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Costs and Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Policy (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress FAQs

Federal regulations require students who receive financial aid under Title IV programs to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regardless of whether financial aid is awarded each semester.  SAP is measured at the end of each semester/term for all students.  How is SAP measured?

 

How is SAP measured?

SAP is measured at the end of each semester/term for all students based on the following standards.

  • Qualitative Standard (GPA):  Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Quantitative Standard (completion or success rate):  Successfully complete at least 67% (two-thirds) of all credit hours attempted
  • Maximum Time Frame (MTF):  Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma/certificate in their chosen program of study within a maximum time frame defined as 150% of the number of credits required to graduate from that program (all classes required to graduate plus an additional 50%).  Federal regulations require that students be evaluated for “Pace Progression” to determine whether they are on track to receive their credential before aid is lost due to exceeding MTF. Note that transfer credits also count toward MTF.

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Where can I view my current SAP status?

Students can monitor their current SAP status through their Student Self-Service by choosing “View Financial Aid” and clicking on the current award year.  Students should then see the Satisfactory Academic Progress link, which will list current SAP status.  Students who end the semester on a Warning or Suspended status will also be notified of their current SAP standing via KCTCS email at the end of the term.

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Where can I view my attempted hours, earned hours, and my cumulative GPA?

Students can view their attempted hours, earned hours, and cumulative GPA on their Unofficial Transcript.

To calculate their completion rate (67% Rule), students can divide their cumulative earned hours by their cumulative attempted hours. For example, an undergraduate student with 50 earned hours and 100 attempted hours would have a completion rate of 50% (50 divided by 100 = 0.50). Because the student's completion rate falls below 67%, the student would not meet the completion rate (67% Rule) requirement.

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What part of my academic history is reviewed when evaluating SAP requirements?

A student’s entire (cumulative) academic history is reviewed. This includes transfer credits from other colleges.

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How does dropping a class or withdrawing from all classes during a term affect SAP?

Dropping a course or withdrawing from all of your courses after the end of the 100 percent refund period will result in a W grade on the student’s transcript for that term. This will negatively affect the student's completion rate (67% Rule). Students are always encouraged to speak with both an Academic Advisor and the Office of Financial Aid prior to dropping a course or withdrawing from all their classes.

Does my SAP status at my current KCTCS College transfer to other KCTCS colleges?

Yes. A student's SAP status at any KCTCS college will transfer to any other school. Students who do not meet SAP requirements at one KCTCS college are ineligible for federal student aid all KCTCS colleges.

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If I am re-admitted to a KCTCS college under the Academic Bankruptcy Policy, how is my SAP status determined?

KCTCS Academic Bankruptcy policy does not remove courses from the student’s permanent financial aid records. Federal regulations do not recognize academic forgiveness programs. Therefore, the student's entire academic history (everything on the student's permanent financial aid record) will be evaluated to ensure the student has met SAP requirements.

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How do I appeal my SAP status?

Students who fail to meet SAP requirements due to extenuating circumstances may appeal their SAP status. To appeal, students must complete a SAP Appeal Form available in the Student Self-Service and provide any additional information/documents required by the college.

 

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Who reviews SAP appeals at KCTCS Colleges?

Each college has a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. The college Financial Aid Offices coordinate all transactions between the College SAP Appeals Committee and students. The individual college Financial Offices, College Financial Aid Directors, or Financial aid staff members DO NOT evaluate nor determine SAP appeal outcome.

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What happens if my SAP appeal is approved?

Students who successfully appeal an Unsatisfactory SAP status will be assigned a Financial Aid Probation SAP status with certain conditions as stipulated in an academic plan or contract. Once the contract is accepted, students can receive financial aid for only one additional term. After that term has ended and grades have posted, the Office of Financial Aid will re-evaluate the student's academic plan/contract and determine if the student has met SAP requirements as identified in the student’s academic plan/contract.

For example, a student with extenuating circumstances successfully appeals an unsatisfactory SAP status with the College SAP Appeals Committee at the end of fall term. As a result, the Office of Financial Aid changes the student's SAP status to Financial Aid Probation and awards federal student aid for next term (spring) only. At the end of the term and when the spring grades have posted, the Office of Financial Aid will evaluate the student's academic plan/contract to determine if SAP requirements have now been met. Federal student aid for the student’s next term will not be awarded or disbursed until the student has successfully completed all terms specified within the academic plan/contract for the term or the Office of Financial Aid has re-evaluated the student's academic history, and the student is found to have met SAP requirements.

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What options do I have if I decide not to appeal my Unsatisfactory SAP status or if my SAP appeal is denied?

Students with an unsatisfactory SAP status, “SUSPEND” are not eligible for federal student aid at any KCTCS college. Students will remain ineligible for federal student aid unless they successfully appeal or until their academic record is once again in compliance with the SAP Policy. Students who are ineligible for federal student aid may continue to attend any KCTCS college at their own expense and are liable for all educational costs.

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KCTCS Policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

1        SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

1.1      Purpose and Scope

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. SAP will be measured at the end of each term for all students and is measured based on the standards below. Federal Regulations specify minimum standards for these measures, but KCTCS may set stricter standards in its policy.

  • Qualitative (cumulative Grade Point Average)
  • Quantitative (67% Rule – Hours earned divided by Hours Attempted)
  • Maximum Time Frame (150% of required hours for program completion)

1.2      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”. 

1.3      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.

1.4      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%.  An example is provided in Table 1.

Table 1:  Maximum Time Frame Rule (Classes Required for Credential plus 50%)

Credential Hours
MTF Percentages
Attempted Hours Permitted
Associates - 60 hours
150%
90
Diploma - 48 hours
150%
72
Certificate - 30 hours
150%
45

 

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.

1.5      Other Elements

1.5.1   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.

1.5.2   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.  

1.6      Failure to Meet the Standards of Academic Progress

If a student fails any combination of two 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.

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 without 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 warning status.  Failure to meet SAP standards for the next term of enrollment will result in immediate suspension and require an approved appeal to regain eligibility.

1.7      Appeal Process

Students who are placed on financial aid suspension may appeal their SAP Suspense status if they feel extenuating circumstances (illness, death in the family, accidents, etc.) prevented them from meeting SAP standards.  To appeal, students must complete a SAP Appeal Form available in their Student Self-Service.

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

1.7.1   Appeal Requirements

To appeal, students must complete a SAP Appeal Form available in their Student Self-Service and provide any additional information/documents required by the college.  The appeal will be evaluated by the SAP Appeals Committee of the home college.  Students will be notified of the committee’s decision, typically within ten days of the committee meeting.  Since deadlines for submission of appeals, frequency of SAP Committee meetings, and other details of the process may differ by college, students must refer to the SAP information provided on their college’s website (College SAP Website Links). 

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

1.7.2   PROBATION AND REINSTATEMENT OF AID

SAP appeals will be evaluated by the college SAP Appeal Committee.  Students will be notified of the committee’s decision, typically within ten days of the committee meeting. 

If the SAP appeal is approved, the student will be assigned a Financial Aid SAP Probation status and given an academic plan of action/contract that stipulates certain conditions and academic requirements.  Upon acceptance of the academic plan of action/contract, the student may receive financial aid for one additional term.  At the end of that term, the student’s status will be re-evaluated.  Federal student aid for the next term will not be awarded or disbursed until the student has successfully completed all terms specified within the academic plan of action contract or is found to have met SAP requirements.

If the SAP appeal is denied, the student is not eligible for federal student aid will remain ineligible until they are again in compliance with SAP standards.  These students may continue to attend college at their own expense.  A student who is suspended from financial aid and 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.

NOTE:  Students are responsible for all expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies pending the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee and must contact the Business Affairs Office to make payment arrangements with the institution. Decisions made by the SAP Appeals Committee are final and are not subject to further appeal.

1.8      REPEAT CLASS POLICY

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

1.8.1   Additional Information

Student Aid will not be provided for:

  1. Courses taken by audit
  2. Credit hours earned by placement tests
  3. Non-credit course work
  • All transfer hours will count in the attempted hours.
  • Grades in legacy software systems (before PeopleSoft) will be used as recorded and reflected on the student’s academic transcript.
  1. 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 in the student’s financial aid eligibility record.
  2. Developmental remedial course work may receive funding up to a maximum of 30 credit hours according to federal regulations.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 a degree audit to be considered for financial aid eligibility.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

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