To be eligible to receive Financial Aid, which includes funds from federal and state programs, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Stillman College (SC) is required by the U.S. Department of Education to establish minimum SAP standards to ensure the student is proceeding positively toward graduation. SAP is calculated each semester and includes all periods of the student's enrollment, including periods in which the student does not receive financial aid funds.
Students attending Stillman College must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress with a minimum grade point average (GPA), pace of completion rate, and maximum time frame, as stated below. Progress is checked at the end of each semester.
A. Grade Point Average Requirement (Qualitative)
Undergraduate students must maintain the following GPA requirement:
Minimum Cumulative GPA
0 – 29 Hours
30 – 59 Hours
60 hours and higher
2nd Degree Students
Any student who fails to meet the GPA requirement will be placed on Financial Aid Warning but will continue to be eligible for financial aid. The student has the following semester of attendance to earn the required minimum cumulative GPA. At the end of the warning period, if the required minimum cumulative GPA is met, the student is taken off Financial Aid Warning. If the required minimum cumulative GPA is not achieved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension during the next semester of attendance. The student will not receive financial aid assistance while on Financial Aid Suspension. The total cumulative earned hours consist of hours earned at SC and accepted transfer credits. Transfer credits are not included in the computation of the cumulative GPA for financial aid unless the credit was earned while attending other schools as a Transient Student where a student was taking classes at another institution as a degree-seeking SC student.
B. Pace of Completion (Quantitative)
A student must successfully earn a minimum of 67% of the cumulative coursework attempted at SC. Failure to complete this minimum percentage will result in a student being placed on Financial Aid Warning during the next semester of attendance. If the student completes 67% of the coursework attempted during the warning semester, the student will be taken off of Financial Aid Warning. If the student completes less than 67% of cumulative coursework attempted during the warning semester, then the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the next attending semester. The Total Earn Hours at SC divided by the Total Attempted Hours at SC must be at least 67% to maintain eligibility.
C. Maximum Time Frame
All students must complete their program of study within a maximum time frame of one-and-one-half (150%) times the length of the program in which they are enrolled. This means that once a student has attempted one-and-one-half times the minimum number of credit hours necessary for completing program requirements, the student will be ineligible to receive financial aid. Attempted hours include all attempted hours at SC and all attempted transfer credit. Most programs need 120 hours to graduate; therefore, students are no longer eligible after attempting 180 hours.
Students who have completed all the coursework for their degree but have not received the degree are no longer eligible for aid. Second-degree students must complete their second degree within the maximum 150% of the hours required for the second degree. If the time limit has been exceeded, aid eligibility ends. The student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension status. period.
Grades of IP (in-progress), W (withdrew), and WF (withdrew failing) are not included in calculating a student's GPA but are counted as course work attempted. I (incomplete) is counted as an F. All grade changes must be submitted and processed during the first 10 days of classes of the following semester. Any changes after the first 10 days of the following semester will not be included in the SAP calculation. Learning Support grades of a D or better earned at SC are added to the Attempted and Earned hours but not in the GPA.
All repeated hours are counted in the Pace of Completion calculation; however, only the highest grade is counted in the GPA calculation.
The U. S. Department of Education does not recognize academic amnesty or academic renewal in relation to financial aid satisfactory academic progress. SC is required to include all courses and grades in evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress. However, if there were special circumstances involved, SC may approve an SAP appeal and place the student on Financial Aid Probation.
Transfer students accepted by SC, not previously enrolled at SC, will be classified as maintaining SAP for the first semester enrolled. At the end of the first semester, the student's grades will be measured in accordance with the SC's SAP policy. Transfer credits will be counted as attempted and, if accepted, earn credits for the calculation of maximum time-frame only.
Financial Aid Suspension
Once a student is on Financial Aid Suspension, the student must pay for the next attending semester at his or her own expense (alternative loans may be used). All federal and state funds are removed for the semester(s) the student is on Financial Aid Suspension. Until the student meets SAP requirements or has a successfully approved appeal, the student will remain on Financial Aid Suspension.
Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
Students have the right to appeal their suspension of financial aid if they have extenuating circumstances that prevented them from making SAP. Extenuating circumstances are limited to 1) death or serious illness or injury to an immediate family member, 2) extended hospitalization or medical condition of the student, 3) victimization of a violent crime or natural disaster, 4) and work-related difficulties, and 5) other unexpected documented situations. Lack of transportation to school, poor class performance, and pursuit of a double or dual major are not extenuating circumstances.
The appeal must address the following: 1) the extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards, 2) plan of action to resolve or control the cause for the circumstance or unit-deficiency and explain how it will not cause problems in the future. In the case of the maximum time frame, a letter from the academic advisor, Department Chair, or Dean and evidence graduation is likely to occur in the near future is needed. The SAP appeal must be submitted by the semester's deadline date in which the student plans to attend. Failure to adhere to this timeline will result in the student losing the right to appeal the financial aid suspension for that semester.
The SAP Appeals Committee will review appeals at the end of the semester after grades are posted. The SAP Appeals Committee will notify the student of the committee's decision via campus email. Decision results will be available on Self-Service. Due to FERPA, decision information cannot be given over the phone. The SAP committee decision is final. Students are free to resubmit an appeal with an updated narrative and additional documents.
Until the appeal is approved, the student should consider him or herself ineligible until notice is received otherwise. Future decisions of enrollment should be under the assumption that financial aid will not be provided and that tuition payment will be the obligation of the enrolling student.
If approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation status for the subsequent semester(s). While on Financial Aid Probation, the Office of Financial Aid may require the student to maintain a specified percentage of semester coursework, cumulative GPA, receive tutorial assistance, and/or complete an SAP Agreement. If any of the prescribed conditions are not met, eligibility will be denied. The student will be awarded based on funds available, and replacement of previously awarded funds is not guaranteed.
A student is expected to know the SAP Policy. Students' SAP status is always available for viewing online via Self-Service after final grades have been processed. The Office of Financial Aid attempts to notify students when they are on Financial Aid Suspension; however, sometimes, students do not receive notification due to circumstances beyond the Office of Financial Aid's control. If a student is not notified of the Financial Aid Suspension, that does not excuse a student from the Financial Aid Suspension, nor does it exempt a student from appealing promptly.