Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
Students who receive assistance from the Federal Pell Grant Program, Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program, Alabama Student Assistance Programs (ASAP) and Veterans Educational Benefits are required to make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the goal of completing their declared degree or certificate program.
Effective with the 2011 fall semester, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be checked at the end of each payment period. In addition, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is also checked when students complete a warning period and/or when awards are revised. The progress of students who received federal and state financial aid funds will be measured against the following Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and will be subject to the following policies:
Required Credit Hours, Grade-Point Averages (GPAs) and Required Pace of Completion:
A student enrolled in an Associate Degree or Certificate Program requiring more than 26 credit hours must meet the following standards:
- After attempting 0-21 credit hours, must earn a 1.50 GPA and complete 58% of the enrolled hours
- After attempting 22-32 credit hours, must earn a 1.75 GPA and complete 62% of the enrolled hours
- After attempting 33 or more credit hours, must earn a 2.00 GPA and complete 67% of the enrolled hours
Students enrolled in Certificate Programs 26 credit hours or less must meet the following standards:
- After attempting 1-17 credit hours, must earn a 1.50 and complete 58% of the enrolled hours
- After attempting 18 or more credit hours, must earn a 2.00 and complete 67% of the enrolled hours
All hours attempted, including those in which the student withdrew, will be included in this calculation, even if financial aid was not received.
All transfer and re-admit students to the College, must meet the minimum grade-point standards indicated above in order to be eligible for financial aid. Students who do not meet these standards will be ineligible to receive Title IV funds at the College.
In addition, students who transfer to Trenholm are required to submit an official copy of their academic transcript(s) from all previously attended postsecondary institution(s). After the Director of Records completes the evaluation of these transcripts, transfer credits that apply to the student’s program at the College will be included in the hours attempted and hours earned for future Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluations. However, transfer students’ GPAs are not included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluations.
According to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, if a student is not making satisfactory academic progress at the end of an academic semester, he/she may be granted a one semester Financial Aid Warning period and awarded financial assistance during this period. At the end of the Financial Aid Warning period, the student must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements in order for the Financial Aid Warning status to be lifted and to continue receiving financial aid.
Students who do not successfully establish Satisfactory Academic Progress after the Financial Aid Warning Period will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and become ineligible for any additional financial aid at that point. Students may regain financial aid eligibility based one of the following criteria:
- The student may pay for tuition and fees out of pocket to meet the Financial Aid SAP requirements or
- The student presents to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee evidence of extenuating circumstance(s) deemed, by this Committee, to be sufficient to justify an exception to the SAP Policy. As a result, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and financial aid will be reinstated for this period.
If a student is re-admitted to the College upon academic appeal, financial aid will remain suspended until one of the above criteria is met.
The student must bring his/her academic record into compliance with the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements before financial aid can be reinstated.
Any student placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal his/her status by submitting a letter to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee stating in writing any unusual circumstances that had a bearing on his/her academic performance along with providing supporting documentation.
Some examples of extenuating circumstances and supporting documentation may include: death of an immediate love one – copy of the death certificate or the obituary; auto accident – copy of police report and/or note from a physician; prolonged illness – documentation from the attending physician.
The appeal should also address what has changed in your situation that will now allow you to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the subsequent payment period. All appeals must be addressed to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and submitted to the Director of Financial Aid. This written appeal should explain reasons for non-compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, include an academic plan of study developed with her/his major advisor for bringing her/his grades into compliance with the policy, and steps that will be taken to prevent a reoccurrence of failure to meet SAP. If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and awarded financial assistance for this period.
Only one appeal per academic year may be submitted. Financial Aid Appeals must be submitted two weeks before the start of each semester. Financial Aid Appeals submitted after the deadline cannot be guaranteed for review and will be considered for the following semester.