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Paying for College

Financial Aid Policies

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor the academic progress of all students applying for federal financial aid. Allen Community College will monitor student Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal financial aid at the time of matriculation to the college and at the end of each semester. Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal financial aid is based upon three measurements: (1) number of attempted credit hours completed; (2) cumulative grade point average; and (3) maximum time frame in which to complete a course of study. Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines for federal financial aid will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension and the loss of federal aid eligibility.

This policy applies to all semesters of enrollment, not just those in which financial aid was received. It applies to all Allen enrollment as well as transfer credit history. Notification of failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will be mailed to the student's permanent address. However, notice of financial aid warning may be retroactively incurred based on an evaluation of the student's previous academic record.

Allen Community College's Academic Renewal Policy allows students returning to this institution the opportunity to improve their GPAs. This policy allows a "fresh start" for students wishing to progress beyond their previous academic performance. Federal student aid regulations make no provisions for any institution-based academic renewal programs. The Office of Financial Aid must determine a student's SAP status based on all hours attempted, hours completed, and grades.

It is the student's responsibility to maintain satisfactory academic progress. If a student is ineligible for financial aid based on his/her SAP status, that ineligibility takes precedence over any previous award notification the student may have received.

Completion Rate
Satisfactory progress will be measured by comparing the number of credit hours completed with the number of credit hours attempted. A student failing to complete 75% of attempted hours will be placed on warning for the following semester of enrollment. Students enrolled less than full time, must earn 75% of the credit hours attempted for the term. Calculations for full time students will be based on 12 hours regardless of the total number of hours of enrollment. A subsequent semester of unsatisfactory progress will result in financial aid suspension.

A student who fails to earn any credit for the hours attempted for a semester of enrollment will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Attempted hours include any course the student remained enrolled in past the refund period. Earned hours include any hours for which the student earned an A, B, C, D, P, or AU. Failures (F's), withdrawals (W's) and in-completes (I's) are considered as attempted hours, but not earned hours. Repeated and remedial courses are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours. All hours attempted and/or completed are included in the calculation even if the student was not receiving federal financial aid when enrolled in those courses.

Cumulative GPA
All students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

A student failing to meet the cumulative GPA standard will be placed on financial aid warning for the following semester of enrollment. A subsequent semester of unsatisfactory progress, failing to satisfactorily complete all hours of enrollment, will result in financial aid suspension.

Students who meet the requirements for hours completed during their warning semester, but are unable to raise their cumulative GPA to at least 2.0 in one semester must have a semester GPA of above a 2.0 to remain on financial aid warning. They must also meet with their advisor to create an academic advising plan for raising their cumulative GPA.


Maximum Time Frame

  • Credit hours: A student will be expected to complete his/her course work in a maximum of 96 hours of enrollment. Students who do not complete their course work in 96 hours will be placed on financial aid suspension.
  • Degree completion: Students who have completed an Associate Degree or beyond are no longer eligible for financial aid at Allen Community College. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis when additional hours are required to establish, maintain, or renew professional certification or for other unusual circumstances upon completion of a Credit Hour Appeal.

Transfer Students
A transfer student is any student who has previously attended another institution. Official academic transcripts from all previously attended post-secondary institutions must be on file at Allen Community College before an initial financial aid award will be made. Transfer hours are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours, in the cumulative GPA, and the maximum time frame. Transfer students not meeting the expectations for Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on warning or suspension for their first semester of attendance at Allen Community College.


Warning
At the time of matriculation and at the conclusion of each semester, all students receiving federal aid will be evaluated to determine whether or not they are attaining satisfactory academic progress. If the student is failing to meet satisfactory academic progress, he/she will be placed on warning status for the following semester or the next semester that they enroll at Allen. Warning status will not prevent the student from receiving financial aid. This is not the same as being on academic probation with the College.

Suspension
Students with two semesters of unsatisfactory progress will be denied financial aid and placed on suspension until they file a successful appeal or complete the needed credits and grade point average to meet satisfactory academic progress policy requirements.

Students who have attempted more than 96 hours will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students in this category may only continue receiving financial aid for specific courses needed to complete their degree or transfer to a program leading to a bachelor's degree. Verification of required courses must come from the student's academic advisor.

Students who receive grades of Fail (F), Incomplete (I), and/or Withdrawn (W) for all hours attempted within one semester will be placed on suspension. Suspended students are not eligible for federal financial aid of any kind at Allen Community College.

Reinstatement
A student who has been placed on financial aid suspension may have their status adjusted if a subsequent period of enrollment brings them into compliance with satisfactory academic progress standards. The adjustment will be made when satisfactory progress is calculated at the end of each semester.

Students who do not appeal, or whose appeal is denied, must, at their own expense, enroll in and successfully complete the same number of credit hours in the term in which eligibility was lost. Satisfactory Progress must be maintained while completing these hours. Students who meet this requirement will have their financial aid reinstated. If their cumulative GPA is below the required 2.0, the student will be reinstated on financial aid warning and must complete an academic advising plan to raise their cumulative GPA to the mandatory 2.0 requirement.

Students who have been placed on suspension have the right to appeal if they have extenuating circumstances that warrant an exception to the policy.

Appeals
The appeal process is available to any student on financial aid suspension. Students may appeal their SAP suspension status by completing and submitting the applicable SAP appeal form. Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form for completion and GPA appeals or the Credit Hour Appeal Form for credit hours exceeding 96. Forms are available online or from the Financial Aid Office and must be submitted with appropriate documentation.

Appeals are reviewed by the SAP appeal committee with its decision being final. Students are only allowed to appeal one time. All appeals must be made in writing and submitted by the first day of class for the semester of enrollment for which they wish to be considered.

  • If the appeal is denied or the student does not submit an appeal within the deadline, the student will remain on suspension status and is ineligible for federal financial aid at Allen Community College. This denial takes precedence over any previous award notification the student may have received. The student must complete the same number of credit hours enrolled when placed on suspension, with a minimum 2.0 GPA before the student will be allowed to request a reinstatement.
  • If the appeal is approved, the student's federal financial aid eligibility will be reinstated. To maintain eligibility, the financial aid probation/academic plan conditions listed below must be met, but might also include additional conditions such as reducing the number of enrolled credit hours or working with a counselor throughout the semester. If the conditions of the student's appeal are not met, then the appeal becomes void for the next semester and the student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid.

Financial Aid Probation/Academic Advising Plan
Financial aid probation status is granted after students have had an SAP appeal approved. Students on federal financial aid probation are eligible and may continue to receive financial aid funding while on probation. To remain on probation and continue financial aid eligibility during an additional probation status term, the following academic plan must be followed:

  • Enroll at least half-time (6 credit hours during a regular fall or spring academic term, or 3 credit hours during a summer term).
  • Receive a minimum of a 2.0 GPA average, a grade of "C" for all classes taken in the probation term and complete all hours attempted with no W's, F's, or I's.

If a student does not satisfactorily complete the above criteria, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not receive any federal financial aid until SAP standards are attained. Students denied aid due to suspension status must take credit courses at their own expense until SAP academic standards are met.

Return of Title IV Funds

Students who cease attending, withdraw prior to the 60% point of a semester, or fail to successfully complete any hours will be responsible for the return of a portion of the federal funds received to the Department of Education. Students are encouraged to talk with financial aid staff before withdrawing from classes.

Direct Loan Exit Counseling

Loan Exit Counseling is required when students graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time attendance even if they plan to transfer to another college or university. This exit counseling helps students understand their rights and responsibilities as a borrower and helps them manage their loans. The Direct Loan Exit Counseling can be accessed at StudentLoans.gov.

Click here for the Code of Conduct for Education Loans

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