Federal regulations require Virginia Western to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory progress to students for the purpose of the receipt of financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The law also requires institutions to develop written policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Each institution must design criteria which outline the definition of student progress towards a degree and the consequences to the student if progress is not achieved. VWCC students who wish to be considered for financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester.
VWCC reviews satisfactory academic progress at the end of each semester after grades post. Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress receive an email to their VWCC email address after the SAP review with notification of their SAP status: SAP – warning or SAP – not meeting. The email includes:
- the reason(s) for not meeting SAP,
- information about warning status, if on SAP – warning for the upcoming term,
- information about SAP – not meeting status after having not met SAP requirements after the warning term,
- information about how to regain financial aid eligibility, and
- information about the SAP appeal process.
Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule) – click here for SAP forms
Students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are not included in this calculation. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.
|Total Number of Credits Attempted||GPA Requirement|
Pace of Completion Requirements – click here for SAP forms
Completion Rate (67% Rule)
Students must be evaluated for the 67% Rule before aid is awarded and after grades are posted for every term, starting with their first term of enrollment. Their completion rate must be 67% or higher. Credits with satisfactory grades are those for which a grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P is earned. Developmental and ESL coursework are included in this calculation. Accepted transfer credits will be counted as both attempted and completed.
Maximum Timeframe (150% Rule) – click here for SAP forms
Students must complete their programs before attempting 150% of the credits required for their program. Developmental and ESL course work are excluded in this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all accepted transfer credits are counted. All terms of enrollment at VWCC are included whether or not the student received financial aid and regardless of the age of the coursework.
In order to properly calculate satisfactory academic progress, transfer students who apply for financial aid must request official transcripts from all other colleges attended. Transcripts must be submitted to the College Registrar. Credits officially accepted in transfer will be counted in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility. The College has the option on an individual student basis to put a transfer student in Financial Aid Warning Status immediately upon evaluation for financial aid if academic history at previous colleges indicates a pattern of unsuccessful academic work.
Second Degree Students
Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted.
Developmental and ESL Coursework
Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.
- Withdrawals (W grades) that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid.
- Incomplete Grades: Courses that are assigned an incomplete grade are included in cumulative credits attempted. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned.
- Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative grade point average. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt. Only the latest attempt will count toward the cumulative grade point average.
Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid – click here for SAP forms
Students who do not meet the credit progression requirements (Quantitative or Pace of Completion) and/or cumulative grade point average requirements (Qualitative) will be immediately ineligible for financial aid after any applicable Warning Status term. Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment.
Unless extenuating circumstances exist and an appeal is granted (see Appeal for Extension/Reinstatement of Aid for additional information), a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until satisfactory academic progress requirements are again met.
Students who fail to meet these Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may request a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid to determine whether they have again met satisfactory academic progress standards. If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year. Students should consult their campus financial aid advisors for assistance in appealing any element of this policy or to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals – click here for SAP forms
Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the financial aid suspension. Students must clearly state what caused the suspension and must also clearly indicate what has changed that will now allow the student to succeed.
Appeals are encouraged if:
- Extenuating circumstances exist (i.e., student’s serious illness or accident; death, accident or serious illness in the immediate family; other mitigating circumstances), or
- The student has successfully completed one degree and is attempting another
Students appealing a suspension must:
- Complete the College’s SAP Appeal Form in entirety,
- Complete online SAP counseling sessions,
- Attach documentation in support of the appeal, including meeting with an advisor to determine a plan of completion to graduation for 150% appeals, and
- Submit all items to the College Financial Aid Office.
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3094 Colonial Ave. SW
Roanoke, VA 24015
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