Catalog 2013-14

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Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

 

All students (including international students) enrolled at Juniata College are subject to the academic standards of the College, which are printed in the College catalog. In addition, students receiving financial aid, in order to continue to receive financial aid, must meet other requirements as described in detail in this statement of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving financial aid. Program Integrity Regulations, modifying these requirements, were issued October 29, 2010, with an effective date of July 1, 2011. In order to comply with these requirements, Juniata College has established the following definition or standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress for undergraduate students.

The federal programs governed by this regulation include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Student Loans and Federal Direct PLUS loans. Specific guidelines for other financial aid programs, including Juniata funded awards are noted throughout the policy and summarized at the end of the document*.

To be considered as maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress, both full-time and less than full-time students must meet the following standards:


Requirements

Pace
Students must successfully complete an average of 67% of their cumulative, attempted credit hours as transcripted by the Registrar’s Office.

Qualitative Measure
All students must maintain a cumulative grade point average corresponding with the table below, as transcripted by the Registrar’s Office.

Credits Attempted (Including Transfer Credits) Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average


0-35.99 1.66
36-61.99 1.80
62-89.99 1.95
90 or more 2.00

Grade Level Progression
In order to advance to the next academic grade level for financial aid purposes, the following credit hours must be completed:

To advance to: You must complete:
Grade Level 2 — 24 credit hours
Grade Level 3 — 54 credit hours
Grade Level 4 — 87 credit hours

Special Notes

Generally, it takes 120 credit hours to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. To graduate in four years, a student must enroll for, and earn, an average of 15 credit hours per semester. Earning only 12 credit hours per semester (minimum for full-time) would extend graduation beyond the four year standard. Therefore, students who receive Juniata sponsored Merit scholarships and need-based grants should average at least 12 credits per semester. Also, certain financial aid resources, such as the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and other state grants, require a minimum of 12 credits earned per semester and are only available for 8 semesters.

Maximum Time Frame

Under Federal regulation, the maximum time frame that a student may have to complete an undergraduate program is 150% of the published length of the educational program for a full-time student. Juniata College has chosen to make this measurement on a credit hour basis. In most cases, a student must have earned 120 credit hours to complete an undergraduate degree. Therefore, it is expected that all students will complete all degree requirements by the time the student has earned 180 credit hours. Transfer credits reflected on a student’s transcript count as attempted and earned credit hours. Students who do not complete their program within this time frame can continue to attend, but they will not be able to continue to receive financial aid. All Juniata sponsored Merit scholarships and need-based grants are limited to 8 semesters of eligibility, unless the student has experience unusual or mitigating circumstances that prevented degree completion within 8 semesters.

Additional Undergraduate Degrees

Students pursuing a second undergraduate, baccalaureate degree, including Teacher Certification, are limited to 90 attempted credit hours of work between receipt of the first degree and completion of the second. Second degree students may not receive federal financial aid beyond 90 attempted credit hours of enrollment in the second undergraduate degree program.

Frequency of Progress Checks

The Office of Student Financial Planning will conduct the official check of Satisfactory Academic Progress at the conclusion of the academic year, following spring semester, regardless of whether the student received financial aid or not.

If a student fails to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student will be informed of this via letter or electronic mail from the Office of Student Financial Planning. Included in this communication will be information on the student’s status, the effect of this status on the student’s financial aid eligibility, and any actions the student must take. The notice will be sent to the student’s most current addresses on file. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the College of a correct mailing address at all times. If sent by electronic mail, the student’s Juniata College electronic mail address will be used for all such communications.

The Dean of Students Office will be notified of students who failed to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progres.

Appeal Process

Following the first semester in which the student does not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standard, the student will not be able to receive financial aid for the next period of enrollment unless the student successfully appeals.

The requirements of this Satisfactory Academic Progress policy can be appealed based on the following circumstances:
• Death or serious injury or illness of an immediate relative
• Student injury or illness which required medical intervention
• Significant, unanticipated family obligations
• Catastrophic loss (e.g. flood, fire, etc.)
• Other special circumstances.

The student’s appeal must include:


• An explanation of why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress. In other words, explain how the circumstance prevented the student from performing up to his or her normal academic potential.
• A description of what has changed that will allow the student to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress status in the coming semester.

To appeal the loss of Satisfactory Academic Progress status, the student should submit the information to the Juniata College Office of Student Financial Planning, along with any supporting documentation (e.g. death certificate, doctor’s note, letter from academic advisor or other 3rd party). The Director of Student Financial Planning reserves the right to request additional information on a case-by-case basis.

Approvals/Financial Aid Probation
Students who successfully appeal are granted Financial Aid Probation status for one semester. The student will be notified by letter or by electronic mail to their Juniata email account of the results of the SAP appeal.

The student should carefully review the SAP appeal notification, which will outline the unique, individualized SAP requirements the student must meet in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid. For example, a student who has failed to meet the 67% pace requirement, may be told in the appeal notification that s/he must maintain a higher minimum pace on a term by term basis, as well as earn a certain minimum GPA each semester, in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid. The student must keep the appeal notification for future reference.

Academic Plan/Statement of Intent
A part of the appeal process can be the establishment of an academic plan/statement of intent designed to help the student regain Satisfactory Academic Progress standing. The Academic Plan/Statement of Intent can be part of the student’s appeal. The academic plan/statement of intent is worked out between the student, his or her academic advisor, and/or the Registrars’ Office.

The academic plan/statement of intent is not required at the start of the probationary semester. But, if the student fails to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress status at the end of the probationary semester, the student must be successfully following the academic plan/statement of intent in order to continue to receive financial aid.

The academic plan/statement of intent must define how the student can regain Satisfactory Academic Progress status by a specific point in time.

Denials
If an SAP appeal is denied, the decision is final for the enrollment term specified by the student on the appeal form. A student may be able to re-establish eligibility on his/her own, for future semesters, by completing sufficient credit hours and/or improving his/her GPA such that s/he then meets the SAP requirements. Please contact The Office of Student Financial Planning if you have questions about reestablishing eligibility.

Financial Aid Probation
A student is considered to be on Financial Aid Probation during the first semester s/he receives federal financial aid under an approved SAP appeal.

Important - Please Note: A successful appeal of academic suspension is unrelated to financial aid suspension and does not result in reinstatement of a student’s financial aid eligibility. Appealing one’s financial aid suspension status is a separate process.

Miscellaneous

Repeated Courses
Some students repeat courses they have passed in order to raise their grade point averages (GPA). Be aware that repeating a course for which credit has been earned (a grade of “D-” or higher received), will not result in additional, earned (i.e. new) credit for financial aid/academic progress or degree requirement purposes. When repeating courses for which credit has already been earned, students should plan their class schedules carefully to ensure that they continue to meet SAP requirements.

Withdrawals
Courses for which a student receives a grade of "W" are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count as earned credit hours for SAP purposes.

Transfer Credits
Transfer credits reflected on a student's Juniata academic transcript are counted as both attempted and earned credit hours for SAP purposes. This includes college credits earned either as a full or part-time college student at another institution or through dual enrollment.

Other Grades
Courses for which Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grades are received count as both attempted and earned credit hours for SAP purposes. Courses for which a student receives the grade of “AU” (audit) will not count as attempted or earned for SAP courses.

*Renewal of Juniata Scholarships and Grants

Students receiving Juniata funding must earn an average of 12 credits per semester in order to have the award renewed, unless the student has experience unusual or mitigating circumstances that prevented him/her from completing the credits.

Juniata sponsored Merit scholarships and need-based grants are limited to 8 semesters of eligibility, unless the student has experience unusual or mitigating circumstances that prevented degree completion within 8 semesters.

 

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