Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Effective Fall 2011

Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Program Integrity regulations passed on October 29, 2010, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid. This standard must apply to the student’s entire academic history, whether Title IV financial aid was received or not. In order to remain eligible to receive aid at College of Coastal Georgia, students must meet the standards specified for acceptable academic performance and for satisfactory progress toward the completion of their program of study. The standards are established within the framework of applicable federal regulations specifically for the purpose of determining the eligibility of students to receive aid under the generally funded Title IV programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship, and Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford and PLUS). These standards should not be confused with Good Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Academic Suspension as defined by College of Coastal Georgia’s academic policies.


Components
The College of Coastal Georgia definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for receiving financial aid includes the following components:

I. Qualitative (GPA) Standards
College of Coastal Georgia uses the 4.0 grade point average and numerical code:
Points Letter Grade
4.0 A
3.0 B
2.0 C
1.0 D
0.0 F
0.0 WF
All students are required to maintain an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 for every term enrolled. Since financial aid GPA calculations include all college-level hours attempted at CCGA (excluding the first 20 hours of Learning Support classes) and all college-level transfer work, it may differ from your academic GPA.

II. Quantitative (Incremental Progress) Standards
Students are expected to successfully complete 67% of all attempted coursework. This cumulative calculation includes all college-level CCGA and any college-level transfer work attempted. Attempted hours and successfully completed hours are based on all courses included on the students’ official academic history. Further, all attempts of repeated coursework and non-credit coursework are included (except for the first 20 hours of Learning Support classes). The formula of this calculation is:

Cumulative hours successfully completed (earned hours) = % Completed
Cumulative hours attempted (attempted hours)

Grades of A, B, C, D, S, P, K, and CR count as the successful completion of a course. The grades of F, W, WF, I, U, NR, and IP do not count as the successful completion of a course.

Quantitative Standards Example

Course Credit Hours Grade
Econ 2106 3 B
ENGL 1101 3 F
MATH 1111 3 W
PSYC 1101 3 A

Semester Completion percentage = 50% (6 credits completed divided by 12 credits attempted). This student is not making SAP.

III. Maximum Time Frame Standards
Students will have a maximum of 150% of the program to complete their degree requirements while continuing to qualify for federal and state aid. The maximum time frame allowed will consist of all attempted hours inclusive of hours described in the Quantitative Standards section of this policy. Students who have Learning Support classes will have 20 hours excluded for the maximum time frame standard calculation.

To be classified as a Bachelor Degree Student, a student must be fully admitted to a program (i.e. pre-Business, pre-Education, or pre-Nursing students are not considered to be fully admitted to a baccalaureate degree program).

NOTE: The first 20 hours of Learning Support classes is exempted from all Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Additionally, students should be careful in repeating courses as all attempts at a course are counted in the maximum hours allowed to obtain a degree. Students are also reminded that withdrawing from a course does not count as a successful completion and does not count toward the required 67% completion rate. Incompletes also do not count as the successful completion of a course and excessive incompletes can result in the termination of financial aid.

Students who have a Bachelor’s Degree and are seeking another degree must complete an Appeal of Maximum Time Frame as well as a Certificate of Remaining Hours before financial aid eligibility can be determined.


Review Process:
At the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters), the Financial Aid Office staff will determine whether students are meeting the minimum standards for each of the components (qualitative, quantitative, and time frame). Students not meeting the Time Frame standard will immediately, without a Warning Semester, become ineligible for all federal and state aid programs. The Financial Aid Office has the authority to cancel aid and request immediate repayment of federal and state aid programs at any time that a student is deemed ineligible. This may occur when access to the student’s academic history is not fully available due to the short amount of time between semesters as well as receipt of final transcripts from transfer institutions.

Warning Semester:
Students who are not meeting the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term are automatically given one (1) Warning semester. During the Warning semester, students are allowed to receive federal and state aid. Students must be fully in compliance with all components by the end of the Warning semester to regain eligibility and receive funds for future semesters. Only two (2) Warning semesters are allowed for a student’s entire degree program at CCGA. Further, the Warning semester allowance is not applicable to the Time Frame standard. All students on Financial Aid SAP Warning will be notified by campus email and must sign an acknowledgment form before aid will disburse for the next semester.

Denial/Loss of Eligibility (Financial Aid Suspension):
Students who are not meeting the minimum Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term review AND have received aid during a Warning semester will lose their eligibility for the upcoming and future terms. Students who are not meeting the maximum Time Frame standard at the end of a term review will immediately, without a Warning semester, become ineligible for aid.

Students will be notified by campus email. Students may receive consideration for aid reinstatement at the time they have satisfied all deficiencies with the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards.

Appeal Process (Financial Aid Probation)
Students who experienced extenuating circumstances that attributed to their inability to meet the minimum standards have the option to submit an Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension. An extenuating circumstance must be due to situations beyond their control such as serious injury, illness or mental health condition involving the student or their immediate family, or death of an immediate family member. The appeal should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid & Veterans Affairs and must include a description of the situation WITH accompanying documentation as well as a summary of what has changed that will allow them to meet the minimum standards at the next evaluation. Note: Students who leave College of Coastal Georgia and are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress will continue to be not making Satisfactory Academic Progress until either they appeal to have their aid reinstated or pay for their classes out of pocket to get back into good standing.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal to determine whether the suspension will be lifted. Students who have been out of school for at least five years will be required to appeal and annotate on the appeal form if they fall within this category.Written notification of the Committee’s action will be emailed to campus email addresses. Students must return a signed copy of their appeal agreement before aid will be disbursed for the next semester.

Students with granted appeals and/or academic plans are placed on Financial Aid Probation. Appeals approved will require that the student be in compliance with all standards by the next evaluation (term). In some instances, an academic plan designed to ensure compliance with the standards at a specific point in time may be utilized. Students will lose eligibility for aid if they violate the terms of the academic plan.

Academic Suspension
A student returning from Academic Suspension is not eligible for financial aid until their academic standing improves to Academic Probation, Academic Warning, or Good Standing. After the completion of one semester, the Registrar’s Office will reevaluate the student’s academic standing. Once the student’s academic standing is upgraded from suspension, the student may file a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal, if they meet the requirements established by the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

How to Avoid SAP Problemss:
What should I do before I drop a class?
Always speak with your instructor to see if there are any other alternatives to dropping the class. You should do everything possible to avoid dropping a class because your financial aid may be affected.

What if my job changes my hours?
Before you decide to take a class, verify with your employer that your work schedule will allow you to attend and study and prepare for class. Always discuss your class schedule with your employer before you sign up for class.

Are you planning to have surgery?
When planning your class schedule, keep in mind any activities (trips out of town, surgery, job duties) scheduled for that semester that may hinder your ability to successfully complete your class. If a planned activity will interfere with your ability to complete your class you may need to skip a semester and return when you can study with no distractions.

Are you taking a tough combination of classes?
Make sure that the combination of classes that you are taking is not too demanding. Taking several demanding courses during the same semester is a recipe for disaster. Plan ahead and balance your class load.

Are you over-extending yourself?
Often, new students will take more classes than they are able to handle. Make sure you do not take more classes than you can successfully handle in one semester.

What about family responsibilities?
Before you decide to take a class, make sure your family responsibilities are able to be met while you are enrolled. Childcare, activities with family members, and transportation issues should be resolved before you enroll.

Are you dedicated?
College is not easy. Before you enroll, you must determine if you are willing to put forth the time and effort needed to be a successful student.