Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that schools establish a Satisfactory Progress requirement determining maximum number of hours allowable to achieve the degree sought, and minimum progress requirements for continued financial aid eligibility. Polk State College evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes at the end of each term.

Federal regulations (34 CFR 668.16(e), 34 CFR 668.32(f), 34 CFR 668.34) also mandate that a student moves toward the completion of a degree or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Federal regulations state that Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. The student must meet all of the minimum standards in order to receive financial aid.

It is important for students to review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, particularly if the student is beginning college for the first time. Each class that a student enrolls in, including those courses that the student may later withdraw from, will be considered during a Satisfactory Progress review.

Evaluation of Financial Aid Eligibility

  • Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are applied at the end of every semester to determine eligibility for the following academic semester. SAP standards are calculated using the cumulative grade point average (GPA) and cumulative completion rate. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher and a successful completion rate of 67% or more.
  • Students will be placed on financial aid warning if they have not met the SAP standards. Students will be eligible for aid during the Term of Warning (ToW). Students will need to raise their GPA and/or completion rate to meet the minimum SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility.
  • Students will be placed on financial aid suspension if they do not meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress in the term following their Term of Warning (ToW). Students will not be eligible for aid during the suspension. Students will need to increase their GPA and/or completion rate to meet the minimum SAP requirements to regain financial aid eligibility or appeal their financial aid suspension, if applicable. (See Appeal Process, below)
  • The evaluation period will be based on attendance in all prior semester(s) and will include all classes attempted whether federal aid was received or not. The initial evaluation at Polk StateCollege will be based on all previous institutions attended once the transcripts are received, evaluated, and posted to the student’s record. SAP will be reviewed after each semester. The student’s cumulative GPA and completion ratio must meet the minimum standards or the student will be placed on warning/suspension.
  • Credits evaluated will include all credits attempted at Polk State College, transfer credits, and courses through consortium agreements.
  • Students who do not meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be notified via letter and e-mail within 7-14 business days of the college’s determination that the student is not meeting SAP standards. Students may follow the appeal process as outlined below. Students will not have eligibility for any further federal aid until they have met Satisfactory Academic Progress standards or have an approved appeal on file with the Polk State College Office of Financial Aid.

Eligibility Standards

Students must meet the following criteria:

  • Students must complete 67% of all credits attempted.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA requirement of a 2.0
  • Students must complete their program of study within the 150% timeframe of attempted hours toward their degree or eligible certificate program. For example, if the duration of a program is 60 credit hours then the student must complete all required coursework within 90 hours. This includes repeated grades and college preparatory coursework.

Note: Grades of F, I, W, W1, W2, W4 and courses not yet graded are considered attempted but not meeting progress standards for the purposes of financial aid.

Appeal Process

A student, who has lost financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances only, may appeal. Extenuating circumstances that may be considered include, but are not limited to: personal illness or accident, serious illness or death within the immediate family, or other circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student.

  • All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of Student Financial Aid with the Polk State College Satisfactory Progress Appeal form and include supporting documentation.
  • Examples of documentation could include an obituary notice, divorce decree, or a letter from a physician, attorney, social services agency, parole officer, employer, etc.
  • The condition or situation must be resolved, which will allow the student the ability to complete course work successfully. If the condition or situation has not been resolved, the appeal will not be granted.
  • Students will be notified via letter and e-mail of the results of the appeal (typically within 10-14 business days of Polk State College Office of Financial Aid receiving the appeal).

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

  • A student who has lost financial aid eligibility may be reinstated after the student has taken classes to meet the minimum requirements of an overall GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative completion rate of 67% of all credit hours being evaluated or was approved on appeal.
  • All classes including those taken at other institutions will be taken into consideration for reinstatement purposes.
  • A student must be able to complete their degree or certificate within the 150% timeframe.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance when this condition has been met.