Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Western Wyoming Community College (Western Wyoming Community College), as a participant of the Federal Department of Education (DOE) Title IV program has established requirements for enforcing standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The DOE allows each college to establish its own internal processes, based upon the organizational structure at its institution.

The SAP standards apply to all applicable forms of financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS loans as well as assistance from the State of Wyoming.  The College will determine what institutional funds will be affected by the student’s SAP status.

Review of SAP will take place at the end of each payment period for all enrolled degree seeking students who receive financial aid. (The institution abides by the SAP process for all degree seeking students, regardless of whether the student receives Title IV or not.)  A student’s entire academic record will be reviewed and evaluated for SAP whether or not financial aid was received.  The process to review Financial Aid SAP eligibility will be the same for all students evaluated. All coursework, including coursework for which a college has offered academic amnesty must be include int the review process.  The College will notify financial aid applicants of their SAP status.  A student is considered to be a financial aid applicant if they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or if they are offered funding to assist in educational costs through the Financial Aid Office.

Overview & Applicability: SAP measures a student’s performance in the following three areas: cumulative completion rate, cumulative grade point average (GPA), and maximum time frame. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for reviewing the cumulative academic progress of all enrolled degree-seeking students receiving financial aid at the end of each payment period.  The purpose of this review process is to determine whether a student is making satisfactory progress towards their educational goal in both qualitative and quantitative measurements. The qualitative measurement consists of the cumulative grade point average of all credits transcripted, regardless of whether the student received financial aid for those credits.   

Western Wyoming Community College's qualitative measurement

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00

Western Wyoming Community College's quantitative measurement

  • Complete 66.667% of attempted credits*
  • Do not meet or exceed 150% of the program length. For example: 96 credits for Associate degree programs

* Attempted credits are any credits for which the student enrolled, whether or not the student received federal financial aid. Attempted credits include withdrawn, incomplete, failed, and repeated courses. Transferred credits accepted by Western Wyoming Community College are included in the 96 credit hour maximum. The table below illustrates how graded courses impact Financial Aid SAP.

Grade Cumulative GPA Attempted Credit Completed Credit
A-F Yes Yes Yes
I (incomplete)** No Yes No
Repeats Most Recent Yes Yes
W No Yes No
Transferred and accepted by Western Wyoming Community College No Yes Yes

 

** When completed OR the student receives an F grade due to failure to complete the coursework as required, the new grade is used to calculate SAP at the end of the student's next semester of attendance. The updated letter grade is treated per the table above when SAP is recalculated. Students are monitored for financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at the end of each semester of attendance. Students who are approaching maximum time frame (96 credits for associate degrees) and/or have less than 2.00 cumulative GPA and/or have completed less than 66.667% of attempted credits are given a Warning status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is calculated and measured at the end of each semester, including summer.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses and Aid Eligibility

Satisfactory Status:

 Student is eligible to receive all types of aid, when:

  • Student has cumulative GPA at or above 2.0 and,
  • Student has cumulative pace of progression/completion rate at or above 67% and,
  • Student has attempted less than 150% of the required number of credit hours for enrolled degree or certificate program.

Warning Status:

Student was previously in Satisfactory Status but failed to meet one or both of the SAP criteria stated below. Student will continue to receive aid while on Warning Status.

  • Student has cumulative GPA below 2.0.
  • Student has cumulative completion rate below 67%.

Suspension Status:

Student has failed to comply with SAP criteria while on Warning or Probation.

Student is not eligible to receive financial aid (federal, state, or designated institutional financial aid.)

  • Student was previously on Warning for GPA and cumulative GPA is still below a 2.0 when the next semester’s SAP is measured and/or Unsatisfactory for Pace of Progression/Completion Rate of 67% or more (cumulative completion rate.)
  • Student has attempted 150% or more of required number of credit hours needed for degree or certificate program.

If a student had extenuating circumstances, which prevented them from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for Title IV funding, they may submit an appeal by the deadline given in the email sent to them at the end of each semester’s SAP measurement.

All students processed for SAP are notified by email to review their SAP status, financial aid, and the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards in their My Western Self-Service portal. When students, Review My Financial Aid they are notified if they are in danger of losing their financial aid eligibility and what they must do to maintain eligibility. Students are eligible for federal financial aid with a Warning status during their next semester of attendance. Students with a Warning status who reach or exceed the maximum time frame (96 credits for associate degree) and/or have less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA and/or have less than a 66.667% completion rate are no longer eligible for federal Title IV financial aid and any financial aid that requires SAP. These students receive an Unsatisfactory SAP status or Max Time SAP status. Students are notified via My Western Self-Service for Students, Review My Financial Aid, that they are not eligible for federal financial aid. This includes information about how to regain eligibility and the appeal process.

Treatment of Remedial Courses & English as a Second Language Coursework

No more than one year's (24 credits) worth of reduced credit remedial coursework will be included in a student's enrollment status or cost of attendance. ESL courses do not count against the one-year limitation. Remedial coursework is included in attempted credits when considering a student's duration of eligibility.


Treatment of Incompletes, Withdrawals, & Repetitions

Grades of I (incomplete), F (failure) and W (withdrawal) are not considered successfully completed classes, but will be included in the number of attempted credit hours. Repeat courses will be counted in attempted and completed credits. Western Wyoming Community College students are allowed to repeat a satisfactorily completed course one time and receive funding. The Financial Aid Office will not include a completed course taken for the third time in a student's cost of attendance, or for awarding purposes. Inappropriate selection of courses is not an acceptable reason for not maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Students should contact an advisor.

An incomplete course must be completed the following semester unless the student requests an extension from the instructor. Once the incomplete is completed and the grade has been updated by the instructor it will be the student's responsibility to contact the Financial Aid Office for recalculation of their satisfactory academic progress for the term in question.


Treatment of Transfer Students, Second Degrees, & Second Majors

Students transferring to Western Wyoming Community College will have all attempted hours and transfer credits included in the maximum time frame of 150%. Once the student meets the 150% maximum time frame, an email is sent to the student notifying them that they have reached the maximum duration of eligibility and that they have the option to appeal. If the student submits an appeal, a degree audit will be done to determine the required courses that the student needs to complete the Associate's Degree or Certificate. 150% of that number will be the maximum number of hours that will be funded at Western Wyoming Community College.

Students changing majors and requesting an extension of aid eligibility will be required to provide a written appeal to the FA office providing notification of the major change and do an official change of major with the office of Registration and Records. The Director will verify this information utilizing the administrative computer system. In order for an extension of aid to be granted beyond the 150% timeframe, the change of major must be a well-defined change (EX: Nursing to OIS). If it is determined to be a well-defined change of major by the Financial Aid Director, a degree audit will be run, all developmental courses will be discounted and 150% of the number of required courses for the new major will be extended to the student. Students can change their major no more than three times and appeal for an extension of aid (ie., one declared major and two major changes).

Students seeking second associate degrees and requesting financial aid assistance will be required to provide a written appeal to the Financial Aid office. Appeal requests will be considered if the second degree is in a clearly defined different area of study. For example, if the first AS was in Biology and the second Associates degree is in Education, then an extension of aid will be granted one time only. If it is determined to be a clearly defined second associate degree by the Financial Aid Director, a degree audit will be run, and 150% of the number of required courses for the second associate degree will be extended to the student.

Students that have exceeded the 150% timeframe will be considered for an extension of aid eligibility if there has been a stop out period of three years or greater. A degree audit will be run to determine the courses still required for the degree and that number will be taken by 150% as the maximum number of hours to be funded at Western Wyoming Community College.

Appeals

Western Wyoming Community College has an appeal procedure for students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress. The student should understand the SAP requirements for their individual aid and when subsequent grades may place him/her in Aid Suspension. It is not the responsibility of the Financial Aid Office to notify the students, although Western Wyoming Community College makes every effort to do so. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Financial Aid Office when conditions have been met to again receive financial aid (generally a successful semester at the student's expense) or to initiate an appeal. A SAP status may automatically return a satisfactory status when the next semester’s SAP measurement is processed.

Students are provided with detailed information on SAP when their financial aid is awarded.

Western Wyoming Community College students must appeal using the Student Verification and Appeal Portal. Appeals are directed to the Financial Aid Director for review. The appeal form that a student must fill out details their academic plan for the academic year. They must accompany the form with a letter explaining the extenuating circumstances which prevented their ability to meet the SAP standards and also any documentation (medical, legal, etc.) that would substantiate their case. Examples of mitigating circumstances by which an appeal might be approved include a family member's death, illness, living conditions not conducive to academic success which are out of the student's control, etc.

The Financial Aid Review Board is made up of the Financial Aid Officer, Vice President for Student Services, two Professional/Administrative employees and two faculty members. In the event that an appeal is denied by the FA Director, the student has the option of meeting with the Financial Aid Review Board (FARB). The student appears in person or via conference call and explains that circumstances surrounding their failure to meet the institution's SAP standards. The Financial Aid Review Board (FARB) has the authority to override the Director's decision of denial in such cases. Students can meet only once with the Financial Aid Review Board (FARB) during their time at Western Wyoming Community College.

Western Wyoming Community College students may request to go before the Financial Aid Review Board (FARB) by emailing or submitting in writing the request to the Financial Aid Director. Once received the Financial Aid Director will work with the members of the FARB to schedule a meeting for the date requested.  The Director of Financial Aid will then notify the student of the confirmed meeting. A student must provide a 24-hour notification when needing to reschedule the meeting date.  Failure to do so will result in the FARB determining the next meeting date and no exceptions will be made..

Students are allowed one appeal to the Financial Aid Review Board (FARB). Only in exceptional circumstances is a second appeal allowed. The deadline by which an appeal must be received is noted in the suspension notice sent to students at the end of each semester. The Financial Aid Director and/or the FARB may choose to apply specific conditions to the approval of a student's appeal

The outcome of a student's appeal, whether accepted or denied, is communicated to the student via letter sent to the student's address. A copy is also sent via e-mail when appropriate. The Director updates the administrative computer system regarding the SAP outcome. A copy of the letter which is sent to the student is also retained in the student's digital file.

Documentation

Additional information may sometimes be required to document the mitigating circumstances surrounding a satisfactory academic progress appeal; therefore, forms of acceptable documentation that may be submitted in support of an appeal include but are not limited to:

  • Newspaper obituaries or death certificates to substantiate deaths
  • Physician's statement to substantiate illness or accident
  • Statement from clergy or family member who knows the student's situation
  • Statement from academic advisor or professor

Regaining Eligibility

Students not making satisfactory academic progress may re-establish eligibility on their own, either because their appeals were denied or because they did not avail themselves of the appeal processes.

In the case of a qualitative suspension a student must pay for 1 semester (or more) at their own expense until they match the number of credits for which they were originally funded and correct the deficiency (earn a semester GPA of 2.0 or greater). It is the students' responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing through the appeal process that they wish to be evaluated for reinstatement of eligibility for financial aid.

If the student chooses not to pay for their own expenses, and instead choose  to interrupt his/her attendance, the student must then submit an appeal upon returning specifying what they believe has changed, what measures they have put in place to be successful, and a copy of their current degree evaluation for review.  If it is determined the student has a solid foundation and plan to continue, they may be granted a semester of aid under the requirements set forth on an Academic Plan by the Financial Aid Director. If the requirements of the Academic Plan are not met the student will be suspended from receiving and further Title IV aid until they regain satisfactory standing. . It is otherwise the students' responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing that they wish to be evaluated for reinstatement of eligibility for financial aid.

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