Eligibility and Determination of Need
- To be eligible for any of the government-funded programs, the student must be (1) a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen, (2) a regular student enrolled for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate, (3) making satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a chosen program of study, and (4) in need of financial aid as determined by the federal methodology needs analysis system.
- Financial need is determined on the basis of information supplied on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All applicants are analyzed according to the formula known as the Federal Methodology. In determining the extent of the student's need, consideration is given both to the amount of support which may be expected from all family financial strength, such as taxes, number of dependants, debt, and other educational responsibilities and retirement needs. Financial aid is awarded for one academic year at a time; students must reapply annually for a renewal of aid. Renewal depends upon continued financial aid need and satisfactory academic progress.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student's successful completion of coursework toward a certificate/degree. Federal regulations require the Financial Aid Office to monitor the progress of each student who matriculates toward certificate/degree programs. Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal aid administered by the Financial Aid Office. Please refer to the Peirce College Academic Progress policy, which appears in Section I of your Student Handbook.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
There are three components in maintaining satisfactory progress. Failure to comply with any one requirement may result in a loss of Title IV Federal Aid and/or Pheaa State Grant eligibility. Each component is detailed below:
- 1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
- 2. Maintain a minimum completion rate for attempted credit hours:
While students are expected to complete all credits attempted for financial aid, each student must complete at least 75% of all credit hours attempted each 14-week period. Students enrolled full-time should complete 21 credits at the end of 14-week period. Students enrolled 3/4 time should complete 15 credits at the end of 14-week period. Students enrolled 1/2 time should complete 9 credits at the end of 14-week period.
- 3. Complete a degree or certificate program in no more than 150% of the average length of the program.
Students receiving financial aid are subject to the 150% Rule. According to this rule, students who attempt more than 150% of the credit hours needed to graduate from their program of study will be ineligible to receive financial aid. Under this rule, all credits, taken at Peirce or transferred to Peirce, are counted in this 150% rule calculation. Please note this rules applies to all courses taken regardless of how they were paid for (cash, financial aid, tuition reimbursement, etc.) Remedial credits to count in this formula. The formula for the 150% rule calculation is as follows: career credits earned divided by career credits attempted. At the end of each term, the Financial Aid Office and the Dean of Students will review the progress of each student. Students who have not met all three of the requirements listed above will be notified in writing that they have not achieved Satisfactory Academic Progress. Only courses for which the student received grades of A, B, C, D or P are acceptable. Grades F, I, or W, are not acceptable. For more information about academic progress notifications, please see the Peirce College Academic Progress, Probation and Dismissal policies which appear in Section I of your Student Handbook.
Financial Aid Warning, Probation and Appeals
Financial Aid Warning
A status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of 14-week term (fall, spring, summer). A student will be notified stating that academic performance was not met under the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. Students may continue to receive financial aid for the following 14 week term despite a determination that the student is not meeting the academic requirements. A letter or email will be sent to the student informing them of your current status. After two consecutive 14-week terms of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student will be placed on Financial Aid probation.
Financial Aid Probation
A status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress after two consecutive 14 week terms will have their financial aid suspended. Financial aid probation halts all federal, state and institutional aid. A student will be notified stating that academic performance was not met under the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. A letter will be mailed or emailed to students informing them of their status and their next steps.
Appealing Financial Aid Probation
Students placed on a financial aid probation status have the right to appeal. To appeal, a student with special circumstances and proper documentation of (i.e., doctor's notice, death in the family, etc.), may appeal the SAP probation and/or aid eligibility suspension by completing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. This form is available on the student portal at https://my.peirce.edu under the My Finances tab. The appeal should include the following information: A statement in the students own words explaining why he/she failed to earn the required credits and/or required GPA for two consecutive 14 week terms. The actions the student will take, or has taken, to correct or prevent the situation from reoccurring. If the appeal involves a medical reason, documentation from a doctor indicating the student is cleared to return to school and the medical condition will not prevent the student from being successful in the future. If the appeal involves exceeding the maximum timeframe, documentation from the student's academic advisor which lists the remaining courses required to complete the degree. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee that financial aid will be reinstated. If no appeal is received within 15 days of notification all financial aid will be canceled and a financial aid hold will be place on the student's account. No exceptions to this policy will be made.
Approval of Appeal
If your appeal is approved, your financial aid will be reinstated for one additional 14 week term. A student may be required to complete specific courses, reduce course load, and/or complete an education plan when your financial aid is reinstated. The student must meet all requirements established to maintain eligibility. Student notification will be forwarded by mail or email with the specific requirements. This information will be provided by financial aid and/or your academic advisor.
Denial of Appeal/No Appeal Received
- Complete a minimum of 6-12 credit hours WITHOUT financial aid from Peirce College
- Complete 6-12 credits from another institution of higher education, if approved by the student's academic advisor
- Complete an education plan with your academic advisor
- Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Complete 100% of attempted credits
Once a student has successfully completed the above, they should contact the financial aid office for a review to be reinstated. A letter or email will be sent to the student informing of their updated status.
State Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress
The PHEAA program imposes a separate and more stringent satisfactory progress policy than the one used for Title IV aid programs. Eligible students must be enrolled full-time (for the PHEAA grant only). In addition, a student enrolled full-time in an associate degree (two-year) program may remain eligible for PHEAA grants for a maximum of four terms. A student enrolled in a bachelor's degree (4-year program), may remain eligible for PHEAA grant for a maximum of eight terms. Students who become ineligible for state financial aid because of unsatisfactory progress may still remain eligible for Title IV funds by meeting Title IV satisfactory progress requirements. For more information on any of the financial aid policies, freshmen scholarships (merit-based and leadership scholarships), loans and/or returning student scholarships, stop by the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Return of Title IV Funds Policy
A statutory schedule is used to determine the amount of Student Financial Aid (SFA) program funds a student has earned when he or she ceases attendance based on the period the student was in attendance. As a result, the order of return of unearned funds no longer includes funds from sources other than SFA programs. The Return of Federal Funds Worksheet is available online (PDF) or may be requested from Student Financial Aid Services.
- Determine the percentage of the payment period the student attended before withdrawing. The percentage of the period attended determines the percentage of aid earned. The percentage completed equals the number of days completed as of the withdrawal date divided by the number of days in the semester or payment period. This percentage is also the percentage of aid earned. If the percentage attended is equal to or greater than 60%, the percentage earned becomes 100%. (Worksheet Step 2)
- Determine the amount of Title IV aid earned by multiplying the total Title IV aid (other than FWS) for which the student qualified by the percentage earned. Total Title IV includes both aid that was disbursed and aid that could have been disbursed.(Worksheet Step 3)
- Compare the amount earned to the amount actually disbursed prior to withdrawal (other than FWS). (Worksheet Step 4)
- If more aid was disbursed than was earned, determine the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned (i.e. that was unearned) by subtracting the earned amount from the amount disbursed.
- If less aid was disbursed than was earned, the student is entitled to a post withdrawal disbursement for the difference within 30 days of the student's withdrawal.
- Allocate the responsibility for returning unearned aid between the school and the student. Per federal guidelines, refunds
to federal aid programs will be accomplished in the following order:
- FFELP Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- FFELP Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans
- Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal parent or Grad PLUS loans
- Direct parent or Grad PLUS loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
- National Science and Mathematic Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART)
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- TEACH Grant
Award minimums will be honored where applicable. Funds returned to any program may not exceed those awarded from that program.