Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
New Revised Policy effective Summer 2011
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Program Integrity regulations passed on October 29, 2010, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid. This standard must apply to the student’s entire academic history, whether Title IV financial aid was received or not. In order to remain eligible to receive aid at Georgia College, students must meet the standards specified for acceptable academic performance and for satisfactory progress toward the completion of their program of study. The standards are established within the framework of applicable federal regulations specifically for the purpose of determining the eligibility of students to receive aid under the generally funded Title IV programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship, and Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford, PLUS, and Grad PLUS). These standards should not be confused with Good Standing, Warning, Probation, Dismissal, or Exclusion as defined by Georgia College’s academic policies.
The Georgia College definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for receiving financial aid includes the following components:
Qualitative (GPA) Standards
Georgia College uses the 4.0 grade point average and numerical code:
4.0 = A 1.0 = D
3.0 = B 0.0 = F
2.0 = C 0.0 = WF
Students are required to maintain the following overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) as indicated below:
Have 0-29 earned hours AND have not reached the end of second academic year (measured in time not grade level)
Have 30 or more earned hours OR have passed the end of second academic year (measured in time not grade level)
For purposes of this policy “earned” hours are defined according to GC academic policies. Only the last repetition of institutional repeated courses are included in hours earned and GPA. Only the last repetition of transfer repeated courses are included in transfer hours earned and transfer GPA for new Transfer students who matriculated in Spring 2010 or later. All repetitions of transfer repeated courses are included in transfer GPA, but are counted only once in transfer hours earned, for Transfer students who matriculated prior to Spring 2010 (Fall 2009 and prior). Courses initially completed at another institution and then repeated at Georgia College continue to be counted in the transfer GPA and the Georgia College GPA, but hours earned are counted only once.
Quantitative (Incremental Progress) Standards
Students are expected to successfully complete 67% of all attempted coursework. This cumulative calculation includes all Georgia College and any transfer coursework attempted. Attempted hours and successful completed hours are based on all courses included on the students’ official academic history. Further, all attempts of repeated coursework and non-credit coursework are included. The formula of this calculation is:
The following will be considered as hours successfully completed:
Grades A, B, C or D “S” (Satisfactory) “K” (Credit by Examination)
Likewise, the following will be considered as hours not successfully completed:
Maximum Time Frame Standards
Students will have a maximum of 150% of the average program to complete their degree requirements while continuing to qualify for federal and state aid. The maximum time frame allowed will consist of all attempted hours inclusive of hours described in the Quantitative Standards section of this policy. Students who have Learning Support courses will have these hours excluded for the maximum time frame standard calculation. The allowable time frames at Georgia College are as follows:
180 Attempted Hours
55 Attempted Hours
Allowances for 2nd Bachelor degree and Specialist degree will be made for eligible aid recipients.
At the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters), the Financial Aid Office staff will determine whether students are meeting the minimum standards for each of the components (qualitative, quantitative and time frame). Students not meeting the Time Frame standard will immediately, without a Warning Semester, become ineligible for all federal and state aid programs. The Financial Aid Office has the authority to cancel aid and request immediate repayment of federal and state aid programs at any time that a student is deemed ineligible. This may occur when access to the student’s academic history is not fully available due to the short amount of time between semesters as well as receipt of final transcripts from transfer institutions.
Students that are not meeting the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term are automatically given one (1) Warning semester. During this Warning semester, students are allowed to receive federal and state aid. Students must be fully in compliance with all components by the end of the Warning semester to regain eligibility and receive funds for future semesters. Only one (1) Warning semester is allowed for a student’s entire degree program at Georgia College. Further, the Warning semester allowance is not applicable to the Time Frame standard.
Denial/Loss of Eligibility
Students that are not meeting the minimum Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term review and have received aid during a Warning semester will lose their eligibility for the upcoming and future terms. Students that are not meeting the maximum Time Frame standard at the end of a term review will immediately, without a Warning semester, become ineligible for aid.
Students will have a letter mailed to their current address on file with the Registrar’s Office. Students may receive consideration for aid reinstatement at the time they have satisfied all deficiencies with the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards.
Appeal (Probation Period)
Students that experienced extenuating circumstances that attributed to their inability to meet the minimum standards have the option to submit a letter of appeal. An extenuating circumstance must be due to situations beyond their control such as serious injury, illness or mental health condition involving the student or their immediate family, or death of an immediate family member. The letter should be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid and must include a description of the situation with accompanying documentation as well as a summary of what has changed that will allow them to meet the minimum standards at the next evaluation.
Appeals approved will require that the student be in compliance with all standards by the next evaluation (term). In some instances, an academic plan designed to ensure compliance with the standards at a specific point in time may be utilized in needed situations. An approved appeal will allow students to receive aid for a Probationary period (usually one term).
Students that have an appeal denied by the Director of Financial Aid may appeal the Financial Aid Internal Review (FAIR) Committee. The same type appeal documentation must be submitted c/o FAIR to the GC Financial Aid Office. The FAIR Committee’s decision should be considered final.
In instances where the student has additional information or documentation related to a denied appeal, they may appeal the decision to the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management who has the final authority.
Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any additional questions.