within 150% of the program’s length, then he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid. Students who consistently meet the 67% completion rate requirement should also meet this requirement. Students who fail to meet the 67% completion rate requirement at any time risk exceeding the maximum time frame before completing their program.

All periods of enrollment are included when calculating maximum time frame, even terms in which the student did not receive financial aid. All attempts of repeated courses are included. Credit hours for which a student receives an Incomplete grade (I, I*, IP, IP*) are considered attempted hours. Transfer credit hours (TR) which are counted toward a student’s program of study are included in this calculation. Exemption exam credit (EX) and credit for previous work or life experience that is counted toward a student’s program of study is also included in this calculation.

Once a student is found to have exceeded the maximum time frame allowed, he or she will be ineligible for all types of Title IV federal financial aid. HOPE eligible students who become ineligible for Title IV financial aid may still receive HOPE Grant and/or Scholarship until they reach the Paid or Attempted Hour Limits for the HOPE Programs, outlined below.

If a student graduates from one program and re-enrolls in another program, the maximum time frame will be reset. However, all previous credit hours attempted that count toward the new program will be included in the new time frame calculation. (For example, if a student graduates from the Accounting diploma program, and re-enrolls in the Accounting degree program, all previously taken Accounting courses that are counted toward both programs will be counted in the time frame calculation for the new program.)

Financial Aid Warning

Students who fail to maintain either a 2.0 cumulative GPA or 67% cumulative completion rate will be placed on financial aid warning. Students on financial aid warning will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for one term only. Students on financial aid warning must meet all SAP requirements by the end of their warning period in order to receive financial aid in subsequent terms. Students placed on financial aid warning who fail to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or higher and their completion rate to 67% or higher by the end of their next term of enrollment will be placed on financial aid suspension and will be ineligible for all forms of financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who fail to meet one or more SAP requirements for at least two consecutive terms of enrollment are placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible for any form of financial aid. Students have the right to appeal a financial aid suspension if there are extenuating circumstances that have prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have failed to make SAP and have been placed on suspension may appeal the suspension if they believe they had extenuating circumstances that prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements. Students whose appeals are approved are placed on financial aid probation and are eligible to receive financial aid for one term only. In order to receive financial aid after the probation period, a student must meet all SAP requirements or meet all requirements of an Academic Plan that has been established for him/ her by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Failure to meet SAP requirements or the requirements of an Academic Plan after one term on probation will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension and losing eligibility for all forms of financial aid.

Reinstatement of Aid

A student who has been placed on financial aid suspension due to unsatisfactory progress will regain eligibility for financial aid when he/she has met the minimum cumulative requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Notification of SAP Status

All students who fail to meet SAP requirements will be notified of their SAP status at the end of the term in which they failed to make SAP. SAP is evaluated each term after final grades have been posted by the Registrar. Students who appeal a financial aid suspension will be notified as soon as a decision is reached by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee regarding their status.

Appeals

Students have the right to appeal a finding that they are not making satisfactory progress if there are extenuating circumstances that have prevented them from meeting one or more of the SAP requirements, including GPA, completion rate, and maximum time frame. Appeals must be signed by the student and must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office within two business days of the beginning of the term following the term in which the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress.

The SAP Appeals Committee will review all appeals and their decision is FINAL. The Financial Aid Director will determine if appeals submitted after the deadline will be considered for the current term or held for the next term.

Appeals will be considered for extenuating circumstances only, which may include, but are not limited to, the death of a family member, an injury or illness of the student or their immediate family member, or other special circumstances that are generally outside of the control of the student. The appeal MUST include information explaining why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow him/her to make SAP within the next term of enrollment. All appeals should also include documentation of the extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s suspension. Acceptable documentation may include, but is not limited to the following: medical records, birth or death certificates, obituaries, letters on official letterhead from third party sources not related to the student with signatures, etc. The Financial Aid Director may reject and refuse to consider any appeals submitted without sufficient documentation.

If the SAP Appeals Committee approves a student’s appeal and determines that the student should be able to meet SAP requirements by the end of the next term, they may place the student on financial aid probation and reinstate the student’s financial aid for one term only. If the director determines that it is not possible for the student to meet SAP by the end of the next term, and the director approves the student’s appeal, the director will develop an Academic Plan for the student, that if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet SAP requirements by a specific point in time, as determined by the director. The student will be placed on financial aid probation and have his/her aid reinstated for one term only. The Financial Aid Director may require a student on probation to fulfill any terms and conditions they choose, including but not limited to, taking a reduced course load, enrolling in specific courses, taking classes in a specific format, etc. The Director may also deny an appeal, require that a student pay for classes and re-appeal after successful completion of one term, or make any other decision regarding an appeal that they feel is appropriate. The director may limit the number of times a student is allowed to appeal or set limits on how often a student may appeal. All appeals will be considered on a case by case basis. A student paying for his/her own tuition and fees or sitting out for one or more terms does not automatically reinstate the student’s financial aid eligibility.

Academic Plans

Students who successfully appeal a financial aid suspension and are placed on probation may be required to follow an Academic Plan as determined by the Financial Aid Director in order to continue receiving financial aid. Students on an Academic Plan are required to meet all requirements of the Plan each term. The fulfillment of these requirements will be evaluated at the end of each term. Failure to meet all requirements of the Academic Plan will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension.

Academic Plans will be developed for each student on an individual basis, but at a minimum will include the requirement that the student successfully complete all attempted courses with a grade of C or better. Other components of an Academic Plan may include any combination of the following, but are not limited to, a requirement to meet with the student’s academic advisor and/or a member of Student Affairs Retention staff each term, a requirement not to take online classes, to enroll only part-time, to repeat a specific course, to take a particular course, to participate in a specific workshop on campus, or any other activity or requirement that the director believes will enable the student to meet SAP requirements by a specific point in time and ultimately enable the student to successfully complete his/her program of study in a timely manner. A student on probation and required to follow an Academic Plan who changes his/her program of study may have the Academic Plan revoked and be placed back on suspension until he/she re-submits an appeal explaining how he/she will make SAP in the next term of enrollment with the new program of study. The Financial Aid Office will verify that all requirements of the Academic Plan have been met prior to posting aid for the next term.

Unofficial Withdrawal Policy

Federal Title IV funding regulations require that any student who begins attendance but fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course during a semester and who does not officially withdraw shall be considered as having unofficially withdrawn from the College unless it can be documented that the student completed the period of enrollment and earned the grade of “F”. A student who does not earn as least one passing grade during a semester for which Title IV funds were disbursed will have a Return to Title IV calculation performed to determine how much of the Title IV funds were earned. At the completion of each term, the financial aid office will, after review of academic records, identify Title IV recipients who have received all grades of “F” or a combination of “F”, “W”, “WF”, “WP” for the semester. The financial aid office will contact the registrar’s office to determine the student’s last date of attendance or academic activity for each student identified if such information is not noted on the class roster.

South Georgia Technical College requires that instructors provide a last date in class or academically related activity for every drop that is processed through 100% of the term. The registrar will not process any student withdrawal without a last date of attendance. A student may only be assigned the grade of “F” if the instructor can provide a class roster to document the student’s attendance through the last 7 days of the course. If attendance or academically related activity can be verified in at least one class and the student began attendance in all classes the student will have earned 100% of the Title IV aid disbursed for the semester. Any refund owed to a federal financial aid program is the student’s responsibility and will appear as a charge on the student’s Banner Web student account. Students will receive notification of this action via an email and an updated billing statement.

The college will return “unearned” funds in accordance with the College’s Return to Title IV policy. These funds will be returned to the source through G5. Portions of unearned funds that are the responsibility of the student will be reported to NSLDS as an overpayment.

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