Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid
In order to be eligible for financial aid you must:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have a valid high school diploma or GED, or complete state approved home schooling;
- have demonstrated financial need by completing the FAFSA;
- be admitted into an approved degree or certificate program;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress;
- not be in default on a loan at any school;
- not owe a refund on a grant at any school;
- be registered with Selective Service, if required;
Satisfactory Academic ProgressA student receiving Federal Title IV financial aid or other financial aid directly administered or certified by Garrett College must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards the completion of a certificate or degree program of study. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients is measured by using a quantitative and qualitative standard and is an assessment of a student’s cumulative academic record at the college. There are three conditions of satisfactory academic progress that a student must satisfy in order to continue to receive financial aid: Grades, Completion, and Maximum Time Frame. A student who does not meet any one of these requirements is in violation of SAP for financial aid purposes.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard MeasurementsCumulative Grade Point Average: Each semester of enrollment a student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average relative to the total number of credits attempted. Conditions of the Garrett County Scholarship require a student to minimally achieve a 2.0 GPA each semester in order to maintain eligibility for the GCSP.
Completion Rate: A student must complete a minimum of 67% of his/her total attempted coursework to remain eligible for federal, state and college financial aid.
Maximum Time Frame: A student must keep within a maximum timeframe which would be limited to no more than 150% of the published length of the program for undergraduate study. A student enrolled in an associate degree program that has attempted 98 credit hours or more, including transfer, developmental, and credit courses, will be required to meet with an Academic Advisor to complete a degree audit
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial AidThe following policy is effective October 17, 2014 and supersedes all other GC SAP policies. A review of SAP will be done at the end of each semester/payment period. Semesters include Fall, Spring and Summer terms. The evaluation period is cumulative, including enrollment in all prior semesters and all classes attempted, whether federal aid was received or not.
A student that receives either federal or state assistance, including student/parent loans, must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the attainment of his/her degree or certificate. SAP is measured by: minimum cumulative grade point average (see table below), minimum completion of 67% of total hours attempted, and maximum time frame for completion of a degree, consistent with the provisions of this policy.
- The grade of AU (Audit) has no equivalency and the course is not used when evaluating SAP.
- Effective July 1, 2011, a student may use financial aid funds to repeat a course only once if failed or if a minimum grade is required for student’s program of study or transferability. (E.g. Pre-Nursing student must have a B average in BIO104.)
- The first semester a student fails to meet these standards he/she is placed on Financial Aid Warning. Warning is for one semester, during which time the student must bring his/her academic record back to the required level. Failure to do so will result in Financial Aid Termination. A student on Financial Aid Termination is not eligible to receive Financial Aid. A student may re-establish eligibility for financial aid by bringing his/her academic record to the required level without financial assistance from federal, state, local or college funds. Eligibility can also be reestablished through a successful appeal granted by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
- A student transferring from another post-secondary institution will be treated as a new student for their first semester. Any credits transferred in will be included as hours attempted in SAP calculations.
A student will not be permitted to receive financial aid after 150% of full-time enrollment (or the equivalent of 150% at part-time enrollment). Full-time students must successfully complete 17 credits by the end of the first academic year of attendance; another 17 credits by the end of the second year; and 18 credits by the end of the third year. Part-time students will have their credits prorated.
- A student who CHANGES curriculums will not be granted an increase in length of time allowed for receipt of financial aid.
- A student who GRADUATES in a curriculum and returns in a new curriculum will be given the maximum time length to complete the new program. Appeal option applies. However, the student will be limited to three degrees and/or certificates in separate program areas. (Options within a program will not be counted as separate degrees). Once this limit is reached, student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. A student who has completed program requirements will be considered to have completed the program even if they do not officially apply for graduation. By federal law, a student who first received Pell grant in 2008-2009 is only allowed 12 semesters of Pell grant for his/her entire undergraduate degree(s).
- A transfer student will have his/her maximum time length determined by the number of credits GC accepts.
- A student who has previously attended GC will have his/her prior academic record at GC used to determine financial aid eligibility.
- A student placed on Termination may appeal to the Financial Aid Office, requesting reinstatement of aid due to extenuating circumstances. . A student must be academically eligible to enroll and have no outstanding obligations to the College before an appeal will be considered. Academic re-admittance does not guarantee Financial Aid reinstatement. If reinstated, the student must work with his/her Advisor, the Advising & Academic Success Center and Financial Aid to establish a Financial Aid Action Plan. The Action Plan will specify the courses that must be completed to reach transfer or graduation. Deviation from the plan will result in immediate reinstatement of Termination status. It is the responsibility of the student to establish the plan in a timely manner. Enrollment in specific classes is not guaranteed. The established Financial Aid Action Plan must be followed.
All financial aid recipients are responsible for knowing the SAP policy. The Financial Aid Office sends notifications to students who have been placed on Warning or Termination status. It is the student’s responsibility to have met the minimum SAP requirements to qualify for aid, regardless if student received the notification or not. If academically eligible to enroll at GC, a student who is ineligible for aid may enroll and self-pay their education expenses (tuition, fees, books, etc.). Payment arrangements can be made by contacting the Business Office
FINANCIAL AID WARNING A student who fails to meet SAP is placed on Financial Aid Warning for the upcoming semester. Financial Aid funds may be awarded during a semester of Warning. Mitigating circumstances may exist which need to be reviewed via the appeal process described in this policy.
FINANCIAL AID TERMINATION A student who while on Financial Aid Warning fails to complete 67% of the semester coursework attempted and/or fails to achieve the required CGPA is placed on Financial Aid Termination for the following Fall, Spring, Summer or Intersession semester. No financial aid will be disbursed during a Termination semester. Any aid already awarded for that semester will be cancelled. No further aid will be disbursed until aid is reinstated.
REINSTATEMENT OF AID Reinstatement of Financial Aid can be achieved in one of the following ways:
Self-Pay – If academically eligible to enroll, the student may enroll at GC during the termination semester. The student will self-pay the tuition, fees, books etc. without any student financial aid. If the student does well enough to satisfy the SAP standards, the student may submit a written request to the FA Office for review of the self-pay semester. If deemed eligible the student may then be removed from termination and regain eligibility for financial aid.
Appeal – As per the SAP policy, the student may appeal Financial Aid Termination. The terminated student prepares and submits a written appeal. The document should contain all information the student wishes for the FA Office to be aware of when considering the reinstatement. Documentation from outside sources (physician, instructor, counselor, minister etc.) is recommended. Appeals are submitted to the Assistant Director of FA for review and consideration for reinstatement. Allow 7-10 working days for this to be completed. Appeals are considered and results are disclosed to student through email and US Mail. Appeals must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office ten working days prior to the first day of the semester. Failure to secure an appeal decision, prior to payment due date, may require full or partial payment, to maintain enrollment.
Upon reinstatement the student must arrange the necessary meetings with his/her assigned Advisor, Program Director, Advising & Academic Success Center and Financial Aid and prepare an Action Plan. The Action Plan will specify courses the student must complete to bring the student to transfer status or graduation. Deviation from the plan may result in immediate reinstatement of Termination Status. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange necessary meetings, establish and follow the plan and schedule in a timely manner. Enrollment is not guaranteed. The established Action Plan must be followed and will be monitored by the Financial Aid Office.