Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy(SAP)
Federal regulations require all schools participating in state and federal financial aid, Title IV, and HEA programs to establish, publish, apply and monitor satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards which apply to all students attending West Texas A&M University. Students enrolled at WTAMU must meet formal standards that measure their satisfactory progress toward graduation.
The Financial Aid Office is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive financial aid at WTAMU, meet these standards before they can receive their Title IV, HEA aid. However all students at WTAMU will have to abide by these standards, regardless if the student is not eligible/receiving Title IV assistance. SAP standards apply for all federal, state and institutional grants.
In order for a student to receive Title IV assistance, a student must be enrolled in and attending an approved program at least half-time, to be considered a regular student, make SAP, be on schedule, and be in good standing. SAP means that a student is proceeding in a positive manner toward educational program requirements at a normal pace of time.
Quantitative and Qualitative Standards
Students who fail to meet minimum requirements (75% completion and 2.0 GPA) for attendance and academic progress at the end of an academic year (Fall and Spring) will be placed on a Financial Aid Warning. This standard is the same qualitatively as the University but stricter quantitatively. A student on Financial Aid Warning may continue to receive assistance under the Title IV HEA programs for one payment period despite a determination that the student is not making satisfactory academic progress. Financial Aid Warning status may be assigned without an appeal and the student requires no action.
Additionally, an undergraduate’s federal aid eligibility has a maximum of 150% of the total hours needed for completion of his/her program of study, according to the catalog under which he/she is enrolled. For example, the degree program is described as requiring 124 credit hours; the student may attempt up to 186 credit hours (150% of 124 credit hours) and remain federal aid eligible. After that point the student may continue to pursue his or her degree but will not be eligible for federal student aid.
Students pursuing second baccalaureate degrees or teacher certification must complete their programs within 60 credit hours and maintain a 2.0 GPA (grade point average).
The Graduate School at WTAMU requires a completion rate of at least 75% for the entire program. The qualitative standard is a 3.0 GPA for the Graduate School..
If a student is making SAP at the end of the Financial Aid Warning, they shall be returned to normal SAP status with no loss of Title IV eligibility.
For academic purposes, at WTAMU a grade of “C” is equivalent to 2.0 and “B” is equivalent to 3.0.
FINANCIAL AID WARNING AND PROBATION STATUS
A student placed on Financial Aid WARNING may receive Title IV, /HEA program funds for one payment period. The student may also be placed on an individual development plan to assist the student in regaining SAP at the end of this payment period. Those who are not making SAP at the end of the Financial Aid probation period will be ineligible to receive Title IV funds for the following payment period. A student must meet SAP prior to having eligibility reinstated. If the student is not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the Financial Aid Warning Period, they will be placed on an Academic Probation (which will display on the Ellucian (Datatel) system as “Unsatisfactory”) and will not be eligible for Title IV. However, the student may appeal the loss of their Title IV eligibility.
A student who loses his/her financial aid eligibility due to his/her inability to make SAP after a financial aid warning period and thus placed on Academic Probation, with a loss of Title IV eligibility will have the right to appeal.
A student, who wishes to appeal Academic Probation Status and loss of Title IV eligibility, must submit a written Appeal Form with proper documentation, to the Financial Aid Office within fifteen (15) days of being notified that they are in a non-satisfactory progress status.
The student must describe any unusual circumstance(s) that the student believes deserve special consideration. The bases on which a student may file an appeal are: death of a relative; a hospitalization or confining illness of the student; or other unusual circumstances. The student must provide documentation and information as to why they did not make SAP and what has changed that will allow them to make SAP by the next evaluation point.
Once the Financial Aid Office receives the appeal with documentation, they will evaluate the appeal and provide a decision within ten (10) business days. The Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing of the decision and all decisions are final.
REINSTATEMENT OF AID
Reinstatement of aid is limited to the period under evaluation. Students making SAP by the conclusion of the warning period will be removed from “Warning” status and will regain eligibility for Title IV aid. A student who successfully appeals his/her loss of aid from being placed on “Academic Probation” regains Title IV eligibility for the next period of enrollment.
COURSE INCOMPLETES, WITHDRAWALS, ALL “F”s/INCOMPLETES
Students who withdraw from all classes are considered withdrawn unless the withdrawal occurred prior to the semester’s census date. WTAMU does not have a Leave of Absence policy.
Course incompletes and repetitions apply to this institution’s SAP policy. WTAMU does not offer non-credit remedial courses. All hours attended are considered attempted. Students who repeat courses to improve their grade have both courses counted as attempted and completed.
Return of Title IV Funds
This policy applies to students who withdraw (official or unofficially) or are dismissed from enrollment at West Texas A&M University. The R2TIV process is separate and distinct from the West Texas A&M Refund Policy (refer to Refund Policy in the school catalog). The calculated amount of the "Return of Title IV Funds" that is required for students affected by this policy are determined according to the following definitions and procedures, as prescribed by regulation.
The Institution has 45 days from the date the institution determines that the student withdrew to return all unearned funds for which it is responsible. The school is required to notify the student if they owe a repayment via written notice. The school must advise the student or parent that they have 14 calendar days from the date the school sent the notification to accept a post-withdrawal disbursement. If a response is not received from the student or parent within the permitted time frame or the student declines the funds, the school will return any earned funds that the school is holding to the Title IV programs. Post-withdrawal disbursement must occur within 180 days of the date the student withdrew.
The Return of Title IV Funds (R2TIV) regulation does not dictate the institutional refund policy. The calculation of Title IV funds earned by the student has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges.
A school is required to determine the earned and unearned Title IV aid a student has earned as of the date the student ceased attendance based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance.
Withdrawal before 60%:
The institution must perform a R2TIV to determine the amount of earned aid up through the 60% point in each payment period or period of enrollment. The institution will use the Department of Education’s prorate schedule to determine the amount of R2TIV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point in the payment period or period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period. The institution must still perform a R2TIV to determine the amount of aid that the student has earned.
Withdrawal after 60%:
For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there are no unearned funds. However, a school must still determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
Example of Calculation: - CREDIT HOUR SCHOOL
1. Determined the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student by taking the calendar days completed in the payment period, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period (excluding breaks of 5 days or more)
18(completed days) = 15.3% (% of completed calendar days)
118 (total days)
2. Determine the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student by multiplying the percentage of Title IV aid earned times the total of the Title IV aid disbursed plus the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed for the payment period.
15.3 % X $2805.00 = 429.17 (Amount of aid earned by student)
3. If this percentage is greater than 60%, the student earns 100% of the disbursed Title IV funds or aid that could have been disbursed.
4. If this percentage is less than 60%, then the percentage earned is equal to the calculated value.
5. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of aid earned = the number of scheduled hours in the payment period completed unearned aid using the following formula:
6. Aid to be returned = (100% minus the percent earned) multiplied by the amount of aid disbursed toward institutional charges. If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds. All Title IV funds that the institution must return will be made no later than 45 calendar days after the date the school determines that the student withdrew.
7. When Title IV funds are returned, the student may owe a balance to the institution.
If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution must send written notification to the student (or parent for PLUS loan funds) to offer a post-withdrawal disbursement for any amount not credited to the student’s account no later than 30 calendar days after the date that the school determines that the student withdrew . The institution is required to make a post-withdrawal disbursement within 45 days of the student's date of determination that they withdrew for grants and 180 days of the student’s date of determination that they withdrew for loans.
An Official Withdrawal occurs when the student notifies the Registrar in person, by mail, or by fax of their withdrawal;
· Completes a Withdrawal Form.
· If a student notifies the school of a withdrawal in writing or by fax then the date of withdrawal will be the date on the written notification.
An Unofficial Withdrawal occurs when the student ceases to attend and participate in classes. West Texas A&M University does not have Leave of Absence Policy, therefore, all students ceasing to attend are considered to have withdrawn.
· “Participated” means to have submitted work, taken a quiz/test, or been directly involved in a required class activity. For students taking on-line classes, logging into the class is not considered as a participatory activity.
· Since the University is not required to take attendance, a student who unofficially withdraws may not come to the attention of the FAO until the end of the semester. Students with all F’s, drops, or incompletes are assumed to have unofficially withdrawn.
· Any unearned funds will be returned as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the day the school determined the student withdrew from the University.
Return of Funds:
In accordance with federal regulations, when Title IV financial aid is involved, the calculated amount of the R2TIV Funds" is allocated in the following order:
WTAMU’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV Funds:
· Providing student with the information given in this policy;
· Identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for those students;
· Returning any Title IV funds that are due the Title IV programs.
The student's responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds include:
If you would like examples of the worksheets for this Return of Title IV Funds policy, contact the Financial Aid Office at 806-651-2055.
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the institution must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. The school may automatically use all or a portion of your Post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds, if you accept them) for tuition and fees. For all other school charges, the school needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
If WTAMU is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that your school may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Your school may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know what your school’s refund policy is, you may ask your Financial Aid Office for a copy of the refund policy.
West Texas A&M University can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at:
TTY users may call:
You may also contact your Financial Aid Office at:
Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at www.studentaid.ed.gov
*This policy is subject to change at any time, and without prior notice