A student receiving Federal Title IV financial aid or other financial aid directly administered or certified by the college must maintain satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of a certificate or degree program of study. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients is measured by both quantitative and qualitative standards and is an assessment of a student’s cumulative academic record at the college.
Students must maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average as noted below to be making satisfactory academic progress and to be eligible to receive financial aid.
Earned Credits Minimum GPA
A student must complete successfully two-thirds (66.6%) of the credits (earned credits/attempted credits) s/he attempts. All attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative transcript notation will be included in the quantitative calculation. Incomplete courses, course withdrawals, course repetitions, and noncredit remedial courses (with appropriate credit equivalency evaluation), and ESL courses will be included in this assessment. Transfer credits will be counted as attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining satisfactory academic progress. Additionally, students who demonstrate a pattern of withdrawing from courses while maintaining SAP standards (for example, if they happen to have a large number of transfer credits) may be considered in violation of the SAP policy.
Financial Aid Warning
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. The Warning period will be the student’s next semester of enrollment at the college. The college will communicate the Warning status to the student and inform the student that s/he must meet the academic progress standard by the end of the subsequent enrollment period in order to maintain eligibility to participate in the financial aid program at the college. Students who demonstrate positive progress while on Warning (i.e. passing ALL classes) may have their Warning status carried forward if they do not yet meet standards for satisfactory academic progress. The student at this point will be given a status of Probation, indicating that the student is eligible, even though s/he is not at the required GPA and completion of 66.6%, but has shown good progress.
Any student who fails to pass any class or withdraws from any class while on a Warning or Probationary status and fails to meet minimum academic progress standards as a result will be considered out of compliance and his/her financial aid eligibility will be immediately terminated. The college will communicate the Termination status to the student and inform the student of the Reinstatement and Appeal Process available to him.
Maximum Credit Hours
A student may receive financial aid for any attempted credits in his/her program of study that do not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s educational program at the college. For example, a student enrolled in a 60-credit degree program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours. Any attempted credits at the college must be included in the calculation. This 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors or who pursue a double major.
A student will receive notification prior to the start of a period of enrollment via postal or email that will describe any changes to the status of their academic progress. Updates to academic progress standing may also be made available to students through the use of myCommnet online access.
Appeal Process and Probation
A student may request consideration for reinstatement through the following Appeal Process:
If the student feels his/her failure to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard was the result of an unusual or extraordinary situation that affected successful progression, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Some personal mitigating circumstances could include illness or injury of the student or dependent of the student; a death in the family; or other undue hardship as the result of special circumstances. An appeal form is available in the Financial Aid Office.
To provide consistency in decision-making, a Financial Aid Administrator will make all appeal decisions in a timely manner after the receipt of the appeal form. The student must: 1) explain the extenuating circumstances causing the non-compliance; 2) substantiate it with third party documentation, (i.e. letter from the doctor who treated the student); and 3) give a detailed explanation of specifically what has changed that will allow satisfactory progress to be demonstrated at the next evaluation. If the appeal is approved, the student will be eligible and given a status of Financial Aid Probation. Students must continue to pass all classes to remain eligible.
Should an appeal be approved and the student is not mathematically able to return to satisfactory academic progress at the conclusion of subsequent enrollment period, a Financial Aid Administrator will devise an appropriate academic plan for the upcoming semester with the student. For example, the terms of an academic plan may be as follows:
- Register and successfully complete a minimum of six (6) credits; and
- Successfully complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0.
At the end of the semester, grades will be evaluated. If the student has met the required terms of the academic plan, the student may continue to receive financial aid the following semester. If the student fails to meet the terms of the academic plan in any subsequent semester, the student will become ineligible to participate in the financial aid programs until the minimum requirements for academic progress are met. The student’s progress will continue to be monitored at the end of each semester with the same terms in place until the student is in compliance with CT Community Colleges’ satisfactory academic progress policy.
If the student’s appeal is denied and the student is already registered for the upcoming semester, the student is responsible for any monies owed to the college. If the student pays for the next semester and successfully completes all classes with a GPA of 2.0 or better, the student may appeal again after that semester.