Title IV regulations require that each student receiving federal aid maintain satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory progress is measured by both a qualitative and a quantitative standard. The MCC SAP is outlined below and measures all credits included in a student’s academic history (all MCC college credits even those taken during high school, transfer credits, & remedial credits), regardless of whether financial aid has been previously received.
*Remedial credit will not be counted in a student’s completion rate or 150% calculation, only in G.P.A.
Financial Aid SAP Terms and Conditions
For the purpose of SAP Policies, financial aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, Federal Work-Study, and all grants offered by the State of North Carolina (NCCCG, NCELS and NC Childcare Grant). Our MCC Foundation also follows federal SAP guidelines. Federal regulations require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in three areas. A student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) which must remain at a minimum of a 2.0, the student’s PACE or completion rate which must be at least 67%, and the student’s academic program must be completed in a maximum timeframe of 150% of the timeframe allowed for the declared program. SAP will be evaluated each semester after official grades have been verified by the registrar. Student SAP status updates will be emailed to the student as well as available to view on the student’s self service financial aid portal.
(Successfully completed grades: A, B, C, D, P, S, CE –Unsuccessful grades: F, FA, R, RA, I, W, AU, NA)
- (IE – Incomplete Emergency, WE – Withdraw Emergency; Grades used during Covid Pandemic not counted against a student’s SAP)
Both a Quantitative (cumulative completion rate) and Qualitative (cumulative GPA) standard must be maintained to receive aid. All students receiving aid must successfully meet the required standards for each increment listed below. Failure to meet these standards may impact the student’s eligibility for financial aid and the ability to register.
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher in order to be eligible to receive assistance. Financial Aid will follow the College’s policy for calculating GPA for all courses except remedial courses. The financial aid GPA/Completion rate may differ from the GPA on the student’s academic record due to the addition of remedial coursework. The SAP calculation is based on the financial aid GPA/Completion rate. There are no exceptions. All grades dating back to the student’s initial enrollment at the college, including those received while not on financial assistance, are included in the student’s cumulative GPA.
Students must receive a passing grade in 67% of all coursework attempted. The pace of completion is cumulative and includes all coursework attempted. The cumulative completion rate is calculated by dividing the completed credit hours by the attempted credit hours. Grades of “F”, “FA”, “W”, “R”, “RA”, “I”, “AU”, “NA” are not passing grades and count as hours attempted, but do not count towards successfully completed hours. Incompletes, grades of “I”, are included as attempted but not completed until they are replaced with an accurate grade. For purposes of rounding, students who receive a completion rate of 66.5% or higher are considered to have met the 67% completion rate requirement. Transfer credits accepted are included as both attempted and completed but not included in the GPA.
A grade of Incomplete (I) will be given when circumstances justify additional time to complete the course. Any incomplete grade not updated by the end of the succeeding term will be changed to a grade of F unless additional time is granted by the instructor. For SAP purposes, a grade of Incomplete will be considered for credit hours attempted only until the grade is changed by the instructor or is reverted to a grade of F due to lack of proper action by the student. At this point the updated grade will also be included in the cumulative GPA.
150 Percent Rule
Students are only allowed to attempt a limited number of credit hours under federal financial aid guidelines. All aid is terminated once a student has attempted 150% of the required number of hours in their program of study or it becomes apparent that they can not complete the program within the 150% limit. This regulation applies to all students, including those that have not previously received aid. For example, if the degree requires 70 hours to complete, the 150% maximum timeframe would be 105 attempted hours. For diploma students, if the diploma requires 40 hours to complete, the maximum timeframe would be 60 attempted semester hours. Up to thirty (30) hours of remedial coursework will not be included in this calculation. Students must make other arrangements to pay their educational costs if their financial aid is terminated. Students pursuing an additional major after graduation may be considered for appeal. REMINDER: All attempted credits count toward the 150% point even if they are not included in your current active curriculum.
Limits on Financial Aid Eligibility
Students who are enrolled in two concurrent curriculum programs (major/minor) will receive funding for eligible classes in their primary program (major). An exception occurs if the student is completing their primary program and is beginning another curriculum program during the same semester. In that case, the student will receive funding for both curriculum programs for that semester only. Contact the FA Director to request verification for this option.
REMINDER: After receiving financial aid for 12 full time semesters students will no longer be eligible for aid from the federal government.
All courses attempted are used in calculating the SAP. Withdrawals (“W”) and grades of “F”, “AU”, “FA”, “R’, “RA”, “I” count as hours attempted, but do not count towards successfully completed hours. If a student changes curriculums, all of the courses previously attempted will apply to the current SAP calculation. Grades of “F”, “FA”, “R’, “RA” affect the student’s G.P.A. Students who withdraw may have difficulty meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements.
Academic progress regulations do not provide for the concept of academic amnesty whereby students apply to have credits attempted or grades earned excluded from the institution’s GPA calculation. All credits attempted and grades earned will be included in the student’s GPA and pace of progression standards. If a student requests Academic Amnesty with the college’s registrar, the student must inform the financial aid office.
In addition to being factored into the completion rate requirement as attempted and completed credits, a student’s maximum time to receive financial aid will also be reduced by the equivalent transfer of credit hours towards his/her degree. Transfer credit is determined by the registrar. Credits needed for the current curriculum will be added to the transcript at the time of admission to MCC. Each time the curriculum changes the registrar will reevaluate all transcripts on file to determine what new courses could be counted towards graduation. Once transfer credits have been added they will not be removed.
A student is placed on warning when SAP is not maintained. A student on warning may receive financial aid for their next enrollment term, but must return to satisfactory academic progress within the allowed term or the student will be terminated from financial aid eligibility until minimum requirements are met. Students who are ineligible for aid under the 150% rule do not qualify for a warning period.
Warning Near Maximum Timeframe
Students who have attempted approximately 80% of the maximum allowable credit hours for their program of study will be considered Warning Near Maximum Timeframe. At this point, all credits are reviewed to determine if enough hours accumulated to complete the degree. All aid is terminated once a student has attempted 150% of the required number of hours in their program of study or it becomes apparent that they cannot complete the program within the 150% limit.
Students who have attempted the maximum allowable credit hours, 150%, of their program of study will have their financial aid suspended. Students have the right to appeal.
Suspension/Regaining Eligibility for Aid
Students on a warning status who fail to meet the standards outlined above are ineligible for aid. Excepting an approved appeal request, the only manner by which a student may regain eligibility is by completing classes at their own expense and achieving the minimum SAP requirements.
All students are eligible to appeal their financial aid suspension status in writing to the financial aid office. Appeals are granted in cases of serious illness, death of an immediate family member, natural disaster, extenuating circumstance, or other traumatic episode. Appeals are also reviewed for need of additional hours/degrees. To appeal, the student must complete and return the appeal form found on MCC’s website or in the financial aid office with the following information. The appeal must include a signed letter describing why you are requesting an appeal. Explain in detail the circumstances of your appeal. Please include what steps you have taken to resolve the problem that prevented you from successfully maintaining MCC academic standards. If you are requesting to be considered for additional time past the 150% max time frame explain in detail the reasons for changing majors or attempting an additional degree and why you are requesting additional time past the 150% maximum time frame. Add Specific Documentation supporting your request. (Example: Death certificate, hospital records). Include a program evaluation (degree audit) from the Registrar on the major you plan on pursuing. Meet with your advisor. With their advisement construct a Plan of Action. List in detail the courses you plan to take each semester until graduation and when, including how many hours you still need to complete and anticipated date of graduation signed by your program advisor for your newest program of study. All supporting documentation must be attached or the appeal will not be accepted. Appeals are presented to the financial aid committee for adjudication. The student will be notified by email of the results of adjudication. All aid remains terminated until the student receives notification that the appeal was approved for the next period of enrollment and the student agrees in writing to the conditions of appeal, also posted on our website. Appeals are granted on case-by-case situations.
Probation – Continued on Appeal
If a status of Suspension is appealed and approved, a status of Probation-COA is assigned. This status requires students to maintain both a term GPA greater than or equal to 2.5, a term completion rate equal to 100% and to comply with all conditions of appeal. In order to achieve a completion rate equal to 100%, a student must successfully complete each course enrolled for the term. If a student withdraws or fails a course during a term dropping the term completion rate below 100%, does not maintain a term GPA greater than or equal to 2.5, or meet all conditions of appeal agreed upon in writing the appeal is terminated and the student will receive a terminated status. Once a student receives a termination status they are no longer eligible to appeal without regaining eligibility first. For a max time frame approved appeal, a term GPA of 2.25 and a term completion rate of 75% (equivalent to one course) is required.
Remedial classes count toward the financial aid GPA calculation. Students may receive aid for 30 remedial credit hours only. If one or more modules of a remedial math shell is passed, but the complete shell is failed the student will be charged again for a total shell when they register. The financial aid GPA/Completion rate may differ from the GPA on the student’s academic record due to the addition of remedial coursework. The SAP calculation is based on the financial aid GPA/Completion rate. There are no exceptions. *Up to 30 hours of remedial coursework will be excluded from the 150% maximum timeframe calculation.
Repeating a course is allowed when the student fails to earn a passing grade. However, repeating a course counts as another attempt, which could negatively affect a student’s SAP. Please note: A student may repeat a course one time in which they received a passing grade. If a student passed a class once and then is repaid for retaking it and fails the second time, that failure counts as their paid retake and the student may not be paid for retaking the class a third time. Course schedules are verified each term. The tuition for non-eligible repeated classes, or classes not needed for graduation, will become the responsibility of the student.
Courses Outside the Curriculum
It is the student’s responsibility to register for courses in their primary program of study. Award amounts are based only on courses in a student’s primary program of study.
Clock Hour Converted Programs for Payment
Awards will be modified for all diploma programs that do not lead to an associate degree (LPN, Dental Assisting, Taxidermy, BLET, Therapeutic and Diagnostic service). If a student is in a clock hour converted program and attends courses in both mini-mesters, payment is made for the cumulative total of hours for the semester. Clock hour conversions always round down to the closest whole number and payment is made on that number (ex: 5.1 + 6.4 = 11.5 is paid 11). Because of this conversion, students should be aware they may not have enough aid to cover their charges and therefore should be prepared to pay any residual charges out-of-pocket.
Payment (Including Mini-Mesters)
A student who enrolls at the beginning of the term must register for every class for which they wish to receive financial aid, regardless of the starting date of the class. If a student has registered at the beginning of the term for a mini-mester course, they will be paid for it after attendance has been verified the following month. No additional awards will be made for the term if a class is added after the first applicable census date for students who enroll at the start of the term. Student accounts are frozen on the published FA census date each term for the amount of hours the student is enrolled in, attending, and actively participating in. Likewise, students who fail to complete the entire term may be subject to an overpayment.
NOTICE Responsibility for registering for courses in one’s program of study, monitoring the progression toward graduation, and avoiding SAP ineligibility lies with the student. When students enroll at MCC, they choose their course of study and have ready access to the course requirements. While MCC provides advisement and counseling to students in an effort to facilitate a student’s educational interests and goals, this SAP policy is mandated by the federal government and may not be altered, ignored, or regulated on the grounds of improper or misinterpreted advisement.
All notices regarding academic progress for financial aid purposes will be sent to the student’s MCC email and Self service portal. The student is responsible for monitoring this mailbox/portal on a weekly basis.
The Financial Aid Office may adjust the student’s award amount, pending changes in eligibility status or the availability of federal/state/institutional funds. If the student registers for classes they must officially drop the class(es) before the first day of class or they may be responsible for all charges incurred. Please note: Not all certificate/diploma programs are eligible for financial aid.
Credit hours attempted and completed during a summer session are included in the calculation of SAP. State-funded financial aid is not available during the summer session. Award amounts are based on full-time attendance for the fall and spring terms and will be pro-rated according to the number of registered hours. Summer aid is not available for students that attend full-time fall and spring terms unless advertised and/or included on yearly offer letter.
Students are required to notify the financial aid office if they receive financial assistance such as a scholarship, grant, or loan from an outside source since this may affect their eligibility for financial aid. The student must also notify the financial aid office if they change their name, address, phone number, or email. The College will use the students’ financial aid funds to pay for outstanding tuition, fees, books and other charges incurred. The remaining funds will be disbursed during the semester. If the student receives aid they are not entitled to, it will be their responsibility to repay those funds. If a student is taking classes at two different colleges they can only receive aid at one college.
Repayment of Title IV Funds Policy
Financial aid recipients who completely withdraw (officially/unofficial instructor drop/administrative drop) or fail to actively participate in all of their classes on or prior to the sixty percent point of the academic term will be subject to repayment terms (Return of Title IV funds policy) as outlined by the Department of Education. Simply logging in to an online class does not qualify as participation. Assignments must be completed. If disbursement has already been made to the student, it is the student’s responsibility to repay all funds due to MCC and/or the Department of Education. Federal regulations require a formula be used based on a number of calendar days in the term and the number of days of active participation by the student before withdrawal to determine how much financial aid was ‘earned’ by the student. The difference between aid disbursed and aid earned will be used to calculate how much the student must repay. If a student withdrew prior to disbursement of aid, the calculation determines how much the student earned before a total withdraw from the college. The college will receive this amount of aid from the DOE for the term. If your charges are more than the amount we receive, the student will be responsible for the difference.
When a student withdraws before the end of the term, an institution must determine how much, if any, State grant funds must be returned.
- Student attended more than 35% of term = full grant amount earned.
- Student attended 5% -35% of the term= percentage of grant earned is equal to percentage attended.
- Student attended less than 5% of term = no eligibility.