New Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (Effective July 1, 2013)

 

Effective July, 1 2013, the Office of Financial Aid will implement a new Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for students receiving Financial Aid at ECC. To be considered in “good” academic standing, all students must complete 67% of all college credits attempted (including Transfer credits) during a semester/term with a 2.0 College Grade Point Average (GPA) and meet all other requirements as described below:

 

All students receiving financial aid from federal and state sources must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to be eligible for aid at ECC. Academic progress will be evaluated once per year at the end of each Spring Semester or the Summer I Term, if the student attends. All courses (except remedial courses and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses) in the student’s academic history, including Transfer Credits from other institutions, will be counted in the attempted and earned credits, even if, the student paid for classes with his/her own resources. If the student fails to meet the minimum policy standards, the student will not be eligible for financial aid. However, the student will have the right to file an appeal one time at ECC and eligibility will be determined on a case by case basis.

 

The requirements for making Satisfactory Academic Progress at Essex County College (ECC) are based on the following three components that are measured to assess whether the student is meeting SAP standards:

 

Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)
The qualitative component is measuring the quality of the student’s SAP by conducting a review of the student’s Cumulative College Grade Point Average (GPA). To meet the qualitative SAP requirement, the student must have a minimum college GPA of at least a 2.0. Specific federal, state grants and scholarships may require a different GPA for renewal (Example: NJ STARS). There may be a separate requirement for continued eligibility for those funds.

 

Credit Completion or Calculating Pace (Quantitative Measure)
The quantitative component is measuring the pace at which the student must progress through his or her program of study to ensure his or her program is completed within the maximum timeframe permitted. Pace is calculated by taking the cumulative number of college credit hours the student has successfully earned and dividing it by the number of attempted college credit hours. Credits accepted from other schools are counted in the calculation as both attempted and earned hours. To meet this requirement, the student’s completion pace must be 67% or higher.

 

Example: During an academic semester, a student who attempted 30 credits and earns 24 credits would meet SAP, this is 80% and the student is passing the SAP quantitative measure. The benchmark is 67%. Generally all periods of the student’s enrollment count when assessing whether a student is passing the quantitative measure, even in periods in which the student did not receive financial aid. In addition, credits transferred to ECC affect the 67% completion ratio calculation and the maximum number of credit requirement.

 

Maximum Time Frame Measure (maximum number of credits)
The Maximum Time Frame – A student may attend and continue to receive aid, but cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the student’s program required for graduation. For example: if the student’s program of study requires 66 credits for graduation, the student may not receive financial aid for more than 99 attempted credit hours (66 x 150% = 99 credits). This policy is true even if the student changes his or her major. When a student has reached or exceeded the maximum number of credits, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid unless he or she successfully appeals. A student may appeal maximum time frame only one time. An appeal must be filed with a Counselor/Advisor and must document extenuating circumstance for filing an appeal. The decision of the Office of Financial Aid is final.

 

Effects of Remedial Credits
Developmental credits (remedial and English as a Second Language (ESL) credits) will be excluded from the attempted credit count. When the student reaches the maximum time frame limit for their program of study, eligibility for aid ends. Remedial (0 Level credits) or ESL courses will not be counted in the calculation of the credits attempted and earned (quantitative component) in the SAP requirements at ECC.

 

Maximum Number of Remedial Credits
Federal aid will pay for a maximum of 30 remedial credits, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses do not count against the limit. Once a student attempts 30 remedial credits, aid will only be paid for college level credits.

 

Part-time Students
Students enrolled less than full-time will be required to meet the same minimum standards outlined for SAP.

 

Effects of Repeated Courses
A student may not receive federal student aid for courses he or she has taken and received passing grades for more than two times. However, if the student repeats a course in which all previous attempts were failures, federal regulations allows for funding of these courses.

 

Grades and Credit Evaluation
Passing grades are A, B, C, D, and P (passing). These grades and credits by examination will count as credits attempted and earned satisfactorily. Non-passing, unsatisfactory grades are W, I, F, and AU. Repeated courses will be counted as credits attempted. You may repeat a failed course until you pass it. However, you may repeat a previously passed course only once.

 

Effects of Withdrawal and Incomplete Grades
If the student withdraws from a course during any given semester (e.g., student receives a grade of W for the course), the course credits are included in the count of attempted credit hours. Therefore, withdrawn courses are calculated in the pace ratio calculation and maximum time frame measures.

 

Credits for an incomplete course (e.g., student receives a grade of “I” for the course) are always counted as credits attempted for quantitative and maximum time frame measures but are not included in the GPA or the credits earned count until the incomplete grade changes to a passing or a failing grade.

 

SAP Terms:

Financial Aid Probation
Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP and has successfully appealed. A student who is placed on Financial Aid Probation may receive financial aid for one semester/term during the probation period. During Financial Aid Probation a student may be required to meet certain terms and conditions. A student assigned a Financial Aid Probation status will have the opportunity to establish an Academic Plan to fulfill during probation. When choosing the plan, students must be careful to ensure they can meet the plan at the conclusion of the probation semester/term. At the conclusion of the Financial Aid Probation period, the student must either meet the SAP standards or fulfill the requirements specified in the Financial Aid Academic Plan. Students may register any time classes, however, if you register before your SAP is reviewed for the probation semester, you must be prepared to pay your registration in full or sign up for the College’s Payment Plan until your eligibility for continued aid is determined.

 

SAP Appeal Procedures:

If a student fails one or more of the three measures (qualitative, quantitative and maximum time frame), the student is not eligible for federal, state, or institutional financial aid, which includes grants, scholarships and work-study. However, students failing SAP standards who have had mitigating circumstances (i.e., death in the family, illness, involuntary military leave) may request reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility one time to the Office of Financial Aid. The student must submit an appeal to a Counselor/Advisor. The appeal must include the following student requirements:

  • Detailed explanation for failure to meet SAP standards;
  • Documentation to support the reason for failure;
  • Detailed explanation of what has changed that will now allow the student to comply with SAP standards.
  • Develop an Academic Plan with your Counselor/Advisor;

Student’s Responsibility for the Appeal
The student is responsible for filing an appeal for Financial Aid Probation and Maximum Time Frame and providing documentation to support the appeal. The student is also responsible for maintaining the terms of the appeal. The appeal forms are available on our website at Financial Aid Forms.

 

SAP APPEAL DEADLINES:

Summer II 2013 July 18, 2013
Fall 2013 August 29, 2013
Spring 2014 January 31, 2014
Summer I 2014 March 31, 2014

Note: Students who fail to submit their appeals by the deadline have the right to appeal the missed deadline. Acceptance of the appeal after the deadline will be on a case by case basis. The Financial Aid Probation and the Maximum Time Frame Appeals must be submitted to a Counselor/Advisor and only under extenuating circumstances will the request for submitting the appeal be approved.

 

The SAP Academic Plan:

Students who successfully appeal and are approved for one semester/term are considered to be on Financial Aid Probation. To gain eligibility in the subsequent semesters, a student must meet the standards of SAP or meet the requirements of his or her academic plan selected at the time of the appeal submission.

 

SAP Academic Suspension:

If the student fails to meet SAP standards or the requirements set forth in the SAP Academic Plan, the student will be placed on SAP suspension. The student is ineligible for financial aid with this status. A student with SAP suspension status will remain ineligible for financial aid until the student meets the minimum SAP Policy requirements, or submits a successful appeal.