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Redlands Community College
Office of Financial Aid
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Introduction/Background:
Federal regulations now require colleges to monitor the academic progress of students receiving financial aid.  In order to remain eligible for either Federal or State Financial Aid as administered by the Financial Aid Office at Redlands Community College, (RCC) students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of an eligible degree or certificate program.  

These regulations require the evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative academic progress as well as completion of all degree objectives within 150% of normal time frame.  SAP standards are the same for all students who receive financial aid, including those students who have filed for special consideration and accommodation due to a valid disability.  All periods of enrollment, whether the student did or did not receive aid will be included in the measurement of SAP.

 

General Guidelines for Academic Progress
The academic year at RCC begins with the fall semester and ends with the conclusion of the summer semester.  The determination of SAP is made at the end of each enrollment period and the status of students who have received aid and their continued ability to receive aid for subsequent semesters is effective with the next enrollment period.

Students enrolling at RCC for the first time will, in most cases, initially be considered in compliance with the requirements of SAP.  The measurement of academic progress for these students will be made at the conclusion of the first enrollment term and will include all transfer credit. 

Students who have been academically suspended from RCC and who are subsequently readmitted are not eligible for financial aid unless they currently meet the SAP requirements.   Students who are readmitted may follow the appeal policy outlined below if consideration for the reestablishment of financial aid is desired. Students who receive academic forgiveness for any previous course or courses will continue to have all attempted credit hours and all earned grades considered as part of the overall evaluation of SAP for financial aid.

Qualitative Standards:
Students must meet a qualitative standard of SAP as measured by the cumulative grade point average (GPA).  The required GPA to maintain SAP is based upon the total number of attempted credit hours (not earned credit hours).  The chart below illustrates the required GPA in relation to the number of attempted credit hours in order to meet the qualitative standards of SAP:

Total Attempted Hours

GPA Needed

1-30 attempted credit hours

1.7

31 or more

2.0

 

Quantitative Standards:
Students must also meet a quantitative standard of SAP as measured by the completion rate of all attempted courses.  This is referred to as "academic pace".  Students must successfully complete 67% of all attempted credit hours (this allows students to graduate within 150% of normal timeframe). The calculation is made as follows: Earned credit hours ÷ attempted credit hours = completion rate (Pace).  Results will not be rounded.   Courses with grades of "W", "I", "F", "AW", "U", and courses taken under the RCC class repeat regulations are included in determining attempted credit hours but are not included in earned credit hours.  Transfer credit placed on the RCC academic record is included in the calculation of both attempted and completed credit hours.

 

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion:
Students must complete their degree objectives within 150% of the normal timeframe for degree completion.   Example:  For an associate degree that requires 64 credit hours, the maximum number of hours that may be attempted with financial aid is 96.  RCC will not normally process aid for a student who is in excess of this limit. This limit allows for a student to complete all degree requirements at the associate degree level and also allows for the completion of preparatory coursework for transfer.  If a student has attempted, or will attempt, credit hours in excess of this limit, he/she may submit a detailed TYPED statement explaining the student's objective accompanied by a Degree Audit from the college's Records Office that identifies remaining coursework for degree/program completion. Such a request does not guarantee the award of continued financial aid.  However, if aid is awarded and continued in excess of allowable credit hours, the student will be funded for only those credit hours necessary and applicable to the degree program.   Students who are pursuing a course of study with greater than normal credit hour requirements need to notify the Financial Aid Office in order to have a review done on a case-by-case basis. This request for review will not be considered a financial aid appeal for the purposes of SAP.

Students who are pursuing second degrees may be considered for financial aid (this is not the same situation as dual degrees). A second associate degree must be obtained within the 150% timeframe of the initial degree in order to meet the SAP requirements.

Financial aid eligibility is limited to no more than two associate degrees. Students who wish to pursue additional degrees beyond these may do so but will not be eligible for federal or state financial aid.

Warning Period:
A student who fails to meet the requirements of SAP (excluding maximum time frame) at the end of an enrollment period will be placed on "warning" status.  The warning status may not exceed one enrollment period.  During the "warning" enrollment period, the student may receive federal financial aid.  The student must then meet the SAP standards at the end of the warning period or will be excluded from further financial aid until such time as the student meets SAP standards (student must pay for any additional course enrollment after the warning period through personal or private funds) or the student must appeal and the appeal must be granted in order to continue to receive aid.

Probation Period: 
The status of "Probation" is assigned to a student who has failed to meet SAP standards, either qualitative or quantitative,  who has had their ability to receive financial aid suspended, and who has successfully appealed in accordance with the process outlined below and has had their eligibility for aid reinstated. A student who has appealed and subsequently been placed on financial aid "probation" may receive financial aid for one subsequent enrollment period.   At that point, the student must either meet the required SAP standards or meet the requirements of the individual academic plan developed in conjunction with an academic advisor.  The academic plan must be structured in order to allow the student to complete all required coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0 within 150% of the normal time frame required for the degree or certificate program.  The student will remain in a probationary status and is eligible for the continuation of aid as long as they meet the requirements of the prescribed academic plan or otherwise meet the requirements for SAP.  A student who is granted "probation" and who fails to meet the required academic plan's requirements or otherwise meet the requirements of SAP will be placed on financial aid suspension and is not eligible to receive financial aid until they reach the minimum requirements for SAP on their own.

Appeal Process:
There may be extenuating or mitigating circumstances encountered by a student which impact on his/her ability to be successful during an enrollment period and maintain SAP. These circumstances may include certain legal or civil matters, serious personal injury or illness to the student or an immediate family member, death of an immediate family member or legal guardian, or certain other documented circumstances that were unexpected in nature and beyond the control of the student.  In these cases, the cumulative grade point average or completion rate may decline resulting in the student not meeting the minimum qualitative and/or quantitative standards for the measurement of SAP as previously outlined.

If a student has been placed on Financial Aid Suspension, he/she may appeal.  If the student is being placed on "suspension" for the first time, he/she may appeal as below:

  • Complete an appeal form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. All appeals will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee, as appointed by the Director of Financial Aid. The processing of appeals will not take precedence over the processing of aid for students who do meet the requirements of SAP.

 

  • The appeal must be accompanied by appropriate documentation, such as legal, medical or hospital records, that provides confirmation of extenuating circumstances during the preceding semester or term that caused a student to fail to maintain SAP. The appeal will not be reviewed without appropriate and acceptable documentation.  Non-completion of a course due to a failing grade, lack of attendance, or conflicts with personal or work schedules are not sufficient reasons for appeal. 

 

  • If the appeal is approved, the student will be required to complete an Academic Plan approved by an Academic Advisor and return that plan to the Office of Financial Aid.  At that time, the student will be placed on financial aid probationary status and their financial aid benefits will be reinstated as long as they follow the requirements of the Academic Plan or otherwise regain SAP. 

 

  • If the appeal is not approved, the student will remain on financial aid suspension but may continue to take classes without the benefit of financial aid until such time as they meet the minimum requirements of SAP.  In all cases, the decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

Students will only be allowed to submit one Financial Aid appeal while attending RCC. If a student has appealed successfully and then subsequently fails to meet the requirements of SAP, he/she may only be reinstated to financial aid eligibility by meeting all requirements of the SAP policy without the benefit of financial aid.   It is the student's responsibility to pay for all expenses related to the relevant coursework for reinstatement and to provide the Financial Aid Office with verification.  The credits hours needed for reinstatement of aid may be attempted at RCC or another accredited college or university.

Course Attendance
Students receiving financial aid are expected to attend class and participate as instructed. If it is determined that a student has not attended one or more courses, his/her financial aid may be cancelled for those classes.   Non-attendance may result in the student owing a bill to RCC or the U. S. Department of Education.

Explanation of Grades
The following chart explains how specific grades are regarded in the Student Financial Aid Academic Progress Policy

Grade

Effect of Grade

W

This grade indicates a student has withdrawn from a course. If the student has received aid for a course and receives a W for the course, s/he has not successfully completed the course for which aid was received. If a student completes no coursework successfully for a specific semester or term, s/he will automatically be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION.

AU

This grade is used to indicate a student has audited a course; this grade does not reflect a student is actively enrolled in a course for credit. It is not considered a successful completion of a course. Classes changed to audit are not eligible for federal aid. Any aid received for audited classes will be returned to the proper program and the student will then be responsible for any bill to the college. If a student completes no coursework successfully for a specific semester or term, s/he will automatically be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION.

A, B, C and D

These letter grades are used to indicate a student has passed a course. These letter grades are computed in the College's grade point average with the exception of zero level classes.

F

This letter grade indicates a student has failed a course. Therefore, the student has not successfully completed a course. This letter grade is computed in the College's grade point average. If a student completes no coursework successfully for a specific semester or term, s/he will automatically be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION.

I

This grade is used to indicate a student has not completed all course requirements to earn credit. Until the grade of I is changed to a grade indicating successful completion of a course, it is not deemed to be adequate completion. All incomplete grades must be removed within one regular semester (e.g., a spring semester or summer term Incomplete should be completed by the end of the fall semester. A fall semester Incomplete should be completed by the end of the spring semester); otherwise, it remains as Incomplete on the student's permanent record. The student is responsible for notifying the Office of Student Financial Aid of the grade change. The Office of Student Financial Aid does not accept responsibility for monitoring grade changes. If a student completes no coursework successfully for a specific semester or term, s/he will automatically be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION

 

AW

This grade indicates a student has been administratively withdrawn from a course. If the student has received aid for a course and receives an AW for the course, s/he has not successfully completed the course for which aid was received. If a student completes no coursework successfully for a specific semester or term, s/he will automatically be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION.