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New Financial Aid Requirements Affect You: Learn What’s New - May 2011

 

Applying for financial aid can be a complicated process. You need to know the rules. And when the rules change, you need to know about that, too.

Beginning with the Summer I 2011 semester, a number of changes will occur that are directly related to standards mandated by the federal government for your satisfactory academic progress (SAP) so that you can receive financial aid. These changes, explained below, are based on regulations that apply to all financial aid recipients, beginning July 1, 2011.

GPA Requirements

  • If you have applied for and receive financial aid, you must earn and maintain a grade point average of 2.0, and you must successfully complete the recommended number of hours based on hours attempted (“incompletes” do not count). This rule does not change under the new regulations.

  • If you do not maintain a 2.0 GPA or successfully complete the necessary number of hours attempted, based on the new regulations, you will be placed on “warning.” You no longer have to “appeal” for an extra semester to restore your good standing. This change begins when SAPs are determined at the end of the Summer I 2011 semester. Here’s the good news: during a “warning” period, you will continue to qualify for financial aid, and you do not have to submit an “appeal.” Under the old rules, you would have had to submit an “appeal,” and if approved, you would have been placed on “probation” before you could have received financial aid.

  • In addition to earning a cumulative 2.0 GPA to maintain your SAP, you also must successfully complete 67 percent of all attempted credit hours to avoid being placed on financial aid “warning.”

New Status Rules: Warnings and Suspensions

  • Regardless of reason or justification, the “appeal” and “probation” process no longer exists, starting with the end of the Summer I 2011 semester. Instead, if you do not meet the SAP or completion requirements, you will be eligible for an automatic “warning” period.

  • If you are placed on “warning” because your SAP does not meet requirements, you must bring your SAP up to the required standards during your next semester of enrollment. (Please note: “warning” is not “probation.”) Your financial aid funds will not be affected during the “warning” period while you work to improve your SAP. However, if you do not improve your SAP by the end of that semester, you will be placed on “suspension.”

  • If you are placed on “warning,” you should visit the Financial Aid Office or Advising/Counseling Center at your college and meet with an advisor, who can talk to you about your GPA and the additional hours you need to take in order to meet your SAP requirements.

  • Under the new regulations, if you are placed on “suspension” and you enroll in any classes through a DCCCD college, you must pay your own tuition, fees and cost of class materials until you meet the required SAP and your financial aid “suspension” is removed.

  • You can avoid financial aid “suspension” by successfully completing 67 percent of all attempted credit hours and by maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA or better.

  • If you are on financial aid “suspension” at the end of the Summer I 2011 term, you automatically will be placed on “warning” instead of “suspension” under the new requirements. Also consider this: If you are on “suspension” at the end of the Spring 2011 semester, it is not likely that you will be able to improve your GPA enough during Summer I or Summer II to avoid being placed on “suspension” again. Visit with a financial aid advisor on your campus who can help you decide whether you should take classes this summer or wait until the Fall 2011 semester.

New Requirements for Transfer Students

  • This new set of requirements also means that if you are a transfer student who plans to take classes at a DCCCD college during the Summer 2011 semester (Summer I or Summer II), then you will be placed on “warning” immediately when you enroll because financial aid SAP calculations cannot be completed before the summer semester begins.

  • If you are a transfer student who plans to attend a DCCCD college during either Summer I or Summer II in 2011, then you should know that the one-semester grace period for turning in transcripts to financial aid no longer exits. As a result, transfer students must have all transcripts submitted and evaluated before the end of their first term at DCCCD so that their SAP can be calculated.

Need More Help?

Visit our SAP resource page or read the revised SAP policy for more information.  

Financial aid advisors and academic advisors are standing by to offer additional help if you need it, so stop by the Financial Aid Office or Advising/Counseling Center at your college or location to ask questions or get help.