Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Policy (2013-2014)
OVERVIEW: Several factors depend upon whether a student is eligible for financial aid, which are explained in greater detail below. However, as a brief introduction to this policy the following criteria must always be considered in regard to whether a student can obtain financial aid. The criteria are: (1) cumulative1 grade point average, (2) percentage of completed versus attempted credits which must be greater than or equal to 66.67% (2/3), and (3) that a student will be able to complete his or her degree or certificate program within the 150% rule based upon attempted credits. Please note, transfer credits that apply to a student's program of study are calculated as attempted and earned credits as they apply to the 150% rule.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals
Students not making satisfactory academic progress, have the right to file an Academic Progress Appeal form accompanied by supporting documentation including an approved academic plan from the Advising Center prior to mid-semester. Appeals may be approved based on documented extenuating circumstances. We strongly advise you to contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions regarding this policy.
Good Financial Aid Standing
The College considers a student to be in Good Financial Aid Standing if he or she successfully completes 66.67% (2/3) or more of the total numbers of credits attempted with a cumulative grade point average (GPA), which meets the criteria in the chart above. Courses with a grade of AP, I, F, W or WA are not considered to be completed successfully. However, courses with a grade of AP, I, F, W and WA will be considered attempted credits. Please note, the fact that beginning in Fall 2013 WA grades will also be considered attempted credits is a new rule.
Financial Aid Warning
A student is placed on Financial Aid Warning Status when he or she is not in Good Financial Aid Standing. A student placed on Financial Aid Warning Status will be eligible for financial aid for one subsequent semester. The student must meet with a member of the Advising Center staff to develop an academic plan to improve his or her academic standing. This educational improvement plan may include, but is not limited to one or more of the following components:
Ineligible for Financial Aid
Students who fail to achieve a minimum satisfactory cumulative GPA and credit completion rate of 66.67% (2/3) at the end of a Financial Aid Warning semester, will be placed on Financial Aid Ineligible Status and not be eligible to receive federal or state aid. Please note that students placed on ineligible status due to unsatisfactory course completion or unsatisfactory cumulative GPA have the right to submit a Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Appeal. All appeals must include supporting documentation and an approved Academic Plan from the Academic Advising Center.
Maximum Credits for Financial Aid (150% Rule)
Financial Aid cannot be used to pay for courses that exceed more than 150% of the maximum needed credits to achieve an Associate Degree or an eligible Certificate Program. For example, if your program requires 60 credits, you will only be allowed to receive financial aid for 90 credits. In the case of a 30 credit certificate program, the financial aid maximum credits would be 45. Additionally, once it becomes apparent that a student will not be able to complete his or her Associate Degree or eligible Certificate Program within the 150% rule that student will be denied financial aid even if he or she has not yet reached the 150% threshold. Therefore, it is essential that you develop a concise academic plan and enroll in classes that will enable you to complete your academic program. Transfer credits that are accepted by RCC toward a student's program of study (major) will be considered attempted and earned as it applies to the 150% rule.
It is essential that you drop your classes during the Add/Drop period if you do not intend to complete them. Please note that incomplete and/or withdrawn classes count as credits attempted but not earned and will impact Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students are responsible for payment on Incomplete and Withdrawn Classes. Beginning in Fall 2013 WA grades will also be considered attempted credits.
Course Selection and Financial Aid Eligibility
Financial Aid cannot be used to pay for courses that are not required by your Associate Degree or Certificate program. If it is discovered that you have registered for courses outside of your degree/program financial aid will be canceled and you will be fully responsible for the charges associated with the non-required course(s). Therefore, it is essential that you consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for classes.
A student can enroll for more than 30 developmental credits with a written waiver from their academic advisor. However, Financial Aid cannot be used to pay for more than 30 developmental credits under any circumstances. Please note that all developmental courses must provide a pathway to an eligible academic certificate or degree program.
A student may receive financial aid funds for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses that are part of a larger eligible program. There are differences though: ESOL courses do not count against the one-year limitation on developmental coursework mentioned above.
Repeat Course Policy
Students may receive Financial Aid for a required course in which they receive a D or higher, one time. However, Financial Aid will not pay for a repeat course if a student obtained the highest grade for that course. Financial Aid will not pay for additional repeats of a course that the student has passed. Conversely, there is no limit to the number of times a student may be paid to retake a failed course (F). However, if the student has previously passed that course, Financial Aid will not pay for an additional repeat.
Lifetime Pell Award
In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This law has significantly impacted the Pell Grant Program. Beginning in fall 2012, students are now limited to 12 full-time semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant.
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