Students who receive federal and/or state funds administered by the Vernon College (VC) Office of Financial Aid, must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. The student’s academic record at VC is used to measure satisfactory progress and all periods of enrollment at VC must be counted, including any semesters in which the student did not receive financial aid. There are three standards for satisfactory progress: cumulative grade point average (GPA), successful completion of courses, and time frame.
Grade Point Average - Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Grades of A, B, C, D, F and WF contribute toward the cumulative GPA. Grades of W, P, I, AU, U and G do not. Students who do not have a VC academic history (first time college enrollment or incoming transfer students) will be assumed to be making satisfactory progress at the time of first enrollment. Developmental course work is not included in the cumulative GPA. The last grade earned for a repeated course is included in the student’s GPA. Students may be funded for a repeated course. Transfer grades are not included in the VC GPA calculation.
Successful Completion of Courses - Students must successfully complete each semester at least 75% of all hours attempted as of their enrollment at official count day at VC. This includes both developmental and college level course work. Successful completion is measured by grades of A, B, C, D, and P. Grades of F, W, WF, U, I, G and AU are counted toward the total hours attempted but not successfully completed each semester. The 75% successful completion requirement of all courses also serves as the qualitative measure for remedial courses.
Time Frame– Federal regulations specify that the maximum time frame for program completion may not exceed one hundred fifty (150%) percent of the published length of the program. Time frame is measured by the number of credit hours attempted. If the student switches degree or certificate programs, VC will not count toward the one hundred fifty ((150%) percent maximum time frame the credits attempted in the old major. If the student switches degree or certificate programs, VC will not count toward the one hundred fifty (150%) percent maximum time frame the credits attempted in the old major. However, any courses that apply to the new program must be counted. For transfer students, VC will count those transfer credits that apply toward the new or current program. Students who exceed the one hundred fifty (150%) percent maximum time frame limit will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Developmental classes do not count toward the 150% maximum time frame. Credits that have been repeated will be counted toward the one hundred fifty (150%) percent maximum time frame. Once it is determined that it is mathematically impossible for the student to complete his/her program within the maximum time frame, the student becomes ineligible for aid.
Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress
Financial Aid Warning - Students who fail to meet the cumulative grade point average and/or the successful completion of course standards will be placed on financial aid warning status for their next semester of enrollment. A student on financial aid warning will be eligible to receive financial aid. If the two standards are met at the end of the warning semester, the warning status will be removed. If, at the end of the warning status, the student’s cumulative GPA is not 2.0 or higher and/or the successful completion of courses for the probationary semester is not 75% or higher, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.
Financial Aid Suspension - Financial aid suspension occurs when the cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0 for two consecutive semesters and/or less than 75% of attempted course work is successfully completed for two consecutive semesters. Financial aid suspension also occurs if the student receives all F’s or a combination of all F’s and W’s for attempted classes in a semester. The Director of Financial Aid also reserves the right, through professional judgement, to place a student of financial aid suspension. Students will not receive financial aid, this includes student loans, while on financial aid suspension. In order to regain eligibility, students must enroll at VC and successfully complete at least twelve (12) semester hours. In addition, the student must also successfully complete at least 75% of the classes in which he/she attempted since being placed on financial aid suspension and their VC cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or higher. When this is accomplished, the student will be removed from financial aid suspension and therefore eligible for financial aid. Financial aid suspension is permanent and the student can not regain their eligibility once he/she has been placed on financial aid suspension for the third time. STUDENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTIFYING THE OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AID WHEN THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE REGAINED ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.
Students progress will be reviewed at the end of each long semester (December for students enrolled in the Fall, Fall I and/or Fall II semester[s]; May for students enrolled in the Spring, Spring I and/or Spring II semester[s]; and August for students enrolled in the Summer, Summer I and/or Summer II semester[s]). Notification of a student’s probation or suspension status will be posted on his or her Campus Connect account. Students should access Campus Connect to verify their status.
Students placed on financial aid suspension due to lack of satisfactory progress may appeal the denial of financial aid due to an unusual or extraordinary situation that affected the student’s progression toward the successful completion of his or her program of study. Examples of unusual circumstances include: injury or illness of the student or family member, death of a relative of the student, maximum time limit exceeded, or other special circumstances. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid office and must include supporting documentation to support the appeal. Appeals submitted without supporting documentation will be denied. The appeal must address why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress. This includes, if applicable, the semester the student was placed on warning, and what has changed in the student's situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. An appeal may be approved only if the Financial Aid office has determined that the student will be able to meet SAP standards after the subsequent semester. The Financial Aid office also has the option to develop an academic plan with the student that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time. Students who are appealing the maximum time frame limit must provide a copy of their degree plan that has been signed by their academic advisor. The Financial Aid office will notify students in writing of the results within 30 business days after submitting all requested documentation. Students whose appeal is denied may submit a second appeal in writing to the Scholarship Committee. The second appeal should also be submitted to the Financial Aid office who will, in turn, submit it to the Scholarship Committee. The Scholarship Committee's decision will be final and will be reported to student in writing within 30 business days after receipt of the second appeal. Students who successfully appeal their financial aid suspension status will be placed on financial aid probation. Vernon College can require that a student on probation fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses. A student on financial aid probation may receive financial aid for one semester only. At the end of that semester, the student must meet Vernon College's satisfactory academic progress standards or the requirements of the established individual academic plan to maintain financial aid eligibility. Failure to do so will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension.