Policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress Students who receive federal financial aid are required to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to receive financial aid. Federal guidelines stipulate that the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy apply to all enrollment periods at South Arkansas Community College regardless of whether or not aid was received. SAP is defined as passing the required percentage of hours and maintaining a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4-point scale.
Students must be enrolled as an associate degree or technical certificate seeking student in an eligible program of study in order to receive financial aid. Students may receive financial aid while enrolled for a full or part-time course of study. Full-time students must enroll in at least twelve semester hours each semester, including summer. Students on financial aid are advised to consult with the financial aid staff before making any adjustments to their program of study and/or course load.
Students may receive financial aid for no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program. For example, a student must complete the requirements for a 60-hour degree or certificate by the time they have attempted 90 course hours. Upon completing a program, students may pursue another degree or certificate under the same guidelines. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0.
Students must complete the following minimum percentage of courses to maintain SAP:
|Hours Attempted||Completion Percentage|
|Up to 15 hours||55%|
|31 or more||67%|
A student’s official enrollment status will be determined on the eleventh day of classes and aid will be awarded accordingly. Students must attend at least one day of class beyond the 11th day in order for that class to count towards their enrollment status for financial aid purposes. A student who withdraws from the college on or before the 11th day of classes is considered as not having enrolled for the semester by the Financial Aid Office and is not eligible for any financial aid. A student who withdraws after the 11th day of classes will be held responsible for the minimum percentage of hours for his/her official enrollment status. Refer to the Return to Title IV Funds Policy for further details. SAP will be reviewed at the end of each payment period/semester. SAP will be checked the first time aid is packaged for each academic year. At such time a student does not meet this policy, they will be notified in writing. This notification will be sent to the current address on file in the Financial Aid Office. Students who fail to make SAP after their first payment period/ semester will be placed in a financial aid warning status and will be allowed one additional payment period/semester in order to meet the requisite GPA and/or completion percentage. If after that additional payment period/semester the student still does not meet SAP, they will be placed on financial aid suspension and will be ineligible to receive Title IV aid until the requisite CPA and/or completion percentage are met. Written notification of Warning or Suspension will be mailed to the student. Students on financial aid suspension must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing when the GPA and/or completion percentages are met if they want to be re-considered for financial aid.
1. Developmental/Basic Studies Courses. Enrollment in these courses will be included in the total hour requirement for calculating financial aid awards, the calculating of cumulative semester hours of credit required, and in the calculation of cumulative semester hours attempted. Developmental/Basic Studies courses do not earn a GPA and will not count toward the students overall GPA for academic progress purposes. Developmental/Basic Studies courses will be considered “completed” if the student earns a grade of “C” or better.
2. Repeating Courses. The last grade recorded in repeated courses is the grade of record at South Arkansas Community College and will be used in computing the student’s grade point average. Both courses will count towards the number of hours attempted, and the number of hours completed, if applicable. Financial aid will pay for a previously-passed course to be repeated only once.
3. “I,” “W,” and “WE.” Courses where a grade of “I,” “W,” or “WE” are assigned will count toward the student’s hours attempted but will not count toward the hours completed.
4. Transfer Students. Students must report to the Financial Aid Office and Admission’s Office, ALL colleges, universities, and other schools in which they have enrolled prior to South Arkansas Community College, including courses while in high school. No financial aid awards will be made until all transcripts have been received and evaluated by the Financial Aid Office. Transfer students which includes concurrent credit students, are subject to the same policy regarding length of time and grade point average as native SouthArk students for those hours accepted at SouthArk.
5. Audits. Audited courses do not count toward hours attempted or hours earned. Students may not receive aid for auditing a course.
6. Basic Studies Probation. Students who are placed on Basic Studies Probation are not necessarily placed on Financial Aid Warning or Suspension. Students will be notified in writing if they do not meet the SAP Policy.
7. Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) – Students may receive pell grant funds for no longer than 600% or the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters over the course of their educational career based upon the information found in the Pell Payment Data of NSLDS.
Route of Appeal
Appeals will be considered by the Financial Aid Faculty Appeals Committee. This committee will determine if the student is eligible to continue receiving federal financial aid based on the documentation provided and that the student will be able to make SAP standards by the end of the next term enrolled. If the committee determines that a student cannot make SAP by the end of the next term of enrollment, then the committee can place the student on a written and agreeable academic plan in order to regain SAP within a specific and reasonable amount of time. If at any time the student does not follow this academic plan, he or she automatically will be denied continued aid.
Return of Title IV Funds
If a student receiving Title IV funds withdraws or stops attending on or after the first day of class during the period of enrollment for which they were charged, the college must determine the amount of the Title IV funds students have earned. This calculation is done in accordance with Federal Title IV guidelines. If students have not been in attendance long enough to earn all of the awarded aid, they may have to repay some of the unearned aid. Copies of SouthArk’s Return of Title IV Funds policy are available in the Financial Aid Office.