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Clark State is required by federal law to establish and publish standards for measuring a student’s academic progress for the purpose of receiving federal financial aid. Students are required to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree or certificate. The financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) is applied to the following financial aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Direct Student Loans (including Parent Loans)
  • Federal Work Study

This policy is applied to the student’s entire academic record and regardless of whether they have previously received federal financial aid. In addition, Clark State’s Fresh Start Program has no bearing on the SAP policy. Please read these standards carefully. It is the responsibility of the student to understand and adhere to these standards. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

This policy includes three components:

  • Completion of attempted credit hours
  • Grade point average
  • Maximum timeframe to complete a degree or certificate

Completion of attempted credit hours
Students must successfully complete at least 67% of all credit hours attempted. (Number of credit hours completed divided by the number of credit hours attempted) Successful completion of a course is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, B, C, D, or S. A grade of IP is temporarily considered as a completion but will be reevaluated at the end of the class. The following grades are NOT considered to be a successful completion: F, Z, W, I, U, UW and PG. Students receiving an I (Incomplete), or have a grade change must notify the financial aid office when the grade has been changed to a passing grade.

Grade Point Average
Grade point averages are evaluated at the end of each term. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in order to retain eligibility for federal financial aid.

Maximum Timeframe to Complete a Degree or Certificate
In order to continue receiving federal financial aid, a student must complete their first associate degree or certificate program within 150% of the published program hours as measured by credit hours attempted. (To determine the maximum timeframe, multiply the number of credits in the program by 150%) Once a student reaches 150% of the program hours, they will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid. All attempted credit hours are considered including CPE classes, withdrawn classes and transfer credits.

Additional Degrees and Certificates
Students who have received one or more associate degrees or certificates and are returning for an additional degree or certificate must complete a New Degree form in the Financial Aid Office to be considered for any further aid. The form will be forwarded to the Record’s Office to determine additional credit hour eligibility. The student will be notified of any additional credit hours. Once the student has reached the additional limit, financial aid will be terminated. Students completing transfer degrees may not be eligible for more than one additional program. Financial aid will be limited to only those classes required for the new program(s).

Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of each term. A student who has failed to meet one or more of the standards outlined above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. If after the warning term, the student has not met SAP, financial aid will be suspended.

Financial Aid Warning
Students placed on Financial Aid Warning may continue to receive their financial aid for the warning term. The student will have one term to obtain an acceptable academic standing. If the student has not met SAP at the end of the warning term, financial aid is suspended.

Financial Aid for the upcoming term will not be released until grades have been evaluated. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the Cashier’s Office for tuition and fees.

Financial Aid Appeal Process
Students may appeal their suspension if they feel there are extenuating circumstances. These circumstances must be documented and submitted to the Financial Aid Office for review by the appeals committee. The student must explain in a personal statement why they did not maintain SAP and how the circumstances have changed to enable their continued success.   Appeal forms are available on the website and in the Financial Aid Office. Appeals do not guarantee eligibility. The decision of the appeals committee is final. Deadline for receiving appeal forms is the last day of the 100% refund period for the semester the student is requesting consideration.

Approved Appeals
If the appeal committee deems that the student can achieve a satisfactory academic standing in one subsequent term, the student will be placed on probation. If at the end of the probation term, SAP is not achieved, the student will be suspended.

The student may also be advised that they must adhere to an academic plan as outlined by the committee. Students must follow the academic plan each semester until an overall SAP status is achieved.

Students will be notified in writing of the appeal decision and of the terms and conditions of the appeal. Students must meet the conditions of the appeal each semester until they have regained SAP. Failure to meet conditions will result in a second suspension. If a student is suspended a second time there is no appeal available.

Students may appeal a maximum timeframe termination if an academic advisor documents that the student can complete their program in a maximum of two additional terms. Students must take only classes needed to complete their degree.

No Appeal or Denied Appeal
If the student does not appeal, or if their appeal is denied, they can request reinstatement of eligibility after successfully completing 16 credit hours at Clark State without the assistance of federal financial aid (pay out-of-pocket) and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. It is the student’s responsibility to request reinstatement to the Financial Aid Office. Reinstatement is at the discretion of the Financial Aid Office. Students denied appeals may be administratively dropped from their courses if they have not made satisfactory arrangements with the Cashier’s Office.

Fresh Start and Re-Entry
Students who apply for and receive a Fresh Start are subject to meeting all requirements of the current SAP policy. All attempted courses are considered when evaluating SAP. Students re-entering Clark State after any period of separation are also subject to the current SAP policy.

Effective: July 2014

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