Satisfactory Academic Progress 

Federal regulations require that a student must be making satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a degree or certificate at Texarkana College in order to receive federal financial aid.  At Texarkana College, the standards that students must meet to fulfill this requirement are stated in the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress (FA SAP).  In addition, state law requires that students who receive exemptions and/or waivers to tuition and fee charges also maintain the same FA SAP standards as students who receive financial aid.  Finally, the Department of Veteran Affairs also requires that students who receive veterans benefits maintain SAP standards in order to continue to receive benefits.

Students should be aware that FA SAP standards are different from Academic SAP standards at Texarkana College.  Students should also be aware that FA SAP will be evaluated at the end of each semester.

The requirement to monitor SAP for VA and exemption/waiver students begins in Fall 2014.  VA and exemption/waiver students who have not met FA SAP standards by Fall 2014 will be given a “Warning” status for one semester.  Continued failure to meet FA SAP standards will result in suspension of benefits starting in Spring 2015 for VA and exemption/waiver students.

Beginning July 1, 2011, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards changed in accordance with Federal Regulations. These new SAP standards will be monitored at the end of each payment period (semester) beginning with the completion of the second summer term of 2011.

In order to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility, students must meet three standards:

  • GPA requirement,
  • Unit completion requirement, and
  • Maximum Time Frame requirement.

If a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, s/he will be notified that s/he is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met.

Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if:

a)    the student subsequently meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; or

b)    the student successfully appeals and her aid is reinstated. A student who has her financial aid eligibility reinstated is placed on probation and becomes subject to the terms of an academic plan.

The financial aid office will evaluate whether the student is adhering to the plan on a term-by-term basis. If the student has made up all of their deficiencies, they will no longer be considered on probation and instead will be considered an eligible student and meeting the SAP requirements.

The following requirements for satisfactory academic progress for receipt of financial aid apply to all applicants for any financial aid awards administered by the TC financial aid office. These requirements are separate and distinct from TC’s policy regarding satisfactory academic progress set by academic departments and/or schools.

STANDARDS OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS ARE:

I.    GPA Requirement

In order to remain eligible for Financial Aid consideration, student must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. ALL courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are excluded.

Total Number of Credits Attempted

GPA Requirement

Any

2.0

In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.

II.    Completion Requirements:

All undergraduates must complete at least 67% of the units attempted each year to keep pace toward graduation. This is calculated by dividing a student’s total number of hours completed (TC completed) by the total amount of hours attempted (TC attempted).

  • Units granted for AP and IB coursework are excluded; college level units earned by the student while still enrolled in high school are included.
  • The number of attempted units counted in the formula reflect the units attempted as they appear on the student’s transcript.
  • These completion calculations include all completed and attempted units from the academic year’s summer term.
  • Units for the following grades will not be counted as completed units toward meeting the pace requirement for undergraduate students: F (Failure), I (Incomplete), NP (Not Pass), U (Unsatisfactory), W (Withdraw), NR (No grade reported).
  • If a student repeats a previously passed course, only the first repeat will apply toward the completed unit count; subsequent repeats will not. This does not apply to courses that are repeatable for credit (i.e. independent study courses).
  • Required remedial courses will count toward the undergraduate pace requirement

III.    Maximum Time Frame:

The regulation set by the U.S. Department of Education specifies that for an undergraduate program, the maximum time frame to complete the program may not exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program. Because TC has many programs with varying lengths, the maximum time frame will also vary by program. Students enrolled at Texarkana College will be allowed a maximum of 150 percent of the credits required to complete their degree/certificate. For example, if your program requires 60 credit hours to complete the program, the student would be allowed to receive financial aid for up to 90 semester hours attempted.

Results of Not Meeting SAP Criteria:

Students who do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) criteria will not be eligible for federal or state Financial Aid at Texarkana College.

Warning Status
Students who fail to meet Satisfactory academic Progress for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term. Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of the warning status term will lose their eligibility for Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Suspension
Unless extenuating circumstances exist and an appeal is granted, a student in Financial Aid Suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements are again met.
Students who fail to meet SAP and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may request a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of Financial Aid to determine whether they have again met Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year.

Financial Aid Suspension Appeals
Students should consult their campus Financial Aid Advisors for assistance in appealing any element of this policy or to determine how to regain eligibility for Financial Aid.

Appeals are to be submitted in TYPED written form.  It is highly recommended that students submit documentation to support their typed statements.

Appeals submitted for exceeding Maximum Time Frame will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office for approval.

Appeals submitted for not meeting GPA or Completion Rate requirements will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FA SAP Committee).

Students currently on Financial Aid Probation for cumulative GPA or cumulative completion rates and who complete all courses enrolled for in the previous semester with a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher do not have to submit an appeal to the FA SAP Committee each semester.  These students have already been evaluated by the FA SAP Committee once and are showing excellent progress.  The Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress Committee does not feel that it is necessary to have these students re-submit appeals every semester until their cumulative requirements are met.  The staff members of the Financial Aid Office will summarily approve a continued Financial Aid Probation status for students that meet this standard.

SAP Probation
Students who have successfully appealed the loss of their Financial Aid are placed on probation. Students on probation are eligible to receive Financial Aid for one (1) semester, after which they MUST be meeting all of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards or the requirements of an academic progress plan that was pre-approved by the College Financial Aid Office.

Financial aid does not cover courses successfully completed while a student is on financial aid suspension.

Credit by exam, CLEP, and other credits not requiring contact hours do not meet the requirements for SAP. Therefore, hours earned by exam will be included in hours earned only and not calculated in with hours attempted, SAP hours, or grade points. Financial assistance is not available for tests by exam.

As of fall 1999, all workforce and academic transcripts from Texarkana College will be combined to determine SAP. (In prior years, the hours were calculated separately.)

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who do not meet SAP due to completion of hours or grade point average will be issued a SAP memo by the financial aid office as soon as possible. However, notice of financial aid warning may be retroactively incurred based on an evaluation of the student’s previous academic record.

Note: Any student who wishes to appeal the loss of financial aid for failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress may do so through the Financial Aid Office.

 

Appeal Process

Students who become ineligible for federal financial aid under the satisfactory academic progress policy may submit a request for reinstatement (appeal) to the financial aid office with the required supporting documentation attached. Appeal forms with insufficient documentation will not be processed.

Any life changing event that effects your academics and/or GPA or completion is grounds to pursue an appeal.

If a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, she will be notified that she is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met.

Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if:

a)    the student subsequently meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; or

b)    the student successfully appeals and her aid is reinstated.

Undergraduate students wishing to appeal must submit a TC SAP Appeal Form and a typed letter to the TC Financial Aid Office. The appeal form is available in the aid office.

All appeals must state the reason(s) for failing to meet the SAP requirements. Students must demonstrate some type of extenuating circumstances during the term(s) in question which hindered academic performance (e.g., prolonged hospitalization, death or extreme sickness in the family, etc.). Supporting documentation of these extenuating circumstances should be submitted with the appeal form and letter.

Furthermore, students must submit, as part of the appeal, information regarding what has changed in their situation that would prevent a re-occurrence and would now allow them to reestablish the satisfactory academic requirements by the conclusion of the outlined time frame.

On the appeal form, students must propose an academic plan which details how they will make up their deficiencies:

  • If deficient in completion percentage, the number of units required for each future term to eventually meet the minimum cumulative completion percentage by the conclusion of the plan.
  • If deficient in GPA, the minimum GPA required for each future term to eventually meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement by the conclusion of the plan.
  • If maximum number of terms of eligibility has been reached, the number of additional future terms required to complete degree requirements.

In all circumstances, students must report which future terms of enrollment will be required to complete any and all academic deficiencies.

Students must consult with their academic counselors as they must sign and approve all academic plans. By approving a plan, a counselor concurs that, if followed, the plan will permit the student to meet the SAP requirements at the end of the duration of the plan.

Once received by the aid office, the appeal is reviewed for completeness. If the application is incomplete, it is returned to the student with instructions to resubmit once it has been completed in full.

Once accepted, appeals will be evaluated by a committee chaired by the Director of Financial Aid. The Director of Financial Aid is a non-voting member. The committee will be comprised of the following in addition to the Chair: The director of Advisement and Retention, Dean of Students, Director of Admissions, and a member of faculty – Appointed by the Chief Instructional Officer.  Quorum would be made with three of these in attendance with the chair being one of them.

If the student is not satisfied with the result of the Appeals Committee, they then can make an appeal to the Director of Financial Aid. The decision of this appeal is final.

ACADEMIC FRESH START

Academic Fresh Start placed on Texarkana College transcripts indicates that the coursework, grades, etc. before this point is excluded from the remaining transcript.

The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty. Therefore the financial aid office at Texarkana College will consider all work attempted at other institutions to arrive at the cumulative grade point average. 

Hours taken before the Fresh Start count toward the 150% completion rule.