Both accredited and non-accredited schools are required by law to have and to enforce standards of progress and conduct in order for their programs to be approved for VA benefits. The law requires that educational assistance benefits to veterans and other eligible persons be discontinued when the student ceases to make satisfactory progress toward completion of his or her training objective.” – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Certifying Official Handbook, Section: Unsatisfactory Progress
As with all student aid, there are academic standards that must be met in order to continue receiving payments through the GI Bill® or any other educational benefit provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Texarkana College requires all students using VA benefits to adhere to the same Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards needed to receive federal financial aid like Pell grants or student loans. This academic progress policy requires you to uphold the following standards as a student:
- Maintain at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA (including developmental classes), which means a “C” average or better
- Complete at least 67% of the classes you attempt
- Complete your chosen certificate or degree without building up more than 150% of the credits required to graduate
The SAP evaluation process is run after each semester, shortly after grades post, and you will be notified via student email if you go on a “warning” or “suspension” status. If you go on suspension due to circumstances outside your control, you have a brief time frame in which you can appeal to possibly regain eligibility through a probationary semester.
Remember — if you are on suspension for regular financial aid, you are also on suspension from VA benefits (and vice-versa)!
HAZELWOOD EXEMPTION AND ACADEMIC PROGRESS
In addition, Texas state law requires that students who receive exemptions and/or waivers to tuition and fee charges make due progress toward the completion or a degree or certificate in order to continue receiving benefits. Because the Hazelwood exemption falls under this category (SB 1210), veterans and their family members who use the Hazelwood exemption must also make satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible.
REINSTATEMENT AFTER A SUSPENSION
Please note that if TC reported your suspension to the VA prior to a successful financial aid appeal, you must complete a form VA 22-1995 and list “Requesting Reinstatement of Benefits” in the remarks section. Contact one of the VA certifying officials in the TC Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office for help filling out this form. We will co-sign it and send it to the VA on your behalf, confirming that your appeal was approved.