Keep Your Financial Aid Eligibility
1. Satisfactory Academic Progress
To maintain your Financial Aid eligibility, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
The Federal Government mandates that students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of their degrees, within a reasonable period of time, in order to be eligible for Title IV financial aid programs including Pell, SEOG, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Work Study and State Grants.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Is categorized by the following:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)- A student must maintain a minimum CGPA of 2.0.
- Pace/Completion Rate – A student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 66.5%.
- Maximum Timeframe – A student must successfully complete the program of study within its timeframe.
- Federal regulations specify that the timeframe may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program. When students exceed the timeframe for their programs of study, they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. Students can submit an appeal to have their eligibility extended if there are extenuating circumstances.
Credit hours attempted will be cumulative and will include all hours for which the student was enrolled, as of the census date of each academic term, or for which the student received a grade.
- The census date is defined as the day following the last day for registration and payment as outlined in the College catalog.
- Credit hours completed with grades of A, B, C, D, E, QA, QB, QC, QD or T will be considered credit hours attempted and completed.
- Grades of F, QF, QI, I, W, QW and WF will be considered credit hours attempted but not completed.
- A student’ completion rate can be calculated by dividing the number of credit hours completed by the number of credit hours attempted.
For each program of study, a maximum timeframe will be calculated by taking the total credit hours required for the program as outlined in the College catalog and multiplying the total by 150%. Timeframes will vary from program to program.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is monitored every semester.
Maximum Timeframe: Key points to remember.
- Since the timeframe sets the limit for the number of credit hours a student may attempt and remain eligible to receive financial assistance, it is very important that the student plan class schedules carefully with his or her academic advisor and/or the counseling staff.
- It is the responsibility of the student to register only for classes listed in his or her chosen major in the College catalog and for scheduling only the number of hours he or she is capable of completing.
- Students are responsible for knowing the policy concerning the limitation on hours attempted for financial aid purposes.
- Registering for more courses than a student is capable of completing, having to withdraw from classes, registering for courses for which the student has already received credit, taking courses in error, etc. all impact the timeframe and could result in losing financial aid eligibility before completing a program of study.
- The timeframe is cumulative; therefore, by switching programs without completing the initial program, the student runs the risk of losing financial aid eligibility.
- The timeframe begins when the student first attends the College and continues until the student successfully completes a program of study regardless of the number of years that may elapse between enrollment periods.
- Only students who successfully complete a program of study will have attempted and completed credit hours from earning a degree, diploma, or certificate deducted from the maximum timeframe calculation for the next program of study.
- Students who take course work and are unclassified will have those hours attempted added to their timeframe if and when they enter a specific program of study.
- Students accepted into a program of study who are required to take developmental/remedial course work, as determined by placement testing results, will have those credit hours deducted when calculating maximum timeframe (Financial aid can only pay for 30 credit hours of developmental/remedial course work.)
- The credit hours for course incompletes, withdrawals, and repetitions will be counted as hours attempted toward the timeframe.
Program of Study
A student must declare an eligible program of study to be eligible to receive federal financial aid.
Second Program of Study
If you graduated with an AAS degree and you want to persuade a second degree program you can appeal.
Remedial Courses and ESL Courses
Remedial credits count toward the calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress. Federal regulations permit financial aid to be awarded for no more than 30 semester hours of noncredit remedial coursework. Once a student has attempted a total of 30 semester hours of remedial courses, no additional remedial courses will qualify for financial aid. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are exempt from the remedial course limit.
All repeated courses will be counted in the total number of attempted credits for SAP calculation. A student who passes a course (with a letter grade of D or higher, may retake the class one additional time and receive financial aid for that course. Students repeating coursework because he/she received a grade of QD, F, WF, or W, may repeat the course and remain eligible for financial aid if Satisfactory Academic Progress is maintained.
Transfer Credits (T) and Credits by Exam (E)
Transfer Credits and Credits by Exam will be included in attempted and completed credits, but not the GPA calculation. All attempted credits will be used in the calculation of Maximum Timeframe.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Review
Students are evaluated at the end of each academic term (fall, spring and summer). The review process will assign a status for each student of:
- SATISFACTORY: Student has met progress standards and is eligible for aid for the following semester or academic year.
- WARNING: Student has NOT met progress standards (failed GPA or completion rate requirement or both), but may continue receiving federal aid for one more semester.
- Student is encouraged to seek tutoring to assist with the improvement of his/her GPA and progress. If the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of the semester, they will become unsatisfactory and will not be eligible for any federal or state financial aid.
- UNSATISFACTORY: If a student in Warning has failed to meet the progress standards (failed GPA, completion rate requirement, or both) at the end of the Warning semester, the student is no longer eligible for federal or state financial aid.
- MAXIMUM TIME-FRAME: Students who have reached maximum timeframe are no longer eligible to receive federal or state financial aid due to having exceeded the maximum allowed credits for earning his/her program of study.
*Max Timeframe can be appealed if you are pursuing a second degree. For any extenuating circumstances, kindly contact a Middlesex College SAP advisor.
- Academic Plan: Students who have not met satisfactory academic progress are encouraged to meet with a SAP advisor to complete an Academic Plan. Students approved to be placed on an academic plan or those making satisfactory academic progress as outlined on their academic plan are eligible for federal and state aid.
- Failed Academic Plan: Students who failed to make progress as outlined on their academic plan. Students who have failed their academic plan are not eligible for federal or state financial aid.
- Appeal Denied: Students whose appeal have been denied are not eligible for federal or state financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process
Students who are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.
- All appeals will be reviewed and approved or denied by the Financial Aid Ad Hoc Appeals Committee.
- An appeal can only be submitted if a student’s failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress is based upon events beyond their control.
- Applicable circumstances would include medical issues, death/illnesses, and any other events beyond the students controllable.
- Students will need to submit the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form, their unofficial transcript and/or program evaluation, and all required documentation to the Financial Aid Office.
- Incomplete appeals, such as those submitted with no explanation or supporting documentation of the events beyond the students control, will be automatically denied.
- Students will be notified by email of the committee’s decision within 30 days.
- Students with an approved appeal will be placed on Academic Plan for one semester of financial aid and will be evaluated accordingly at the end of each semester.
- If the students appeal is approved, the student must adhere to the terms of the academic plan or will be denied financial aid for future semesters.
- Paying out of pocket for classes or sitting out a semester is not grounds for reinstatement of aid. Students must bring their academic progress back into compliance or have an appeal approved to have financial aid reinstated.
- It is important for students to remember that Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (PLEU) cannot be waived through the submission of an appeal.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form
2. Understanding the Consequences of an F Grade
Financial aid students, who stop attending all courses during the semester, and receive all final grades of F, will not be considered as withdrawing from any classes. To withdraw from all classes, students must follow the procedures made available in Enrollment Services.
A pro-rated portion of the federal aid received, based on the documented last date of attendance, must be returned to the federal aid programs. If the college is unable to document the last date of attendance, one-half of all federal aid received during the semester must be returned to the federal aid programs.
The student may be required to repay part or all of the financial aid awards received if all final grades of F were received for the semester.
If all final grades of F were received, the student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress may be affected and an appeal must to be submitted to regain financial aid eligibility.
Students will be notified of their financial aid award adjustments via their my.middlesexcc.edu email address.
3. Never attending a class
Financial Aid programs will not pay for course(s) a student does not attend. If an instructor reports that the student never began attendance, that course will be removed from the total financial aid eligible credits. This will reduce the student’s refund or leave the student with a balance.
Student Support Services
The Financial Aid Office encourages students experiencing academic difficulties to use the academic services available at Middlesex College. These are valuable resources afforded student who are struggling to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.