Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal Regulations mandate KCTCS modify its Satisfactory Academic Policy to hold students to a higher level of accountability. At the end of the academic term all students will be reevaluated to determine if they meet the Federal requirements for Title IV Financial Aid that went into effect July 1, 2011. SAP regulatory guidelines include:
- Limiting students to only one consecutive probationary period.
- Students must be on pace to progress toward graduation by a 150% of credit requirement.
- Students must be enrolled in a program other than Undecided or Pending after attempting 30 credit hours.
Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 67% of their classes to remain eligible for financial aid. Students, who fail to maintain this standard for more than one consecutive term exclusively or in combination, will no longer be eligible for Federal or state aid.
Students must be evaluated to determine if they are able to graduate from their stated degree by attempting no more than 150% of the hours required to obtain the degree. This is referred to as Maximum Time Frame (MTF). For example, a student enrolled in a 60 credit hour associate degree program cannot receive financial aid beyond their 90th credit hour attempted.
Students must be enrolled in a declared major or accepted in an eligible program other than pending or undecided to receive aid beyond their 30th credit hour attempted. Students enrolled in a pending program must be evaluated to determine if they are eligible to be accepted in the desired program within a reasonable period. A reasonable period is a term that allows a student to be accepted and graduate prior to a student becoming ineligible for financial aid because he/she exceeds maximum time frame.
Students who are not meeting SAP standards will be responsible for payment to ACTC Student Billing by the billing due date. Students who are not meeting SAP standards are not eligible to charge books at the ACTC Bookstore.
When a student loses Federal Student Aid (FSA) eligibility and are put on SAP Suspense Status because he/she failed to make satisfactory progress, the student may appeal that result on the basis of: his/her injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other extenuating/special circumstance that prevented them from meeting SAP standards. To appeal, students must complete a SAP Appeal Form available in their Student Self-Service.
Extenuating/special circumstances are defined as situations beyond the student's control that created an undue hardship and caused the student's inability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Appropriate documentation may be required at the discretion of the student’s home college. If a student cannot provide requested documentation the student must communicate in their appeal why documentation cannot be provided.
Special circumstances include but are not limited to:
- Death of an immediate family member or person who share the student's household (parent, spouse or significant other, sibling, child)
- Issues related to a divorce
- Injury or illness to student or immediate family member (parent, spouse or significant other, sibling, child) that required hospitalization, convalescence in an institutional setting or confinement at home for at least seven (7) days
Simply stating that a student dropped a course or changed a major or was young and didn’t know in and of itself would not be grounds to support an SAP appeal. More information supporting an extenuating circumstance related to these actions would need to be provided. The same may apply for any of the following possible reasons for extenuating circumstances:
- The difficulty of a course
- The teaching method or dislike of an instructor
- Too many hours attempted in a semester
- Promises to perform better in the future
- The length of time since last attended
- Voluntary change in work hours
Students who were determined to have exceeded Maximum Time Frame (MTF) may request their coursework be evaluated based on classes needed for their current credential.
SAP Meeting Dates
SAP appeals are generally reviewed within 14 days after due date. SAP appeal decisions are delivered via KCTCS student email.
The Financial Aid Office is currently reviewing SAP Appeals for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.
1.1 Purpose and Scope
Federal regulations mandate that a student receiving financial aid under Title IV programs must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study regardless of whether or not financial aid is awarded each semester. Students are responsible for understanding and adhering to the satisfactory academic progress policy. SAP will be measured at the end of each term for all students and is measured based on the standards below. Federal Regulations specify minimum standards for these measures, but KCTCS may set stricter standards in its policy.
- Qualitative (cumulative Grade Point Average)
- Quantitative (67% Rule Hours earned divided by Hours Attempted)
- Maximum Time Frame (150% of required hours for program completion)
1.2 Qualitative Standard Grade Point Average (GPA)
KCTCS qualitative standard is determined by the student's earned Grade Point Average (GPA). KCTCS uses a 4-point scale for GPA. Students earning a cumulative grade point average below a 2.0 at the end of a term shall be placed on financial aid "Warning".
1.3 Quantitative Percentage Standard (QPS or 67% Rule)
The satisfactory academic progress policy must also include a quantitative measure to determine the number of credit hours attempted and percentage of credit hours completed (passed). The minimum percentage of work a student must successfully complete by the end of each term is 67% of all attempted hours. If a student fails any combination of two (2) consecutive terms of cumulative qualitative and/or cumulative quantitative standards, their financial aid will be suspended.
1.4 Maximum Time Frame (MTF) Standard
Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma/certificate credentials within a Maximum Time Frame (MTF) of 150 percent of the required number of credit hours to graduate from their enrolled program of study. MTF of 150% includes all classes required for the credential plus 50%. An example is provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Maximum Time Frame Rule (Classes Required for Credential plus 50%)
|Credential Hours||MTF Percentages||Attempted Hours Permitted|
|Associates - 60 hours||150%||90|
|Diploma - 48 hours||150%||72|
|Certificate - 30 hours||150%||45|
NOTE: Transferred hours, repeated classes, bankrupted hours, incompletes, withdrawals, failed in graded courses, failed in pass/fail courses and audit (changed from credit to audit after the last day to add a class) count toward maximum time frame and quantitative standards.
For a standard 16-week term, Student Aid enrollment status for payment purposes will be established at the close of the 7th calendar day beginning with the first day the term, including weekends but not holidays, or upon file completion whichever is later. Courses added after this date will not be considered for enrollment for student aid purposes but will be counted as attempted for quantitative and MTF standards.
1.5 Other Elements
Grades of "A", "B", "C", "D", "P" and "S" will be considered in determining credit hours earned. Grades of "E", "F", "W", "WF", "WP", "MP", "U", or "I" will not be considered as credit hours earned but, will be considered as hours attempted for the semester.
1.5.2 Pace Progression (On Pace to Graduate)
Federal regulations effective July 1, 2011 require all students be evaluated to determine if they are on track to receive their intended credential before aid is lost due to Maximum Time Frame. As part of that evaluation, students in the following categories will be evaluated at the 30 attempted hours threshold.
- Undecided Majors
- Students in "Pending" Programs of Study
A student may only receive aid for a maximum of 30 credit hours as an undecided major. Students attempting hours beyond the 30 hours must declare an eligible major to be considered for financial aid eligibility. Students failing to declare an eligible program of study will be suspended and ineligible to receive financial aid.
A student in a "Pending" program may only receive aid for a maximum of 30 credit hours. Students in "Pending" programs who enroll beyond 30 hours must appeal and provide documentation of eligibility based on the desired program of study to be considered for financial aid. Students will be evaluated on whether they meet the academic requirements to be accepted into the desired program in a reasonable timeframe that maintains pace progression. Students must be approved by the SAP appeals committee to remain eligible for aid in a "Pending" program.
1.6 Failure to Meet the Standards of Academic Progress
If a student fails any combination of two consecutive terms of cumulative qualitative and/or cumulative quantitative standards, their financial aid will be suspended. Students who exceed Maximum Time Frame (MTF) will be suspended immediately upon exceeding the MTF.
A student who fails to meet SAP standards for the first time will be placed on a "warning" status, allowing a student to continue to receive Title IV aid for one term without an appeal. A student who fails to meet SAP standards at the end of the warning period or second consecutive term, will be suspended and not receive additional Title IV aid. A student exceeding Maximum Time Frame may go directly to Suspense without a warning status.
Students with enrollment prior to July 1, 2011 who have failed to meet SAP Standards in a previous term and are in Probation 1 or Probation 2 SAP status are considered to be in warning status. Failure to meet SAP standards for the next term of enrollment will result in immediate suspension and require an approved appeal to regain eligibility.
1.7 Appeal Process
Students who are placed on financial aid suspension may appeal their SAP Suspense status if they feel extenuating circumstances (illness, death in the family, accidents, etc.) prevented them from meeting SAP standards. To appeal, students must complete a SAP Appeal Form available in their Student Self-Service.
Students who were determined to have exceeded Maximum Time Frame (MTF) may request their coursework be evaluated based on classes needed for their current credential
1.7.1 Appeal Requirements
To appeal, students must complete a SAP Appeal Form available in their Student Self-Service and provide any additional information/documents required by the college. The appeal will be evaluated by the SAP Appeals Committee of the home college. Students will be notified of the committee's decision, typically within ten days of the committee meeting. Since deadlines for submission of appeals, frequency of SAP Committee meetings, and other details of the process may differ by college, students must refer to the SAP information provided on their college's website (College SAP Website Links).
Students are responsible for payment arrangements with the institution pending a decision of the appeals committee.
1.7.2 PROBATION AND REINSTATEMENT OF AID
SAP appeals will be evaluated by the college SAP Appeal Committee. Students will be notified of the committee's decision, typically within ten days of the committee meeting.
If the SAP appeal is approved, the student will be assigned a Financial Aid SAP Probation status and given an academic plan of action/contract that stipulates certain conditions and academic requirements. Upon acceptance of the academic plan of action/contract, the student may receive financial aid for one additional term. At the end of that term, the student's status will be re-evaluated. Federal student aid for the next term will not be awarded or disbursed until the student has successfully completed all terms specified within the academic plan of action contract or is found to have met SAP requirements.
If the SAP appeal is denied, the student is not eligible for federal student aid will remain ineligible until they are again in compliance with SAP standards. These students may continue to attend college at their own expense. A student who is suspended from financial aid and achieves SAP standards without the assistance of federal financial aid, may request to be evaluated for re-instatement. All requests must be submitted to the local Student Financial Aid office of the home institution.
NOTE: Students are responsible for all expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies pending the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee and must contact the Business Affairs Office to make payment arrangements with the institution. Decisions made by the SAP Appeals Committee are final and are not subject to further appeal.
1.8 REPEAT CLASS POLICY
KCTCS colleges will use the highest grade when calculating a student's GPA, but must include the credits from all attempts when calculating maximum time frame (MTF).
1.8.1 Additional Information
Student Aid will not be provided for:
- Courses taken by audit
- Credit hours earned by placement tests
- Non-credit course work
- All transfer hours will count in the attempted hours.
- Grades in legacy software systems (before PeopleSoft) will be used as recorded and reflected on the student's academic transcript.
- If the student receives a change in a grade for a class he/she must report this to their local Student Financial Aid office in writing for the change to be evaluated in the student's financial aid eligibility record.
- Developmental remedial course work may receive funding up to a maximum of 30 credit hours according to federal regulations.
- A student may only receive aid for up to a maximum of 30 credit hours as an undecided major. Students attempting hours beyond the 30 hours must decide an eligible major to be considered for financial aid eligibility.
- A student may only receive aid for up to a maximum of 30 credit hours as a student of a "Pending" program. Students in "Pending" programs in excess of 30 hours beyond May 1, 2012 must appeal and provide a degree audit to be considered for financial aid eligibility.
- Dual Enrollment Agreements (also known as Consortium Agreements) allow a student to receive funds for classes taken at more than one college outside KCTCS colleges. These forms are to be completed by the student and the student's "visiting" college and submitted to their local KCTCS "home" College (where financial aid funds are received; usually the college from which the student plans to graduate). Classes taken at a visiting college (whether at KCTCS colleges or outside KCTCS colleges) must count toward the student's graduation from their awarding college.
- If a student is admitted "conditionally" she/he may receive student aid for one semester only. No additional aid may be awarded until the student completes an admission file.