Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that students receiving Title IV financial assistance must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). At Forsyth Technical Community College, satisfactory academic progress is measured using three standards, Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), Completion Rate – the percentage of credit hours attempted that are successfully completed, and the maximum number of credit hours allowed before graduation from the student’s program. These standards are checked at the end of each term for students receiving financial aid who are enrolled in credit hour programs. For financial aid students enrolled in clock hour programs, SAP is checked at the end of each payment period.
A student must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. Transfer credits, credits by examination, P and R grades are not counted as part of the GPA calculation. A WF grade is counted as an F. A class that has been repeated will have the last grade received counted in the GPA.
A student must complete, with a letter grade of A, B, C, D, or P, at least 67% of all coursework attempted. This includes every course (a cumulative history) on their Forsyth Tech transcript. Transfer courses accepted by the College are included in addition to all courses taken at Forsyth Tech. Hours for each attempt of a repeated course will be included. However, courses dropped during the 75% refund period are not shown on the transcript and, therefore, are not counted. Once a student graduates from a program, the completion rate starts over if the student enrolls in a new program. WE grades received during the Spring Semester, 2020, as a result of a COVID-19 emergency will not count as either attempted or completed. Students receiving an IE grade Spring Semester, 2020, must work with their instructor to complete the coursework within the timeframe allowed by the instructor, no later than December 9, 2020. IE grade(s) for coursework not completed will be converted to F grades on transcripts at the end of Fall Semester, 2020, which will be calculated as attempted but not completed. The F grade will also impact your cumulative GPA.
Credit Hour Limitation
Students are required to complete programs within a maximum credit hour limitation, excluding up to 30 hours to complete any necessary remedial courses determined by institutional testing. In addition, a grade of WE will be excluded from consideration. The maximum may not exceed 150% of the number of credits required for the program. For example, a student enrolled in a program that requires 64 credits for graduation may receive federal aid for up to 96 hours. All periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not the student received aid, are included. Withdrawals, incompletes, repeated courses, transfer credit, and credit by examination will count toward the 150% credit hour limitation. The college is required to suspend aid eligibility as soon as it is determined that the student cannot meet the 150% requirement. If a student has not completed the graduation requirements for the program by the 120% point, the aid office will review the student’s record to determine if the student can graduate on time and keep their aid. For students in clock hour programs, they must complete a maximum of the number of clock hours required for the program within a maximum of 150% of the number of weeks required for the program.
Incompletes will count as credit hours attempted, but not completed.
All grades of W, WP, and WF will count as credit hours attempted but not completed. “WF” will count as an “F”. “WE” grades were issued in Spring Semester, 2020, for students with COVID-19 emergencies. These “WE” grades will not be calculated as either attempted or completed.
All repeated attempts of the same course will be included in the calculation of Completion Percentage and Maximum Timeframe, with the exception of the “WE” grade used during the Spring Semester, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Audit or Credit by Examination
Audits and proficiency exams are not covered by any type of financial aid. Students are responsible for all costs incurred with these types of courses. Credit by exam hours do count toward credit hours attempted and earned. Audits do not carry credit hours and are not counted as attempts or completions.
Students who change programs should be aware that all hours attempted, regardless of the program, will count toward the maximum credit hour allowance until the student graduates. Students who graduate from one program, and wish to earn another Associate Degree, Diploma, or Certificate will be allowed to complete a new program within a new 150% credit hour allowance.
Consequences of failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress
Students receiving financial aid who do not satisfactorily complete either the cumulative GPA or the 67% completion rate will be placed on financial aid warning status. Students will be sent an email through the campus email system. A student who has not met the requirements will have the next enrolled term to reestablish satisfactory academic progress. If a student does not earn the required cumulative grade point average and completion rate at the end of the following term, he/she will be ineligible for financial aid and will be placed on financial aid suspension status. Federal and state aid will remain suspended until the student enrolls for subsequent semesters/terms, at his or her own expense, and completes the work necessary to regain satisfactory progress. If it is determined the student cannot complete the program graduation requirements within the 150% time frame, the student will be ineligible for financial aid until the student graduates from a program.
Note: Maintaining satisfactory academic progress for financial aid may not be the same as remaining in good standing in the program. Each program has its own requirements. As a result, even though a student may meet satisfactory progress for financial aid purposes, they may not be meeting the requirements necessary to continue in their program. It is the student’s responsibility to know his or her program requirements. If a student is dropped from his or her program of study, the student must be admitted into a new eligible program before receiving additional aid.
Appeal Procedures for Financial Aid Suspension
Students whose financial aid has been suspended due to unsatisfactory progress may appeal this decision. However, the student must be able to document mitigating circumstances. A student must indicate in writing to the Office of Student Financial Services why the aid should not be terminated. The student must explain why satisfactory progress was not maintained and what has changed to allow the student to be successful. Appeals may be made if there are unusual situations such as injury to or illness of the student, death of a family member, undue hardship, or other serious crisis. External documentation may be required. The appeal will be reviewed to determine whether or not reinstatement of aid is justified, and the student will be notified of the decision by email. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on academic probation which will allow another term of financial aid; the student will be given an academic plan that must be met at the end of each subsequent enrolled term or until the student returns to satisfactory progress. The academic plan generally requires a term GPA of 2.25 and a 75% completion rate; under certain circumstances different requirements may be set. If the appeal is not approved, the student has the right to submit a second appeal to the Forsyth Technical Community College Financial Aid Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee’s decision will exhaust all avenues of the appeal process. If the student’s first appeal is approved but the student does not meet the academic plan, financial aid will be terminated until the student has returned to satisfactory academic status. All students are permitted a second appeal, but students who are terminated from their probationary status must wait a term before a second appeal will be considered. All second appeals are considered by The Advisory Committee, and their decision will exhaust all avenues of the appeal process. Two appeal requests are the maximum allowed per student regardless of whether the appeals were approved or not.
For students receiving financial aid, Satisfactory Academic Progress notifications will be sent to the Forsyth Tech e-mail address after grade posting in the fall, spring and summer. Students may access this e-mail via TechLink at www.forsythtech.edu/techlink.
Students who are not receiving financial aid due to unsatisfactory academic progress and believe they have returned to satisfactory academic progress should contact the Office of Student Financial Services to request their record be reviewed.