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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

How to Keep Receiving Financial Aid

To receive financial aid, all new, transfer, continuing and returning students must demonstrate they are successfully working toward completing their degree program in a timely manner.

Southwest Texas Junior College is required by the federal government to evaluate whether you meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to receive financial aid. Statuses are updated at the end of each semester for programs lasting one year or less.

For students enrolled in programs extending more than a year, their academic progress evaluation will be performed annually at the end of the Spring semester. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor their academic progress. Although the Financial Aid Office notifies students via campus e-mail informing them of their status, students who do not meet the standards will be ineligible for financial aid even if they do not receive correspondence.

  • In order for you to continue receiving financial aid, you must meet the SAP requirements (see below).
  • SAP Requirements to maintain your financial aid are not the same as Academic requirements. Please visit Counseling Department for those details.
  • Don’t wait until it’s too late before you understand what’s needed to keep receiving financial aid (see below).

Federal regulations require all financial aid recipients to maintain satisfactory academic progress in a course of study leading toward a degree or certificate. Failure to meet one or more of the established standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Financial Aid SAP status includes all previous academic history, even if the student did not receive financial aid.

SAP Requirements to Receive Financial Aid

Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement

Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA on all hours attempted including transfer course work:

  • Completion Rate Requirement

Students must complete 67% of all hours attempted including transfer coursework.

  • Maximum Time Frame

Students receiving financial aid must complete their program of study within a reasonable time frame. The maximum time frame is 150% of the published length of the academic program or certificate (to include all transfer credit hours). Limited developmental coursework will not be counted in the maximum time frame.

Example:
Associates degree requires = 60 hours x 150%= 90 hours
90 hours is the maximum that can be attempted with financial aid

NOTE:
A student who cannot mathematically complete their degree within the 150% maximum time frame will have their financial aid suspended.


Consequences of Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) add

In the following provisions, “warning” or “suspension” means financial aid warning or suspension, not academic warning or suspension.

  • Financial Aid Warning – This applies only to students enrolled in an academic program lasting one year or less. The first time that a student fails to meet the SAP standards of a cumulative 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate, he or she will be placed on financial aid warning status. The student will remain eligible for financial aid for one semester during the warning period.
  • Financial Aid Suspension – If a student fails to meet the SAP standards of a cumulative 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility. This applies only to students enrolled in an academic program lasting more than one year in length.
  • Maximum Time Frame Suspension – If a student fails to meet the Maximum Time Frame standards, he or she will be placed on Maximum Time Frame Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.

Failure to meet one or more of the established financial aid standards of satisfactory academic progress will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Students who have their financial aid revoked due to the failure to meet SAP standards will remain ineligible until such time that they are able to meet the cumulative financial aid SAP standards. Those students will be responsible for the payment of their own tuition and fees.

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Financial aid eligibility can be reinstated after a student meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards as listed above; both a cumulative 2.0-grade point average and overall 67% completion rates. Contingent on the type of program a student is enrolled in, students who regain eligibility by completing required coursework will be reevaluated when SAP is run for each type of program (i.e. one year program or less, two-year program, or more). 

NOTE:   Students are encouraged to contact a SWTJC counselor to discuss his/her academic progress and develop a plan that will help the student succeed and regain financial aid eligibility.

Retaking Course Work

New federal regulations limit students’ eligibility of federal aid with regards to repeated courses. Students may not receive federal aid (Pell Grant and Direct Loans) for courses that were previously taken and passed beyond the first retake. In addition, that course will not count towards your actual enrollment.

NOTE:  Repeat courses still count toward your attempted hours for financial aid purposes.

Example:   Student A takes a course and receives a grade of ‘D’. Student A needs a ‘C’ in this course to count for the requirements of the degree. Student A takes the course again receives aid and earns another ‘D’. The student needs to retake the course again but is no longer eligible for federal aid for that class. Additionally, Student A cannot use that course toward enrollment for financial aid purposes. If student A is taking 12 credits, the repeated 3 credit course is no longer eligible. Student A’s actual enrollment for financial aid purposes must be listed as 9 credits.

If you are taking a course for the third time, financial aid will not pay.


Financial Aid Suspension Status add
What suspension means for you:
  1. Suspension status unfortunately means you are ineligible to receive any federal and state financial aid funds. This means you no longer are eligible for federal and state grants, loans, and work-study.
  2. Any funds awarded for the upcoming semester will be canceled and anticipated aid will be reversed from your student account.
  3. Registered classes are at risk of being dropped if you do not make other payment arrangements.

Two types of Suspension and Appeal Processes

An appeal is submitted via your Self Service. Please review the Financial Aid Appeal Process Instructions for help with Self Service and information for the entire process. 

After submitting your appeal via Self Service, the appeal will take about two weeks to receive a final decision from the appeals committee.

Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Process

Students who do not meet the standards of Southwest Texas Junior College financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy because of extenuating circumstances, such as (illness, death in the family, accidents, etc.) have the right to appeal. All situations must be fully documented. During the appeal process, the student must be prepared to pay his/her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. Please follow the procedure below to appeal a financial aid suspension. If the appeal is approved the student will be placed on probation for the semester.

  • A Financial Aid Appeal form must be obtained and submitted to any of or campus locations.
  • Documentation supporting the extenuating circumstances must be provided to the committee with the appeal form for the committee to review.
  • The student should make payment arrangements while waiting for an FA Appeal Committee decision.
  • The student must adhere to an academic plan- for appeals that are approved.
  • All decisions made by the Financial Aid Committee are final.

An appeal is submitted via your Self Service. Please review the Financial Aid Appeal Process Instructions for help with Self Service and information for the entire process. 

After submitting your appeal via Self Service, the appeal will take about two weeks to receive a final decision from the appeals committee.

Maximum Time Frame Appeal Process

Students who already have a bachelor’s degree or have exceeded the maximum time frame for their declared program of study must submit a degree plan appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Students must be meeting the cumulative 2.0-grade point average and 67% overall completion rate in order to submit an appeal. A student will be expected to complete 100% of all attempted credit hours with a 2.0-grade point average each semester. Financial aid will also be limited to only those courses required to complete the new program/certificate and to a specific time frame.

Notes of Importance:

SWTJC SAP Policy does not allow rounding of financial aid SAP standards. For example, a 66.6% completion rate would not meet the 67% completion rate standard, and a 1.95 GPA would not meet the 2.0 GPA requirement.


Appeal Approved or Denied & Probation Status add

If the appeal is approved, financial aid may be reinstated with a Probation Status. You will receive a notification in your campus email.

On probation, now what?

Probation status means you can still receive financial aid, but you are still at risk of losing aid if you do not meet the requirements below each semester.

  • Grade Point Average – GPA – 2.0
  • Percentage of attempted credit hours completed each semester – 67%
  • Maximum credit hours needed to complete a degree or certificate – Complete degree or certificate requirements within 150% of the minimum number of hours required to graduate.

How will you lose financial aid eligibility?

If you do not meet the requirements (above) during a probationary semester, you will be placed back on financial aid suspension and lose financial aid eligibility at Southwest Texas Junior College.

If you do not meet the requirements, you will remain on Probation and eligible to receive financial aid for the semester.

If your appeal is denied:

You will be notified by campus email.

Full SAP Policy

View the SWTJC Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for full details, measurements, and appeal procedures.


Satisfactory Academic Progress FAQs

I’ve been removed from Academic Dismissal or I am approved for an Academic Fresh Start, does this remove me from financial aid suspension? add
No. Academic renewal is not recognized for financial aid purposes. The original earned credits and grades are always counted as credits attempted, in the GPA calculation and towards the maximum time frame as appropriate.
I have been out of college for a number of semesters/years, how can I be on suspension? add
Your academic history, including hours transferred into Southwest Texas Junior College, is cumulative and never resets itself. Once you are in violation of SAP requirements, the suspension status remains until an appeal is approved or sufficient progress is made. Transferred hours count towards maximum attempted hours.
I’m on financial aid suspension, can I still apply for a Direct Loan? add
No. Your suspension status impacts eligibility for all federal aid, including Direct Loans.
Is there any way to expedite the review of my appeal? add
No. Appeals are reviewed according to the date they are received.
How long will it take to receive a decision on my appeal? add
The review time can take up to 2 weeks and there is no guarantee your appeal will be approved.
If my appeal is denied can I petition the decision? add
No. The committee's decision is final.

Complete Withdraws and the SAP

A complete withdrawal from any program of study will have a negative impact on a students financial aid academic progress. If a student withdraws from school during the semester, his or her grades for the semester will be all Ws. These grades are not passing, therefore the student did not meet the 67% completion rate requirement and could be placed either on financial aid suspension or warning. 

If you have any questions, please call (830) 591-7368.