Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid
Students are responsible to maintain eligibility for Financial Aid funding. If a student is having academic difficulties, there are alternatives: ask instructors for help, contact the Learning Commons for information on tutors, or talk to an academic advisor.
Federal requirements for financial aid requires colleges to look at three areas to determine if a student can continue to receive financial aid, including Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford student loans, Perkins loans and grants (Pell, SEOG Work Study). The three areas are:
- The Qualitative Standard: This is the Grade Point Average (GPA) that is determined at the end of each semester.
- The Quantitative Standard (Pursuit of Program): Students must earn passing grades toward their degree or certificate according to this chart.
- Maximum Time Frame: In order to retain eligibility for federal financial aid, students must complete their programs of study within a maximum time frame of 150% of the length of the program.
- The Total Credits Attempted include all courses including failures and withdrawals. The GPA is calculated according to the College’s published academic policies.
- All transfer hours accepted at MVCC are also included in calculations.
If you are not meeting the guidelines the following will occur
1. Financial Aid Warning:
a. If you have attempted 15 credit hours or less (per your MVCC transcript), and have not met the standards of academic progress, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester. If you receive notification from the Financial Aid Office that you are on Financial Aid Warning, federal aid will automatically be reinstated, and you do not need to file a financial aid appeal.
2. Financial Aid Probation (Approved Appeal Required)
a. If you have attempted a total of 16 hours or more (per your MVCC transcript), and do not meet the standards of academic progress, you will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. If you receive notification from the Financial Aid Office that you are on Financial Aid Probation, you must file an appeal requesting that federal financial aid be reinstated for the probationary semester. The appeal must include the circumstances that prevented you from succeeding, the semester in which this occurred, and what has changed. The College reserves the right to request an academic plan for students on probation who are requesting an appeal, or to limit the number of credit hours while on probation. Please note that approvals are not guaranteed.
Requesting a Federal Financial Aid Appeal
Students who become ineligible for financial aid under the Federal and/or State Standards of Progress are allowed to appeal this decision as outlined in the Financial Aid Appeal process. Financial aid appeals can be considered when a student does not succeed because of extenuating circumstances that caused an extended and prolonged disruption to the semester:
- The death of a relative of the student.
- An injury or illness of the student or close family member.
- Other special circumstances out of the students control.
The Financial Aid Office may ask for documentation, however, appeals will not be automatically approved. Lack of written documentation reduces the chance that the appeal will be granted, however, the appeal may be submitted without documentation.
If a student continues to make progress, but still does not meet the standards of progress, additional waivers will be considered.
Associate Degree students will be eligible to receive Federal aid through the semester in which they attempt their 99th credit hour as long as academic progress has been consistent.
Certificate program students will be eligible to receive federal aid through the semester in which they attempt credit hours equal to 150% of the length of the program.
Students who exceed the maximum timeframe as stated above and on the progress chart are no longer eligible to receive federal financial aid funds (loans or grants) and cannot be appealed unless there are mitigating circumstances. Situations that would be considered include:
- Students in programs that require pre-requisites and generally take longer than most programs.
- Students who return after not having attended for two (2) or more years.
- Students in a dual degree program who can demonstrate they will complete both degrees within two (2) semesters, as evidenced by the student’s advisor.
- Students who can demonstrate the degree will be completed in the following semester and must be verified by the individual student’s advisor.
Please note: The above circumstances do not guarantee the approval of an appeal.
Procedure For Filing a Federal Financial Aid Appeal:
You will be notified by MVCC if you have lost eligibility for federal financial aid via your college email; the status can also be viewed through your SIRS account. This will occur after grades have been processed by the Office of the Registrar. The notice you receive will contain a due date for the appeal to be filed, appeals after that date will not be considered. As much information and support documentation should be submitted with the appeal; decisions will be available for viewing on SIRS within approximately 72 hours of submission of the request, and all supporting documentation.
New York State aid includes the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Aid for Part Time Studies (APTS) and Veterans Assistance Programs (VVTA). With all programs, standards of academic progress apply; however, be aware that they differ from the Federal standards.
Additional differences are as follows:
- A total of 8 semesters of TAP is available for undergraduate studies; 6 of those semesters can be used at a 2 year college; if the 6 semesters have been used, there is no appeal available to regain eligibility.
- Only 1 appeal is allowed for NYS aid.
Financial Aid Warning
a. Students who have attempted 15 credit hours or less and have not met the necessary Standards of Progress are placed on Financial Aid Warning for a semester, their federal aid is automatically reinstated, and do not need to submit a financial aid appeal. It is important to note that this reinstatement only includes federal aid, **NOT** New York State aid. Students would need to file an appeal for their New York State aid even after one unsuccessful semester.
Financial Aid Probation
a. Students who have attempted 16 credit hours or more and have not met the necessary Standards of Progress are placed on Financial Aid Probation for the semester and must file a financial aid appeal. If the committee reviews the documentation and determines the circumstances were beyond the student’s control, Federal and/or State financial aid would be reinstated. If the committee reviews the documentation and determines the circumstances were not beyond the student’s control, Federal and/or State financial aid would not be reinstated.
It is also important to note that in the calculation of “Maximum Time Frame” for Federal financial aid all attempted-hours, **including ALL transfer hours**, are included.