Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy & effect on financial aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

To be eligible for FSA funds, a student must make satisfactory academic progress and proceed through the program at an acceptable pace in order to maintain eligibility. Martinsburg College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy measures progress on a qualitative and quantitative basis. The institution will evaluate a Title IV financial aid recipient’s academic progress at the end of each payment period. Any student who is failing to achieve SAP standards will be notified in writing. The chart below provides the minimum quantitative and qualitative requirements:

A grade of Incomplete (I) is not included in the GPA but is considered towards a student’s non-completion of attempted coursework until the grade is replaced with a permanent grade and the progress can be re-evaluated. It is the responsibility of the student to submit the required coursework within forty-five (45) days of being issued a grade of Incomplete. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the Incomplete grade being changed to a grade of F.

A course withdrawal (W) is not included in the GPA but is considered towards a student’s non-completion of attempted course work.

A failing (F) grade is treated as attempted credits that were not earned and are included in both the qualitative and quantitative calculations.

Maximum Timeframe for Completion
All students who receive federal financial aid are required to complete their programs of study within 150% of the published length of the program. The following maximum timeframes apply to each program offered by Martinsburg College:

  • Certificate programs – the published length is 18 credits. The maximum period must not exceed 27 total semester credits attempted.
  • Associate degrees – the published length is 60 credits. The maximum period must not exceed 90 total semester credits attempted.

Course Repeat Policy
Students receiving Title IV federal financial aid may repeat a course. Credits from both course attempts will be counted in total semester credits attempted and in minimum cumulative credits completed at Martinsburg College, but only the highest grade received will be included in the calculation of minimum cumulative GPA. Credits from both course attempts will also count toward the maximum timeframe for completion.

All periods of a student’s enrollment count when assessing progress, even periods in which a student did not receive FSA funds.

Academic Progress and Financial Aid Warning and Probation
The first occurrence of a student not meeting SAP requirements will result in the student being placed on an academic progress and financial aid warning. This warning will be emailed to the student. The student will have one additional evaluation period to correct the deficiency and meet the minimum requirements at the next evaluation point. Students placed on Academic Progress and Financial Aid Warning will be required to have a counseling session with an instructor and/or student advisor to develop a plan in order for the student to improve his/her performance. The warning period lasts for one payment period only during which time students may continue to receive FSA funds. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress after the warning period will lose their aid eligibility unless they successfully appeal and are placed on probation. Appeals may be submitted on the basis of injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances. The student’s appeal must explain why s/he failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in his/her situation that will allow him/her to make satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. The appeal will be submitted to the Appeals Committee who will make a determination within 10 days.

If the Appeals Committee determines that the student should be able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the subsequent payment period, the student may be placed on academic progress and financial aid probation for one additional payment period. The probation period lasts for one payment period only. If at the end of this time, the student is not making SAP, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Students who are disqualified and/or denied Financial Aid from a prior probation period, who at the recommendation of the Financial Aid Office attended the institution without financial aid for one academic year (completing at least 12 credits total per semester) may be eligible for reinstatement and regain eligibility for financial aid. Upon completing such units, students are required to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Financial Aid Office and provide in-depth details as to when the student completed the reinstatement requirements. All students who have been academically disqualified are ineligible for Financial Aid and can only regain financial aid eligibility through the appeal process. Students who are reinstated are also required to participate in a Satisfactory Academic Progress Counseling Session with the Director of Student Services as part of the SAP Policy.