Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy This policy affects your eligibility to receive financial aid Both federal and state financial aid guidelines require students to make Satisfactory Progress toward the degree program they have chosen. Students who do not make Satisfactory Academic Progress during the academic year are ineligible to receive any federal aid in future semesters until the necessary credits are made up, and/or the required grade point average is achieved. Federal financial aid includes Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, Perkins loans; PELL, SEOG, ACG, SMART and TEACH grants, and Federal Work Study. State financial includes the Pennsylvania State Grant (PHEAA). This policy includes all students Regulations require us to review all students for Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal financial aid purposes, regardless of whether the student received federal aid. This policy is in effect through the 2010-2011 year Modifications will be made for the 2011-2012 year and beyond, when the University moves to a new computing system. Students will be notified of any modifications made to the SAP policy. Student responsibility Awareness It is the student‟s responsibility to be aware of federal and state guidelines that affect her/his ability to receive and retain financial aid. Academic advisors do not know which students are recipients of financial aid, and do not monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes. Request for reinstatement of aid It is the student‟s responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Aid and ask for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility when the student believes s/he has regained Satisfactory Academic Progress. Statute of Limitations There is no statute of limitations on federal Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations. For example, if a student fails to make SAP at Clarion during an academic year, then leaves Clarion and returns after ten years, the student would be ineligible for aid. Academic Progress vs. Probation/Suspension Please do not confuse academic probation/suspension with failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree for federal financial aid purposes. Academic probation and suspension are actions taken by the Office of Academic Affairs. Satisfactory Academic Progress is a standard required to maintain eligibility for federal and or state financial aid. Because these are separate issues, it is possible to appeal an academic suspension and be re- admitted, or to sit out for a semester, yet still be ineligible for financial aid. It is also possible to be placed on probation, but still be eligible for financial aid. Currently enrolled students may check the iClarion Portal for their Satisfactory Academic Progress status. After logging in to the Portal select “School Services,” then the Web for Students. Select “Student and Financial Aid,” then the “Financial Aid” tab, and then “Academic Progress.” If you are uncertain of your financial aid status, please contact a staff member in the Office of Financial Aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for federal financial aid purposes has two components, both of which must be met by the student. The first component is quantitative. If you are a: And you are enrolled And you are enrolled for both fall and for only one semester; spring; you must you must successfully successfully complete complete at least at least Full time undergraduate 21 new credits 12 new credits 12 or more credits each semester Part time undergraduate All credits for which you are All credits for which you are enrolled after drop/add enrolled after drop/add 1-11 credits per semester period period Full time graduate 18 new credits All credits for which you are enrolled after drop/add 9-12 credits per semester period Part time graduate All credits for which you are All credits for which you are enrolled after drop/add enrolled after drop/add 1-8 credits per semester period period Please note: Repeated courses, failed courses, and courses from which you withdrew after the drop/add period do not count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress for either full or part time students. Credits for courses successfully completed over the winter session count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress for the year they are earned. If you need to repeat courses to improve your grade or grade point average, you must complete 21 new credits (full time undergraduate students) in addition to any courses you repeat to retain your federal financial aid. Part time students may repeat (at their own expense) courses over summer, or over the winter session. Attempted credits Students who are pursuing a bachelor‟s degree will lose eligibility after they attempt or earn 180 credits. Student pursuing an associate degree will lose eligibility after attempting or earning 90 credits, including any credits earned at a previous school. Students pursuing a graduate degree will lose eligibility after 54 attempted credits. Attempted credits are credits you enrolled for, and may include credits for courses you failed or withdrew from. Earned credits are credits you successfully completed. Attempted credits include any credits earned at a previous school (transfer credits). Your unofficial Clarion transcript lists attempted hours (AHR) and earned hours (EHR). The second component is qualitative. It requires that all students attain and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.00 when they have earned 60 or more credits. Should a student in his or her first or second academic year earn less than a 2.00 cumulative g.p.a., she or he will be placed on academic probation or suspension by the Office of Academic Affairs. If the student appeals the academic suspension and the Office of Academic Affairs permits the student to return to Clarion for the following semester, and if the student has earned the required 21 new credits, federal financial aid will be reinstated. Students who have earned 60 or more credits must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in order to continue receiving federal financial aid funding. When Academic Progress is checked The Office of Financial aid normally checks for academic progress at the end of each academic year. However, if the student began his or her Clarion career in the spring semester, Academic Progress will be checked after one (spring) semester. If a student stops out for one or more semesters, and then returns to Clarion, Academic Progress will be checked for the last year, or partial year of enrollment. When a student is granted an exception, progress will be checked at the end of the semester of exception. Notification Fall and spring billing notices include information about Satisfactory Academic Progress. In addition, e-mail reminders are sent to students several times during the academic year. The Office of Financial Aid emails a warning at the end of fall semester to students who appear to be in danger of not making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students who did not make federal Satisfactory Academic Progress are notified by letter mailed to their permanent address (as indicated by the student in the Personal Information Form) in May. All students are bound by federal and state regulations to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, regardless of whether they received notification. Students can view their Satisfactory Academic Progress flags in the Web for students in the Clarion iportal. After logging in to the Portal select “School Services,” then the Web for Students. Select “Student and Financial Aid,” then the “Financial Aid” tab, and then “Academic Progress.” If you are uncertain of your financial aid status, please contact a staff member in the Office of Financial Aid. Your Options 1. Attempt to make up any necessary credits over the summer, either at Clarion or at another accredited institution. We recommend that you consult with your academic advisor before selecting courses. Since you will be not eligible for federal and/or state aid, you may want to consider a private loan. If you take courses at another institution, it is your responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Aid when your transfer credits have been posted by the Registrar‟s Office. 2. Make up any necessary credits/cumulative grade point average by enrolling at Clarion at your own expense during either the fall or spring semester; or the winter session. 3. If you are suspended, you may elect to enroll in a community college to make up any necessary credits. 4. You may file a Financial Aid Appeal. Financial Aid Appeals If mitigating circumstances (death in the immediate family, hospitalization or serious illness; adversity or other undue hardships) prevented you from making Satisfactory Academic Progress, you may appeal the loss of your federal or state financial aid. The deadline to appeal for currently enrolled students for their federal financial aid is June 30. Students who have stopped out voluntarily or involuntarily must appeal at the time they make reapplication to the University. Students may appeal by submitting this form to the Office of Financial Aid. Please note that all appeals must be made in writing by the stated deadlines and must be accompanied by documentation. Written appeals to the Office of Financial Aid must be made even if you received an official medical withdrawal from the University, or if you withdrew for health, medical, or military reasons. Returning to Clarion after academic suspension Students who failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress and who were also suspended must make up any necessary credits or grade point average requirements before they become re-eligible for federal and/or state financial aid. Returning to Clarion after sitting out for one or more semesters will not allow your aid to be reinstated. Transfer Students and Transfer Credits Credits transferred into the University do count toward the qualitative standard (students who have earned 60 or more credits are required to have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.00 to be eligible to receive federal financial aid), and the quantitative standard (transfer credits applied to your degree program count toward the maximum credits attempted—180 for a bachelor‟s degree, and 90 for an associate degree). What is the effect of these actions on my financial aid? Academic Renewal Removal of “D” and “E” grades may help the student achieve the required 2.00 cumulative GPA. However, the attempted credits that were removed during the Academic Renewal process must still be counted toward the maximum number of attempted credits, as per federal Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations. Changing Majors or Degree Programs All credits and courses counted toward the new major or degree program will count toward the maximum number of credits (180 for a bachelor‟s degree program, 90 for an associate degree program, and 150% of the credits for a Master‟s degree program). All withdrawals, failed classes, and repeated classes (in the old major/degree or the new major/degree) will count toward the maximum number of attempted credits Dual Degrees/Double Majors Students seeking to earn two degrees or two majors will be eligible for federal financial aid until they reach the maximum number of attempted/earned credits (180 for a bachelor‟s degree, 90 for an associate degree). Incomplete grades Incomplete grades do not count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you receive an incomplete grade during the fall semester, which then converts to a passing letter grade during winter or spring session, the credits will be counted toward Satisfactory Academic Progress. No Credit/Withdrawal/Audit No credits count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress. Pass/Fail “Pass” credits count, but GPA is not affected. Repeating courses Repeated courses do not count toward federal Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Repeating a course may bring up the cumulative grade point average; however, repeated credits add to attempted credits. Summer School and the summer Clinical portions of certain programs If a student has not made Satisfactory Academic Progress during the academic year, he or she is not eligible for financial aid for summer school, including clinical portions of certain programs held over the summer. Withdrawals (After drop/add) No credits are earned, and the credits count toward a maximum number of attempted credits allowed under the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines. Pennsylvania State Grant Academic Progress For Pennsylvania state grant purposes, full time students must successfully complete 24 credits each year, or 12 credits each semester. Part time students must successfully complete at least six credits each semester. Students who receive a summer PHEAA grant will be checked for progress at the end of the academic year. (Summer, fall, spring). Satisfactory Academic Progress for PA state grant purposes is normally checked at the end of each academic year (after spring semester grades have been posted). Progress for incoming first time transfer students for the fall semester is checked during the summer and early fall. Notification is made to PHEAA electronically, and PHEAA then notifies the student. Clarion University must advise PHEAA at the time we become aware that a student did not make Satisfactory Academic Progress. Since most students complete the FAFSA before the May 1 deadline, and thus before we can check for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the academic year, it is possible that a student may have already received a state grant award notification before Clarion has advised PHEAA that the student is ineligible for the award. Students have the option to make up any necessary credits over the summer (at Clarion University or at another accredited institution) at their own expense. Students who fail to make progress for PA state grant purposes due to extenuating circumstances may appeal to PHEAA by using this form. Federal Academic Progress Appeal Form 1. Please note that this is an appeal to have your eligibility for federal financial aid reinstated after you failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree. This is not an appeal for an academic suspension. Winning an appeal for an academic suspension does not mean that you will be re-eligible for federal financial aid. Additional SAP information is available on our website at clarion.edu/ 2. Use this form to explain why you failed to earn the required amount of credits, why you failed to maintain the required grade point average, or why you exceeded the maximum number of attempted credits. Please return the form to the Office of Financial Aid, Clarion University, 840 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214 Fax: 814-393-2520. We will respond to you in writing. th 3. The deadline for appeals is June 30 . 4. Please attach a letter to this form explaining why you failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress. Include your name, ID number, the address where we should send a response, the semester or year in which you did not make Satisfactory Academic Progress, and the semester when you will re-enroll, and for which you are requesting federal financial aid. An example of an appeal letter follows. 5. Please attach any documentation that supports your claim--for example, a death certificate for a death in the immediate family, or a letter from your physician stating the nature of your illness or hospitalization, the duration of your illness (the time you were hospitalized or sick) and the reason it was medically impossible for you to complete your courses. Please provide a medical release so that financial aid officers can contact your health provider to verify information you provide (if necessary). Appeals without documentation will not be considered for an exception. 6. Please also provide details (including the names of any professors or other college officials with whom you spoke, and the dates, copies of emails, etc.) of any attempts you made to make up work, take an incomplete grade, or otherwise resolve your problem. Indicate if you are taking summer courses to make up any necessary credits or bring up your credit point average; and if not, why you are not doing so. If you did not withdraw from the semester, please explain why you did not do so. 7. Please sign and date this form, and forward it to the Office of Financial Aid along with your letter of appeal and supporting documentation. 8. I certify that the information I submit is true and accurate. I understand that if I receive an exception to the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement; it will be for one semester only. I understand that my progress (courses successfully completed and cumulative grade point average) will be checked after my semester of exception. I understand that if I do not comply with the terms outlined in my letter of exception, I will lose eligibility for federal aid for future semesters. I understand that submitting false or inaccurate information is a violation of the Clarion University Conduct Code. I give my permission to financial aid officers at Clarion University to speak with faculty and other University personnel in regard to my appeal. ____________________________________________________ _____________________ Your signature Today‟s date Sample Appeal Letter Jane E. Doe 123 Main Street Anytown, PA 16214 ID: 1234-5678 I was enrolled at Clarion University during the 2008-09 academic year. On March 25, 2009, my father passed away. I failed two of my classes and withdrew from my other classes because I became depressed. My father‟s death certificate is attached, as well as a note from my doctor. My doctor advised me not to take classes over the summer because it takes time to adjust to the medication I am receiving. I would like to return to Clarion for the fall semester 2010. I„ve completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and I hope that you will consider me for an exception to the federal academic progress regulations.