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Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Financial Aid
Original Date Adopted: 12-04-18    
Dates Reviewed: 9-9-2018
Last Date Modified & Approved: 12-04-18

Lake Michigan College has the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for students who receive financial aid. These standards require that a student make progress toward an Associate Degree/ Bachelor’s degree/ Certificate Program during all periods of enrollment, including periods when a student did not receive financial aid. Lake Michigan College will be consistent in applying the SAP policies to all students, including full & part-time independent and dependent students.

Minimum Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards:

  • Maintain required cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) or higher (a qualitative measure) for all coursework completed at Lake Michigan College. 
  • Successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative attempted credit hours and
  • Make satisfactory academic progress toward a program of study within 150% of the average published program length.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is evaluated at the end of each period of payment. All financial aid recipients are required to meet SAP standards toward completion of certificate or degree requirements in order to be eligible for Title IV, state and institutional need-based financial aid programs. If a student who is receiving financial aid does not meet the SAP as set forth in this policy, they will be ineligible for financial aid in future terms and may appeal.  

Financial Aid Eligibility Statuses

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic standards or has no academic history. Fully eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student did not meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate in the previous evaluation period. Student is still eligible for financial aid, but must reach all minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.
  • Ineligible – Student has failed to meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate SAP at the end of the evaluation period.  Student is ineligible for financial aid.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted at least 150 credit hours toward an Associate Degree/ Bachelor’s degree/ Certificate Program.  If a student exceeds these credit hour limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within the 150% federal requirement. Student is ineligible for financial aid.

When is Academic Progress Evaluated? A student’s satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Students will not be eligible for federal funding during this time if in an ineligible SAP status.

Successful completion of a class is defined as earning a grade of A, B, C, D, or Pass and will be used to determine cumulative GPA, Completion Rate, and Timeframe.

New Financial Aid Students with prior academic history: Lake Michigan College students with prior academic history will be evaluated at the time they apply for financial aid. They will receive one of three financial aid statuses.

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic. Fully eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student is below minimum standards in his/her previous academic history. Student is still eligible for financial aid, but must reach the minimum standards at the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted at least 150 credit hours toward an Associate Degree/ Bachelor’s degree/ Certificate Program.  If a student exceeds these credit hour limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within the 150% federal requirement. Student is ineligible for financial aid.

Transfer Students and Transfer credit hours: Students transferring to Lake Michigan College are required to have all prior college transcripts evaluated for transfer credits. All credit hours accepted by Lake Michigan College will be used to determine 67% completion rate and maximum timeframe of 150%.

Non-Passing Grades:  Unsuccessful grades of E, F, W, WD, IP or I will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe. The letter grade of E or F is used toward the completion rate and cumulative GPA.

Repeat Courses: Students repeating courses, for the first time only, can receive aid for that repeated course. All repeat courses will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe. Actual letter grades are included in the cumulative GPA.

Audited Credit Hours: Courses taken on an audit basis are not counted when determining the completion percentage or for purposes of determining cumulative GPA.

Remedial Credit Hours: up to 30 credit hours of remedial course work are financial aid eligible; therefore they are included in the attempted hour count and are completed with a passing grade of A, B, C, or D.

How to Re-establish Eligibility?

A student must bring her/his GPA and completion rate up to the minimum standards of the required cumulative GPA and 67% completion rate. A student will be ineligible for financial aid and cannot be reimbursed during the time period that he/she is not meeting SAP. 

Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has experienced mitigating circumstances (illness, family illness, change of major) during the most recent evaluation period, they may submit an appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. The student must explain, in the appeal, what has changed that will now allow them to meet the SAP requirements.  The student must also submit supporting documentation with the appeal. If the request is granted, the student will be placed on one of two financial aid eligibility statuses:

Probation – The student is expected to improve to minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period. The student is eligible for financial aid, but must meet minimum standards by the next evaluation period. A student cannot be on probation for two consecutive semesters.

Academic Improvement Plan – The student cannot be expected to improve to minimum standards by the next evaluation period. The student and Lake Michigan College have agreed to an academic improvement plan to allow the student to meet minimum standards within a fixed number of evaluation periods. The student is fully eligible for financial aid as long as they are following the academic improvement plan. If at any time the student stops following the academic improvement plan and they are not meeting minimum standards, they will become ineligible for financial aid. If a student meets minimum standards at any time while on an academic improvement plan their financial aid eligibility status will be updated to eligible.

If the appeal is not granted, the student will remain ineligible for financial aid until they meet all minimum standards.

Timeframe Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has not completed their program of study within the 150% timeframe and there are mitigating circumstances (illness, job related, family illness, change of major), they may submit an appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. If this application is granted, the student will be placed on the following Academic Eligibility Status:

Timeframe Academic Improvement Plan – The student and Lake Michigan College have agreed to an academic improvement plan. The student is fully eligible for financial aid, as long as they are strictly following the academic improvement plan. If at any time the student stops following the academic improvement plan, they will become permanently ineligible for financial aid.

If the appeal is not granted, the student will be ineligible for financial aid. All students are limited to one Timeframe Academic Improvement Plan.

Students will be notified by their LMC email of their SAP status at the end of each semester.

Decisions of the SAP Appeals Committee are final and will not be overturned
  
Responsibility: Director, Financial Aid 

References: Academic Progress, Course Repeat Policy, SAP Procedure
 

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