Satisfactory Academic Progress

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS FOR FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID RECIPIENTS

College of the Siskiyous complies with federal requirements to monitor student aid recipients’ satisfactory academic progress toward a declared, approved educational objective of an Associate Degree, Certificate, or Transfer to a baccalaureate, degree-granting institution.  It is the student’s responsibility to choose an approved educational objective and to know the academic progress requirements that must be met to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid.  It is the college’s responsibility to track, measure and assess the student’s progress toward their stated objective.   The College has established a satisfactory academic progress policy that measures progress in three ways:

Qualitatively:  The student’s GPA is consistent with requirements for receipt of a degree, certificate or transfer status:  2.0 (“C” average).

Quantitatively: The student completes his/her program within a maximum period of time:  150% of a 60 unit degree program or 90 units maximum.

Incrementally:  The student’s term-by-term, credit-hour completions are sufficient to enable the student to complete his/her educational objective within a maximum timeframe:  Completion of 67% of attempted units each semester.

Students are responsible for knowing their academic progress status.  This is viewable on the secure COS website through their personal Navigator account.

Progress is monitored on an annual basis for both student aid recipients and new financial aid applicants.  Transfer units are included in the maximum timeframe limit of the policy if the units are applicable toward the student’s stated objective.  Progress is monitored on a term-by-term basis for students on appeal for extensions (beyond the unit limit) and for those on financial aid probation.

Students may petition the progress policy when special, mitigating circumstances prevented the student from meeting minimum requirements. The Director of Financial Aid reviews reinstatement requests and a decision is made to grant or deny the request.  The student is notified in writing of the outcome.  Students may appeal a denied petition with the Financial Aid Appeals Committee (FAAC).  Decisions of the FAAC are final.

Reinstatement of cancelled eligibility is accomplished either through making up deficient units in the summer session following the academic year, the granting of an appeal to waive requirements, successfully meeting the terms of a contract or by meeting minimum requirements in a subsequent semester without the receipt of Federal aid.  Students who have made up deficiencies are responsible for reporting their renewed eligibility status to the Financial Aid Office.

PROGRESS REQUIREMENTS

Federal Regulations require that all students receiving Title IV aid meet or exceed the academic requirements of the institution.  In order to comply, determination of satisfactory progress begins once a student enrolls at COS and all elements of satisfactory progress, including adherence to an educational plan and remaining semesters of eligibility, will be evaluated annually and by term for those students on extensions or financial aid probation.

Ability to Benefit
In order to receive Federal financial aid, a student must first:

  • Have a high-school diploma (including foreign diplomas) or General Education Development (GED) certificate, OR
  • Pass the High-School Proficiency Exam.

Academic Requirements
In addition, a student must also:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program for the purpose of completing an AA/AS Degree, Transfer Requirements or Certificate Program
  • Maintain a minimum semester and cumulative 2.00 grade point average (GPA).  (Credit only grades of  “CR” or “P” will be combined with letter grades when calculating completion rates but will have no effect on grade point average).
  • Have a cumulative completion rate of at least 67% of the units attempted each semester enrolled.  A student who takes all classes on a “CR/NC” or “P/NP” basis and receives all “CR” grades or all “P” grades will be considered meeting Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress standards.

Grade Interpretation
Grades of A, B, C, D, CR or P are considered units completed.  Grades of IP, F, FW, NC or NP, W, or I are considered units not completed.  If the units completed total less than 67% of the units attempted, the student is placed on probation.  Students are eligible for payment of repeated courses only if the student received a “D” grade or lower and a “C” or better is required for transfer, certificate, etc.  Consequently, satisfactory academic progress cannot be reviewed for a student until all I, IP grades have been completed and are reported on the student’s academic transcript.

Eligibility Requirements

Summer Classes
Units attempted during summer sessions will count toward the GPA requirement and the 90-unit maximum.  If three (3) or more units of academic work are attempted (with a 2.0 or better GPA and 67% completion rate) during a summer session that apply to the student’s degree, certificate, or transfer, then those units may be considered for reinstatement of financial aid and removal from one probation status level to the next.

Transfer Students
The academic transcripts from previous colleges attended will be reviewed for determining the 90-unit maximum.

Duration of Eligibility
Students who have attempted a total of 72 units must submit an appeal for extension of aid to the Director of Financial Aid.  The appeal must include an updated education plan and a copy of all transcripts (unofficial will be accepted).  This must be reviewed and signed by an Academic Advisor. It will then be given to the Director of Financial Aid to determine the student’s remaining eligibility. Maximum timeframe allowed by federal regulation (150% of program length) is typically 90 units (60 x 150% = 90). Students requesting aid beyond this maximum must also request an extension through the appeal procedure.

Federal Student Aid Progress Probation and Disqualification

Financial Aid Progress Probation and Disqualification for students not meeting academic requirements will be determined as follows:

      • A student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation if he/she falls below:
        • A 2.00 GPA for a term or cumulative grade point average, AND/OR
        • The completed number of units is less than those attempted and do not meet the 67% completion rate.
        • After being placed on Financial Aid Probation, the student must meet satisfactory progress standards during the next period of enrollment or he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification status and Federal aid, including student loans, will be terminated. (NOTE:  Students who are disqualified from receiving Federal aid are not eligible for funding for the semester used to reestablish eligibility.)

Reinstatement of Federal Student Aid
Once Federal financial aid has been denied for lack of satisfactory academic progress, a student may be removed from Financial Aid Disqualification status and placed on Financial Aid Probation status by:

Completing a semester in which the following conditions are met:

  • A minimum of six (6.0) units of academic work are completed (and 67% of all units if more than 6.0 are attempted);
  • With a 2.00 GPA for the semester. 

Financial Aid Appeal Procedure
Both Financial Aid Probation and Financial Aid Disqualification may be appealed to the Director of Financial Aid for the following circumstances:

  • Transcript Error:  If there has been an error on the student’s transcript that resulted in the probation or disqualification, then the student should notify the Financial Aid Office.  Probation/Disqualification will only be removed when the student’s transcript is changed by the office of Enrollment Services to reflect the correction.
  • Unusual or mitigating circumstances:  Students may appeal if there were unusual or mitigating circumstances that affected the student’s ability to make progress.  All circumstances must be supported with appropriate documentation.  Medical records, copies of death certificates or obituaries, letters showing loss of employment or other official paperwork that will establish both the timeframe and circumstances that caused the lack of academic progress are acceptable.  Appeals will NOT be considered without supporting documentation.
  • Allowable considerations to reinstate Federal student aid eligibility on appeal may include:
    • Death in immediate family (spouse, son daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, registered domestic partner).
    • Onset of physical or mental disability
    • Loss of student’s primary source of income.
  • In addition to the supporting documentation described above, in order for an appeal to be considered, the student must provide the following:
    • A Financial Aid Appeal from which includes:
      • A written statement from the student to the Director of Financial Aid explaining why satisfactory progress was not maintained
      • What changes have been made to ensure academic success AND
      • An updated Education Plan

THE LAST DAY TO SUBMIT AN APPEAL IS 30 DAYS AFTER THE BEGINNING OF A SEMESTER.

If you have questions after reading the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements, contact Enrollment Services at:

Phone:  530-938-5500
Fax:  530-938-5501
Email:  finaid@siskiyous.edu