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Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Federal Department of Education (DOE) mandates the establishment and enforcement of a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for all institutions participating in federal Title IV aid programs. Federal Title IV aid programs include: Pell, SEOG, Direct Student/Parent Loans, and Work Study. The regulations require the measurement of cumulative GPA, rate of progression, and maximum time frame. A change of program does not reset the SAP calculation. WWCC students are considered to be making SAP if they consistently:

WWCC's qualitative measurement
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00
WWCC'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 Attempted credits include withdrawn, incomplete, failed, and repeated courses.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 WWCC 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 WWCC
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.

Students with a Warning status are notified by Campus Cruiser e-mail that 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 a No Longer Eligible (NLE) SAP status. Students are notified via Campus Cruiser e-mail that they are not eligible for federal financial aid. The e-mail 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. WWCC 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, a letter 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 WWCC.

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 FA 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 FA 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 FA 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 WWCC.


Appeals

WWCC has an appeal procedure for students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress. Students may appeal in writing to the financial aid office. The student should understand the SAP for their individual aid and when subsequent grades place him/her in Aid Suspension. It is not the responsibility of the Financial Aid Office to notify the students, although we make 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.

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

WWCC students must appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Director. 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 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 FARB has the authority to override the Director's decision of denial in such cases. Students can meet only once with the FARB during their time at WWCC.

WWCC students must submit the appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Director in order to meet with the FARB.

Students are allowed one appeal to the 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 FA 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 physical 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, they may interrupt his/her attendance for a period of five (5) years and return under warning status. It is the students' responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing that they wish to be evaluated for reinstatement of eligibility for financial aid.

Once the student has corrected the deficiency, it is their responsibility to communicate this information to the financial aid office. This is done by writing a letter to the Director notifying him/her that the deficiency has been corrected. Upon receipt and verification of the information, the student's eligibility will be reinstated for the upcoming semester.


For more information, contact Mustang Central at (307) 382-1677 or mustangcentral@westernwyoming.edu.
 
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2500 COLLEGE DRIVE, ROCK SPRINGS, WY 82901
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