FINANCIAL AID SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY
Federal regulations (CRF 668.34) require that a student maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in the course of study being pursued, according to the standards and practices of the institution in which he/she is enrolled, in order to receive aid under the Higher Education Act. The programs at TCC include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG), Oklahoma’s Promise, Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program.
The student is encouraged to become familiar with this satisfactory academic progress policy and any policy that may govern outside sources of financial aid for which the student may have qualified for, such as: Vocational Rehabilitation, Job Training Partnership Act, Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits, etc.
I. Qualitative and Quantitative Requirements
Both qualitative and quantitative standards for satisfactory academic progress shall be applied uniformly to ALL students whether or not the student has previously participated in a Title IV program. In order to satisfy both qualitative and quantitative requirements, ALL students must satisfy the minimum standards as described below: For financial aid purposes, grades of F, W, AW, WP, WF, I, U, etc. shall be considered hours attempted. However, these are NOT considered hours satisfactorily completed. Audit grades do not qualify for financial aid. Should a student receive financial aid for any classes or hours that are later changed to audit, the student will be required to repay any applicable financial aid funds. Cumulative grade point average (calculated by College Directors of Enrollment Services) and hours attempted shall be used to determine a student’s eligibility to participate in the Title IV programs.
II. Transfer and Continuing Students
ALL transfer students entering Tulsa Community College and ALL continuing TCC students who apply for financial aid, must have one of the following: HS transcript, GED, or Home School Diploma (including ACT scores). Continuing students must meet the minimum qualitative and quantitative requirements described below in order to receive federal aid. Transfer students, who do not meet minimum requirements, will be reviewed at the end of their first semester at TCC. If the student is not meeting minimum requirements, they will be placed on a ‘warning’ for the next entering semester. Progress will be reviewed upon completion of the term to update the student’s satisfactory academic progress status accordingly. A student, who is violating the maximum hours, does not get a ‘warning’ semester. Credit from an institution without recognized accreditation will not be used to calculate a student’s academic progress; however, students who have a bachelor’s degree - even from an unaccredited institution - will not receive Pell, OTAG, or SEOG funds.
III. Evaluation Increment Period
ALL students participating in the Title IV programs will be evaluated at the end of EACH term (summer term included, if applicable) to determine if satisfactory academic progress is being maintained.
IV. Financial Aid Warning and Suspension
In the event a student fails to meet minimum requirements, as described in the table below, the student will be placed on ‘warning’ for the subsequent term, during which time the student may continue to receive Title IV aid. At the end of the ‘warning’ term, if the student fails to meet minimum criteria, they will be suspended from participating in ALL Title IV programs, until such time as eligibility is reestablished. Students who receive Title IV financial aid and complete a full withdrawal, drop out, or are dismissed prior to completion of the term will be subject to the Department of Education Return of Title IV Funds policy.
Hours Attempted: 1-30 credit hours / Cumulative GPA: 1.70 / Percentage of Total Hours: 67% successful completion
Hours Attempted: 31 or more credit hours / Cumulative GPA: 2.00 / Percentage of Total Hours: 67% successful completion
V. Re-Establishing Eligibility
A student may re-establish eligibility to participate in the Title IV programs by completing sufficient hours to meet both qualitative and quantitative standards in the applicable category as described in the table above.
VI. Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
If there are extenuating circumstances, students may appeal their suspension. EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: DEATH IN THE FAMILY, ILLNESS AND HOSPITALIZATION. The appeal letter must be typed and submitted to the Financial Aid and Scholarships office. The student is advised to provide supporting documentation. The student will be notified, by college email, of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeals Committee’s decision. The decision of the appeal committee is final. Any student whose suspension status has been appealed and previously approved must follow the terms and conditions of that appeal to continue receiving Title IV financial aid. Any student unable to adhere to the requirements of the approval will be suspended.
VII. Limitation of Student Eligibility
All students enrolled in an eligible degree program may receive Title IV aid up to 150% of the hours required in pursuit of a degree or certificate. The total number of hours allowed at Tulsa Community College to receive Title IV aid is ninetyfive (95). It is the option of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee and/or Financial Aid and Scholarships office to grant an extension to the 150% maximum hours allowed. Reasons for approval include, but are not limited to, change of major, transfer between institutions, or new degree program. Students, who exceed the maximum time frame for degree completion because they have not completed a sufficient percentage of coursework or are putting off completion to continue to receive aid, will not be approved. Students with a prior bachelor’s degree are prohibited by regulation from receiving Pell Grants, OTAG, or SEOG. If approved, students who have exceeded the 150% maximum will be eligible for aid only for 150% of the hours necessary to complete the approved program of study. When those hours are completed, a student will have exhausted his or her aid eligibility at TCC.
Students are responsible for knowing their eligibility status at the end of each term. If in need of assistance or clarification, students are encouraged to come to any campus Financial Aid and Scholarships’ Office for verification and eligibility.
VIII. Student Record and Financial Aid Holds
According to federal guidelines, it is the option of the College to place a hold on the release of a student’s record for failure to comply with a requirement or meet an obligation of the offices of Admission and Records, Bursar, Library, Counseling and Testing, Student Activities, and Financial Aid Office.
It is part of the regular office procedure of the Financial Aid and Scholarships office to place a hold on a student’s academic record for various reasons. Examples for a hold being placed on an academic record include, but are not limited to, an institutional, state, or federal financial aid overpayment due to be repaid by the student. Resolution of the infraction must occur before release of the academic records. A student may make a written request to the Financial Aid and Scholarships office for release of an unofficial record prior to resolution.
IX. Default Management Plan
There are consequences for schools with official cohort default rates that exceed certain thresholds and in some cases an institution may be ineligible to participate in financial aid programs. As required by The Department of Education, Tulsa Community College has implemented and practices a strict Default Management Plan. In part, this Default Management Plan includes requiring an entrance interview for all student borrowers, and exit interviews for students in less than halftime enrollment, whether due to withdrawal or graduation.
X. Misrepresentation, Forgery, Fraud and Abuse
The TCC Financial Aid and Scholarships office is required to report any suspected fraud or misrepresentation to the Inspector General’s Office. Whenever a staff member becomes aware that a student and/or a student’s parent or spouse may have allegedly misrepresented facts relevant to the student’s financial aid application, or have committed forgery or fraud, the staff member must report this promptly to the Director of the Financial Aid office for appropriate follow-up. The Director will contact the student to attempt to determine if the misrepresentation was unintentional and to explain the consequences of the action. Should resolution not occur, the case will be referred to the Inspector General’s Office for appropriate action(s). A hold will be placed on the student’s record and financial aid until resolution has occurred.