Satisfactory Academic Progress
CCMS Policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress
To be eligible for Title IV funds, a student must make satisfactory academic progress. For financial aid purposes, progress is measured by the student’s grade point average, percentage of credit hours earned in relation to those attempted, and the length of the academic program. The Office of Financial Aid monitors SAP (qualitative and quantitative reviews) at the end of each semester in Populi. The Title IV SAP policy at CCMS is as strict as the SAP policy for students enrolled in the same program of study who are not receiving Title IV funds at CCMS and adheres to the SAP regulations as outlined in the FSA Handbook, Volume 1, Chapter 1, pages 21-32. In order to assure that students make progress toward earning a degree both in terms of number of hours completed and cumulative GPA, CCMS employs the following financial aid satisfactory progress policy:
PROGRESS STANDARDS: To be in academic good standing, a student must be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of his/her degree requirements. Satisfactory progress is defined as passing all courses and earning a minimum 2.00 GPA each term at CCMS. Students must earn a satisfactory grade in at least 67% of the total credit hours attempted. Per the CCMS academic progress policy, in the event a student fails a course in any term, the student will be placed on academic suspension. In the event a student’s cumulative grade point average is below a 1.90 after any given term, the student will be dismissed from the program.
SEMESTER PROGRESS: Students must, at a minimum, receive a satisfactory grade (*) in the courses they attempt each semester. *For purposes of financial aid, satisfactory grades are A, B, C, D, S, SP or P. Unsatisfactory grades are F, W, U, or I. Audits do not count as attempted hours and are not eligible for financial aid. NOTE: Unsatisfactory grades will not be counted as earned credit hours but will count as attempted credit hours.
Financial Aid Warning: Warning status will be assigned to a student who fails to meet SAP standards at the conclusion of a semester. A student assigned a Financial Aid Warning will be notified by email at their CCMS e-mail address. The student may continue to receive financial aid for one subsequent semester under this status; progress standards must be met to continue eligibility and be in good standing.
Financial Aid Probation: A student who was assigned Financial Aid Warning status who does not meet satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the subsequent semester sill be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. If the student chooses to appeal the suspension and the appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation status. A student on Financial Aid Probation may receive financial aid for one subsequent semester. A student on Financial Aid Probation may be placed on an Academic Plan that will require the student to meet certain terms and conditions as determined by the CCMS Financial Aid Appeals Committee. At the conclusion of the SAP Financial Aid Probation semester, the student must meet the progress standards or fulfill the requirements specified in the Academic Plan.
Financial Aid Suspension: A student may be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for one or more of these reasons:
• A student on Financial Aid Probation fails to meet progress standards and/or who does not fulfill the requirements in his or her academic plan is placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
• At the end of each semester, if the student does not earn a satisfactory grade in at least 67% of the total credit hours attempted, he/she/they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. In the event a student fails a course in any term, the student will be placed on academic suspension. In the event a student’s cumulative grade point average is below a 1.90 after any given term, the student will be dismissed from the program.
• A student who does not earn any credit hours in a semester. Any student on Financial Aid Suspension is ineligible for further financial aid and can only receive financial aid again if eligibility is regained by successfully appealing or making up the deficient hours.
EVALUATION PROCESS: Students who do not make SAP are notified by e-mail at their CCMS address of their status (Financial Aid Warning, Financial Aid Probation, or Financial Aid Suspension).
• Students who receive all I, F, W, or U grades in courses attempted in ANY semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
• Repeat courses will be counted in earned credit hours. (Note: ALL courses attempted, except audited courses, count in total credit hours attempted.)
• Transfer credit hours will be counted in both attempted and earned credit hours.
CUMULATIVE PROGRESS: To be in academic good standing, a student must be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of his/her degree requirements. Satisfactory progress is defined as passing all courses and earning a minimum 2.00 GPA each term at CCMS. Students must, in addition to the above, meet the retention standards of CCMS as outlined in the current CCMS Student Handbook.
MAXIMUM ELIGIBILITY: Maximum eligibility is reviewed each semester. If a student has attempted enough hours to graduate, and has not graduated, a warning email will be sent to the student at their CCMS address, reminding them of maximum eligibility standards. Students who have attempted 150% of the required credit hours for their degree will become ineligible for financial aid, and would need to appeal to continue to receive financial aid.
REPEATED COURSES: Students may only receive federal financial aid funding for one repeat of a previously passed course. Per FSA guidelines, a grade of D is considered passing. There is an exception for courses which require repeats (see examples below). Students taking a required repeat of a course should work with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure those credits are counted appropriately for financial aid eligibility. Please note that the student may need to provide documentation from his/her faculty advisor confirming the requirement to repeat.
Examples of repeated coursework that may, or may not, count for financial aid eligibility:
• Allowable: Repeated coursework may be included if the student received an unsatisfactory or failing grade. There is no limit on the number of allowable repeats if the student does not receive a passing grade, as long as SAP standards are met.
• Allowable: Repeated coursework may be included if a student needs to meet an academic standard for a particular previously passed course, such as a minimum grade. Example: Student received a D in a course which requires a minimum grade of C for the academic program.
• Allowable: Student is enrolled in 15 credit hours which include 3 credits repeating a previously passed course. The student’s financial aid eligibility is not impacted by the repeat because the student is enrolled in a minimum of credits which are not repeats.
• Not Allowable: Student receives a D in a course which does not have a minimum grade requirement for the program and decides to repeat the course to improve his/her GPA. The student may repeat this passed course one time, but if the student wants to repeat it a second time, the second repeat would not count for financial aid eligibility. In this example, the student is enrolled in 12 credits, including the three credit second repeat, so only nine credits will count for financial aid eligibility.
All repeated courses affect financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations. A repeated course along with the original attempt must be counted as attempted credit hours.
REGAINING FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY
SATISFACTORY PROGRESS APPEAL PROCESS:
Students who lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal that status to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must be prepared in writing on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, and must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents. Reasons that may be acceptable for an appeal are:
• Serious illness or accident on the part of the student;
• Death, accident, or serious illness in the immediate family;
• Class cancelled by CCMS; and
• Other documented extenuating circumstances
SAP APPEAL LIMITS: The Financial Aid Office may grant or deny any SAP appeal. The maximum number of appeals any student may normally have granted during the total of all their enrollment periods at CCMS is two (2). Under extreme circumstances, a third appeal may be granted, provided that the student has documented proof of the circumstances. In the case of a student who files a third appeal, the reasons for the student’s two previous appeals will be considered when making a decision. The student’s progress within their academic program will be a determining factor on the rare occasion when a third appeal is allowed.
SAP APPEAL REVIEW AND DECISION PROCESS: All appeals must be submitted in writing in paper or electronic form to the CCMS Financial Aid Office. Provide written, detailed information and documentation as requested on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. SAP Appeals will be reviewed by the CCMS Financial Aid Office.
If an appeal is denied by the CCMS Financial Aid Office and the student wishes to further appeal, the student may appeal that denial to the second level appeal designee. Note: Appeals to the second-level appeal designee that do not contain further explanation and new documentation of the extenuating circumstances will not be approved nor eligible for a second level review and cannot be appealed further.
Section 3509 of the CARES Act allows institutions to exclude from the quantitative component (pace measurement) of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) attempted credits a student was unable to complete as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. It is not necessary for a student to have filed a SAP appeal for an institution to exercise this flexibility. However, to exclude attempted credits from SAP, an institution must have reasonably determined that the student’s failure to complete those credits was the result of a COVID-19 related circumstance. Allowable circumstances include, but are not limited to, illness of the student or family member, need to become a caregiver or first responder, economic hardship, added work hours, loss of childcare, inability to continue with classes via distance education, inability to access wi-fi due to closed facilities. If an institution temporarily ceases operations during a period of enrollment, attempted credits for all affected students (specific to that enrollment period) may be excluded.
Regarding the effect of excluding attempted credits on maximum timeframe, SAP regulations require that the pace at which students progresses through the program ensures completion of that program within the maximum timeframe. A four-year program consisting of 120 credit hours with a maximum timeframe of 180 credit hours (150 percent of program length) must have a pace of 66.666 percent (rounded to 67 percent), cumulatively measured at each interval, to ensure students complete within maximum timeframe. For example, the pace of a student who has completed 78 of 120 attempted hours is 65 percent (78/120), below what is necessary to be making SAP. However, if 12 credits the student attempted but was unable to complete in spring of 2020 are excluded due to a COVID-19 related circumstance, the pace becomes 72 percent (79/108) and he/she/they are making SAP. The 12 credits are effectively excluded from the maximum timeframe as well as the measurement of pace.
The COVID-19 SAP exception related to the quantitative component applies for the payment periods for the 2019-20 award year. This includes a summer 2020 payment period that is attached to the 2019-20 award year (i.e., a trailer) and a summer 2020 payment period that is attached to the 2020-21 award year (i.e., a header). Section 3509 of the CARES Act sets forth no timeframe beyond the period of the national emergency, stating, "Notwithstanding section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091), in determining whether a student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress for purposes of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.), an institution of higher education may, as a result of a qualifying emergency, exclude from the quantitative component of the calculation any attempted credits that were not completed by such student without requiring an appeal by such student."
Download SAP Appeal Form