2015-16 Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

All students receiving Federal Title IV financial aid, Georgia state financial aid or SCAD grant aid benefits must adhere to SCAD’s policy on satisfactory academic progress. The Higher Education Act, as amended by the U.S. Congress, mandates that higher education institutions establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving financial aid.

Requirements

  1. Full-time and part-time students must receive a passing grade in at least 67 percent of all credit hours attempted. 
  2. Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 point scale. 
  3. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale.
  4. Course repeats count as attempted credit hours and as earned or unearned credit hours depending on the grade received. The repeat course grades count in the cumulative GPA. The first course attempt is not included in the cumulative GPA if the student repeats the course.
  5. All transfer credit hours accepted by SCAD count as both attempted and earned credit hours and do not impact the cumulative GPA. 
  6. Course withdrawal grades count as attempted credit hours but not earned credit hours and do not impact the cumulative GPA.
  7. Students must complete degree requirements within a maximum timeframe of 150% of the credit hours for the program by the following standard:

 

Degree Hours Required Maximum Hours Attempted
B.A., B.F.A. 180 270
M.A. 45 67
M.F.A., M.U.D., M.Arch* 90 135

*Based on the catalog of entry, M.Arch students enrolled in a 45-hour program, which has a limit of 67 maximum hours attempted, should contact their graduate adviser for clarification of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

 

Evaluation Points

  1. Degree-seeking students in a program longer than one year are evaluated annually.
  2. Students enrolled in a degree program of one year or less are evaluated at the end of each quarter. 
  3. The same review standards and sanctions (financial aid probation and assignment of an academic plan) apply to all students, regardless of the frequency of review (either quarterly or annually).
  4. SCAD does not utilize financial aid warnings for students who are evaluated at the end of each quarter. Students who are evaluated at the end of the quarter will become ineligible for financial aid if they do not meet the minimum standards.

 

The Process

After completion of the academic year, usually at the end of spring quarter, or at the end of the quarter for students in year-long programs, a review is conducted of all students receiving Federal Title IV financial aid, Georgia state financial aid, or SCAD grant aid benefits. Failure to achieve the required pass rate, cumulative GPA, or reaching the maximum timeframe, as described in the policy, will result in the student becoming ineligible for all forms of financial aid discussed in this policy. Students are notified in writing of their failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards and their loss of financial aid eligibility.

 

Reinstatement

Financial aid eligibility may be reinstated after the student successfully makes up the deficiency on a subsequent evaluation or successfully appeals the loss of eligibility on the basis of extenuating circumstances.

If, during the period of ineligibility, a student takes required coursework at another institution to improve their pass rate percentage, the transient student policy will apply. Any approved transient credit will be evaluated and applied to the student’s academic transcript as a transfer credit. A cumulative GPA deficiency may only be improved by successfully completing courses at SCAD using other funding resources. Students may only be reinstated after meeting the minimum standards at a regularly scheduled evaluation point.

 

Financial Aid Appeals

Students with extenuating circumstances, such as personal illness, injury, or death in the family, may appeal in writing for reinstatement of their financial aid. As a general rule, SCAD will not approve appeals for lack of college preparedness or immaturity or similar circumstance. 

Appeals will also be considered for students who exceed maximum timeframe for academic reasons, such as a program changes or double majoring.

Appeals should be submitted by email to finaid@scad.edu using the Unsatisfactory Progress Appeal form. The appeal must be submitted in a timely fashion and provide appropriate supporting documentation for the extenuating circumstance. Appeals must address the reason why satisfactory progress was not attained, and must also provide information as to how the problem has been corrected. The financial aid office will provide appeal decision in writing to the student. All appeal decisions are final.

 

Probation

Students with an approved appeal are placed on financial aid probation for a period of one quarter. The student must meet the satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the probationary quarter to continue to receive financial aid. Failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the probationary quarter will result in the student becoming ineligible for additional financial aid. Students may not be on probation status for two consecutive quarters and an appeal can only be approved for one quarter during a student’s enrollment at SCAD.

 

Academic Plan

If it determined during the appeal approval process that a student needs longer than the single probation quarter to meet the minimum standards, the student will be placed on an academic plan. Financial aid administrators consult with academic advisers to develop academic plans which ensure standards are met in a reasonable amount of time and promote student success. The academic plan will prescribe the number of credit hours and grades required at each evaluation point.

Students on an academic plan will be evaluated based upon the requirements set forth in the plan at the end of the probation quarter, or first quarter of the academic plan, and then as defined by the academic plan for subsequent evaluations. If a student does not meet the minimum standards set forth in the academic plan, the student will become ineligible for financial aid and may not appeal.