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5.10 – Satisfactory Academic Progress


  1. Purpose

    Students receiving Federal Student Aid must enroll in courses that will fulfill their educational goals. These courses should follow published degree requirements. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates institutions of higher education to define, establish, and enforce minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving Federal Student Aid.


  2. Policy

    In accordance to Federal Student Aid regulations, Ozarks Technical Community College has established both quantitative and qualitative measures for evaluating the progress of Federal Student Aid recipients. Evaluation of the academic progress of students will occur after each semester.  In order to allow for the appropriate due process, an appeal procedure is included to allow for extenuating circumstances.


  3. Procedures


    1. Pace (quantitative)

      Federal Student Aid regulations provide for assistance up to 150% of program length, i.e. there is a maximum time frame in which Federal Student Aid can be awarded.
      Students pursuing an associate degree or certificate program may attempt up to a maximum of 150% of the required hours for their program of study.

      Students must successfully complete two-thirds (67%) of their total credit hours attempted. Credit hours transferred from other colleges and universities will be included in the total credit hours attempted at OTC and will be counted in the credit hours toward the pace maximum.

      Students who graduate and/or complete their program of study will be considered to have met the pace maximum.

      NOTE: No additional time will be allowed for program of study completion if a student changes majors or programs. All courses in all semesters are counted in the pace maximum.

      All classes with a grade of A, B, C, D, F, W, NA, NB, NC, ND, NP, and I are counted in the pace calculation, including any classes which are repeated.


    2. Grade Point Average (qualitative)

      Unless placed on an academic plan as noted in 5.10 (G), students receiving Federal Student Aid must maintain a cumulative grade point average as follows in order to continue to receive Federal Student Aid.

      Associate Degrees
      Hours Attempted                                1 – 25                   26 – 40               41 or more
      Minimum Cumulative GPA                   1.50                     1.75                        2.00

      Certificate Programs
      Hours Attempted                                1 – 12                   13 – 20               21 or more
      Minimum Cumulative GPA                   1.50                       1.75                   2.00

      Grades of A,B,C,D, and F are counted when determining a student’s cumulative GPA. Grades of I,N,P,AU, NP, S, NA, NB, NC, ND, NP, W, AG, BG, CG, DG, FG, NAG, NBG, NCG, NDG and NPG are not counted when determining a student’s cumulative GPA. Grades for credit hours transferred from other colleges and universities will not be included when determining the cumulative GPA.


    3. New Financial Aid Recipients and Transfer Students

      Students who attend OTC without financial aid and then apply for assistance will be required to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards as if they had received Federal Student Aid from the beginning of their attendance at OTC.

      For Satisfactory Academic Progress purposes, students who transfer to OTC will be eligible for Federal Student Aid during their first semester of attendance and will have their eligibility evaluated at the end of the first semester they receive Federal Student Aid.

      Students who have already completed an undergraduate degree and apply for financial aid will be considered to have met the pace maximum. These students will be classified in an over maximum time frame status and must file a financial aid appeal in accordance to 5.10 (F) in order to request an extension of Federal Student Aid.



    4. Financial Aid Warning

      Students who fail to meet either the Pace requirement in 5.10 (A) or GPA requirement in 5.10 (B) will be placed on a Financial Aid Warning in the succeeding academic term. The Financial Aid Warning does not preclude a student from receiving Federal Student Aid.


    5. Financial Aid Probation

      Students with a Financial Aid Warning who fail to meet either the Pace requirement in 5.10 (A) or GPA requirement in 5.10 (B) will be placed on Financial Aid Probation in the succeeding academic term. The student is then ineligible for Federal Student Aid.

      Once a student regains a satisfactory GPA and meets the pace requirement of 67% completion of the total credit hours attempted, they may regain eligibility for Federal Student Aid.

      Students who exceed the maximum number of allowable credit hours for their program of study will be placed on Financial Aid Probation in an over (pace maximum) status. Students who graduate and/or complete their program of study will be placed on Financial Aid Probation in a graduated status. Both of the aforementioned statuses will deem the student ineligible for Federal Student Aid.

      A student may appeal the loss of Federal Student Aid benefits in accordance to 5.10(F).


    6. Conditions for Appeal

      Students who lose eligibility for Federal Student Aid may submit an appeal for consideration by the College.
      An appeal may be submitted due to the following conditions:


      1. Loss of aid following the Financial Aid Warning period and the student is now on Financial Aid Probation.

      2. Loss of aid following graduation and/or completion of a degree or certificate program.

      3. Loss of aid due to exceeding the maximum number of allowable attempted credit hours (pace maximum) for the student’s program of study.


    7. Appeal Process

      The process to appeal the loss of Federal Student Aid benefits will be maintained by the Financial Aid Office and communicated to the appropriate students at the end of each semester.
      If a student’s appeal is reviewed and Federal Student Aid is not reinstated by the Financial Aid Committee for the initial Financial Aid Probation period, the student may appeal the decision in accordance with the Student Grievance Procedures Policy (5.17).

      Subsequent to review and approval, students whose aid eligibility is reinstated will be subject to following an established academic plan.

      If a student has already been placed on an academic plan following a successful Financial Aid Probation appeal, then loses eligibility, the student is required to regain eligibility by meeting the College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Therefore, the student must meet the academic requirements for a completion ratio of at least 67% as specified in 5.10 (A) and grade point average requirements as specified in 5.10 (B).


    8. Definitions of Student Aid Status

      *Pace requirement (67%) or GPA requirement
      SAT – Satisfactory, aid eligible
      WRN – Financial Aid Warning, aid eligible
      PRB – Financial Aid Probation, not aid eligible
      PAP – Probation, Academic Plan Approved, aid eligible
      PCP – Probation, Continued Academic Plan, aid eligible
      PFP – Probation, Failed Academic Plan, not aid eligible
      GPP – Grievance Approved Appeal, aid eligible

      *Pace Maximum
      OVR – Over maximum time frame, not aid eligible
      AOV – Approved Over time frame, aid eligible
      ASO – Automatic AOV, aid eligible

      *Pace is the completion rate for a student. ( i.e. total completed hours with grade of  ‘D’ or better divided by total attempted hours. Total attempted hours includes all OTC hours plus all hours transferred in from other colleges and universities and accepted by OTC.)

      Procedures for Eligibility Evaluation and Financial Aid Status – Pace and GPA
      New and transfer in students are considered eligible for Federal Student Aid for their first semester of aid at the college. For transfer students, all credits transferred in and accepted by the college are used in the calculation of aid eligibility. Following completion of the initial semester in which financial aid was paid, the student’s aid eligibility is assessed.

      Eligible Statuses and Actions for Federal Student Aid
      Financial Aid Warning (WRN) – Status assigned to a student who fails to meet SAP requirements for aid eligibility.

      Student continues to receive Federal Student Aid for one payment period. No appeal is required to receive aid.

      For a WRN status, a notification is sent to the student, and appeals do not apply.

      Probation, Academic Plan Approved (PAP) – Status assigned to a student who was placed on probation (PRB) and has financial aid appeal approved. In order to retain eligibility for aid the student must meet the following criteria at the end of their next term of enrollment (the term following PRB):
      a. Semester GPA => 2.00 (note: GPA is for most recently completed semester)
      b. No drops, fails, withdraws while on PAP status
      c. Program of study at end of term while on PAP status = program of study on SAPV
      d. Program of study end date on SAPV is not equal to the month/year of the current SAP evaluation (i.e. for fall 2011, if SAPV end date is 12/31/11 and fall semester ends 12/11, then PAP expires)
      If student fails to meet any of the criteria above in items ‘a’ through ‘d’, the student moves to a Failed Academic Plan (PFP) status. Otherwise, moves to PCP status.
      For a PAP status, a notification is sent to the student with the conditions of the academic plan.

      Probation, Continued Academic Plan (PCP) – Status assigned to a student who meets the criteria below and continues eligible for student aid. If student does not meet any of the conditions below, the student moves to a Failed Academic Plan (PFP) status. The criteria are system evaluated automatically.
      a. Semester GPA => 2.00 (note: GPA is for most recently completed semester)
      b. No drops, fails, withdraws while on PCP status
      c. Program of study at end of most recently completed semester = program of study on SAPV
      d. Program of study end date on SAPV is not equal to the month/year of the current SAP evaluation (i.e. for fall 2011, if SAPV end date is 12/31/11 and fall semester ends 12/11, then PCP expires)

      A PCP status is automatically assigned at the end of the semester if the student meets the conditions for eligibility in ‘a’ through ‘d’ above. If a student meets the conditions, the student remains PCP and no notification is sent to the student. If conditions are not met and student moves to PFP status, a notification is sent notifying the student they have lost their student aid until they meet SAP requirements to be SAT on their own.

      Grievance Approved Appeal (GPP) – Status assigned to a student who has appeal approved following a PFP status. In order to retain eligibility for aid the student must meet the following criteria at the end of their next term of enrollment:
      a. Semester GPA => 2.00 (note: GPA is for most recently completed semester)
      b. No drops, fails, withdraws for most recently completed semester while on GPP status
      c. Program of study at end of most recently completed semester = program of study on SAPV
      d. Program of study end date on SAPV is not equal to the month/year of the current SAP evaluation (i.e. for fall 2011, if SAPV end date is 12/31/11 and fall semester ends 12/11, then GPP expires)

      If student fails to meet any of the criteria above in items ‘a’ through ‘d’, the student moves to a Failed Academic Plan (PFP) status.

      For a GPP status, there is an automated evaluation of the conditions at the end of the GPP term. If student meets the conditions, the SAP status is PCP and no notification is sent to the student. If conditions are not met and student moves to PFP status, a notification is sent notifying the student they have lost their student aid until they meet SAP requirements to be SAT on their own. There is not an appeal process notification.

      Ineligible Statuses and Actions for Federal Student Aid
      Financial Aid Probation (PRB) – Status assigned to a student who was on a Financial Aid Warning (WRN) and fails to meet SAP requirements. Student may appeal the probation. If an appeal is submitted and approved, the student is subject to conditions imposed by the college in order to continue to receive Federal Student Aid. SAP status is moved to PAP. If appeal not approved, student remains at PRB status.

      For a PRO status, a notification is sent to the student along with appeal information.

      Probation, Failed Academic Plan (PFP) – Status assigned to a student who was placed on PAP, PCP, or GPP and fails to meet requirements of their academic plan.
      For a PFP status, there is an automated evaluation at the end of each semester to determine if the student meets qualitative and quantitative criteria for SAP.

      Appeals and Academic Plan
      If a student is placed on Financial Aid Probation, the student is no longer eligible for Federal Student Aid. The student may file an appeal for consideration by the Financial Aid Committee.

      Requirements for Written Appeal
      If the student desires to file an appeal, the College will provide the appeal form via email using a pre-formatted document that is to be completed online and submitted for review.

      Accepted/Approved Appeal
      If the appeal is accepted/approved by the Committee, the student will be required to follow an academic plan.
      1) Recommendation of no more than half-time enrollment.
      2) Academic advisor uses E-Advisor plan established by the student to determine which program the student is pursuing and what the anticipated graduation date (AGD) is for the student.

      The following requirements must be met by the student each semester in order to retain eligibility for Federal Student Aid.

      1) Student must complete each semester covered by the academic plan with at least a 2.00 GPA (this GPA is for the most recently completed term and is not the cumulative GPA).
      2) Student cannot drop or fail any classes during any term while working within the academic plan.
      3) Student cannot change degree program from what was approved by the Committee in the academic plan.
      4) Student must not have met the limit of time provided for their academic plan.
      5) Student must be in a Title IV eligible approved program.

      Declined/Unapproved Appeal
      If the Committee declines the appeal, the student remains on Financial Aid Probation and is required to meet SAP requirements on their own prior to reinstatement of aid eligibility.
      Students whose appeal is not approved, may file a grievance appeal. If grievance is approved, a student whose status is:
      a) PRB, is placed on PAP status
      b) PFP, is placed on GPP status. Appeals for PFP are exceptional circumstances and are accepted only in the following cases in which a thorough written explanation from student and documentation is required:
      i) Death of immediate family member (spouse, child/step child, parent/step parent, sibling/step sibling, grandparent/step grandparent)
      ii) Medical circumstances which required inpatient hospitalization or documented leave of absence from classes by physician and student was unable to complete classes for the semester and subsequently withdrew

      Students Returning With Previous SAP results
      Students whose SAP result with the former process was PRB will be updated to WRN during the transition.
      Students whose SAP result with the former process was SUS will be updated to PRB during the transition.
      Students whose SAP result with the former process was APP will be updated to SAT or PRB dependent upon the student’s standing at the time of update.

      Procedures for Eligibility Evaluation and Financial Aid Status – Pace
      The status definitions and process for the Pace (formerly maximum time frame) evaluation have not changed from prior.

  4. Responsibilities

    N/A


  5. Definitions

    N/A


  6. Authority

    This policy is maintained under the delegated authority of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.


  7. Related Policies

    N/A


  8. Implementation

    1. Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 1/12/98. Revised on 10/11/11.
    2. Purpose, procedures, responsibilities and definitions approved and adopted by the Cabinet on 8/9/11. Set for review on 8/9/13.

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