Standards of Satisfactory Progress

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Return of Federal Title IV Funds: Mandated by Law
A financial aid recipient who does not complete all of the days he/she was scheduled to attend during the payment period may be required to repay all or a portion of the financial aid he/she received for that semester. Recipients may also be required to pay back, to the College, all or a portion of tuition charges.

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will complete all courses he/she is scheduled to attend during the period financial aid assistance is awarded. When a student ceases attendance and does not complete all courses he/she was scheduled to attend, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.If a student ceases attendance prior to completing more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined using a specific formula. This is known as the Return to Title IV Funds calculation. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned by the College and/or the student to the appropriate program. If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, he or she is eligible to receive a Post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. The exact amount to be returned by the College and/or repaid by the student will vary depending on the amount of financial aid received and the point in which the student ceases attendance from the College.The amount of assistance earned is determined on a prorated basis. For example, if the student completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, he/she would earn 30% of the assistance he/she was originally scheduled to receive. If the student completes more than 60% of the payment period (generally the length of the semester) or period of enrollment (if enrolled in Modules only - courses than run less than the full semester), all the assistance that he/she was scheduled to receive for that period is earned.There are some Title IV funds that students are scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed once a student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, a first-time, first-year undergraduate student must complete 30 days of his/her program in order to be eligible for a Direct Loan disbursement. If the student withdraws prior to completing 30 days of his/her program, he/she will not receive any Direct Loan funds.If the student receives excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, the College must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. The institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the student's funds, or
  2. The entire amount of excess funds.

The College must return this amount even if it did not keep this amount of the student's Title IV program funds.If the College is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that must be returned by the student, (or student's parent for a PLUS Loan) are to be repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, the student must make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.Any amount of unearned grant funds that a student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that a student must repay is half of the grant funds he/she received or was scheduled to receive. The student must make arrangements with the school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.The requirements for the Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from the College refund policy. Therefore, a student may still owe funds to the College to cover unpaid Institutional charges. The College may also charge a student for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. A student will not be allowed to register for any future courses until this required refund is paid.The College will return funds to the appropriate aid programs as prescribed by law and regulations in the following order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  7. Other Title IV Aid Programs
  8. Other Federal sources of aid
  9. State/Private/College aid

No Pass Grades (Return of Title IV Funds)
Students in the following situation in a given semester will have the unearned portion of that semester's financial aid returned to the federal government:

  • are receiving Financial Aid; and
  • all grades issued for a given semester are a combination of “no passing grades”; and
  • do not have a last date of attendance documented after the 60% period of the semester.

The Return of Title IV calculation will use the “last date of attendance” or the 50% period of that semester. Students in this situation may be required to repay a percentage of their financial aid.

What is a Consortium Agreement?
A Consortium Agreement allows a student who is receiving financial aid to benefit from federal and state funds while pursuing a degree, diploma, professional certificate or eligible certificate program at one of the Community Colleges of New Hampshire or NHTI. A consortium agreement is a formal contract between the college you are attending and the home college. The college the student is enrolled in is considered the Home College. A student who wishes to take a course at a college other than the home college is required to complete a Consortium Agreement with the Home College. Courses taken must be transferable to the student's program. Various financial aid forms and scholarship information are available on your specific college web site. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at your Home College for more information.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
The Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulations to periodically review financial aid recipients to ensure that they are making academic progress towards the completion of their program of study. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients is measured by both qualitative and quantitative standards and is an assessment of a student's cumulative academic record while in attendance at the institution.

Qualitative Standard

Cumulative GPA Component Must have earned the minimum published CGPA at the published intervals.

Quantitative Standard

Completion Rate Component Must complete at least 2/3 (66.666%) of the credits attempted.
Maximum Timeframe Component May receive financial aid for up to 150% of the number of credits required for successful program completion.

In general, coursework that is taken while in attendance at the CCSNH institution and that applies to your academic program is considered when reviewing your academic record for satisfactory academic progress. However, there are some exceptions. Please refer to the table below for a breakdown of how each type of course or credit is treated in the review.

  Cumulative GPA Component Completion Rate Component Maximum Timeframe Component
Regular courses in your program of study Y Y Y
Repeat Courses Y Y Y
Transfer Credits N Y Y
Consortium Credits N Y Y
Developmental/Remedial/ESL Y Y Y
Incompletes Y Y Y
Audit Courses N N N
Credit by Examination N N Y

Qualitative Standard

Cumulative GPA (CGPA) Component
A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average as noted below to be considered as making satisfactory academic progress. See: Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculator

Total Credits Earned Toward Program Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For the Program
Credits Certificate/Diploma Associate
0 - 13 1.50 1.50
14 - 27 2.00 1.70
28 - 40   1.80
41+   2.00

Quantitative Standard

Completion Rate Component
A student must successfully complete at least two-thirds (66.666%) of the total credits he/she attempts throughout his/her academic career at the college. All attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative transcript notation will be included in the quantitative calculation.

For example, a student who has enrolled in 36 credits throughout their academic career at the college must pass at least a minimum of 24 credits in order to be making satisfactory academic progress.

Maximum Timeframe Component
A student may receive student federal aid for any attempted credits towards his or her program of study as long as those credits do not exceed 150% of the published length of the student's program of study.

For example, a student enrolled in an eligible 24 credit certificate program can receive financial aid for up to 36 credits attempted. Likewise, a student enrolled in a program of study that requires 64 credits to earn the degree can receive student federal aid for a maximum of 96 credits attempted.

If a student changes curriculum programs or graduates and requests a second degree, a degree audit will be completed and evaluated to determine what portion of the requirements for that curriculum has been satisfied. Students who seek a dual degree may appeal for an extension of the maximum time frame provision of this policy. Appeals will be evaluated on an individual, case-by-case basis.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review Process (SAP)

Question Answer
When is my academic progress reviewed? At the end of each semester
Are there Probationary Periods? Yes, referred to as Warning Periods
Is there an Appeal Process? Yes
Can I regain Financial Aid eligibility once I lose it? Yes

The qualitative and quantitative components of the SAP policy will be reviewed at the end of each semester within the regular academic year of the student's program of study.

Students who meet SAP standards will be coded as making satisfactory academic progress and will retain eligibility for Student Federal Aid for the following semester.

Students who do not meet SAP standards will be placed on SAP warning for one semester. Students placed on SAP warning will retain their eligibility for Student Federal Aid for that upcoming semester.

Academic Periods Included in the Review
The qualitative and quantitative standards of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy will be used to review the academic progress for all periods of the student's enrollment. Even periods in which the student did not receive FSA funds will be included in the review. Additionally, periods for which the student was granted academic amnesty will be included in the review.

Students Placed on SAP Warning
At the end of the warning period, SAP standards will be reviewed. If the student meets SAP standards, he/she will once again be coded as making satisfactory academic progress and will retain eligibility for Student Federal Aid for the next semester.

If the student is still unable to meet the standards for SAP, he/she will no longer be eligible to receive FSA at the institution until such time that he/she is able to meet the standards of SAP.

Academic Amnesty
Students who are granted academic amnesty should be aware that previous grades will be used to evaluate Satisfactory Academic Progress (Quantitative and Qualitative) for financial aid purposes even though they are not included in the new academic grade point average.

Appeal Process
A student who becomes ineligible for federal student aid as a result of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards may appeal for a review of that determination. A student who believes he/she has extenuating circumstances that affected his or her ability to progress satisfactorily should appeal in writing (letter or form) within 15 days of the date of the letter indicating a loss of financial aid eligibility. Exceptions may be granted to this time limitation by the Financial Aid Office.

Items to include in the appeal:

  • Student name and ID
  • Circumstances that prevented student from achieving SAP standards
  • An Academic Plan which the student will use to regain satisfactory progress

The student appeal letter should be addressed to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. A successful appeal may preserve the student's eligibility for federal student aid in the following semester.

For further information about the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, please contact the Financial Aid Office

Audit Courses
Financial Aid does not cover any courses a student audits. Further, audit courses are not included for any of the calculated components.

Change of Program
A student who changes his/her academic program may request an appeal in that determination if s/he has changed programs while enrolled at his/her current college. If this appeal is taken up then only those courses applicable to the new program will be evaluated for the Completion Rate and CGPA components. However, all courses attempted will be evaluated for the Maximum Timeframe component. If under these circumstances the student is making satisfactory academic progress, the student will regain eligibility for student aid. If under these circumstances the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, the student will not regain eligibility for student aid at this time.

For further information about the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Consortium Credits
All courses taken at an institution other than your home institution through an official consortium are included in the calculation for completion rate and maximum timeframe components, but are excluded from the student's cumulative GPA component.

Course Withdrawal
Course withdrawal may affect a student's eligibility for financial aid.

Credit by Examination
Financial Aid does not cover courses for which a student earns credit through examination. Credit by Examination courses count toward the maximum time frame component, but are excluded from the student's cumulative GPA component and completion rate components.

Developmental/Remedial/ESL Courses
Credits from these courses will be included in the calculations for all three components of the satisfactory academic progress review. A student is eligible for up to 24 credit hours of federal financial aid in this category.

Experiential Learning Credits
Financial Aid does not cover courses in which a student earns credit through Experiential Learning. Experiential Learning Credits count toward the maximum time frame (quantitative) but do not count in qualitative measure (GPA).

Incompletes
All incompletes must be resolved by the end of the third week of the semester following the receipt of the incomplete grade. If not, the grade is either automatically changed to an "F" or is considered to be an "F" for all components of the satisfactory academic progress review. Financial Aid can be withheld until incompletes are resolved.

Repeat Courses
Financial Aid will cover a repeated course only when it is repeated to replace an unacceptable grade as determined by a specific course and/or major. Only the most recent grade for a course that has been repeated will count towards a student's CGPA. Therefore, grades from prior attempts will be excluded from the student's cumulative GPA. However, all attempts including the most current will be included in the calculation for the completion rate and maximum timeframe components

Transfer Credits
Credits that are transferred in from another institution and apply to the most current major will be excluded from the student's cumulative GPA. However, they will be included in the calculation for the maximum timeframe and completion rate components

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Withdrawal
The following policies and procedures are used to determine the withdrawal date for any student who withdraws, officially or unofficially, from all classes during a semester.

  1. Withdrawal from the College through Official Notification by the Student:
    The Registrar's Office is the official authority within the college designated to accept withdrawal notification. If a student communicates to a staff person in the Registrar's office while that person is acting in an official capacity, that communication in whatever form (verbal or written), is considered official notification. Students are urged to submit a signed withdrawal form and/or Add/Drop form to the Registrar's Office to show their intent to withdraw. The date the form is submitted to the Registrar is the withdrawal date and the date of notification to the College. Students may also withdraw from the college by phone, fax or mail. For a phone withdrawal, the Registrar's Office will fill out the appropriate form and date stamp it with a notation that is was a phone withdrawal; for a fax or mail withdrawal, the Registrar's Office will fill out the appropriate form and date stamp it with the mail/fax attached.
  2. Withdrawal from the College or a Course through Official Notification by the Faculty
    A faculty member may process a withdrawal from the college or a course on behalf of a student who is unable to do so him/herself because of circumstances beyond the student's control (e.g. hospitalization, military transfer, accident). The faculty member will submit the appropriate course/college withdrawal form to the Registrar's office with all information filled out on the student's behalf. If not indicated on the form, a brief explanation must accompany the form indicating why the student is unable to complete the withdrawal him/herself. The date the form is submitted to the Registrar is the withdrawal date and the date of notification to the college.
  3. Withdrawal from the College without Notification to the College (Dropout)
    If a student ceases attendance without providing official notification, the withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the semester, unless the Registrar is notified otherwise (see below). Students who stop attending class after the add/drop period will receive an AF from the instructor at the end of the semester. An AF grade is computed into the student GPA as an F. However, an instructor may also give an AF grade at any point during the semester for violation of the instructor's individual attendance policy, for disruptive classroom behavior, or for unsafe clinical practice (see AF grade definition). In this instance the instructor will submit the AF grade to the Registrar on a designated form. The date the form is submitted will be the date of notification.

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Financial Aid Office
31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301-7412
(603) 230-4013
Fax: (603) 230-9306
nhtifinaid@ccsnh.edu