Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The United States Department of Education mandates Chesapeake College to have an established Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for financial aid students.  The policy must be qualitative (grade point average requirement) and quantitative (maximum time frame for completion) and minimum passing of coursework.  A students' entire academic record will be evaluated once they apply for financial aid. The policy must be at least as strict as the academic policy governing students not receiving financial aid.  Progress will be monitored once the student attempts their 6th credit hour.

In order to have an equitable policy for both full-time and part-time students, the graduated grade point average will be utilized. Status will be checked every semester, including summer. If it is determined that a student is not making satisfactory progress, they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning the following term (including summer) and eligible for financial aid. If at the end of the following semester the student has not obtained a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or a grade point average equivalent to their earned credit hours and/or completed at least 67% of their attempted courses, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and ineligible for all aid. Non enrollment periods do not improve a student's status.

Graduated Qualitative Standard

Chesapeake College requires students to have a 2.0 cumulative grade point average to graduate. The graduated standard for the minimum GPA throughout the academic program is as follows:

Students with less than 30 hours 1.5 GPA
Students with 31 to 60 hours 1.7 GPA
Students with 61 + 2.0 GPA

Quantitative Standards

Students must complete 67% of all course work attempted during each semester and cumulatively. Transfer credits will count towards attempted and earned courses. Example: Student enrolls in 12 credit hours for the Fall term and completes only 6 credit hours at the end of the term. The completion rate is as follows:

12 attempted credit hours / 6 completed credit hours = 50% completion rate

Maximum Timeframe

A student will be given a maximum time frame of 150% to complete their program of study. This will hold true for certificate and AA degree programs.

The average AA program requires 65 credit hours for program completion; the maximum time frame cannot exceed 97 attempted credit hours (65 x 150% = 97). The average certificate program requires 29 hours for program completion; the maximum time frame cannot exceed 43 attempted credit hours (29 x 150% = 43).

The Financial Aid Office will evaluate each recipient based on the number of credits required for completion based on their program of study. All courses attempted, regardless of academic program will count toward maximum time frame, therefore; students should select their program of study carefully and follow their academic program precisely.

Remedial course work up to 30 load hours (including repeated courses) will not count against the maximum time frame. Remedial course work will be monitored in order to adhere to the maximum limit set at 30 load hours. Should a student meet the 30 load hour limit, their enrollment status would exclude future remedial course work in determining eligibility for federal aid. If the student is not enrolled in credit courses, their eligibility will be suspended until credit enrollment exists.

Transfer Credits

Students who have attended another institution prior to Chesapeake College must have their academic transcripts evaluated by our Registrar. All credits accepted for transfer will be counted in both attempted and earned credits in the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation.

Minimum Passing of Coursework

Each student must pass a portion of the program for each semester enrolled. In order to maintain eligibility a student must pass AT LEAST 67 % of the semester course load. When determining the minimum passing of coursework, the Financial Aid staff will round down to the nearest credit hour.

  1. Final passing grades are A, B, C, and D.
  2. Final non-passing grades are F, L, R, W and I.
  3. Depending on the date of the change to audit, audit (AU) grades are not eligible for financial aid payment. However, if a student is enrolled in one class and changes to audit, the action will be treated as withdrawing from a regular program and a Return of Title IV funds calculation will be performed.
  4. The incomplete “I” grade may be recalculated to restore eligibility only after a passing grade is recorded and the change of grade occurs within the current academic school year. Any grade changed after the last date of enrollment will be counted for future eligibility.
  5. Students who withdraw from classes jeopardize their completion rate since the course(s) count in the attempted credits.

Minimum Grade Point Average

In addition to completing a minimum portion of each semester with a passing grade, student must achieve a minimum grade point average (GPA). Satisfactory academic progress is determined by examining the ratio of points to credit hours. A 2.0 cumulative GPA is required for graduation. To be considered as making satisfactory academic progress, a student must maintain:

Credit hours attempted Minimum GPA
6 - 30 1.5
31 - 60 1.7
61 + 2.0

Financial Aid Review Process

Financial aid recipients will be reviewed for satisfactory academic progress at the end of every semester including summer. Students who do not meet the standards for progress will be placed on Financial Aid Warning automatically for one semester while continuing to receive financial aid. If, at the end of the warning period, they have not met the requirements for continuation of aid, financial aid awards will be suspended until the minimum requirements are achieved.

Financial Aid Suspension

After one semester of Financial Aid Warning, if a student is still not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. During suspension status, students are ineligible for financial aid. Students may appeal their suspension status by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.

Financial Aid Dismissal

Once a student has been granted two appeals and continues to fail Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student will be permanently DISMISSED from financial aid. Students are still permitted to register and enroll in courses at Chesapeake College but will do so without the benefit of financial aid. A Financial Aid Dismissal Status is FINAL and there is no appeal process. This is a federally mandated policy.

Appeal Process

Students have the right to appeal the unsatisfactory progress status twice. A student may appeal submitting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Director of Financial Aid. Documentation will be required to substantiate the request. The appeal will be reviewed and the student will be notified of the decision in writing by mail or Skipjack email. Students will be permitted to apply for TWO appeals based on specific circumstances such as; death of a relative, injury or illness of the student or other special circumstances. Failure to withdraw resulting in a failing grade is not considered a legitimate defense for poor performance. If the appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. In the appeal the student MUST include how they will correct their deficiencies and make satisfactory academic progress by the end of the following semester. Students with Academic Plans may submit those plans as a course of action. The Academic Plan must lead to the student achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress within a specific timeframe not to exceed 3 semesters. The Director of Financial Aid will determine if the plan submitted will lead to meeting SAP and approve the request. However, if the plan provided will NOT improve the students' status, the appeal will be denied. Furthermore, a student who breaches any conditions of an approved plan will be permanently suspended from federal financial aid. Breaches include withdrawing, auditing, failing classes in the semester the appeal has been granted.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have been granted a suspension appeal will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester but may be extended based on the academic plan in place. The student must reestablish eligibility based on the standards above at the end of the probationary semester(s). Students with approved academic plans or a corrective action plan may continue to receive financial aid if they adhere to their plan. Any deviation from a student's approved plan will be cause for Financial Aid Dismissal after their second appeal. A Financial Aid Dismissal status is FINAL and there is no appeal process. This is a federally mandated policy. Students are still permitted to register and enroll in courses at Chesapeake College but will do so without the benefit of financial aid. A student who continues to enroll and improve their status may request reevaluation.

Summary of Standards

  1. You may only receive federal financial aid for a specific length of time (150% of the published length of the program plus a maximum of 30 attempted credits of developmental education).
  2. You must pass at least 67% of all coursework attempted each semester.
  3. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress qualitatively and quantitatively.
  4. A Return of Title IV funds calculation will be performed for students changing to audit when enrolled in only one course.
  5. Financial Aid will not pay for future audited courses, or R grades.
  6. Financial Aid will only pay for repeated courses twice for courses withdrawn from or failed.
  7. Financial Aid will never pay for courses students have successfully passed unless the program requires a higher grade.
  8. If the student is on financial aid suspension at the end of the Spring semester, the student will be ineligible for aid for summer and all subsequent semesters until the students' status improves.

If you have any questions concerning this policy or your eligibility, please call the Financial Aid Office at 410-822-5400, Ext. 2252 or write us at Chesapeake College P.O. Box 8 Wye Mills, MD 21679.

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