2019-2020 Catalog

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


A student is required to maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for financial aid. Georgia Northwestern Technical College uses the following standards to monitor a student’s progress toward his or her diploma, degree, or certificate. Satisfactory progress is measured in terms of three components:

  • length of time to complete the program (150%)
  • a qualitative component (2.0 GPA)
  • a quantitative component (completion of attempted credit hours, 66.67%)

Maximum Time-frame 
There are a maximum number of hours that students may attempt in pursuing their current program of study. Students may not exceed 150% of the hours needed to complete the program of study they are currently enrolled in, excluding Learning Support courses.  This does include transfer coursework that has been accepted as credit toward the student’s current program of study.  Once a student has attempted 150% of the minimum number of credit hours necessary for completing the program requirements, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid. 
 
Qualitative (Grade Point Average)  
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 to remain in good standing. Financial aid GPA’s will be monitored at the end of each term.  A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 is placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next term of enrollment.  This will allow a student one term to increase the GPA to the satisfactory level.  If, after one term, the GPA remains below 2.0, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and eligibility will be lost until the cumulative GPA has been brought back to at least a 2.0 level.  Students may receive aid while on Financial Aid Warning, but will not receive aid while on Financial Aid Suspension. Transfer coursework and Learning Support courses are not counted in the cumulative GPA calculation.   
 
Quantitative (Completion Rate)
In order for students to graduate within the maximum “time frame” of hours, at the end of each term they are expected to have cumulatively completed at least 66.67% of their credit hours attempted.  A student, who, at the end of any term, has not successfully completed 66.67% of their cumulative hours attempted, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next term of enrollment.  This will allow the student one term to increase the cumulative completion rate to the satisfactory level.  If, after one term, the cumulative completion rate remains below 66.67% the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and eligibility will be lost until the cumulative completion rate has been brought back to at least 66.67%.  Students may receive aid while on Financial Aid Warning but the student will not receive aid while on Financial Aid Suspension. 
 
Students may re-establish good standing when they have cumulatively completed 66.67% of their attempted credit hours.  The following grades (see Grading System) do not count toward successfully completing a course: “F”, “I”, “W”, “WF”, “WP”, and “IP”.  For all courses, any combination of these results in no progress, and will be calculated in the completion rate when computing eligibility for financial aid.  Repeat courses will be considered as any other class and both grades will count in the GPA. Grades of “F” and “WF” will be counted in computing your GPA. 

Learning Support courses are graded on an A* through F* scale.  A grade of A*, B*, or C* will be considered satisfactory completion of a learning support course.  A grade of D* or F* will be considered unsatisfactory. Grades received for learning support courses are included in the 66.67% hours attempted completion rate, but not in the GPA calculation.  
 
Example: A student completes his first year at GNTC with the following grades: 
 
30 cumulative attempted credits with 
18 credits of passing grades (these credits count as attempted and completed)
12 credits of failing grades (these credits count as attempted but not completed) 
 
The student’s completion rate is 60.00% (total completed divided by total attempted – 18/30 = 60.00%) 
 
The student in this example did not meet the quantitative (completion rate) SAP standard and is at risk of losing financial aid. 
 
If the student had completed 21 credits with passing grades they would have met the quantitative SAP standard.  (21/30 = 70.00%) 
 
Note:  GNTC truncates and does not round the calculations for the qualitative and quantitative SAP components.  Please see the below examples. 
 
Quantitative Example:  A cumulative completion rate of 66.66666666% is not rounded to 66.67% but is truncated to 66.66%, this would not be meeting the quantitative component. 
 
Qualitative Example:  A cumulative GPA of 1.999999 would not be rounded to 2.00 but is truncated to 1.99, this would not be meeting the qualitative component. 
 
Incomplete Grades
Incomplete grades designated as an "I" (Incomplete) or "IP" (In Progress) are not calculated in the GPA but are calculated in the attempted hours completion rate.  Once the "I" or "IP" grades are updated to actual grades, the cumulative GPA will be checked at that time.  If a student does not meet the standards after recalculation and has received funds for classes, the funds will have to be repaid by the student. 

Treatment of Transfer Hours 
Transfer students accepted by Georgia Northwestern Technical College, but not previously at GNTC, will be classified as maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for the first term of attendance.  After the first term, the student’s grades will be measured in accordance with GNTC’s Satisfactory Academic requirements. Students who previously attended GNTC, transferred to another school, then returned to GNTC, will have all of their course work reviewed.  If a student fails to meet the qualitative or quantitative standards at the end of a term, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  The student will continue to receive aid while on Financial Aid Warning. However, if the student does not meet the qualitative and quantitative standards by the end of the warning term, he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.  The student can continue taking courses while on suspension at the student’s expense. 
 
Excluded Grades 
Prior to Summer Quarter 2010, the college had a process through which a student was able to have specific course(s) removed from his or her academic history.  If requested and approved, the class(es) affected are reflected with “E” (excluded) beside the points assigned the class on the academic transcript.  As the excluded class is not calculated into the student’s overall academic GPA, it is also excluded from the student’s GPA related to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  Excluded classes, however, do affect a student’s successful completion rate for SAP with regard to the grade received.  Please see the “Completion Rate” section of the policy about specific grades and their impacts to this area of SAP.

Policy for Reinstatement of Eligibility for Financial Aid 
  1. A student whose GPA is classified as unsatisfactory can re-establish eligibility when the cumulative GPA reaches 2.0. Students may re-establish good standing when they have cumulatively completed 66.67% of their attempted credit hours. 
  2. The above requirements to re-establish financial aid will be at the student’s expense unless a Financial Aid Appeal has been approved.  
 
Financial Aid Appeal Process  
Students that did not meet the qualitative and/or the quantitative components will be notified via their GNTC student email account of their failure to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of every term after grades have been posted.  If the student was placed on Financial Aid Suspension and feels there were extenuating circumstances beyond his/her control that kept him/her from maintaining satisfactory progress, he/she may appeal in writing by completing the Financial Aid Appeal form (supporting documentation must be attached).  Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to: death or extended illness of a family member, illness or injury of student, house fire, or victim of a violent crime. Work conflicts are not extenuating circumstances.  Appeals must be submitted by the last day of the semester for which the student is requesting reinstatement of financial aid. Only completed appeals will be considered submitted. 
 
The Executive Director of Financial Aid will refer the appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Appeals Committee for review.  The Satisfactory Academic Appeals Committee is a three person committee made up of non-financial aid personnel that are selected in a volunteer capacity by the Executive Director of Financial Aid.  In the event a primary committee member is not in the office to perform their committee duties in a timely manner a back-up may step in and review appeals in their place.  These back-ups include the Executive Director of Financial Aid, the Associate Director of Financial Aid and the Financial Aid Specialist in charge of the SAP Appeal process.   
 
Appeal forms are available from the Financial Aid Office or from the college website. Students will be notified of the Committee’s decision within two weeks of submitting the appeal via their GNTC student email account. 
 
Students that meet both the qualitative and the quantitative components but have exceeded the Max-Timeframe their program allows will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.  These students have the opportunity to appeal by completing the Financial Aid Appeal form for Max-Timeframe.  The Executive Director of Financial Aid and the Associate Director of Financial Aid review these appeals. 
 
Outcome of Appeals 
The Satisfactory Academic Appeals Committee is charged with making the final appeal decision.  They have three outcomes to choose from that are listed below.  Please note that the Committee’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to a higher authority at the college or to the Department of Education. 
 
Probation 
Students may have their appeal approved on a Probationary status for their next term of enrollment.  The committee will only consider the outcome of Financial Aid Probation if the student can meet the required standards by the end of the subsequent payment period.  In order to receive aid for future terms, the SAP standards of a 2.0 GPA and a completion rate of 66.67% of all classes attempted will have to be met.  If the SAP standards are not met by the next term of enrollment, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.   
 
Academic Plan 
Students that have their appeal approved and are placed on Academic Plan for their next term of enrollment will be required to meet a term GPA of 2.5 and a term completion rate of 100%.  Students approved under the Academic Plan will be eligible to receive financial aid for up to 3 terms as long as they meet the requirements of the plan for each term.  The Academic Plan is designed to assist students in meeting the standards within 3 terms of enrollment.   

If a student takes all Learning Support courses during any semester under an Academic Plan, they must pass each Learning Support course with a “C*” or better.
 
Denied 
Students that have their appeal denied will remain on Financial Aid Suspension and will not be eligible for any Financial Aid until the standards are met.