Minnesota West Policies
Chapter 2: Students
2.9 Satisfactory Progress Standards
Minnesota West Community & Technical College adheres to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ policy of maintaining an open door admissions policy, assessing students, and providing developmental coursework and other programs of assistance to support student success. However, students must perform at an acceptable academic level and program completion level to continue enrollment and be eligible to receive financial aid.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College is a publicly supported institution and has an obligation to follow rules and regulations set forth by the state and federal government by providing documented accountability of the taxpayer’s investment in education by closely monitoring all students’ academic progress.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College requires that students make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, diploma or certificate to remain in good standing. According to regulations governing the federal financial aid programs, a student must be enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certificate and must be making satisfactory academic progress according to standards and practices of the institution in order to continue to be eligible for the federal programs (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Loan, Federal PLUS, Federal Perkins, and Federal work Study), state programs (Minnesota State Grant, Minnesota Non-AFDC Child Care Grant, Minnesota State Work Study, and Student Education Loan Fund), and institutional programs. All students must comply with the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress as outlined in this policy without exception for full-time/part-time status or regardless of program of study.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as progressing in a positive manner toward fulfilling requirements for the degree or certificate in a given program of study. Satisfactory progress is the measurement of a student’s performance (credits completed and cumulative grade point average) in meeting the institutional degree requirements.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College believes that students are responsible for their own academic progress and for seeking assistance when experiencing academic difficulty.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College has an established procedure for placing students on academic warning, academic suspension, financial aid warning, and financial aid suspension.
There is also an appeal process for academic/financial aid suspension based on unusual or extenuating circumstances. Appeal forms for both academic and financial aid issues are available from the Student Services Office, the Campus Administrator Office or online.
The standards that follow are based on Federal requirements and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policy.
1. Qualitative Measure
All students are required to maintain an acceptable grade point average (GPA). The minimum standard is progressive based on cumulative registered credits and is detailed below.
Grades of A,B,C,D, and F will be included in calculating a student's GPA.
|Cumulative Registered Credits||.||Minimum Required GPA|
|0 - 5||0.00|
|6 - 15||1.60|
2. Quantitative Measures
A. Required Completion Percentage: Students are required to complete a minimum of all attempted credits as follows:
|Cumulative Registered Credits||.||Minimum Completion Percentage|
|0 - 5||0.00%|
The completion percentage will be reviewed after the end of each term. Grades of Incomplete (I), Failing (F),Ceased to attend (FW), Withdraw (W), No Credit (NC) or No Grade Assigned (Z) do not count toward satisfactory completion but as attempted credits.
B. Maximum Time Frame: All students are expected to complete their program within an acceptable period of time. Financial Aid recipients may continue to receive aid until they complete all of their required coursework or until they have attempted 150% of the normal time required to complete a program (ex: for a 64 credit program you can attempt 96 credits towards the completion of the program and receive financial aid) There is no warning period for Maximum Time Frame.
1. If a student changes programs after receiving financial aid for partial completion of one program, and if the new completion time will be more than 150% of normal completion of the original program, the maximum time for the student’s financial aid eligibility will be agreed to be the length of time to complete only the additional courses required to complete the second program.
2. If a student decides to have a double major, the 150% completion time may be extended. The maximum time for the student’s financial aid eligibility will be agreed to be the length of time to complete only the additional courses required to complete the second major.
3. If a student completes one program and decides to enter into another program, the maximum time for the student’s financial aid eligibility will be agreed to be the length of time to complete only the additional courses required to complete the second program.
3. Evaluation Period
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be monitored as follows:
All students with registered credits during a term will be evaluated at the end of the term including summer to make sure that all criteria of the satisfactory progress policy have been met. The review is based on cumulative records. Students who are part-time will not be evaluated until six cumulative registered credits are posted on the student’s transcript.
4. Failure to Meet Standards
- Academic and Financial Aid Warning and Suspension
A student will be placed on Academic and Financial Aid Warning for one term if he/she fails to meet these standards at the end of the review period. Students on warning are eligible to receive financial aid. To be removed from warning, a student must meet the SAP standards at the end of their warning period.
If a student fails to meet the SAP standards at the end of their warning period, he/she will be placed on Academic and Financial Aid Suspension.
Academic and Financial Aid Suspension: A student will be placed on suspension if: he/she does not satisfactorily remove him/herself from Academic and Financial Aid warning.
Financial Aid suspension: He/she has reached 150% of credits attempted for Financial Aid suspension or MWCTC has determined it is not possible for the student to raise their GPA or completion rate to meet the college's standards prior to the end of the program for which the student is receiving financial aid.
A student does not have to be placed on academic suspension to be placed on financial aid suspension.
- Extraordinary Circumstances
Students may be immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility in the event of extraordinary circumstances, including but not limited to previously suspended (and reinstated) students whose academic performance falls below acceptable standards during a subsequent term of enrollment; students who register for courses, receive financial aid, and do not attend any classes; and students whose attendance patterns appear to abuse the receipt of financial aid.
The college will notify a student in writing by mail and/or student email when they enter into a warning or suspension status. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor their Satisfactory Academic Progress.
6. Appeal Process:
The appeal of academic suspension and appeal of financial aid suspension are separate processes. Approval of an academic appeal does not guarantee approval of a financial aid appeal. By federal regulations, the guidelines for approval of financial aid appeals are more restrictive.
- Appeals must be submitted in writing using the Academic/Financial Aid Reinstatement Appeal form available on the College website.
- The appeal must include an explanation of the extenuating circumstances that affected academic progress.
- A completed Education Plan including semester by semester plan, academic goals and actions/steps to achieve goals. It must be signed by student and advisor.
- If requested by the Campus Administrator or designee, the appeal must include supporting documentation beyond the written explanation.
- Appeals must be received by the Campus Administrator prior to the beginning of the next term. Any appeals received after the semester begins will be considered for the next term. Appeals received after the semester begins will be considered for the current semester only if the student plans to take short courses that have not yet started.
- A committee of three or more members and the Campus Administrator will consider the appeal.
- The appeals committee will meet within a reasonable time frame prior to the start of each term. The Campus Administrator may call other meetings as needed.
- The decision will be transmitted to the student within three working days after the decision has been made. The decision will be final.
- If an appeal is denied, a student may file a new appeal in a subsequent semester.
- A campus dean can approve the registration into one course without lifting the suspension.
A student who has been suspended from enrollment may return to the college on probationary status after an appeal has been approved with the following requirements.
- The student will be continued on probationary status if the student completes 75% of their registered credits in the probationary semester with a 2.5 term grade point average but has not met the institution's cumulative standards.
- The student will be removed from probationary status when both the cumulative qualitative and quantitative criteria for satisfactory academic progress have been met.
- The student must contact her/his academic advisor three times each semester to report academic status and registration for next term.
Financial Aid Appeals
A student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and is suspended from enrollment has the right to appeal based on unusual or mitigating circumstances including but not limited to death of a relative, illness, hospitalization, or injury to the student. Mitigating circumstances are situations that are out of the control of the student and were not present at the time of initial enrollment. An academic appeal must be approved before a financial aid appeal can be considered.
The appeal must be submitted using the Academic/Financial Aid Reinstatament Appeal form found on our website.
- The appeal must include an explanation of the extenuating circumstances that negatively affected academic progress.
- The appeal must include supporting documentation beyond the written explanation.
- The appeal must include what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next evaluation period.
- Sitting out a year is not in itself a reason for appeal or reinstatement of financial aid.
The initial consideration of appeal shall be undertaken by the Director of Financial Aid or a designee. Students have the right to request appeals of adverse decisions to go to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Results of all appeals will be communicated to the student in writing in a timely manner along with pertinent information regarding the conditions of the appeal and the length of the appeal period.
The appeal must include what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next evaluation period.
7. Financial Aid Reinstatement
A student will be eligible for Reinstatement of Aid when:
- They satisfactorily complete acceptable academic work (2.0 GPA and 67% completion) in a minimum of 6 credit hours taken toward completion of their degree in the same semester. This student cannot receive financial aid for the period during which eligibility is being reinstated. A student who has met this condition must still be approved through the appeal process. Reinstatement of financial aid is not guaranteed.
- They have had a financial aid suspension appeal approved based on unusual or mitigating circumstances including but not limited to death of a relative, illness, hospitalization, or injury to the student. Mitigating circumstances are situations that are out of the control of the student and were not present at the time of initial enrollment.
- They have met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan but have not met the institution's cumulative standards. In such cases, MWCTC shall permit the student to remain on a continued probation status for a subsequent evaluation period.
- They have a grade of Incomplete (I) turn into an acceptable letter grade during the first twenty days of the semester following the suspension that enables the student to meet the minimum Satisfactory Progress requirements.
- They have met the cumulative GPA and completion rate requirements by taking credits on their own (no financial aid). Students need to contact the Director of Financial Aid in writing when they have met the requirements.
8. Additional Elements
- Treatment of Grades: A course repeated with the intent of improving GPA will have both the initial and repeated course counted when calculating courses attempted. Grades of Incomplete (I), Failing (F), Failure, Ceased to attend (FW), Withdraw (W), No Credit (NC), In Progress (IP), or No Grade Assigned (Z) shall be treated as credits attempted but not successfully completed.
- Academic Amnesty: Credits for which students have been granted academic amnesty (“academic forgiveness”, “academic renewal”, etc.) will be included in both cumulative GPA and completion percentage for financial aid warning/suspension calculations.
- Audited Courses: Audited courses (AU) are not included in any financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements.
- Consortium Credits: Credits for which financial aid is received under a consortium agreement will be included in cumulative GPA, completion percentage and maximum time frame calculations for financial aid warning/suspension.
- Remedial Credits: Developmental courses are those awarded for remedial course work (below 1000 levels). Students may receive financial aid for developmental credits up to a maximum of 30 credit hours (excluding ESL). These credits are included in all financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements. Up to 30 credits of developmental credits shall be excluded from maximum time frame calculation.
- Repeated Courses: Repeated credits are credits awarded when a student repeats a course in order to improve a grade. The last grade will become the grade calculated for GPA purposes. Academic policy allows a student to repeat a course no more than two times, however, a student shall not be permitted to receive financial aid for more than one repetition of a previously passed course. All repeated credits are included in the percentage of completion and maximum time frame calculation for financial aid purposes.
- Transfer Credits: Transfer credits accepted by Minnesota West Community & Technical College shall be counted as credits attempted for calculation of cumulative completion percentage, and grades associated with these credits shall not be used in calculating cumulative GPA. Transfer credits accepted and applied by Minnesota West Community & Technical College toward a student’s general education program, or degree requirements shall apply toward the maximum time frame calculation.
- Withdraws: Credits for courses that a student withdraws from after the drop period will be included in credits attempted but not successfully completed for purpose of monitoring academic satisfactory progress. Thus, a “W” does not impact GPA, but does negatively impact the cumulative completion percentage.
- Students who have not met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards and have not met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan, the student shall be re-suspended immediately upon completion of the evaluation.
Student Eligibility Policy
A student must meet federal/state requirements to be eligible and receive financial aid.
- A student must be a citizen of the United States or an eligible nonresident.
- A student meets the requirements of the Selective Services regulations.
- A student may not be in default on a student loan or owe an overpayment on a Title IV funding at any previously attended postsecondary school.
- A student must be making "satisfactory progress" toward graduation.
- A student must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.
- A student must be enrolled in (or applied for admission to) an eligible program.
- A student must be enrolled in an eligible program of at least three credits.
- A student must be a Minnesota resident.
- A student must demonstrate financial need.
- A student must be past mandatory high school age or if under 17, hold a high school diploma or GED.
- A student must not be delinquent on child support payments.
Approved by: Richard Shrubb, President
Date: July 19, 2011
History & Revision: Originated July 1, 2003
Revision April 19, 2010
Revision May 1,2008 effective August 25, 2008
2.9 Satisfactory Progress Standard
Revision: June 25, 2009 Section 2. A.
Revision July 19, 2011 amendment due to new federal regulations that require institutional SAP policies to follow a process of warning, suspension, appeal and probation.
Revision November 2, 2012 changed "fresh start" to "academic renewal"
Revision May 2, 2014 language update