Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress in 1980, mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of "satisfactory progress" for students receiving aid. For the purpose of maintaining consistency among all students receiving financial aid administered by the Mayland Financial Aid Office, the standards are applicable to all financial aid programs including all federally sponsored Title IV programs. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy  

Federal regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain strict academic (Qualitative) standards and progress (Quantitative) standards while pursuing their educational goals. Students receiving financial aid should note that the college wide Probation Policy for academic progress contains the same grade point average (GPA) requirements as the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy; however, the SAP policy for students receiving financial aid is stricter than the college wide Academic Progress Policy for students enrolled in the same educational program who are not receiving financial aid. The SAP policy is applied to all student categories, i.e. full-time or part-time, who receive financial aid within eligible curriculum degree, diploma and certificate programs established by the school.

Students enrolled in credit programs who receive financial aid at Mayland Community College are evaluated at the end of each semester to determine progression. Students enrolled in clock hour programs who receive financial aid are evaluated at the end of each payment period at the point when the student successfully completes the scheduled clock hours for that payment period. Students must meet the Academic Standard (Qualitative) and the Program Completion Standard (Quantitative) and stay within the Maximum Timeframe Standard (Quantitative) to remain in a satisfactory academic status.

Academic Standard (Qualitative):

Students receiving financial aid must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA. A student’s GPA includes “all” curriculum classes taken at Mayland Community College, regardless of timeframe. All classes that are repeated count toward the GPA and the attempted/completed credit hours. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.0, the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning and will be notified by the Financial Aid Office by means of email.  The student then has a warning period of enrollment, which is the next semester the student is enrolled at Mayland, to achieve the cumulative 2.0 GPA. The student is eligible for financial aid during the warning period. If, at the end of the warning period, a cumulative 2.0 GPA is not achieved, the student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid and will be placed in a Financial Aid Unsatisfactory Status. The student may regain financial aid eligibility by reaching a cumulative 2.0 GPA through self-pay or outside resources, or by completing a successful appeal (see Appeal Process).

Program Completion Standard (Quantitative):

All students receiving financial aid must complete at least two-thirds or 67% of all curriculum hours attempted at Mayland Community College including accepted transfer credits, regardless of timeframe. Developmental credits are not counted in the program completion standard. The percentage is determined by taking the cumulative total of credit hours completed divided by the cumulative total of hours attempted. For example, a student who has completed 28 hours and attempted 56 hours has a completion rate of 50% (28 divided by 56).

If a student’s percentage rate falls below 67%, the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning and will be notified by the Financial Aid Office. The student then has a warning period of enrollment, which is the next semester the student is enrolled at Mayland, to earn a 67% or more completion rate. The student is eligible for financial aid during this warning period of enrollment. If, at the end of the warning period, a cumulative 67% completion rate is not achieved, the student is placed in an unsatisfactory status and is no longer eligible for financial aid. The student may regain financial aid eligibility by reaching a cumulative 67% or more completion rate through self-pay or outside resources, or by completing a successful appeal (see Appeal Process).

Maximum Timeframe Standard (Quantitative):

All students receiving financial aid must complete their educational program within 150% of the published length. The Maximum Timeframe Standard includes all curriculum hours attempted at Mayland Community College and any accepted transfer credits credit hours that apply towards students’ programs of study, regardless of timeframe. The maximum timeframe standard does not include developmental course credits. The MCC college catalog provides a course listing for each educational program and the number of credit hours needed to complete the program. An example , the Medical Assisting Associate in Applied Science Degree is 76 credit hours in length, therefore, a student receiving financial aid enrolled in that program may attempt, including accepted transfer credit hours, up to 114 credit hours (76 credit hours times 150%) and remain eligible for financial aid.

Students who exceed the 150% maximum timeframe are not eligible to receive financial aid at Mayland Community College. Students who reach at least 125% of their program of study will be placed on Maximum Time Frame Warning status and will remain eligible for financial aid during the warning period so long as he/she can mathematically finish his/her program by the 150% maximum time frame.  Students who cannot mathematically complete their program of study by the 150% maximum timeframe will no longer be eligible for financial aid without an appeal. Example: A student is in a program which would allow for a maximum of 65 hours and the student has attempted 60 hours and needs 3 additional courses which total 9 credit hours to complete the program. At 69 credit hours (60 attempted hours plus 9 needed hours), the student would exceed the 150% maximum timeframe.  Because mathematically, the student could not complete the program prior to the 150% maximum timeframe, he/she would no longer be eligible for financial aid at Mayland Community College.

Students who exceed the maximum timeframe for their program of study may continue to receive financial aid by completing a successful appeal (see Appeal Process). 

Beginning with the 2012-13 Academic Year, all students will be limited to the equivalent of 12 full time semester awards (600%) from the Pell Grant.  These changes apply to every student. All previous semester Pell awards, from any school, will be included in determining remaining awards.

SAP Grade Definitions

  • Letter grades of A, B, C, D, S, TR, and SP are counted as completed credits.
  • Letter grades of F, I, WP, WR, U, and W are counted as credit hours attempted but not successfully completed.
  • Letter grade of WA (no show) is not counted as attempted or earned credit hours.
  • Audited (AU and Y) are not funded by financial aid and are excluded from all calculations.
  • Developmental credit hours (courses below the 100 level) are included in the GPA calculation. Developmental credits are not included in the program completion or maximum timeframe standards. Students may receive financial aid for developmental credits up to a maximum of 30 credit hours.
  • Grade points and credit hours earned for grades received for a repeated coursework are used in the GPA calculation.  Students may receive financial aid for repeating a passed course one time.
  • Transfer credit hours (TR grades) are excluded from the GPA calculation, but are included in both the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations.

Appeal Process:

Students in Financial Aid Unsatisfactory Status due to failure to maintain academic (Qualitative) standards, progress (Quantitative) standards, or maximum time frame standards may appeal their loss of financial aid eligibility. Financial Aid Appeal forms are available on the college website or in the Financial Aid Office. Student statements on the form and attached documentation must include: (1) the circumstances that rendered them unable to meet the standard(s), (2) what has changed to allow the student to meet the standard(s) and (3) the student’s educational goal and plans to meet that goal. The appeal form and supporting documentation can be submitted in person, by mail or by FAX to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will consider then consider the appeal and the decision will be final.

Students will be notified of appeal decision by both e-mail and letter within five (5) working days after submitting the Financial Aid Appeal Form along with all required documentation.

Students whose appeals are granted for failure to maintain qualitative, quantitative, or maximum time frame standards will be placed on Probation and will be required to meet with a financial aid representative to discuss credits needed for program completion and to establish an academic plan.  The SAP Academic Plan requires that students receiving financial aid complete each semester in which they have the probation status with at least a 2.0 GPA and 100% completion rate. Students who maintain these academic standards will remain on probation, until the minimum cumulative SAP requirements are met. Once students reach a cumulative 2.0 G.P.A and 67% completion rate, their SAP status will become satisfactory and they will no longer be held to the terms of the academic plan.

The number of times a student can appeal due to failure to maintain the qualitative, quantitative, or maximum time frame standards is limited to two (2) appeals during the student’s academic career at Mayland Community College.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility:

If a student loses financial aid eligibility by failing to meet the Academic and/or Program Completion standard and after self-pay or the use of outside resources feels that the standards are met, the student must contact the Financial Aid Office to have their SAP status re-calculated. If the standards have been met, the student will regain financial aid eligibility for the next semester in which the student enrolls and the standards were met, provided all other financial aid requirements have been completed.