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Financial Aid- Satisfactory Academic Progress

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GRADES OF A, B, OR C ARE REQUIRED FOR MOST NEW AND CONTINUING STUDENTS

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)- General Information

Financial Aid at Germanna is intended to help provide each student a valuable financial resource for achieving his or her Academic goals.  As such, all Germanna students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to receive Federal, State, or Institutional financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated for financial aid recipients at the end of each semester.  Students that lose their eligibility for financial aid as a result of failing to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will have their financial aid cancelled for all future semesters until the Standards of Satisfactory Progress, listed below, are achieved.

The following standards are in accordance with the provisions established by the United States Department of Education.  Click here for a link to the finaid.gov website to read more about how SAP and Federal Student Aid works...

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must meet all of the following conditions in order to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress at Germanna:

  • Maximum Time Frame- Total credits attempted must be less than 150% of the program length.
  • Completion Rate- Students must earn a grade of A, B, C, D, or S in at least 67% of all credits attempted on a cumulative basis. Grades of F, I, R, U, W and X are not considered satisfactory grades.  **Important**  Completion Rate is calculated as soon as the program has been started and the first credit has been completed.
  • Minimum GPA- Students who have attempted 1-15 credits must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.5.  Students who have attempted 16-30 credits must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.75.  Students who have attempted more than 30 credits must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.
  • Developmental Maximum- Students can only receive financial aid for a total of 30 semester hours in developmental courses.

**Important- Maximum Time Frame and Repeated Coursework Eligibility Information**

AA, AS and AAS Degree seeking students will have a maximum of approximately 96 attempted credit hours during which time they may qualify for financial aid. (Actual maximum credit hours is 150% of the number of credit hours required to complete the program. This may be slightly more or slightly less than 96 credit hours.) Once a student has reached this maximum credit hour limit,  eligibility for aid will be exhausted. Changes of program do not extend these time limits. All enrollments at the school are counted toward the maximum limit whether or not the student received aid. Certificate programs are limited to 150% of the number of credit hours required to complete that program. Courses may be repeated once. Courses repeated more than once are not eligible for financial aid. All repeated courses are counted toward the maximum credit hour limit. Transfer credits are counted as credits attempted.

 

Financial Aid Warning- "I've just been placed on Financial Aid Warning.  What does that mean?" 

Students who fail to meet SAP for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term. Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of the Warning term will no longer be eligible for financial aid. However, with a successful SAP appeal (see below), those students will be placed on financial aid probation and will retain financial aid eligibility. 

Loss and Reinstatement of Eligibility- "I just had a terrible semester.  Now what happens to my financial aid?  Can I appeal to keep my financial aid?"

Yes.  Within about 5 days after all grades have posted for the semester, the Financial Aid Office examines each financial aid recipient for Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Students who do not meet these standards will be notified in writing of the reason(s) for the loss of eligibility.  For students that do not meet these standards at this time, all financial aid that has been awarded for future semesters is subject to being cancelled. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal A student that experiences unusual mitigating circumstances may appeal the loss of his or her eligibility, in writing, by submitting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office.   The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form is listed on the Germanna Financial Aid Office website under the forms section. Click here to access this form.   The Professional Judgment Committee will consider all appeals in the order in which they are received and the Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the decision. All appeals must be supported with adequate documentation of circumstances or they will not be considered.  All appeal decisions are final.  See below for FAQ's and helpful hints when appealing the loss of your financial aid:

Helpful information (Things the Appeal Committee considers when reviewing your appeal):

  • Have you been granted an SAP appeal approval in the past?
  • Have you addressed the cause of your Satisfactory Academic Progress failure?
  • Have you been able to demonstrate that the circumstances behind your failure have been corrected, and you are now ready for academic success?
  • Did you meet with an Academic Counselor or your Advisor? GCC has a tremendous staff of professionally trained academic counselors and advisors to offer guidance and support.

**Issues with instructor(s), course(s), job conflicts, transportation problem, or childcare conflicts DO NOT constitute unusual mitigating circumstances and will not be considered**

Loss and Reinstatement of Eligibility- "I have great grades, but the e-mail said my financial aid was cancelled because I have exceeded the Maximum Credit Limit for my program. Can I appeal to keep my financial aid?"

Yes.  Before financial aid can be re-instated, however, you will need to meet with an academic counselor at one of the campus locations to discuss your program of study, and whether or not you are making adequate progress toward completion of the program you are pursuing.  Your counselor may then be able to provide you with a statement and program checklist that explains how many credits you have to complete before you have earned the degree or certificate of

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Approval Process- "I've been approved, so now what happens?"

If your appeal is approved by the review committee, your financial aid will be reinstated only to the extent that funds are available.  This is important to remember, as some aid types may not be available for reinstatement once the appeal has been approved.  There is no guarantee of full re-instatement of the original financial aid award once an appeal has been approved. Depending on the type of approval you have been granted, you will either be placed on Financial Aid Probation (one additional semester of aid eligibility to regain satisfactory academic standing at the college) or, if you will need more than one semester to rebuild your academic standing, the Financial Aid Office may place you on a longer term SAP Academic Plan with specific recommendations as to what is needed to remain eligible for financial aid on a continuing basis, while you work on improving your academic standing.

If you've been placed on SAP Probation: If, after the probationary period has passed, satisfactory academic progress has not been achieved, you will be removed from probation and your financial aid eligibility will be lost.  If you have been approved for the VCCS Academic Renewal Process, please speak to a financial aid associate for further assistance.

**Important**  While on financial aid probation/academic plan, each student must continue to make progress toward his or her degree.  At the conclusion of each semester, each student on financial aid probation is reviewed for continued progress toward his or her degree and, if continued progress is not maintained, financial aid probation is revoked and the student is no longer eligible for aid at Germanna.

Second appeals: A second appeal will only be considered after the following two criteria are met:

1.  Student has successfully completed no less than 6 credits toward his/her degree on his/her own resources.

2.  Student has met with an academic counselor and has been advised as to how to return to satisfactory academic standing at the college.   At this time, an academic plan for success is created by the counselor and the counselor signs the appeal for reinstatement of financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Denial Process- "My appeal was denied, so now what happens?"   At the time of denial, a full explanation will be given as to what the decision was based on, and what will need to be done to re-instate financial aid for future semesters.   This will usually involve the student completing academic coursework on his or her own resources until all of the above Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress are achieved.

A student who chooses not to appeal or whose appeal is denied may return at his/her own expense and complete the classes necessary to meet the required standards to reinstate his or her financial aid.