Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations mandate that a student receiving financial aid under Title IV programs must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study regardless of whether or not financial aid is awarded each semester. Students are responsible for understanding and adhering to the satisfactory academic progress policy.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be measured at the end of each term for all students. 
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured with the following standards:
  • Qualitative (cumulative Grade Point Average)
  • Quantitative (67% Rule – Hours earned divided by Hours Attempted)
  • Maximum Time Frame (150% of required hours for program completion)

The Federal Regulations specify minimum standards for these measures. KCTCS may set stricter standards in its policy.

QUALITATIVE STANDARD – Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • KCTCS qualitative standard is determined by the student’s earned Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • KCTCS uses a 4-point scale for GPA.  
  • Students earning a cumulative grade point average below a 2.0 at the end of a term shall be placed on financial aid “Warning”. 

QUANTITATIVE PERCENTAGE STANDARD – (QPS or 67% Rule)

  • The satisfactory academic progress policy must also include a quantitative measure to determine the number of credit hours attempted and percentage of credit hours completed (passed). 
  • The minimum percentage of work a student must successfully complete by the end of each term is 67% of all attempted hours.
  • If a student fails any combination of two (2) consecutive terms of cumulative qualitative and/or cumulative quantitative standards, their financial aid will be suspended.

MAXIMUM TIME FRAME (MTF) STANDARD

  • Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma/certificate credentials within a Maximum Time Frame (MTF) of 150 percent of the required number of credit hours to graduate from their enrolled program of study. 
  • MTF of 150% includes all classes required for the credential plus 50%.

EXAMPLE
MTF standarc chart - 2011

NOTE: Transferred hours, Repeated classes, Bankrupted hours, Incompletes, Withdrawals, Failed in graded courses, Failed in Pass/Fail courses and Audit (changed from credit to audit after the last day to add a class) count toward maximum time frame and quantitative standards.

For a standard 16-week term, Student Aid enrollment status for payment purposes will be established at the close of the 7th calendar day beginning with the first day the term, including weekends but not holidays, or upon file completion whichever is later.

Courses added after this date will not be considered for enrollment for student aid purposes but will be counted as attempted for quantitative and MTF standards.

OTHER ELEMENTS

GRADES

  • Grades of "A", "B", "C", "D", "P" and "S" will be considered in determining credit hours earned.
  • Grades of "E", "F", "W", "WF", "WP", "MP", "U", or "I" will not be considered as credit hours earned but, will be considered as hours attempted for the semester.

PACE PROGRESSION (On Pace to Graduate)

Federal regulations effective July 1, 2011 require all students be evaluated to determine if they are on track to receive their intended credential before aid is lost due to Maximum Time Frame.  As part of that evaluation, students in the following categories will be evaluated at the 30 attempted hours threshold.

  • Undecided Majors
  • Students in “Pending” Programs of Study

A student may only receive aid for a maximum of 30 credit hours as an undecided major. Students attempting hours beyond the 30 hours must declare an eligible major to be considered for financial aid eligibility.  Students failing to declare an eligible program of study will be suspended and ineligible to receive financial aid.

A student in a “Pending” program may only receive aid for a maximum of 30 credit hours.  Students in “Pending” programs who enroll beyond 30 hours must appeal and provide documentation of eligibility based on the desired program of study to be considered for financial aid.  Students will be evaluated on whether they meet the academic requirements to be accepted into the desired program in a reasonable timeframe that maintains pace progression.  Students must be approved by the SAP appeals committee to remain eligible for aid in a “Pending” program.  

FAILURE TO MEET THE STANDARDS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS

If a student fails any combination of two (2) consecutive terms of cumulative qualitative and/or cumulative quantitative standards, their financial aid will be suspended.  Students who exceed Maximum Time Frame (MTF) will be suspended immediately upon exceeding the MTF threshold.

A student who fails to meet SAP standards for the first time will be placed on a “Warning” status, allowing a student to continue to receive Title IV aid for one term without an appeal.  A student who fails to meet SAP standards at the end of the “Warning”  period or second consecutive term, will be “Suspended” and not receive additional Title IV aid.  A student exceeding Maximum Time Frame may go directly to Suspense not having received a “Warning” status.

Students with enrollment prior to July 1, 2011 who have failed to meet SAP Standards in a previous term and are in Probation 1 or Probation 2 SAP status are considered to be in a “Warning” status.  Failure to meet SAP standards for the next term of enrollment will result in immediate suspension and require a written appeal to regain eligibility.

APPEAL PROCESS

If a student is placed on financial aid suspension and has unusual circumstances (illness, death in the family, accidents, etc.) that were a factor in not making satisfactory academic progress s/he has the right to appeal.  Students who were determined to have exceeded Maximum Time Frame (MTF) may request their coursework be evaluated based on classes needed for their current credential

To be considered, a proper appeal must adhere to the criteria below.  Student must submit all required items to the local Kentucky Community and Technical College Financial Aid Office by deadlines posted and in accordance with local FA Office policy/directions.  Necessary forms are available from the local FA Office or at the JCTC Printable Forms web page. 

  • A completed and signed Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal.  
  • A typewritten letter including the reasons Satisfactory Academic Standards were not met and how the circumstance has been resolved or in case of MTF, why the current credential was not completed within the Maximum Time Frame.
  • Documentation supporting the extenuating circumstances must be submitted with the SAP appeal form and accompanying letter.
  • A signed & completed Academic Program Plan (APP) or KCTCS Degree Audit (only if the program does not have APP created for the program) form may be required for students who have exceeded Maximum Time Frame to support the submitted “Plan of Action”.  An APP and/or KCTCS Degree Audit form may be necessary for other appeals as determined by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee.

SAP Appeals must be submitted to JCTC’s Financial Aid Office within the following deadline date for review:

  • Fall Semester:  by October 15
  • Spring Semester:  by March 15
  • Summer Semester:  by July 15

Appeals submitted after the deadline dates above will be review for future semester enrollment.

Submission of an appeal DOES NOT guarantee approval or automatic re-instatement of aid.

Students are responsible for payment arrangements with the institution pending a decision of the appeals committee. 

“PROBATION” AND REINSTATEMENT OF AID

SAP appeals will be evaluated by the college Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Committee.  If approved, students will be given an “academic plan” or be required to enter into a contract.  The academic plan or contract specifies the academic requirements necessary to remain eligible to receive financial aid for the remainder of the specified program or until SAP standards are met.  Students whose appeals have been approved will be placed in a probationary status known as “Probation” for no less than one term.  Students who fail to their “academic plan” while on “Probation” will be suspended from financial aid.

A student suspended from financial aid who achieves SAP standards without the assistance of federal financial aid, may request to be evaluated for re-instatement.   All requests must be submitted to the local Student Financial Aid office of the “home” institution.

Students are responsible for payment arrangements with the institution pending a decision of the appeals committee.  Decisions made by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee are final and cannot be appealed

REPEAT CLASS POLICY

KCTCS colleges will use the highest grade when calculating a student’s GPA, but it must include the credits from all attempts when calculating maximum time frame (MTF).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  1. Student Aid will not be provided for:
          - Courses taken by audit
          - Credit hours earned by placement tests
          - Non-credit course work
  2. All transfer hours will count in the attempted hours.
  3. Grades in legacy software systems (before PeopleSoft) will be used as recorded and reflected on the student’s academic transcript.
  4. If the student receives a change in a grade for a class he/she must report this to their local Student Financial Aid office in writing for the change to be evaluated into the student’s financial aid eligibility record.
  5. Developmental remedial course work may receive funding up to a maximum of 30 credit hours according to federal regulations.
  6. A student may only receive aid for up to a maximum of 30 credit hours as an undecided major.  Students attempting hours beyond the 30 hours must decide an eligible major to be considered for financial aid eligibility.
  7. A student may only receive aid for up to a maximum of 30 credit hours as a student of a “Pending” program.  Students in “Pending” programs in excess of 30 hours beyond May 1, 2012 must appeal and provide an Academic Program Plan (APP) or KCTCS Degree Audit (only if the program does not have APP created) to be considered for financial aid eligibility.
  8. Dual Enrollment Agreements (also known as Consortium Agreements) allow a student to receive funds for classes taken at more than one college outside KCTCS colleges. These forms are to be completed by the student and the student’s "visiting" college and submitted to their local KCTCS “home” College (where financial aid funds are received; usually the college from which the student plans to graduate). Classes taken at a visiting college (whether at KCTCS colleges or outside KCTCS colleges) must count toward the student’s graduation from their awarding college.
  9. If a student is admitted "conditionally" she/he may receive student aid for one semester only. No additional aid may be awarded until the student completes an admission file.

CONTACT INFORMATION: