This Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility policy applies only to applicants/recipients of federal student aid enrolled in one of the credit-hour programs, and sets academic standards which a student must achieve to remain eligible for federal student aid. A student’s status for financial aid eligibility under this policy has no impact on the student’s status under the general Academic Policies and Standards of Palm Beach State College, or vice versa. Hence, the academic department responsible for an academic program may establish different and/or additional academic standards as appropriate to the nature and substance of that program. These additional standards have no effect on financial aid eligibility, but may impact a student’s ability to register.
Academic Progress Policy:
The academic standards are measured each “payment period” as follows:
Academic Progress Standards:
|Cumulative Credit Hours
Additional “Maximum Timeframe” Standard: Eligibility is also limited to students completing their programs within one and one-half times the normal program length. The maximum timeframe is reached when the student has “attempted” one and one-half times the number of credit hours required to graduate from his/her program. For example, for students with standard enrollment (no transfer or proficiency credit), the maximum timeframe to complete a sixty credit-hour program is ninety attempted credit-hours.
Consistency with Academic Policies:
For purposes of Academic Progress measurement, all issues of grading policy, Grade Point Average (GPA) calculation, attendance, etc. are calculated in accordance with the general academic policies of Palm Beach State College, except as may be noted below.
Academic Progress shall be measured at the end of each academic year (end of the Spring semester).
Completed/Attempted Credit Hours:
“Attempted Credit Hours” means the number of credit hours listed in the student’s academic transcript that are applicable to the student’s current academic program. “Completed Credit Hours” means the number of “attempted” credit-hours in which a student earned a passing grade.
Accepted transfer credit (including transfers from other programs of study at Palm Beach State College) shall be considered only if the transferred credit is applicable to the student’s current enrolled program of study. Transfer credit is considered as completed coursework (both attempted and earned) for purposes of this policy.
Return after an Absence:
A student who returns after an absence of more than two calendar years, shall be re-evaluated in a manner consistent with a transfer student as noted above.
Academic and Financial Aid Warning Status:
Students who fail to meet the standards defined above will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension Status, and will lose eligibility for federal student aid from that point forward. Such loss of eligibility may be subject to Appeal or other actions to potentially re-gain financial aid eligibility (see below).
Financial Aid Suspension and Regaining Academic Eligibility:
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal:
A loss of eligibility for federal financial aid (Financial Aid Suspension) may be appealed based on mitigating circumstance(s). A mitigating circumstance is defined as an exceptional or unusual event(s) beyond the student’s direct control, which contributed to or caused the academic difficulty. Some examples include: the death of a relative, issues relating to the care of a dependent child, an injury or illness of the student, emotional or psychological issues, or numerous other special circumstances. Appeal letters should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office at your campus and must include a complete description of the circumstances that led to the academic difficulty, how those circumstances have changed, and a plan for future academic success. Copies of supporting documentation should be included. It is strongly advised that each student filing an appeal meet with a member of the Financial Aid Office staff at his/her respective campus. The Advisor will assist the student, provide guidance, and suggest appropriate documentation to include with the letter submission.
A form is available for this purpose (Satisfactory Academic Progress – Student Appeal Form) which guides the student through the proper format and documentation for an appeal. It can be downloaded from the College’s website. If the appeal cannot be approved at the campus Financial Aid Office, it is automatically forwarded to a committee of Financial Aid and administrative staff (SAP Appeals Committee). At this time, the student may be asked to submit additional documentation or explanation to the committee which could benefit the student’s appeal review. Decisions of the SAP Appeals Committee are final and not subject to additional Appeal.
Financial Aid Probation and Academic Plan:
Students whose appeals have been approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and an academic plan will be created for them. The academic plan is a set of requirements that are designed to return the student to good academic standing before graduation (generally within the maximum timeframe standard). A student meeting the terms of his/her academic plan remains eligible to receive financial aid. Students who fail to meet the terms of their academic plan will lose eligibility for future financial aid (Financial Aid Suspension).
Regaining Eligibility Other Than Through Appeal:
Students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility may potentially regain academic eligibility by one or more of the following methods: 1) make up the academic deficiencies at Palm Beach State College without benefit of federal financial aid, and/or 2) be accepted into a different program of study at Palm Beach State College, if the re-evaluated student’s record (based upon the courses applicable to the new program) will be in compliance with all academic standards.
Return to Good Standing:
Once a student has returned to good academic standing, any previous academic difficulty, shall have no future bearing on the student’s status. Hence, such students will have benefit of all provisions of this policy, including an opportunity to submit an Appeal.