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All students who receive federal or state financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards the completion of an eligible program of study. Financial aid eligibility is determined in compliance with federal and state regulations as well as institutional policies and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or other legally protected basis. If a student wishes to file a grievance, then they should follow the directions outlined in the college catalog.

Standards

At the end of each semester, students are evaluated based on the following standards:

Quantitative – Pace

Students must complete at least 66.67% of units that they attempt. Units for a class are considered "non-complete" if you receive any of the following grades for that class:

  • F – failing
  • NC – no credit
  • W – withdrawal
  • NP – no pass
  • IP – in progress (IP is used for courses that extend beyond the normal academic term and indicates that a grade won’t be given until the course is completed)
  • I – incomplete

How to Calculate Your Progress Percentage

To figure out your progress percentage:

  1. Review your transcript and find the sum of all units you have completed (it may be easier to count all units that are considered non-complete and subtract those from the total units you have attempted).
  2. Divide that number by the total number of units you have attempted.
  3. Multiply by 100 to get your progress percentage.

For example, if you have taken 18 units total and you failed one 3-unit class, then you have completed 15 out of 18 units and your progress percentage is .83, or 83%.

Qualitative – Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. The most recent grade for a repeated course is used to determine GPA. All grades for academic renewal courses are used to determine GPA.

Maximum Timeframe

The following students have taken too many college units to be eligible for some federal and state financial aid:

  • Students who have completed a Bachelor degree or higher (including a foreign degree)
  • Students who have attempted more than 150% of the units required for their degree or certificate program

What Units Count Towards Maximum Timeframe?

The following units count toward maximum timeframe:

  • Most units completed at Folsom Lake College
  • Units earned at another college and transferred to Folsom Lake College
  • Units for English as a second language (ESL) courses
  • Units for all repeated courses
  • Units for all academic renewal courses

Do Remedial Courses Count Toward Maximum Timeframe?

Up to 30 units of remedial courses taken at Folsom Lake College will not be counted toward the total number of units attempted. Students who enroll in excessive remedial courses may exhaust their financial aid eligibility.

Course Repetition and Academic Renewal

To determine the student's GPA, the most recent grade for a repeated course and all grades for academic renewal courses will be used. All units (both current and prior) from repeated and academic renewal courses are counted toward the 150% maximum timeframe of units a student is permitted to attempt. Students are not eligible to receive aid for more than one repetition of a course that has been previously passed.

The regulations allow students to repeat a passed course once and a failed course until it is passed. As long as the units are repeated in accordance with federal regulations, they are counted as attempted units in the calculation of the progress percentage.

Warning

Students who fail to meet SAP due to the GPA and/or pace requirements may be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one semester. During the warning period, the student may be eligible to receive financial aid.

How to Regain Financial Aid

If you lose financial aid because you have not met SAP standards, then you can regain your financial aid two ways: by meeting SAP standards based on your own actions, or by appealing. 

Meet SAP Standards Based on Your Own Actions

Meeting SAP standards based on your own actions means taking the initiative to correct SAP deficiencies and make sure you meet each of the SAP criteria. If you re-establish your financial aid eligibility by meeting SAP standards while you are on probation status, then you are no longer required to meet your probation requirements.

Once you have met the SAP standards, contact the financial aid office to have your financial aid eligibility re-evaluated.

Appeal Process

You may be able to appeal to continue to receive financial aid.

Complete Appeal Form

Include a statement detailing the reason for any deficiencies and/or reasons for remaining at this level of education and what action has been taken to ensure it will not occur in the future.

  • Timeline detailing the circumstances as to why you did not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and/or complete your degree within 150% of the published length of your program.
  • Specify what has changed that will enable you to meet SAP standards for the remainder of your academic career

Also, address the reasons you are appealing in detail. For example:

  • You were unable to attend classes for medical reasons beyond your control.
  • A member of your immediate family died (immediate family members include parents, siblings, spouses, and grandparents).
  • You received military orders for reassignment or were called to active service.
  • A natural disaster occurred that impacted your academic performance.
  • You experienced a personal tragedy beyond your control and you have professional third-party documentation, such as police, court, or medical records.

Compile Supporting Documents

For a student to be eligible to appeal the dismissal of aid for not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), the student must provide documentation (if any) of extenuating circumstances, such as:

  • Medical documents that support that the student was medically unable to complete the term for reasons beyond the students control.
  • Verification (obituary or death certificate) of a death in the student’s immediate family. Immediate family for purposes of a financial aid appeal is parents, siblings, children, spouse, or grandparents.
  • Verification of military orders for military personnel and their families that have been temporarily reassigned or called to active service.
  • Personal tragedies that are beyond the students control and is documented by a 3rd party professional, i.e. police, courts, or medical.
  • Verification of natural disasters beyond the students control that impacted the student’s academic performance.
  • (Optional) Student may submit a Comprehensive Student Education Plan (iSEP).
What if I don’t have supporting documentation?

Most extenuating circumstances should be documented. If you are unable to provide documentation, then submit an additional signed statement to thoroughly address your situation and clarify that no supporting documents can be provided. Your statement will be reviewed. We may offer alternative options for documenting extenuating circumstances.

Deadlines

Submit your appeal and supporting documentation by the appeal form deadline (see financial aid deadlines). You have one opportunity per term to submit a complete appeal. Revisions and/or additional documentation are not accepted at a later time.

Appeal Outcomes

Approved Appeals and Probation Status

If the student is approved on an appeal, then the student will be placed on probation and the student's academic performance will be reviewed at the end of each term. If the student fails to meet the requirements of their probation, then the student will be denied aid and will need to appeal again the following term.

Probation Requirements
  1. The student takes courses that are applicable to their degree or certificate program.
  2. The student successfully completes at minimum 66.67% of all courses attempted in each term following the appeal approval.
  3. The student completes all coursework with a term GPA of 2.0 or higher in each term following the appeal approval.
  4. The student is within the maximum time frame allowed in any prior appeal.

If the student complies with the requirements of their probation, then they may continue to receive aid for the following term.

Denied Appeals

If your appeal is denied and you correct the deficiency for which you were initially denied – but then you are dismissed for a different deficiency in the same award year – then you may be able to appeal again. If the student is approved on an appeal, then the student will be placed on probation and the student's academic performance will be reviewed at the end of each term. If the student fails to meet the requirements of their probation, then the student will be denied aid and will need to appeal again the following term.

If the student complies with the requirements of their probation, then they may continue to receive aid for the following term.

Students who have attempted 150 or more units, 70 or more units for a transfer program, or have bachelor degree or higher are not eligible to appeal the denial of aid regardless of the reason. This total attempted units includes units transferred in from other colleges and completed at other Los Rios colleges. If a student has been approved on appeal prior to reaching 150 units, then the student may continue to receive aid until the end of their program as long as they meet the requirements of their probation. If the student fails to meet the requirements of their probation and is beyond 150 units, then the student is no longer eligible for appeal.