Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is required for institutions with students who receive federal financial aid, to measure student academic progress towards a degree or certificate. The policy applies to all students.

Federal regulations require that Cincinnati State Technical and Community College review the academic progress of students receiving federal financial aid. The review process evaluates whether a student is “making measurable progress toward completion of their course of study in order to continue receiving federal financial aid.” All credits attempted, since the first semester of enrollment, and transfer credits, must be included, whether or not federal financial aid was used.

At Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer) as well as when a FAFSA is received after the evaluation period for the semester. If it is determined that the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, the student will receive an e-mail notification.

SAP must be met by students receiving Federal Student Aid (FSA), under Title IV programs, including: College Work-Study, Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan, and Parent PLUS Loan programs. These standards also apply to the following State of Ohio funded programs: Ohio Academic Scholars, Ohio War Orphan, NEALP, Frank O’Bannon, Choose Ohio First and Ohio Safety Officer Scholarships.

All Cincinnati State scholarship recipients are expected to adhere to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards
A student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) and the percentage of credits completed are used to determine SAP. The review is based on students’ entire enrollment history at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College including any enrollment period in which a student did not receive financial aid, and all transfer credits received. Although withdrawing from a class, or receiving an Incomplete or No Show grade will not affect a students’ grade point average (GPA), it will affect the percentage of credits attempted.

It is the student’s responsibility to read, understand, and adhere to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy in order to remain eligible for financial aid. Failure to comply with this policy can result in the student’s financial aid being terminated at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

Completion Rate & Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements
To be making satisfactory academic progress, a student must:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative (GPA) of 2.0 to remain eligible, and
  • Complete at least 67% (or two-thirds) of all courses attempted.
    •  Earned grades of A, B, C, D, P or S are considered completed credits and are calculated in a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA),
    • Withdrawals (W), incompletes (I), No Show (NS), and failing grades (F) are not considered completed credits but count toward a student’s attempted credits.
    • Students who drop courses from the time of registration through the fourteenth calendar day of the semester are not counted towards credit hours attempted. 
    • If an incomplete (I) grade turns into a passing grade of A, B, C, D, P, or S, during the next evaluation period it will be considered as completed credits. 
    • If an incomplete (I) grade turns into a failing grade of F, or U, during the next evaluation period it will be considered as attempted credits. 
    • Academic Forgiveness does not count in the computation of the cumulative GPA or course completion percentage for Financial Aid purposes.

Failure to meet the GPA and/or Completion Percentage Requirements of SAP leads to these steps:

Financial Aid Warning: (After 12 credit hours attempted)
Students who are not meeting SAP after attempting at least 12 credit hours will be placed on financial aid warning and will be notified of their financial aid status. Students are eligible for federal financial aid and are encouraged to re-evaluate their academic progression toward the completion of their course of study, obtain academic advising, and other academic support resources to support their academic success.

Financial Aid Suspension: (any semester after being placed on a Financial Aid Warning) Students, who are not meeting SAP after failing to meet SAP after being placed on Financial Aid Warning, will be placed on financial aid suspension and notified of their financial aid status.
Students who are placed on financial aid suspension will be ineligible to receive financial aid unless they have an approved SAP Appeal. Due to the limited amount of processing time between semesters, students who have elected to register for the next semester will be held financially responsible for all tuition and other institutional charges on their student account.

Financial Aid SAP Appeal:
Students may appeal the suspension of their federal financial aid by documenting any extenuating and/or mitigating circumstances that may have led to their inability to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students who submit a financial aid appeal are not automatically reinstated for federal financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid considers the students’ written appeal, other supporting documentation, and federal regulations when making a final determination of financial aid reinstatement.

Federal regulations restrict those circumstances that may enable a SAP appeal from being successfully approved. Students should provide as much documentation as possible regarding unusual and/or mitigating circumstances with their appeal to be afforded full consideration. The Office of Financial Aid considers students’ written appeal, supporting documentation, and federal regulations when making a final determination.

There are several reasons a student may file a SAP appeal. These include the following: death of a family member; disabling illness or injury to the student; disabling illness or injury of an immediate family member that required the student’s care, the student’s emotional or mental health issue that required professional care, or other unusual circumstances beyond the student’s control and/or demonstrated progressive academic improvement.

A student must properly document the basis for his or her appeal in accordance with the SAP appeal requirements. A student should refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal E-form

Approved SAP Financial Aid Appeals:

  • Probation: the granting of financial aid for one semester, based on an approved appeal in which the student must meet all aspects of SAP when grades post for this semester or their aid will be terminated.
  • Academic Plan: the granting of financial aid for each semester until the student is meeting all aspects of SAP, based on an approved appeal, in which the student must receive at least a 2.5 GPA and complete at least 75% of the credit hours attempted when grades post.
Denied SAP Financial Aid Appeals:

A student that has a SAP appeal that has been denied is ineligible to receive financial aid as a result of not meeting minimum SAP requirements. Students may re-appeal when meeting all aspects of SAP. Financial aid awards cannot be paid retroactively for semesters during which a student was ineligible to receive financial aid.

Maximum Time Frame (MTF) for Financial Aid Eligibility:

The maximum number of credits a student can attempt and continue to receive financial aid is dependent on the number of credit hours required to complete the student’s program as indicated in the college catalog.

  • All periods of enrollment at Cincinnati State count towards a student’s MTF regardless of:
    • receiving Financial Aid for those courses,
    • the courses being attempted for another major,
    • receiving academic forgiveness,
    • the courses being withdrawn, or
    • the courses receiving a grade of incomplete.
  • Each course repetition with grades of W, I, or U count towards the student attempted credits.
  • Each course repetition with grades of A, B, C, D, P, or S, count towards the student completed credits.
  • Audited courses are not included in the calculation of credits attempted.
  • Transfer credits that are applicable to a student’s program, are counted towards the student’s MTF. However, this is taken into consideration during the appeal process as the Office of Financial Aid needs confirmation from the student’s academic advisor as to how many of the transfer credit hours count toward the student’s program.
  • Once a student graduates from a program, they are no longer eligible for Financial Aid.
  • Even if a student completes a program, but has not completed a Petition to Graduate, the student is no longer eligible for additional financial aid.
  • Remedial (Academic Foundation) and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are not counted toward a student’s Maximum Time, but rather have their own maximum number of attempted credit hours. Students may attempt up to thirty (30) credit hours of these combined courses for Financial Aid.
Students will receive a warning notification when they have attempted 100 percent of the number of credit hours required for their program, whether those credit hours were attempted for their current program or not. For example, if the student’s current major has 60 credit hours listed in the catalog to complete the program, once the student has a combination of 60 attempted credit hours (that not ESL or Academic Foundation) and college transfer, they will receive the warning. Once the student has a combination of 90 (60 x 150%) attempted credit hours (that not ESL or Academic Foundation) and college transfer, their financial aid will be suspended.

If a student has a double major, MTF is calculated using the program with the larger number of credit hours. Once that MTF is met, the student must appeal for the Office of Financial Aid to determine the 150% of both programs.

MTF SAP Appeal Process: 

Once a student is suspended for MTF, they may appeal for further financial aid eligibility by completing a Maximum Time Frame Appeal E-form and asking their academic advisor to complete a Progress Review E-Form.

MTF Appeal Outcomes:

  • Approved MTF Appeals: Students with approved Maximum Time Frame Appeal may only complete the number of credit hours approved and must continue to meet all other aspects of SAP.
  • Denied MTF Appeals: Students with a denied MTF Appeal may not receive further Financial Aid at Cincinnati State.

Course Repeats

As long as a student is otherwise eligible to receive financial aid, students may receive financial aid for the next repetition of a previously passed class regardless of the student receiving financial aid for the first instance of passing the course.

A course is considered passed if the student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, P or S.

For purposes of SAP, repeated courses are counted as attempted however many times the course is taken, but only considered completed once, even if the course is passes more than once. This impacts the course completed portion of SAP. For instance, if a three (3) credit hour course is taken twice, with the first attempt receiving a grade of B and the second attempt receiving a grade of A, the course completion percentage of the class would be 3/6 = 50%. The GPA for which the student receives higher grade will be used for the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA.

Students should check with the academic advisor to determine if they are eligible to take another repetition of a previously passed class as it may be dependent on the grade they received in the course.

 
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 34 CFR 668.34

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