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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require Western Nevada College (WNC) to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for the purpose of the receipt of financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The law requires WNC to develop policies regarding SAP. WNC must design criteria which outline the definition of student progress towards a degree and the consequences to the student if progress is not achieved. Students who wish to be considered for financial assistance must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their selected course of study as set forth in this policy.

Academic Standards

The Financial Assistance Office evaluates student academic progress at the beginning of each semester. Students are evaluated using a qualitative standard (cumulative grade point average), quantitative standard or pace (semester and cumulative unit hour completion rate), and maximum time frame limitation (150% of degree requirement). A student must meet these standards of progress regardless of whether he or she has previously received financial assistance.

The student’s satisfactory academic progress is again reviewed and evaluated at the end of each semester for the next semester in attendance. Financial Assistance and most scholarships including federal, state and college administered funds are covered by this policy.

In addition, the Financial Assistance Office does not certify alternative educational loans for students who are not meeting satisfactory academic progress. Exceptions to the SAP policy for alternative loans, can only be made by the Director of Financial Assistance with documentation from the lender.


Qualitative Standard

Grade Point Average: Financial Assistance students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA for all coursework regardless of whether or not assistance was received for previous course work. If a student’s cumulative GPA drops below 2.0, the student is ineligible for financial assistance and is placed on financial assistance suspension, even if the student completed all units. Only units attempted at WNC are considered in this calculation.


Quantitative Standard

Academic Completion Rate or Pace: At a minimum, a student must satisfactorily complete 67% of all credits attempted each semester. If the student has not completed 67% for the most recently attempted semester, the student is ineligible for financial assistance and is placed on financial assistance suspension. In addition, a student must maintain a cumulative completion rate or pace of 67% or higher. If a student’s cumulative completion rate or pace is not at 67%, the student is ineligible for financial assistance and is placed on financial assistance suspension. Only units attempted at WNC are considered in this calculation.

Unacceptable Grades
Grade Definition
“F” Failure of the class.
“W” Failure of the class or official or unofficial withdrawal.
“I” Incomplete. Cannot be evaluated for satisfactory progress; but is considered as evidence the student did not officially withdraw.
“X” In progress. Cannot be evaluated for satisfactory progress.
“AD” Audit. For financial assistance, a student may not take a class for audit.
“NR” Grade not reported. Cannot be evaluated for satisfactory progress.
“EXP” Exception to the Refund processed by Admissions and Records, courses removed from the student’s official transcript, however courses still count towards FA SAP requirements.

Maximum Timeframe (Maximum Number of Units for Degree Program)

For Financial Assistance purposes a student is limited to attempting 150% of the units required for their specific degree program. Students enrolled in an associate degree program are allowed a maximum of two associate degrees and/or a maximum of 90 attempted units (60 units x 150%), whichever comes first. Students enrolled in a certificate program are allowed a maximum of two certificates and/or a maximum of 45 attempted units (30 units x 150%), whichever comes first. For students enrolled in the Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management degree, the maximum number of units is 180 units (120 units x 150%). Payments for degrees or classes beyond these limits are at the student’s own expense. Students may still be eligible for Millennium, outside scholarships, tribal funds, outside agency funding, Veteran’s Benefits, alternative Loans and third party payments.

For Transfer Students: Units taken at other post-secondary education institutions that are accepted for transfer credit by WNC will be counted toward the 150% unit maximum. Transfer units will not be considered when calculating GPA and academic completion rates.

Repeated Course Work: Repeated units will be counted as attempted units toward the maximum number of allowable units (150% of a degree program).


Degree/Certificate Programs

To be eligible for financial assistance, a student must declare with WNC Admissions and Records, and with the intent to obtain a degree or certificate in a financial assistance eligible program at WNC.

Degree Requirement:Financial Assistance students must declare a major and carefully review their courses and degree programs. It is the responsibility of the student to order transcripts from institutions previously attended if the student wants courses evaluate to be considered towards a degree at WNC. Students must declare their degree by the financial assistance census date or no later than the last date of the 100% refund period.


Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress

Notification

Students not meeting SAP requirements are notified when a SAP Checklist item is added to the myWNC/PeopleSoft “To Do” List. Students are emailed a “To Do” list letter through myWNC/PeopleSoft indicating that there are items that need to be addressed related to financial assistance. Students and appropriate staff are able to view financial assistance checklist items and instructions in the myWNC Student Center.

Receiving all “W”, “F”, “I”, or “EXP” Grades

If a student receives all “W”, “F”, “I”, or “EXP” grades for a semester, the Financial Assistance Office will determine the last date of attendance and calculate any repayment the student may owe for funds received. If unable to determine the last date of attendance, the 50% date will be used for the Return of Title IV (R2T4) determination.

Financial Assistance Suspension

If at any time the student’s semester or cumulative completion rate drops below 67% and/or the cumulative grade point average drops below a 2.0, the student’s eligibility for financial assistance is suspended.

Reinstatement of Financial Assistance

If a student has been denied receipt of financial assistance due to unsatisfactory academic progress, the student must, at their own expense, achieve the minimum requirements for SAP: 67% cumulative completion rate, 67% prior semester completion rate, and a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Financial Assistance Appeal Process

If a student is placed on financial assistance suspension, the student may appeal to the Financial Assistance Appeals Committee. The student must complete a Financial Assistance Appeal and Academic Plan form online and meet with an Academic Counselor.
 

Students Not Meeting Qualitative (Cumulative GPA) or Quantitative Standards (Rate or Pace): Student appeals for Qualitative and Quantitative issues are typically based on an unforeseen medical issues, death of a relative, or other extenuating circumstances which resulted in the student not achieving the units or grade point average required by WNC Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. The appeal may be strengthened with supporting documentation written by a third party on letterhead that verifies the student’s situation. Third party documentation may also include instructor’s verification of the students last date of attendance, letters from doctors, statements from hospitals, etc. Additional documentation is required for medical reasons, death, or other extenuating circumstances. The Financial Assistance Appeals Committee will consider the student’s written statement, all supporting documentation, prior academic history, and potential for academic success prior to determining a decision.

Students will be notified of the decision by email through myWNC/PeopleSoft. The decision by the Financial Assistance Appeals Committee is final and cannot be appealed further.
 

Financial Assistance Probation: If an appeal is approved for probation, the student will be placed on probation for one semester. Students must complete 67% of the units attempted during the probationary semester. The student must also maintain a 2.0 GPA during the probationary semester.

Failure to satisfactorily meet the terms of a probationary period will result in the immediate suspension of financial assistance eligibility.
 

Financial Assistance Academic Plan: Students are required to meet the conditions of Financial Assistance Probation. Students who meet the terms of probation, but are not yet meeting the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements must continue meeting the terms outlined in an Academic Plan to continue receiving financial assistance. Additionally, students who are submitting a second appeal requesting an additional probationary semester and are approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee are required to follow terms outlined in an Academic Plan to receive financial assistance. The Academic Plan will outline specific requirements that the student must meet until he is able to reach the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The student must complete a Financial Assistance Appeal and Academic Plan form with an Academic Counselor. The form is submitted online through the Financial Assistance Office or website using the link below.

Financial Assistance Appeal Form and Academic Plan
 

Students Exceeding the Maximum Timeframe (Maximum Number of Units for Degree Program): Exceptions to the maximum timeframe limits may be considered on an individual basis and with an explanation of the student’s special circumstances. Students who have credits that need to be completed for their degree program may submit a maximum credit appeal for consideration by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The student must complete a Financial Assistance Appeal and Academic Plan form with Academic Counselor. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student’s appeal form, course history, and degree audit report when making a decision. The form is submitted online through the Financial Assistance Office or website using the link below.

Financial Assistance Appeal Form and Academic Plan
 

Repeated Courses

All repeated courses will be counted as attempted units when calculating the maximum unit limit. Financial Assistance funding is limited to only one repeat of any particular course, if the repeat is to improve a grade of “D” or higher. Repeats of failed classes or those with “W” grades are allowed. When units are repeated, the grade earned in the latest class will be used to determine the student’s GPA.