SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY FOR ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE STUDENTS
Effective July 1, 2017:
Financial Aid students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for all aid programs. At ECC this means:
- Maintaining a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better.
- Successfully completing 67% of all attempted college level credits (including Transfer Credits) during the semester.
- Student must complete their program of study within the published length for their major, which is 150% of the published length for the student’s program of study
- In addition, students must register for courses only required for their program of study
SAP is evaluated once a year for all students after the Spring Semester or Summer I, if the student attends Summer I. Courses are considered successfully completed when the student earns a grade of A, B, C, D and P. Non-passing unsatisfactory grades are W, I, F, AU. The remedial course grades M and N are not calculated in the GPA, but are counted towards the 30 credit remedial attempted count.
All college level and transfer credits will counted in the attempted and earned calculation even if students paid for classes with their own resources. Remedial and English as a Second Language (ESL) credits will be excluded from the attempted credit calculation.
If students fail to meet the minimum SAP Policy standards, the student is ineligible for financial aid. Students may appeal for aid eligibility. Students will be limited to two appeals.
Qualitative Measure – Grade Point Average – Measures the quality of a student’s SAP by reviewing the student’s cumulative College Credit GPA. Student must earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. Specific federal and state aid programs may require a different GPA for renewal and may have separate requirements for continued eligibility.
Quantitative Measure – This component measures the pace at which the student must progress through his/her program of study to ensure program completion is within the maximum time frame 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 included in the calculation as both attempted and earned credits. To meet this requirement, the student’s completion pace must be 67% or higher.
Maximum Time Frame – A student may attend and continue to receive aid, but cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s program of study. For example: If the student’s program of study requires 66 credits for graduation, the student may not receive aid for more than 99 attempted credits (66 x150% = 99 credits). This policy is true even if the student changes his/her major. When the student reaches or exceeds the maximum number of credits, the student is no longer eligible for aid unless he/she successfully appeals. The student may appeal maximum time frame only if the student can complete his/her program of study within one semester or a maximum of 18 credits.
Registration Schedule and Enrollment Changes
Remedial Courses – Remedial (0 Level) and English as a Second Language (ESL) credits are excluded from the calculation of credits attempted (quantitative measure) and earned (qualitative measure) in the SAP requirements at ECC. Although they are excluded the student who is enrolled in all remedial or ESL credits must maintain a 2.0 GPA to meet SAP for the semester.
Maximum Number of Remedial Credits – Federal aid will pay for a maximum of 30 remedial credits. ESL courses do not count against this limit. Once a student attempts 30 remedial credits aid will be paid only for college level credits.
Repeated Courses – All repeated courses are counted as credits attempted. A repeated course is only counted toward progression if it replaces a previous course for which the student received no credit. A student may retake any previously passed course one time only per previously passed course and receive aid. Passed means any grade higher than an “F”. If the student fails or passes the second time, the student may not be paid for retaking the class a third time. However, if the student repeats a course in which all previous attempts were failures, federal regulations allows for continued funding of the course.
Withdrawal and Incomplete Grades – If a student withdraws from a course, the course credits are included in the count of attempted credits. Withdrawn courses are calculated in the pace and maximum time frame calculation. Credits for Incomplete courses (grade “I”) are always counted as attempted for quantitative and maximum time frame measures, but are not included in the GPA or credits earned until the incomplete grade changes to a passing or failing grade.
Changing Major – If a student changes majors, the credits the student earns at ECC and other schools under all majors will be included in the calculation of qualitative, quantitative and maximum time frame for the new major. Only two (2) changes in majors will be permitted in the SAP calculation.
The Financial Aid Appeal Process at Essex County College
Financial Aid Probation
A student may file an appeal that has mitigating or special circumstances beyond their control, such as serious illness or injury, death in the family, involuntary military leave, etc., if the student fails to meet SAP standards. The Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP, but has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for aid approved for one semester. Students must complete and submit the Financial Aid Probation Appeal Form to a Counselor/Advisor to establish an Academic Plan, which the student must follow to meet SAP at some future time. The appeal form can be obtained from our website at www.essex.edu/fa.
Both the student and Counselor/Advisor must sign-off on the plan. By signing-off the on the plan, the student agrees to follow the plan. The appeal must be submitted by the published deadline and the student must allow 10 business days for the review and the determination of eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will notify the student of his/her appeal status via ECC Email and/or the decision will be posted on the ECC Portal. Students must log into the ECC Portal to review the notification.
The student must successfully pass all courses during the Financial Aid Probation period with a GPA of 2.0 or better. The student may not receive the following grades during the financial aid probation semester/term, which are: F, I, W, N or be reported as a No Show (NS). If a student earns any of those grades during the financial aid probation semester/term the student will be denied aid. SAP must be calculated to determine if the student meets SAP. At the end of the financial aid academic probation period, the student must either meet the SAP standards or fulfill the requirements specified in the Academic Plan to maintain aid eligibility. The decision of the Financial Aid Office is final.
Students may register at any time for classes; however, if student registers before the SAP appeal has been reviewed for eligibility, the student must be prepared to pay their registration bills in full or sign up for the College Payment Plan to secure their registration for the semester.
Conditional Probation Appeal
Conditional Probation is assigned to a student who fails to meet the requirements for Financial Aid Probation. Students may file this appeal if the student has extenuating circumstances or other reasons for not meeting SAP during the Financial Aid Probation semester. The student must complete and submit the Conditional Probation Appeal Form documenting the reason for not meeting the requirements during the Financial Aid Probation semester. The Conditional Probation Appeal can be obtained from our website at www.essex.edu/fa. Students must explain the reason for failing to meet SAP standards while on Financial Aid Probation. The student must submit the appeal to the Financial Aid Office. If approved, the student will be awarded for one semester and will be required to maintain the conditions of the established academic plan.
The student may not earn any of the following grades: F, W, I, or N grade or be reported as a No Show (NS grade) in any course during the semester/term. If a student fails to meet SAP standards for Conditional Probation, the student will be ineligible to receive financial aid at ECC.
Reestablishing Aid Eligibility (Reinstatement Request)
Students who have exhausted the two appeal limit (Financial Aid Probation and Conditional Probation) must request reinstatement of aid. The Reinstatement Request Form must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. The form is available on our website at www.essex.edu/fa.
To be considered for Reinstatement, the student:
- Must have completed a minimum of 6 credits
- Must have earned a 2.0 or better GPA in all the courses taken during the semester/term.
- Did not earn any of the following grades in any course taken during the semester/term: F, I, W, N, or was not reported as a No Show in any course.
- Must have paid for a minimum of 6 credits from their own resources before requesting reinstatement.
If reinstatement is approved, the student:
- Will be awarded for one semester only
- Must complete a minimum of 6 credits
- Must earn a 2.0 or better GPA
- May not earn any of the following grades, F, I, W, N, or be reported as a No Show in any course.
- Must maintain standards of the Academic Plan established with the Counselor/Advisor; or
- May regain good SAP by meeting the standards of the SAP Policy established by the ECC Financial Aid Office or maintain enrollment with all of the conditions above until the student completes their degree or reach their maximum time frame for the major.
Note: The student will lose eligibility for aid at ECC, if the student reaches the maximum time frame for the major and/or failure to meet the SAP standards reinstatement after being approved. The student will be required to pay for any registration period going forward using their own resources.
Maximum Time Frame Appeal
When the student reaches or exceeds the maximum number of credits for his or her program of study, the student is no longer eligible for aid unless he/she successfully appeals. The student may appeal maximum time frame only if the student can complete his/her program of study based on the credit limits established and approved in the student’s academic plan.
No Longer Eligible for Aid
A student is no longer eligible for aid when the student:
- Fails to earn a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better
- Receives the maximum number of credits allowed for the student’s program of study
- Fails to complete 67% of the college level credits attempted during the semester
- Fails to maintain the conditions of the Academic Plan
- Fails to successfully complete a Financial Aid Probation or Conditional Probation semester/term
- Has completed all the requirements for a degree or certificate
Financial Aid will fund one associate degree. Aid for a second degree will be limited to only the courses required to complete a second degree based on the maximum time frame establish for the second degree. Students who have already earned a bachelor degree may be eligible only for an Alternative Loan.