Satisfactory Academic Progress

Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility

Each financial aid recipient at Western Tech must maintain satisfactory progress toward completion of their academic program to retain eligibility for federal student financial aid.

Payment Periods

The measurement of Academic Progress for Financial Aid shall occur in increments which correspond to the "payments periods" for Federal Title IV Financial Aid.  Academic Progress shall be measured at the end of each payment period.  A "payment period" is defined as one-half (as measured in both weeks and clock hours (instructional hours)) of the student's scheduled academic year or the remaining schedueled period of instruction until program completion (whichever is less).  If the remaining period of instrution is less than one-half of the standard academc year, (less than 450 clock hours) it shall be considered a single payment period.

Academic Progress Standards

for Financial Aid 

Minimum Cumulative

Grade Point Average

Cumulative Hours

Completed/Attempted

End of 1st   payment period

1.50

67   percent

End of 2nd   payment period

1.75

67   percent

End of 3rd   or subsequent payment period

2.00

67   percent

 Additional "Maximum Timeframe" Standard

Eligibility is also limited to students completing their programs within one and one-half times the normal program length.  The maximum timeframe is reached when the student has attempted more than one and one-half times the number of clock hours required to graduate from his/her program.  The maximum timeframe standard evaluation for transfer students will consider all credits attempted at Western Tech, or accepted for transfer or proficiency credit.  Students who change programs may request that their maximum timeframe be re-calculated based solely on those hours that are applicable to the current program of study.  A determination of ineligibility based upon the maximum timeframe standard may be reversed based upon a mitigating circumstance.  Please refer to the “Regaining Academic Eligibility” section (below).

GPA and Grading Policy

All issues of grading policy, Grade Point Average (GPA) calculation, attendance, etc. are calculated in accordance with the regular academic policies of Western Tech.

Transfer Students

Accepted transfer credit shall be considered as completed coursework for purposes of this policy.  However, since no grades are assigned to transfer courses, they will not impact the students GPA. Payment periods for transfer students shall be defined individually based upon the remaining period of instruction.

Return after an Absence

A student who returns after a leave of absence, withdrawal, dismissal, or other extended absence of 180 calendar days or less, shall not have the period of absence considered in the calculation of academic progress.  In all other aspects, the student’s progress will be evaluated in the same manner as if the absence had not occurred, with the exception of any necessary changes to the start and end dates of planned payment periods.  A student, who returns after a withdrawal, dismissal, or other absence of more than 180 days, shall be measured in a manner consistent with a transfer student (see above).

Financial Aid Warning Status

Students who fail to meet the standards defined above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning Status for their subsequent payment period. Students in Warning Status remain eligible for federal student aid.  If a student has not returned to “good” academic standing (according to the chart) by the end of the Financial Aid Warning Status payment period, the student will lose eligibility for federal student aid from that point forward.  Such dismissal/loss of eligibility may be subject to appeal (see below). 

Data Corrections

If a student’s academic record is corrected subsequent to the evaluation date, a student may submit a written request to the Director of Financial Aid for re-evaluation of the student’s financial aid eligibility. 

Regaining Academic Eligibility for Financial Aid

  1. Mitigating Circumstances Appeal:  A determination of loss of eligibility for federal financial aid may be appealed based on mitigating circumstance(s).  A mitigating circumstance is defined as an exceptional or unusual event(s) beyond the student’s direct control, which contributed to or caused the academic difficulty.  Examples include:  the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. Appeal letters should be addressed to the Director of Financial Aid and must include a complete description of the circumstances that led to the academic difficulty, how those circumstances have changed, and a plan for future academic success.  Copies of supporting documentation should be included.  All appeals are reviewed by a committee of academic and administrative staff whose determination is final.  A mitigating circumstance appeal may be used to override the Maximum Timeframe Standard. A student for whom a mitigating circumstance appeal is approved will be placed in Financial Aid Probation Status for one payment period. If the student has not returned to good academic standing (according to the chart) by the end of a probationary payment period, the student will lose eligibility for future financial aid. 

  2. Regaining Eligibility Other Than Through Appeal:  Students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility may potentially regain academic eligibility by one or more of the following methods: 1) be accepted into a different academic program at Western Tech, if the re-evaluated student’s record (based upon the courses applicable to the new program) will be in compliance with all academic standards; and/or make up the academic deficiencies at Western Tech without benefit of federal financial aid.  In each of these circumstances, approval is at the discretion of the School Director. 

Return to Good Standing

Once a student has returned to good academic standing, any previous academic difficulty, warning, or probation shall have no future bearing on the student’s status.  Hence, such students will have benefit of all provisions of this policy, including a financial warning payment period.

 

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