To establish and implement academic standards of progress for recipients of federal, state and local financial aid
- Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid recipients
To maintain eligibility for all Title IV federal, state and other financial aid programs administered by the Financial Aid Office, students must conform to the college SAP. This requirement is stipulated by Federal Regulations (34 CFR 668.34 et.al). SAP applies to all terms or enrollment periods regardless of whether a student received financial aid during a given term or enrollment period. Some state and locally administered financial aid programs have more stringent SAP standards. In these cases, the more stringent SAP standards will be applied in addition to the college standards.
- SAP is measured at the completion of each term or enrollment period. A student’s SAP is measured with the following components (quantitative, maximum time frame and qualitative):
- The quantitative component sets a maximum time frame in which a student must complete his or her educational program and requires a completion ratio for all students. Students must successfully complete a ratio of at least 67 percent of all classes in which they enrolled. This ratio is cumulative of all courses attempted including all coursework they have taken at South Florida State College (SFSC) and any college or university that counts as postsecondary credit (this includes dual enrollment classes), regardless of whether or not they received financial aid for those classes. This is calculated by dividing the total number of hours passed into the total number of hours attempted. Federal regulations stipulate that the maximum time frame for an undergraduate student cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the academic or technical program of the minimum credit hours or clock hours required for the degree or certificate, CFR668.34 (b) (1) (2). A students’ maximum time frame is not increased for changes in degree program. A student who has exceeded this standard may no longer be eligible for federal aid.
- The qualitative component requires that a student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 2.0. In the event a student enrolls in a term in courses where a GPA is not applicable (e.g., all preparatory courses), the GPA from the previous term will be used. In the event there is no GPA, one will be calculated based on grades received in the preparatory courses taken. This is the GPA for all coursework taken at SFSC and any college or university (this includes dual enrolled classes), regardless of whether or not financial aid was received for those classes.
- All students entering a post-secondary program for the first time at SFSC, once eligibility is determined, will be eligible to receive financial aid and this may include federal student loans. SFSC requires students to have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and a completion ratio of at least 67 percent to receive a federal student loan. This includes students with high school dual enrollment grades. First-time students with course history that does not meet the satisfactory progress standards will be placed in a financial aid suspension status based on all the transfer or dual enrollment grades.
- A term (may be referred to as term or a period in some financial aid documents) is defined as either of the major terms: fall or spring. First and second summer flex sessions are treated as one term for financial aid purposes.
- An enrollment period is defined as the term or portion of a term for which a student enrolls. The term, as used in this procedure, also means enrollment period where applicable.
- Successful completion is defined as any course completed with a final grade of A, B, C, D or S.
Note: A grade of D is not considered successful completion of any course for students who are on an approved appeal.
- Courses for which students receive grades of W, I, F, N, U or X, as well as the previous attempt(s) of repeated courses—regardless of previous grade, are counted as courses attempted but not successfully completed.
- Failure to meet the minimum standard of progress will result in the following action(s):
- Financial aid warning: This occurs at the end of the term or enrollment period for which satisfactory progress is measured and the student failed to meet either one or both of the measurements outlined above. Students in this status continue to receive financial aid without penalty.
- Financial aid suspension: Students who have received a warning may be suspended if satisfactory progress is not re-established. This occurs at the end of the next term or enrollment period for which satisfactory progress is measured and the student failed to maintain either one or both of the measurements outlined above. All financial aid administered by the Financial Aid Office is terminated until the student meets the minimum standard for receipt of financial aid. Students may regain eligibility through the appeals process or through successfully completing classes and meeting SAP standards.
- Financial aid maximum time frame : This occurs when a student has exhausted eligibility for aid. Eligibility is exhausted when the student reaches the maximum time frame of 90 (associate) or 180 (baccalaureate) credits attempted in academic programs, or reaches 150 percent of the normal number of hours required to complete non- credit (clock hour) programs. Students may regain eligibility through the appeals process.
Students who have been placed on financial aid suspension, if they have extenuating circumstances, may appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee reviews the appeal and determines whether there are sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant continuation of financial aid assistance.
Students with approved appeals will be required to sign an academic plan/ agreement which specify acceptable grades and courses to complete.
Exceptions: The director, financial aid or designee, can waive the appeal process for students in certain limited cases as follows:
- Students who reach the 90 credit hour limit, but have less than one academic year to complete their current (final) program of study, may be eligible to continue to receive financial aid at the discretion of the director, financial aid or designee, provided these students meet all other standards of progress measurements. The director, financial aid, or designee, may also refer these students to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
- Students in the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree program who reach the 180 hour limit, the same exception applies as #1.