To be eligible to receive Student Financial Aid funds, which includes financial aid from federal, state and institutional programs, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Albany Technical College (ATC) is required by the U.S. Department of Education to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress. Good standing means the student is proceeding in a positive manner toward fulfilling educational requirements. SAP is calculated each semester. SAP includes all periods of the student's enrollment, including periods in which the student does not receive financial aid funds. The total cumulative earned hours consist of hours earned at ATC and accepted transfer credits. Transfer credits are not included in the computation of the cumulative GPA for financial aid unless the credit was earned while attending other schools as a Transient student (ATC student taking classes at another institution as an ATC student). Please note: When courses are repeated, all attempts at repeated courses will count in your cumulative GPA for financial aid.
1. Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students attending ATC must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress with a minimum GPA and completion rate in accordance with the maximum time frame, as stated below.
A. Grade Point Average Requirement (Qualitative)
Students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). If a student's GPA falls below the required 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA, his or her eligibility to receive financial aid will be jeopardized. A student will be put on financial aid warning for the semester following the term the student fails to maintain the required 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA. The student has the next semester of attendance to earn the required 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA. The student may receive financial aid assistance while on financial aid warning.
At the end of the warning period, if the required 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA is met, the student is taken off of financial aid warning and put on good standing. If the required 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA is not achieved, then the student will be put on financial aid suspension during the next semester of attendance. The student will not receive financial aid assistance while on financial aid suspension.
B. Completion Rate (Quantitative)
Students must earn a minimum of 67 percent of the cumulative coursework attempted (including Transferred hours). Failure to complete this minimum 67 percentage will result in a student being placed on financial aid warning during the next semester of attendance.
If the student regains a completion rate of 67 percent of the cumulative coursework attempted during the warning semester, then the student will be taken off of financial aid warning.
If the student does not regain a completion rate of 67 percent of the cumulative coursework attempted during the warning semester, then the student will be placed on financial aid suspension for the next attending semester. Completion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of hours successfully completed by the total number of hours attempted.
Example: 33 credits completed / 49 credits attempted = 67%
C. Maximum Time Frame
All students must complete their program of study within a maximum time frame of one-and-one-half (150 percent) times the length of the program in which they are enrolled. This means that once a student has attempted one-and-one-half times the minimum number of credit hours necessary for completing program requirements, the student will be ineligible to receive financial aid assistance.
Example of Maximum Timeframe calculation for one program:
- If a program requires 62 credits for completion
- Then, 62 x 150% = 93 attempted credits is maximum timeframe.
If a student graduates from a program and wishes to seek an additional degree or diploma then the cumulative hours for completion of the previous program will be added to the cumulative hours for completion of the second program plus 50 percent of the total will be used to establish maximum timeframe.
Example of Maximum Timeframe calculation for an additional program after graduation:
- If the completed program and current programs require 116 credits for completion (62 credits for previous program and 54 credits for current program)
- Then, 116 x 150% = 174 attempted credits is maximum timeframe.
Attempted hours include all attempted hours at ATC and all accepted transfer credits.
If the student qualifies for graduation in a particular major but makes a personal decision to remain in school and take additional classes, the student is no longer entitled to receive Federal Title IV Aid. If the time limit has been exceeded, aid eligibility ends. The student will be placed on financial aid suspension status.
The following grades are calculated in the completion rate but do not count toward successfully completion: IP (in progress), I (incomplete), Z, W, WP, F, or WF. Repeat courses will be considered as any other class and both grades will be counted in both the GPA and completion rate. A grade of A*, B*, C*, or D* will be considered satisfactory completion of a learning support course. A grade of F*will be considered unsatisfactory. Grades received for learning support courses are not calculated in the GPA, but the hours are calculated in the 66.6% cumulative completion rate.
Dougherty County was a hot spot for COVID-19 and this caused the college to close the campus to students on March 16, 2020. Students with a lab component to their on-campus class which they couldn’t complete before finals on May 19, 2020, were given a grade of IP. Academic Affairs will give them until the end of fall semester 2020 to complete this coursework. Until then, this grade will not count against the student’s completion rate.
A grade of Z was assigned spring semester 2020 (202014) to high school and LEAP students who were unable to complete the semester because of the transition to on-line learning or an interruption in studies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grade of Z will not count against the students completion rate. It will not count as an attempted hour on the student transcript.
3. Transfer Students
Transfer students accepted by ATC who were not previously enrolled at ATC, will be classified as maintaining satisfactory academic progress for their first semester. At the end of the first semester, the student's grades will be measured in accordance with the ATC's satisfactory academic progress requirements. Students who previously attended ATC, transferred to another school, then returned to ATC, will have the SAP status they earned during their last attendance at ATC. Transfer students will have all of their coursework reviewed at the end of the first semester attended.
4. Financial Aid Suspension
Once a student is on financial aid suspension, the student must pay for the next attending semester at his or her own expense. All federal, state and institutional funds are removed for the next semester. Once the student is meeting SAP requirements, the student's financial aid will be reinstated. Financial Aid Suspension will not expire or time out after a certain period of time.
5. Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
Students have the right to appeal their suspension of financial aid if they had extenuating circumstances that prevented them from making satisfactory academic progress. Extenuating circumstances include:
- death or serious illness or injury to the student or to immediate family member,
- extended hospitalization or medical condition of the student or their dependent,
- victimization of a violent crime or natural disaster,
- work related difficulties, and
- other unexpected documented situations.
Lack of transportation to school, poor class performance, and pursuit of a double or dual major are not an extenuating circumstance.
The statement of appeal must be specific, typed, and address the student's entire previous academic performance as well as how the circumstances have changed so that the student can meet SAP. The statement must be attached to the Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension form. This form may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office and is also located on the financial aid section of the ATC Website. The appeal must be submitted by the payment deadline in the semester in which the student plans to attend.
The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee will review appeals prior to the beginning of each semester. The Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the committee's decision via campus email. Decision results will also be available on Banner Student Web. The committee's decision is final. If approved, the student will be placed on financial aid probation status for the subsequent semester(s). While at this status, the Financial Aid Office may require the student to maintain a specified percentage of semester coursework, cumulative GPA, and tutorial assistance. If any of the prescribed conditions are not met during the semester, eligibility will be denied and the student will be placed back on financial aid suspension at the conclusion of the semester.
If after the student's probation term they are not meeting the required completion rate and/or GPA but passed all their classes that term they are placed under an academic plan. While on SAP plan status, students must complete each semester with at least a 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate.
A student is expected to know the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Students can review their SAP status on Banner Student Web after final grades have been processed. The Financial Aid Office attempts to notify students when they are on financial aid suspension; however, sometimes students do not receive notification due to circumstances beyond the control of the Financial Aid Office.
If a student is not notified of the financial aid suspension, that does not excuse a student from the financial aid suspension, nor does it exempt a student from appealing in a timely manner.