Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Financial Aid Eligibility Requires Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress refers to a federal regulation requiring student to make progress toward the completion of a degree or certificate program in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

Each semester, Rio Salado College evaluates whether the Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) set forth by the Maricopa County Community College District have been met. The evaluation process determines financial aid eligibility based on three measures: Grade Point Average (GPA), Progress, and Maximum Time Frame.
  • GPA – Students must meet a minimum grade point average based on the total number of credits attempted. 
  • Progress – Students must successfully complete 2/3 of all courses attempted. Progress is calculated cumulatively and carries over from one term to the next.
  • Maximum Time Frame – Students who have already attempted more than 150% of the required credits for a program will no longer be able to pay for the program using federal financial aid. More information on the maximum time frame requirement is available in the Financial Aid Tips: Maximum Time Frame post. 
  • Attempted Credits -- If a student withdraws from class outside of the approved drop/add period, the credits are still considered attempted credits and will be considered in the SAP evaluation. 
Students who do not meet all three criteria for satisfactory academic progress are no longer eligible to receive financial aid and in some cases, may be required to return a portion of the aid they've already received.

Students who have lost their financial aid eligibility due to unsatisfactory academic progress or to the time frame requirement have the opportunity to appeal by completing the Appeal for Satisfactory Academic Progress and/or Appeal for Maximum Timeframe forms.

The full Maricopa County Community Colleges Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility are available on the Rio Salado College Financial Aid website.