Satisfactory Academic Progress
The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions of higher learning to establish standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for students receiving financial aid. The SAP policy must include both a qualitative measure (cumulative grade point average), a quantitative measure (percentage of coursework successfully completed), and a maximum period for program completion. The qualitative and quantitative measures are defined as:
- Qualitative — Students must maintain cumulative grade point averages of at least 2.0 (C) on a 4.0 scale.
- Quantitative — Students must successfully complete two-thirds (66.6 percent) of all semester hours attempted to remain eligible for financial aid.
Students also must show completion rates that allow them to complete their programs of study in no more than 150 percent of the time normally required to do so (as determined by the college catalog).
Successful grades include A, A*, B, B*, C, C*, and D. Unsuccessful grades include D*, F, F*, I, IP, W, WF, WF*, and WP (see Grading System).
Successful completion of learning support classes requires a C or higher. Students enrolled in programs of study of more than two academic years must have GPAs of at least a 2.0.
Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will result in the loss of all financial aid. The SAP policy applies to all students, regardless of whether they have previously received aid.
The Financial Aid Office will notify students through their @student.athenstech.edu email accounts if they fail to make satisfactory academic progress for any term.
Financial Aid Warning and Exclusion
The Financial Aid Office initially places students on financial aid warning if they do not maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as described in the preceding section. Students will continue to receive financial aid benefits while on financial aid warning. Students placed on financial aid warning have one semester to meet satisfactory academic progress standards or the Financial Aid Office will place them on financial aid exclusion. Students on exclusion are not eligible to receive financial aid until they again meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards or file a successful appeal.
Students placed on financial aid exclusion may appeal the denial of financial aid if extenuating circumstances are present. Students submit appeal forms to the Financial Aid Office explaining the circumstances, how these circumstances have changed, and their plans to maintain satisfactory academic progress if the appeals are approved. This form is available in the Financial Aid Office on the Athens Campus and in the administrative office at the Elbert County, Greene County, and Walton County campuses. A committee of faculty and staff reviews all financial aid appeals. Students who are successful in appealing their financial aid exclusion will be placed on financial aid probation and may be required to meet requirements of an academic plan. During this probation period, they will be eligible to receive financial aid benefits. Students on financial aid probation must be making satisfactory academic progress at the end of the term for which the appeals committee approved the appeal and/or meeting requirements of the academic plan. Otherwise, the Financial Aid staff will again place students on financial aid exclusion. They will not be eligible to appeal the resulting financial aid exclusion. Students who are not successful in appealing their financial aid exclusion are not eligible to submit another appeal; all appeals are final.