Satisfactory Academic Progress (S.A.P.)
Piedmont Technical College (PTC) has adopted the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy according to federal and state mandates.
This policy measures a student’s performance in the following areas: 1) Cumulative completion rate; 2) Cumulative grade point average (GPA), and 3) Length of Eligibility. The student’s total academic record will be evaluated to make this determination.
This SAP policy applies to all students applying for or receiving federal and state funds. The intent of this policy is to ensure that students who are receiving federal and certain types of state (excluding Lottery Tuition Assistance) financial aid are making measurable progress toward completion of a degree, diploma, or certificate program within a reasonable time frame.
As a recipient of Federal or State financial aid, you have certain rights and responsibilities. Failure to fulfill your part of the agreement, as described, may result in the cancellation of your award and you may have to repay any funds already received.
Financial Aid Programs under the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal Pell Grant (PELL) – Non-Campus Based Aid
Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) *
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) – Campus-Based Aid
Federal Direct Loans – Non-Campus Based Aid
Federal Work Study Program (FWS) – Campus Based Aid
South Carolina Need-Based Grant (SCNB) – Campus Based Aid
Requirements of the SAP Policy
The Financial Aid Office monitors the satisfactory academic progress of all financial aid recipients by reviewing a student’s total academic record after grades are posted at the end of each semester. Failure to meet any one of these standards may result in the cancellation of aid and repayment of funds already received.
Cumulative Completion Rate (Pace)
Financial aid recipients are required to earn at least 67 percent of credit hours attempted. The completion rate is derived by dividing the cumulative hours earned by the cumulative hours attempted. Courses with grades of F, W, NC, CF and I are counted in the hours attempted. Hours earned are those for which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, or D. Hours attempted are hours for which a student registers at the beginning of the semester, withdraws from or does not receive a passing grade.
Cumulative Grade Point Average
All Piedmont Technical College students must maintain a 2.0 semester/term and cumulative grade point average (GPA) to be considered in satisfactory academic standing. It is the policy of Piedmont Technical College to require that grade point standards be maintained for continued enrollment and financial aid eligibility.
The grade point standards for the Pell grant are as follows:
1 – 12 credit hours earned: minimum 1.50 GPA
13 – 24 credit hours earned: minimum 1.75 GPA
25+ credit hours earned: minimum 2.00 GPA
All other federal and state programs require a 2.0 GPA.
Length of Eligibility
Financial aid recipients may be eligible for assistance until they have attempted up to 150 percent of the semester hours required for the program of study in which they are enrolled. At the beginning of the first term of enrollment for the current award year, financial aid recipients’ program length of eligibility is reviewed. If the student has reached or is approaching the 150 percent maximum, a Degree Evaluation/Program Assessment Form must be completed by the recipient’s program advisor. The form is maintained in the student’s file and reviewed prior to the beginning of subsequent terms of enrollment. Financial Aid may not be awarded for an additional program of study until the requirements for the current program of study are complete.
Students will not be eligible for the Federal PELL Grant once they have attempted a total of 180 credit hours. (150 percent of what is required to earn a bachelor’s degree at most four-year institutions).
Academic Issues that will affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Repeated Courses, Withdrawals, Incomplete Courses, Carry-forwards, NC and F
Students who receive federal or state financial aid must be aware that repeated courses and courses with grades of W, I, CF, NC and F will be considered in assessing their progress toward completion. Courses with these grades are considered not completed. When a ‘CF’ or ‘I’ is changed to a grade, the student will need to notify the Financial Aid Office for re-evaluation of their status if the student is on probation or suspension.
Financial Aid recipients may take a maximum of 30 credit hours in developmental (remedial) course work, which consists of English, Math and Reading courses of 100 level or lower. These courses count towards hours attempted and will be considered in determining SAP.
Change of Major
Students who change majors are still responsible for maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Students will be allowed THREE changes of major before completing a degree, diploma, or certificate. After the third change of major, you are placed on financial aid suspension. To reestablish eligibility, you must have an approved appeal. See appeals below. While considering a change in major, students should consult the Financial Aid Office to discuss the effect of a change on their Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Number of Completed Credentials
Students can receive Title IV funding for a total of THREE degrees, diplomas, or certificates. After completing the third degree, diploma, or certificate, you will not be eligible to receive additional financial aid.
*Programs within the same major such as LPN & ADN are exceptions to both of these new policies.
Prior College Coursework – Transfer Credits
The U.S. Department of Education requires the Financial Aid Office to track students' academic progress from the first date of enrollment, whether or not financial aid was received. Students returning to the college after a break in enrollment should consult the Financial Aid Office on how their college history will affect their eligibility for financial aid. Any student not meeting a standard will be subject to suspension of all financial aid. All credits accepted toward the student’s program of study will be counted in cumulative attempted and cumulative earned hours.
Fresh Start Program
Students approved for the Fresh Start Program should be aware that financial aid requirements regarding prior attendance and cumulative eligibility must be considered from the first date of enrollment. Federal and state regulations restrict the awarding of financial assistance beyond 150 percent of the published program length.
Results from NOT Meeting SAP
Students who do not meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be sanctioned according to Federal mandate and may lose all or part of their financial aid award.
Financial Aid Warning – (formerly Probation)
Following a review of the student’s academic record, if a student does not meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student will be placed on warning during the next term in which they enroll at the college. Students will be notified by mail that their financial aid eligibility is in warning status. Students who are placed on warning will be reviewed at the end of the warning term enrolled. Students who fail to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the warning term enrolled will be placed on suspension and will lose Federal and state aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Probation
Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP (following Financial Aid Warning status) and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for financial aid reinstated. A student who is placed on financial aid probation may receive financial aid for one subsequent payment period. A student assigned a Financial Aid Probation status will be placed on a SAP Academic Plan. At the conclusion of the SAP Academic Probation payment period, the student must either meet the SAP standards or complete all courses enrolled with C or better.
Financial Aid Suspension - Declaration of Ineligibility
Financial Aid Suspension status is assigned to a student who: 1) failed complete all courses with C or better while on Financial Aid Probation; 2) has not completed a SAP appeal form; or 3) has been denied his or her appeal. A letter will be sent notifying the student of his or her ineligibility for federal or state funds along with an Appeal Form. Financial Aid awards will be canceled when a student is placed on suspension. Returning students who did not meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in their previous enrollment with Piedmont may be placed on suspension upon their return to the college.
To request consideration for receiving federal or state assistance during the next term of enrollment, a student will need to submit an Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office by the deadline. Only non-campus based aid will be considered for reinstatement should an appeal be approved. Non-campus based aid is the FEDERAL PELL Grant and the Federal Direct Student Loan. FSEOG, Federal Work Study and the SCNB grant may be canceled for all students placed on suspension. Because of the limited funding in these programs, once aid is canceled the Financial Aid Office cannot guarantee that funds will be available in the following semester if the student is removed from suspension.
Once a student in suspension status meets all Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student will be removed from suspension; however, if any one of the standards is not met in subsequent terms, the student will be placed on suspension again.
Appeal of Financial Aid Ineligibility
A student on financial aid suspension may appeal by completion of the Appeal Form indicating reasons why he or she did not achieve minimum academic standards. Acceptable reasons for an appeal are: personal injury or illness, death or serious illness of an immediate family member, employment changes, divorce or separation in the student’s immediate family, poor judgment or immaturity (limited to one appeal). Student may only appeal the same situation once. Previous medical history cannot be used as an acceptable reason for ongoing semesters. The student must provide supporting documentation for the appeal.
Effective July1, 2011, due to government regulations, the financial aid appeal will also include an Academic Plan.** The Academic Plan should indicate what plans are in place to insure the student’s success and achievement of the required 67% completion rate and the minimum required GPA of 2.0.
Students who have exceeded the maximum attempted hours (150 percent of the semester hours required for the program of study) may appeal by submitting a completed Degree Evaluation/Program Assessment Form, signed by the student and advisor. Aid will be awarded for required courses ONLY.
All appeals received must be submitted by the published deadline for each semester located in the PTC Student Calendar and on the PTC Home Page. Appeals received after that date will not be reviewed until the next semester.
Upon review by the Financial Aid Committee, the student will be advised by email of the committee’s decision.
Re-Establishing Eligibility for Financial Aid
In order to Re-establish Eligibility, a student must do the following:
Enroll in at least 6 credit hours and pay tuition.
Complete all courses with a grade of A, B, or C.
Submit a new FA Appeal Form stating what has changed that led to your academic success
Whether your appeal is denied or approved, you must CONTINUE to make grades of A, B, or C.
Effective for the 2011-2012 Academic Year: If your appeal is approved, you must complete all classes with grades of C or better in order to receive financial aid for all subsequent semesters. You do NOT have to re-appeal after each semester, even if you remain on financial aid suspension, if you complete all classes with grades of C or better.
Financial aid suspension does not hinder you from attending Piedmont Technical College. To learn of other payment options, please visit the Payment Plan page.