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Satisfactory Academic Progress

In accordance with U.S Department of Education regulations, all students applying for federal and/or state financial assistance must maintain satisfactory progress in their course of study to receive financial aid. A student who does not meet these standards is not eligible to receive federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid. All semesters of attendance are considered for satisfactory progress regardless of whether the student received aid at Peirce College. Student’s progress will be evaluated according to this policy, before aid is disbursed each semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Qualitative Measurement (Grade Point Average - GPA)

  • Undergraduate Degrees & Certificate programs students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA*.

  • Graduate Degrees & Certificate programs students must maintain a 3.0 GPA*.

*GPA requirements for institutional scholarships may be higher. Graduation requirements for GPA may also differ depending on program/degree. See Peirce College catalog for academic policies regarding the treatment of repeated courses and GPA.

Quantitative Measurement/Pace of Progression (Credit Hours)

  • Complete at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted (i.e., earned divided by attempted)

  • 9 credit hours earned divided by 12 credit hours attempted = 9/12 = 75%, Pace Met

  • 9 credit hours earned divided by 15 credit hours attempted = 9/15 = 60%, Pace Not Met

  • Course grades of "W", “F”, “I”, or "NG" will be considered as attempted and not completed. Audited courses are not considered credits attempted or earned.
  • If/when a student completes a course previously graded as an "I", they must notify Student Financial Services of the completion if they wish to have a review of their Pace after the grade has been updated. Peirce will not review completion of “I” courses after the initial SAP Review has been completed.
  • Courses completed at Peirce, as well as courses transferred and accepted by Peirce for the students program are considered in the Pace of Progression completion rate.
  • Repeat courses are considered as attempted and earned in the Pace of Progress completion rate. See Peirce College catalog for academic policies regarding the treatment of repeated courses.

Maximum Time-Frame

Degree requirements must be completed within a 150% of the programs published time-frame. Hours earned at Peirce, as well as hours transferred and accepted by Peirce are considered in this time-frame. Any student who has exceeded the maximum time-frame and/or who mathematically cannot finish the program within this period will be considered ineligible for financial aid.

The table below represents potential time-frame calculations for standard program per degree type, actual credit amount(s) will vary depending on student’s specific program/degree requirements.

 

Certificate Program

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

Credits required

18-30

60-63

121-123

30-36

150% of Length

27-45

90-94

181-184

45-54

Please note the following additional considerations regarding SAP Standards:

  • Credits earned by examination or testing are counted in the calculation of all three standards, and treated as both.

  • If a student changes degree program(s) or graduates and requests another degree program, his/her coursework will be evaluated to determine the credits that count toward the new program.

  • For students that are enrolled in multiple programs, SAP standards will be measured on the longest active degree-seeking program.

  • If there is no active degree-seeking program, the longest active certificate program will be used.

  • After a degree audit has been evaluated, the count of credits attempted will be reset based upon the credits completed that satisfy requirements in the new degree program. For example, if a student has attempted 60 credits but only 30 (including transfer credits) will satisfy requirements in the new degree program, then the count of the attempted credits will be reset from 60 to 30. The student in this example would have a new maximum of 60 additional credits to complete the new associate’s degree program. Further, this student would have a new maximum of 151 credits to complete a new bachelor’s degree. However, if the student does not meet the minimum standard requirements, the student may appeal on the basis of a change in program/degree.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Monitoring

At the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, & Summer), students will be reviewed to assess their SAP status according to the standards of this policy. Students pursuing a second/multiple degree(s) are subject to the same requirements as those students pursuing their initial degree.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Status

Good Standing

A student that is meeting all SAP standards, for their program/degree.

Warning

A student will be placed on Financial Aid warning if:

  • The cumulative GPA is less than the stated requirement in the Qualitative Measurement section. AND/OR

  • The student is not meeting the Pace of Progression of 67% as outlined in the Quantitative Measurement section.

A student is placed on warning after the 1st semester of failed SAP standards. By the end of the warning semester, the student must meet the standards to regain eligibility/return to normal progress. A student is still eligible for financial aid while on warning.

Suspension

A student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension after a the warning semester if:

  • The cumulative GPA is less than the stated requirement in the Qualitative Measurement section. AND/OR

  • The student is not meeting the Pace of Progression of 67% as outlined in the Quantitative Measurement section AND/OR

  • The student has reached or exceeded time-frame cumulative credit hours and will not successfully complete the degree requirements.

A student is placed on Suspension after their 2nd consecutive semester of failed SAP Standards, or reached Time-Frame. Students on Suspension are NOT eligible for Financial Aid. Students in Suspension status have the ability to appeal their Suspension status by completing a SAP Appeal (instructions for SAP Appeal provided below), or attending without Financial Aid until SAP standards are met and the student returns to Good Standing at the end of a semester.

Probation (EDP)

A student is placed on Financial Aid Probation, when their appeal is approved by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee. This status will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Students that are on Probation (EDP) that are unable to reach SAP in a single semester following their initial Suspension status, can continue to eligible for aid if they follow their EDP and show academic growth/progress through the following each semester:

  • The Qualitative Measurement (GPA) and Pace of Progression (67% of attempted hours completed) must be achieved each semester based on their approved EDP. Semester GPA and Pace will be reviewed to determine if the student met this measurement at the end of the semester.

  • Students on EDP must complete all courses with an above average grade (C or better for UG or B or better for GR) and have semester GPA higher than the previous semester.

  • Students that wish to change their EDP and/or major must notify their Advisor and Student Financial Services in writing for approval prior to the changes to remain in probation status. A new EDP must be submitted and a letter that addresses the changes needed, describe reasonable rationale for major/schedule change(s), and the progression the student expects to achieve with the updated EDP.

  • Students are able to submit three adjustments to their EDP during a single probationary period.

If either or both measurements are not achieved, the student will return to Financial Aid Suspension and loss of financial aid eligibility. Students that are placed on Suspension more than once may appeal up to a maximum of three times during their academic career at Peirce College. Subsequent appeals may not present the same extenuating or mitigating circumstances as previous approved appeals.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

A student who has been placed on Suspension may complete and submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal and Educational Development Plan, as a request for reinstatement. Appeal forms are available online via Student’s PCFast portal. Appeals and the Educational Development Plan are due as soon as possible and must be submitted before the 100% add/drop period of the next period of enrollment. If there are extenuating or mitigating circumstances contributing to their inability to meet the SAP

requirements, students may appeal for one of the following reasons:

Circumstance(s) that apply:

Documentation needed (must include dates)

Severe illness, medical condition or injury

Signed & dated letter from physician on official/office letterhead; legible copy of accident report

Death of a family member

Death certificate and/or official obituary

Traumatic life-altering event such as fire, hurricane, Covid-19, etc.

Evidence of such event such as an insurance claim or FEMA application

Other circumstances beyond the control of the student (must explain in detail the nature of the circumstance and dates of the unexpected circumstance)

Appropriate documentation which will verify the situation

The following scenarios are examples of NON-extenuating circumstances and are not an acceptable justification for appealing;

  • Youthfulness, immaturity, or lack of focus;

  • Difficult coursework or attempted too many credits and couldn't handle the workload

  • Student / Instructor conflicts;

  • Transportation issues;

  • Poor time management;

  • Financial aid processing late or delayed;

  • Medical reasons that were known to you prior to the start of the semester, unless you can document unforeseeable complications;

  • Work Conflicts, unless you can document an unexpected, unavoidable, and involuntary change to your work schedule that directly hindered your academic success

Reestablishing Aid Eligibility

Students who are not making SAP can restore their eligibility for Financial Aid by taking action that brings them into compliance with the SAP Standards. These actions include: Successfully completing the appeal process, and being placed on probation (EDP) or meeting all minimum SAP standards through continued enrollment.

A student who has been placed on Suspension from financial aid for academic reasons and has not had an appeal approved, may be eligible for reinstatement if they enroll in courses at their own expense and meet the criteria listed for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students that are enrolled and placed on Suspension will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Once they have successfully maintained Satisfactory Academic Progress, they will have their financial aid reinstated. A student cannot reestablish eligibility by taking a semester off and then returning from a break and/or reapplying to Peirce College.

If a student chooses to attend another college to increase academic performance before returning to Peirce, the student can request reinstatement by completing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal, where they use the school's transcripts as part of their documentation for the appeal. The request for reinstatement will be reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee. The student will be notified whether their financial aid has been reinstated or denied.

By submitting your appeal after the term begins you are responsible for all charges that may be accrued without the eligibility for aid. A student that was on suspension, or on probation then reaches normal progress by meeting SAP requirements, then fails to meet SAP again will go back in warning, then suspension progression. A student can then appeal for a second or third time, only if their reasoning for failing the policy is different than before, and new documentation can be provided in lieu of original appeal. Any student who has not previously received financial aid may not be notified of their status until they apply for financial aid.

Disclosures

Student Financial Services will attempt to notify students via Peirce email address any student currently receiving financial aid who is placed on Financial Aid Warning and/or Suspension. However, failure to receive such notification does not relieve the student of the requirement to read, understand and follow the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Financial Aid Recipients. A student who completes all the academic requirements for a certificate or degree but does not yet have a certificate or degree (or has not applied for graduation) is not eligible for further financial assistance for that certificate or degree.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has a separate policy regarding state grant funds and satisfactory academic progress.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

This Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) policy applies to any student who receives federal financial aid, has begun classes, and subsequently either withdraws from the courses the student was scheduled to complete and/or receives all failing grades during the payment period. (We have three payment periods at Peirce College: summer semester, fall semester and spring semester.) State grant awards may also be decreased or eliminated if a student meets any of these three criteria.

Overview of the R2T4 Policy When a student withdraws from his/her courses, for any reason including medical withdrawals, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds the student was originally scheduled to receive. Peirce College follows the federally prescribed policies and procedures for calculating whether the student has earned all or a portion of their federal financial aid.

For students in accelerated courses (sessions) within the 16-week payment period, such as 8 week session 1, 8-week session 2, 8-week session 1 or session 2 interim and/or any other variable length course that is not scheduled to run the entire term, we are required to review each session individually. This means that even if a student successfully completes one session and subsequently withdraws from a later session within the same payment period, we still must review eligibility under the most recent federal guidance. Peirce College is required to return all unearned federal aid attributed to school charges. This means that a portion of the student’s tuition and fees is no longer covered by financial aid, and the student is liable for paying the balance of school charges.

This amount will be subject to immediate repayment and no further registration activity will be allowed and official transcripts will not be released until the balance is paid in full. For more information regarding the Return of Title IV Funds Process, please refer to the Student Handbook in the Peirce College Catalog.

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