Financial Aid Policies

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require all students receiving federal financial aid (Federal Title 4 aid including: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Stafford Subsidized, Unsubsidized or Plus Loans) must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of a degree or certificate. Students receiving an Alabama Student Assistance grant must also make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree or certificate.

SAP is calculated each semester after grades have been posted to academic history by the Registrar’s Office. If after the first term of attendance the student is not making SAP, they will be placed on a Warning Status and allowed to keep aid for one term. A student’s continued eligibility will be determined after the next term check point. If the student’s SAP status is Failure after the SAP check is performed, the student will not qualify for financial aid for the following term. If the student’s SAP status is Failure and the student cannot mathematically attain SAP requirements following the next term, an appeal will be permissible. Third Party unrelated documentation of an extraordinary circumstance (a circumstance not under the control of the student, work is not considered an extraordinary circumstance) is required to support any appeal. A student may appeal their SAP Failure status only twice during their academic career at Coastal Alabama Community College. The SAP appeal form can be downloaded here http://www.coastalalabama.edu/media/financial_aid/forms/2020-2021/Satisfactory_Academic_Progress_(SAP)_Appeal_Form.pdf

After each review of satisfactory academic progress, students who do meet the progress requirements will be notified via their campus e-mail. The notice will tell the student to go to the student portal and ask them to review their status to see what type of satisfactory progress issue the student has: Warning, Failure or suspension due to exceeding maximum time.  

According to 34 CFR 668-16(e), there are two major components of satisfactory academic progress:  the qualitative component (cumulative GPA) and quantitative component (timeframe of completion).

Qualitative Requirement (Cumulative GPA) – Students must meet or exceed the following minimum cumulative GPA’s based upon total hours attempted:

Semester Credit Hours Attempted  Cumulative GPA
1-21 1.50
22-32   1.75
33 or more       2.00

Quantitative Requirement (Timeframe for Completion) – Eligible students may receive federal financial aid for a period of time not to exceed 1.5 times the normal length of his/her program of study. As an example students enrolled in the Certificate programs may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 credits ( 30 credits X 1.5) and if enrolled in an Associate degree a student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 (60 credits X1.5) semester hours attempted. All credits transferred into the college will be counted toward the maximum number of hours attempted. Each student on federal financial aid must complete/earn hours at the appropriate rate (see table below) for all the hours he/she attempts in order to complete a program in the normal length of time allowed. Students who have not passed the required number of hours will be suspended (financial aid suspension) from receiving federal financial aid. Financial aid is reinstated when the student has achieved the minimum cumulative GPA required and earned the required minimum number of credit hours.

Completion Ration – Quantitative Measure of Progress

Hours Attempted 

% of Hours to be Completed 

Cumulative GPA

1-21

 58%

1.50

22-32

62%

1.75

33-and above

67%

2.00

If a student repeats a course which was previously successfully completed, the hours obtained the second time the course is attempted do count toward the minimum number of academic hours required for program completion.  Failing grades, withdrawals, incompletes and/or repeated classes may result in financial aid suspension because these classes are considered as attempted hours not successfully completed (these hours are included in the maximum number of hours attempted).

Developmental Courses – A student receiving federal financial aid may not enroll in the same developmental (remedial) course more than three times and continue to receive federal financial aid.  A federal financial aid recipient may not receive aid for more than 30 semester hours of developmental work.  Credit hours attempted for developmental courses are included when determining a student’s qualitative or quantitative progress for financial aid, including the maximum time frame requirement.

Academic Suspension – Is different than Financial Aid Suspension.  A student who is readmitted academically or who has appealed successfully their academic suspension, may not be able to receive financial aid and MUST contact the financial aid office. Approval of the student’s appeal to the admissions committee for readmission does not reinstate the student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Change in Program – If a student changes programs, he or she will be allowed to continue to receive federal financial aid for 1.5 times the normal length of a degree program. If the student fails to complete a degree by 90 attempted credits, the student must appeal as Max Time appeal. The student must also appeal if they have earned a degree and are continuing to a second degree. Appeals must have a stated reason as to why the student did not complete and why the student changed programs.  The appeal must have attached a degree plan signed by the student and the student’s advisor indicating the courses by term that the student will need to graduate and the anticipated graduation date. If the appeal is granted, it will at a completion rate of 100% and the signed academic degree plan must be followed.  If a student fails to follow the stated degree plan, federal aid will be suspended. Students who are on an appeal have their files check each and every enrollment period. A student may change programs of study more than once and can appeal but will not be allowed to receive federal financial aid for more than 180 credit hours attempted.

Appeals Process – If a student wishes to request consideration for re-instatement of federal financial aid due to either a maximum time situation or an  extraordinary circumstances (examples: death of parent, spouse or family member, documented medical issues, documented injury (Note: work is not considered extraordinary), the student must do the following:

  1. Complete a Financial Aid Appeal form and follow the form directions.
  2. A student must have a statement regarding why the student failed to make SAP (extraordinary circumstance).
  3. A student must have a statement what has changed to allow the student to make SAP progress and what the student is going to do to be successful. This must include what the student intends to do differently to succeed academically.
  4. Students must provide a detailed academic plan signed by the student academic advisor, indicating courses needed to graduate in cases where financial aid suspension resulted from maximum time (credit consumption).  This degree plan must include graduation date (term). If appeal is approved, the plan must be followed exactly or future aid will be removed.
  5. Provide third party unrelated professional documentation of reason for extraordinary circumstance.  This documentation must be date and time specific and address the reason as stated in the appeal.  For death of a family member, an original death certificate must be received, as well as other third party unrelated professional documentation that supports the reason as stated.

A student may submit an appeal for reinstatement of federal financial aid twice.  Any appeals that are not complete will be returned to the student unprocessed. Once appeals are received by the Financial Aid Committee, written decisions will be sent to the student’s email within two weeks. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee is final.

Send to – Send all appeal documents to:

Coastal Alabama Community College ATTN: Financial Aid Office 1900 US Highway 31 South

Bay Minette, AL  36507