Friday, August 26, 2011

Are you in the know about new financial aid policies?

This is the first of several articles I will post in what I want to name FA (Financial Aid) Friday. 
Please feel free to respond to these articles if you have any burning FA Questions ELI’s FA Specialist, Carletta Mackey, can answer for you. 

Do you know what SAP is???  SAP is Satisfactory Academic Progress.   

SAP regulations were recently revised. Here are the updates:

Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by NOVA and the federal government. These limitations include all terms of enrollment, whether or not aid was awarded or received.

Progress is measured throughout the academic program by the student’s cumulative grade point average (Qualitative) and by credits earned as a percentage of those attempted (Quantitative or Pace of Completion). In addition, students must complete their programs of study before attempting 150% of the credits required to complete the program.

NOVA’s Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress before aid is awarded and again after most grades are posted for every term, starting with the first term of enrollment. Some career studies certificate programs are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward all SAP requirements (GPA, Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe, and Developmental Maximum) if the student later enrolls in an eligible program.

·    Completion Rate (67% Rule): Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67% of cumulative credits attempted. This calculation is performed by dividing the cumulative total number of successfully completed credits by the cumulative total number of credits attempted. All credits attempted at NOVA (except audits, which must be entered as such by the class census date) are included. All credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. This evaluation will be made prior to aid being awarded and after grades are posted at the end of each semester a student is enrolled at the College. Credits with satisfactory grades at the College are those for which a grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P is earned. Note: Federal student loan borrowers must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the point of loan certification and again prior to the disbursement of any loan proceeds.

·    Maximum Hours (150% Rule): In order to continue receiving financial aid, a student must complete his/her program of study before attempting 150% of the credits required for that program. Developmental and ESL course work are excluded in this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all applicable transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence.

·    Transfer Students: In order to properly calculate satisfactory academic progress, transfer students who apply for financial aid must request official transcripts from all other colleges attended. Official transcripts must be submitted directly to one of the campus Student Services Centers for evaluation (student must also submit NVCC Form 125-049). Credits officially accepted in transfer will be counted in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility. The College has the option on an individual student basis to put a transfer student in Financial Aid Warning Status immediately upon evaluation for financial aid if academic history at previous colleges indicates a pattern of unsuccessful academic work.

·    Second Degree Students: Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted.

·    ESL and Developmental Studies: Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

It is also important to note that there are additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards.  These are in regards to Withdrawals (W Grades), Incompletes (I Grades), & Repeated Courses.  More information on additional considerations can be found at 

At Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards apply also to non-federal aid, including state funds, institutional funds and foundation scholarships.

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