The Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulations to review financial aid recipients periodically to ensure they are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards the completion of their program of study. SAP for financial aid recipients is measured by both qualitative and quantitative standards. It assesses the student’s cumulative academic record while the student is attending WMCC.
In reviewing a student’s academic record for SAP, the Financial Aid Office generally considers a student’s coursework at WMCC as it applies to the student’s academic program. There are exceptions; thus, students should refer to the table in the CCSNH Student Financial Aid Handbook available on the College’s website.
A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA). For specific GPA numbers that students need to fulfill SAP requirements, they should consult the CCSNH Student Financial Aid Handbook.
- Completion Rate Component
Students must complete at least 67% of the total credits they attempt in their education at WMCC, rounded to the nearest percent. All attempted credits, including transfer credits, are included in the quantitative calculation. For example, students who have attempted 36 credits at WMCC must earn at least 24 credits to meet SAP requirements.
- Maximum Timeframe Component
To be eligible for federal student aid, students must complete their program of study within 150% of the credit hours allowed. For example, a student enrolled in a 60-credit degree program must complete the program before exceeding 90 attempted credits. For a student who changes majors, only coursework attempted that is applicable to the new program of study is counted in the maximum timeframe. Developmental and remedial classes may be excluded from the 150% calculation. As soon as it can be determined that a student is not on target to graduate within 150% of the standard program length, financial aid becomes suspended.
Even though students may be identified and suspended as they reach the 150% time limit, the College understands there are circumstances, such as a change of major, enrollment for a second or subsequent degree, or the non-applicability of transfer credit, that could necessitate a reset of the Quantitative Maximum Timeframe Component.
WMCC’s full SAP policy is located on its website at https://www.wmcc.edu/current-students/sap-policy/.
Academic Periods Included in the Review
The qualitative and quantitative standards of SAP policy are used to review a student’s academic progress for all periods of the student’s enrollment. Even periods in which the student did not receive Federal Student Aid are included in the review. Periods for which the student was granted academic amnesty are included, as well.
The Financial Aid Office evaluates the SAP of financial aid recipients upon their completion of each semester within the academic year of the program in which they are enrolled.
Students who meet SAP standards are coded as making satisfactory academic progress and thereby retain eligibility for federal student aid for the following semester.
Students Placed on SAP Warning
Students who do not meet SAP standards are placed on SAP warning for one semester. Students placed on SAP warning retain their eligibility for federal student aid during the warning semester.
At the end of the warning period, SAP standards are reviewed. If the students who were placed on SAP warning now meet SAP standards, they are once again coded as making satisfactory academic progress and retain eligibility for federal student aid for the next semester.
If a student is still unable to meet SAP standards, the student is no longer eligible to receive federal student aid at WMCC until the student once again meets SAP standards or has completed the appeal process and has been granted probation.
For further information on the Financial Aid SAP policy, students should review the CCSNH Student Financial Aid Handbook available on the College’s website, or they may should contact the Financial Aid Office.
Students who become ineligible for federal student aid for not meeting SAP standards may appeal the ruling. If the appeal is granted, a student is assigned an SAP status of probation. All students must have an academic plan if they require more than one semester to reestablish financial aid eligibility. During probation, students are eligible for federal student aid.
If an appeal is not granted, the student can regain financial aid eligibility only by complying with both the qualitative and quantitative components of the SAP policy. Neither self-paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a semester affects a student’s SAP standing; therefore, neither is sufficient for one to reestablish financial aid eligibility.
If financial aid recipients believe they are meeting SAP standards, they can request a review of their SAP standing upon completion of the semester. If the student is found to be meeting both the qualitative and quantitative components of the SAP policy without exceeding the maximum time frame, the student’s status is updated to reflect compliance with SAP standards, and the student becomes eligible to receive Title IV financial aid the following semester.
For further information on the Financial Aid SAP appeal process, students should review the CCSNH Student Financial Aid Handbook on WMCC’s website or contact the Financial Aid Office.
Financial aid does not cover courses that students audit. Further, audit courses are not included for any of the calculated components.
Credit by Examination
Financial aid does not pay for credit by examination. Credit-by-examination courses are included in the calculation for the maximum timeframe and completion rate components of SAP but are not included in the cumulative GPA component.
All courses taken through an official consortium at an institution other than WMCC are included in the calculation for completion rate and maximum timeframe components but are excluded from the student’s cumulative GPA component.
Credits from developmental, remedial, and ESL courses may be included in the calculation for all three components of the SAP review. Students are eligible for federal aid for up to 24 credit hours of this type of coursework. ESOL credits are not counted against the twenty-four credit hour limitation. These courses may be removed from the quantitative and maximum timeframe calculations, but never from the qualitative calculation.
Credits transferred from another institution are excluded from the student's cumulative GPA, but they are included in the calculation for the maximum timeframe and completion rate components.
All incomplete grades must be resolved by the end of the third week of the semester following the student's receipt of the incomplete grade. If the incomplete is not resolved, the grade becomes an F for all components of the SAP review. Financial aid can be withheld until incomplete grades are resolved.