|TITLE: SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS FOR FINANCIAL AID STUDENTS|
|POLICY NO: 1-6||EFFECTIVE DATE: 08/16/1990|
|VCCS POLICY NO: N/A||REVISED DATE: 10/22/2020|
To establish eligibility criteria for receiving financial aid funds based on academic performance at the college.
Documentation: for the purpose of appeals, includes, but is not limited to, letters from physicians, licensed counselors, clergy, or other professionals not related to the student. Letters should be legible, on official letterhead and reference a time period that corresponds with semesters where the student had academic problems.
Financial aid recipients at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (Reynolds) are expected to progress through the program(s) in which they are enrolled in an acceptable manner. In compliance with federal and state regulations, Reynolds shall assess financial aid recipients' academic progress toward their degrees or certificates.
In assessing students' eligibility for financial aid, the following provisions apply:
• Academic progress shall be assessed at the end of each semester or term prior to the awarding and/or disbursement of funds in the subsequent semester/term.
• The criteria used to judge academic progress are cumulative and cover all periods of a student's enrollment, including those periods in which the student did not receive financial aid or where the student was enrolled in prior/previous programs at the college.
This policy applies to all federal and state, and some institutional funds that are administered by the Office of Financial Aid, and begins with the student's first term of enrollment.
A. Academic progress standards
Academic progress is measured by comparing a student's performance to standards for the following: a) cumulative grade point average (qualitatively); b) the number of credits earned in comparison to the number of credits attempted (quantitatively); and c) the total number of credits attempted by a student in his or her program.
1. Qualitative standard - cumulative grade point average: Students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. The scale is as follows:
Total number of credits attempted
1 - 15
Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in the cumulative grade point average calculation. Transfer credit and grades are excluded from this calculation. The college reserves the right to place a transfer student on probation in the event that the student has a history of unsuccessful academic performance at his/her previous institution(s).
2. Quantitative standard - completion rate: At a minimum, a student must successfully complete sixty-seven percent (67%) of the total number of credits he/she has attempted. Successfully completed courses are courses in which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, S, P, or T (courses transferred in from another college/university that apply toward the student's declared program). For the purpose of this policy, the total number of credits attempted includes all credits attempted at the college, and all credits completed at another college that are successfully transferred to Reynolds. Audited courses are excluded from this count. Developmental Math, Developmental English, and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are included in this calculation.
3. Quantitative standard - maximum hours (150% rule): Students shall remain eligible for financial aid if they complete their program before attempting 150% of the total number of credits required for the program and meet all other eligibility requirements. For example, if the length of a program is published in the college catalog as sixty (60) credit hours, then the maximum attempts allowed for that program is ninety (90) credit hours (150% X 60 = 90). Students who have previously completed or attempted another degree or certificate at the college shall have the credits from the previous degree or certificate included in the total number of credits attempted. Transfer credit officially accepted as coursework at Reynolds shall be included in this calculation. Developmental Math, Developmental English, and ESL coursework are excluded from this calculation.
While developmental coursework is not included in this calculation, students required (by way of placement test results) to enroll in developmental coursework are subject to a maximum of thirty (30) developmental credits as allowed by federal regulation.
ESL credits are unlimited provided the student is enrolled in an eligible program and he or she is meeting academic progress guidelines.
Additional considerations for both completion rate and maximum hours standards:
• Withdrawals (W) grades that are recorded on the student's permanent academic transcript shall be included as credits attempted and shall have an adverse effect on the student's ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid.
• Courses that are assigned an incomplete (I) grade are included in cumulative credits attempted. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned.
• Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed but repeating courses adversely affects the student's ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt. Only the latest attempt shall count toward the cumulative grade point average.
B. Financial aid status
1. Good standing: Students meeting the above criteria shall remain eligible, or in good standing (GS), for financial aid.
2. Warning status: Students who fail to meet the above criteria for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) shall be automatically placed in a warning status (WS) for one (1) term and are expected to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements by the end of their next term of enrollment. Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of the warning status term shall be placed on financial aid suspension.
3. Suspension status (Financial Aid Suspension): Students who do not meet the credit progression schedule and/or the cumulative grade point average standard, or who have attempted more than 150% of the credits required for the completion of their program, or who fail to meet the requirements of their pre-approved academic progress plan, shall be placed in suspension status (SS). Students in suspension status are not eligible for federal or state financial aid.
4. Academic plan status: Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed in academic plan status (AP). Students in academic plan status (AP) are eligible to receive financial aid for one (1) semester, after which they must be in good standing (GS) or meeting the requirements of an academic progress plan that was pre-approved by the college Office of Financial Aid.
Students who do not meet the quantitative and/or qualitative requirements of this policy shall become ineligible for financial aid. Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling at the college without financial aid if, based on their academic standing with the college, they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment. However, in the event that a student is suspended or dismissed from the college for poor academic performance, his/her eligibility for financial aid is suspended until he/she is eligible to enroll again at the college. For information regarding academic standing at the college, students should refer to the college catalog for guidance.
Unless extenuating circumstances exist and an appeal is granted (see section C. "Appeals"), a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until SAP requirements are again met.
Students who fail to meet SAP standards 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 SAP standards. If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year. Students should consult a financial aid advisor for assistance to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid.
Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the financial aid suspension. Students must clearly state what caused the suspension and must also clearly indicate what has changed that shall now allow the student to succeed. Appeals are encouraged if:
1. Extenuating circumstances exist (i.e., student's serious illness or accident; death, accident, or serious illness in the immediate family; other mitigating circumstances); or
2. The student on suspension for other than maximum hours (150%), who has not yet met SAP requirements, has during suspension enrolled in and successfully completed at least six (6) semester credits at the college with a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Students appealing a financial aid suspension must:
1. complete JSRCC Form No. 30-0001, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal form, in its entirety;
2. attach documentation in support of the appeal. Students not meeting the timeframe requirement (150% Rule) must include a SAP Appeal Degree Audit Form indicating remaining credits to graduation.
3.submit all items to the college Office of Financial Aid.
Students may fax a SAP Appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid at 804-371-3739, or email the completed SAP Appeal form (JSRCC Form No. 30-0001)to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only completed appeal submissions, with supporting documentation, shall be evaluated by the Office of Financial Aid. Depending on the circumstances, the student could be required to complete additional requirements (e.g., see a career counselor or another type of counselor, meet with an advisor to develop an academic progress plan for completion, limit enrollment, etc.) before an appeal is granted. The goal is to help the student persist toward graduation. The reasonableness of the student's ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student's program of study shall be carefully considered.
Appeals shall be approved or denied, and the decision is final. Students who have appeals approved shall be in academic plan status for the specified term. During academic plan status, the student must meet the conditions of the appeal as communicated to him or her by the Office of Financial Aid, or the student shall return to suspension. If an academic progress plan has been pre-approved by the Office of Financial Aid, continuing to meet the requirements of that plan shall put the student back into good standing.
A. Upon submission of grades at the end of the semester/term, the Office of Financial Aid will review all grades of students that have submitted a FAFSA to determine academic/ financial aid status, using the college SAP process in the Student Information Center (SIS Navigation: VCCS Custom > Financial Aid > Satisfactory Academic Progress > College SAP Process).
B. Once the college SAP process has been completed, the financial aid status will be placed in the Student Center section of the Student Information System. In addition to posting this information, students on financial aid warning and financial aid suspension will be notified via a message to their SIS Message Center. They will receive an email to their Reynolds student email account directing them to the SIS Message Center to retrieve the message.
C. Students who are placed on financial aid suspension status may complete and submit JSRCC Form No. 30-0001, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal form, to the Office of Financial Aid.
D. Once received by the Office of Financial Aid, the SAP Appeal along with all supporting documentation will be reviewed by the SAP Appeal Committee, composed of members of the Office of Financial Aid, College Student Services Staff, and College Academic Staff/Faculty.
E. The SAP Appeal Committee will make a decision regarding the student's SAP Appeal within ten (10) business days.
F. Within ten (10) business days, the Office of Financial Aid will notify the student of its decision. The decision will be sent to the student via the SIS Message Center. For auditing purposes, this message will not have an expiration date.
1. If the appeal is approved, the SIS Message Center notification will outline the terms of the Academic Plan contract.
2. If the appeal is denied, the SIS Message Center notification will detail the decision and provide some insight regarding the decision.
3. If the appeal decision is denied, pending additional information, the SIS Message Center notification will detail the additional information needed and a timeframe for which the additional information must be submitted in order for the SAP Appeal to be re-reviewed without having to submit a new SAP Appeal.
G. Once the Committee has made a decision, the student's record will be updated in SIS.
1. If a student's SAP Appeal is approved
a) The student will be placed on an academic plan and the SAP Status on the Packaging Status Summary Page in SIS (Navigation: Financial Aid > View Packaging Status Summary) will be updated.
b) The terms of the student's academic plan will be updated in SIS on the SAP Academic Program Plan (Navigation: VCCS Custom > Financial Aid > Satisfactory Academic Progress > SAP Academic Progress Plan)
c) The student will be awarded financial aid based on their eligibility.
2. Any student whose SAP Appeal has been denied will not receive federal or state financial aid for the term requested and no update is required on the student's record.
H. If a student is placed on an academic plan, a student's grades are evaluated to ensure they meet the terms of the academic plan contract. If the student meets the terms of the contract, the student will be awarded for subsequent terms according to the contract. If the student fails to meet the terms of the contract, the student would be evaluated through the SIS College SAP Process and pending financial aid for future terms cancelled. At this point the student does have the right to submit an additional SAP Appeal and supporting documentation, however, approval is not guaranteed.
V. Other Information:
JSRCC Form No. 30-0001, Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form