Oct 19, 2019  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility



All students at Ferrum College are expected to achieve satisfactory progress toward a baccalaureate degree. Exhibiting such progress is necessary to remain in good standing and to remain eligible to receive financial aid. For satisfactory progress to be demonstrated, a full-time student must meet the following minimum guidelines for advancement to the baccalaureate degree within a period of time, up to five years. For purposes of this policy, students will be considered full-time for the semester if their class load is at least twelve credit hours at the end of the add period.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) (Quantitative Measure)

Total number of semesters completed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Required cumulative GPA 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

Qualitative Measure

All students must complete 67% of all registered coursework by the end of the semester. Withdrawn and transfer credits will count as attempted coursework. Part-time students who have not passed 50% of the hours attempted in any single semester will be placed on academic suspension.

Maximum Time-frame

In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress a student must complete a bachelor’s degree within a maximum 150% of full-time study or five years. The 150% requirement requires that a student may not earn more credit hours than 150% of what is required for the degree (i.e., Ferrum College’s degree program requires 121 credit hours so 150% of 121 equals 182 maximum credit hours.) Students entering their sixth year of full-time coursework are also ineligible for financial aid. These time frames may be appealed. Please review the Appeals Process under Financial Aid Policies for additional information.

The status of transfer students will be determined based on the number of transferable hours they bring to Ferrum College upon entry. For example, a student who enters the College with 30-41 transferable hours will be considered to have completed three semesters; consequently, his or her first Ferrum College semester will be considered the fourth, and he or she must meet the appropriate Grade Point Average (in chart below) based only on coursework at the College.

Total Transferable Credits (excluding Dual Enrollment 9-18 19-29 30-41 42-54 55-67 68-90 81-93
Semester equivalency: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Required GPA upon completion of semester 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

Readmitted students: who have taken courses at other institutions after leaving Ferrum College will not be considered transfer students for the purpose of determining satisfactory academic progress. These students will be evaluated individually by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the Dean of Admissions to determine their readmission status (good standing, academic warning, or academic probation). Transfer grades, with scores of “C” or higher and hours completed will be taken into consideration as will the students’ prior Ferrum College academic records in making this determination.

Students meeting these standards will be considered in good standing. Academic penalties for not meeting these standards are Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Academic Suspension. However, students with excessive absences or that refuse to complete assigned coursework may be subject to suspension at anytime. Students listed on academic probation status will (see Financial Aid Policy) need to submit a letter of appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for review of financial aid eligibility.

Official student records are maintained in the Office of the Registrar. Students should email this office for any question regarding academic status at roffice@ferrum.edu.

Academic Warning

At the end of any semester, if a student in good academic standing fails to meet the published standards (See chart above) and has passed at least six hours, he or she will be placed on academic warning.

A student on academic warning attend a required College Skills course (CSK 092 ) and use the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and other appropriate campus resources. Students not adhering to the criteria of academic warning may be subject to suspension at anytime. Placement of academic warning will also impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. See “Financial Aid Policies”.

A student can remain on academic warning for only one semester. At the end of that semester, if he or she has complied with the program of study for students on academic warning and has met the published standards (see SAP Chart), he or she will return to good standing. If not, he or she will either be placed on academic probation or academic suspension.

Academic Probation

A student who has been on academic warning, and is unable to return to good standing but has passed at least six hours, will be placed on academic probation.

A student on academic probation must attend a required College Skills course (CSK 096 ) and use the ARC and other appropriate campus resources. Students on academic probation will analyze behaviors, academic strategies and academic issues while planning their return to good standing.

Placement on academic probation will impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. See “Financial Aid Policies”. A student can remain on academic probation for only one semester. At the end of a semester of academic probation, if the student meets the published standards (see SAP Chart), the student returns to good standing. If the student does not meet the published standards following a semester of academic probation, the student will be placed on academic suspension. Students not adhering to the criteria of academic probation may be subject to suspension at anytime.

Eligibility for participation in co-curricular activities is determined annually, at the beginning of each fall semester. Students on academic probation are ineligible to participate in the following co-curricular activities:

  • Intercollegiate and club sports
  • Touring performance groups
  • Student Government Association (officers)
  • Club Organizations Officers
  • Art shows and major theatre productions unless required for satisfaction of course requirement
  • Student media organizations (editors and managers) unless required for satisfaction of course requirement
  • Study Away

Students on academic probation during the fall semester may participate in these activities during the spring semester provided they have returned to good academic standing. In addition, individual teams, clubs, and organizations may enforce stricter eligibility standards than these minimum standards.

Academic Suspension

A student who has been on academic probation, and is unable to return to good standing but has passed at least six hours, will be placed on academic probation.

  • A student on academic suspension may not be enrolled during the next regular semester at Ferrum College.
  • Students seeking readmission following academic suspension should show evidence of being able to do successful coursework at Ferrum College. This is normally accomplished during the summer at Ferrum College or by successful coursework earned at another accredited institution.
  • A student suspended at the end of the spring semester may seek readmission on the basis of work completed during the summer.
  • Student must seek approval from the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling in a course at another institution by using the Request to take Courses Elsewhere form.
  • An official transcript must be sent to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students must earn a “C” or higher in order for courses to transfer back to Ferrum College.

Students not adhering to the criteria of academic suspension may be subject to suspension at anytime.

Academic appeals of suspension must be made in writing to the Academic Standards Committee following directions provided in the student’s letter of suspension. No student may return to the College either part-time or full-time without following the appeals procedure outlined in his or her suspension letter. Students who submit an appeal to the Academic Standards Committee should also submit an appeal for review of Financial Aid eligibility to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee (See Appeals Process under Financial Aid Policies). Readmission to the College does not guarantee approval of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Policies

Using Federal Financial Aid for Repeating Courses

Federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from awarding aid to any student who is not making satisfactory academic progress. The satisfactory academic progress policy applies to all sources of Title IV financial aid programs (including Stafford and PLUS loans) with the exception of the Virginia TAG grant and selected Ferrum College entitlement grants which do not have an academic requirement for renewal. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester.

Federal guidelines limit the use of federal financial aid when repeating courses. The first time that a student repeats a passed course with a grade of “D” or higher to improve Grade Point Average (GPA), it is permissible to use federal financial aid. However, if the same course is repeated a second time, the course will not be counted in the student’s total credit hours for the semester, possibly making the student part-time and therefore losing full-time federal financial aid. Students may retake failed courses with no reduction in federal financial aid.

Definitions

Financial Aid Warning: Financial Aid Warning occurs when a student does not make Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as listed above for the first time after a semester of good academic standing. Students who are placed on financial aid warning will retain their eligibility for financial aid for the next semester.

Financial Aid Probation: At the end of any semester during which the student has been on Financial Aid Warning, if the student does not return to good academic standing they are considered ineligible for Financial Aid. Students may appeal their financial aid status (see Appeals Process). If the appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester and students may be required to complete an Academic Plan with the student’s academic advisor (see Academic Plan section below).

Policy

Student folders are reviewed each semester when final grades and academic standing lists become available. For those students attending E-Term, those folders will be reviewed after completion of E-Term coursework. The student’s name is checked against the academic warning, probation and suspension lists provided by the Office of the Registrar. If the student is on academic probation, or suspension, he/she is determined to be ineligible to receive financial aid for the subsequent semester. A notification letter is sent to the student by the Office of Financial Aid regarding his/her financial aid status and right to appeal. If the student later notifies us that he/she has been able to make up the deficiency during the summer for the next fall semester, the reviewer will obtain updated academic progress confirmation from the Office of the Registrar and mark the folder accordingly. The student will then be reviewed for financial aid for the next semester.

Academic semesters are defined by the Academic Standards Committee each year. Traditionally, the fall semester begins in August/September and ends in December. The spring semester begins in January and ends in April/May. There are 15 weeks as required by law to award Title IV funds. Ferrum College is currently a credit hour based institution with two traditional terms and one experiential term (E-Term) in May that is at no additional tuition cost to the student for their first required course. Payment periods are determined on a per year basis, unless the student has notified the Financial Aid Office that his/her enrollment plans will be on a per semester basis.

Students who do not meet satisfactory progress at the end of the spring semester may be able to meet standards by attending summer school. The students must work with their advisor and/or any resources available to determine which courses are appropriate for completion in summer school.

Students will be reviewed for compliance at the end of each semester. Financial Aid Policies apply to all students regardless of enrollment status.

Financial Aid Appeals Process

Students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and have lost their financial aid eligibility have the right to appeal their financial aid status based on extraordinary or extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating circumstances include: death in the family, injury or illness of the student or family member, documented disability, or other extenuating circumstances not mentioned above. Students may also appeal the 150% maximum time-frame requirement based on extraordinary or extenuating circumstances as discussed above. The student will have met the 150% requirement if they have accumulated 182+ credit hours.

Students also entering their sixth year of coursework will be required to appeal for financial aid, based on length of time of their program.

To appeal the 150% maximum time-frame or sixth year limitations, the student must submit a letter of appeal to:

Financial Aid Appeals Committee
C/O Office of Financial Aid
P.O. Box 1000
Ferrum, VA 24088

or by email at finaid@ferrum.edu, detailing why additional time is necessary to complete the degree and when the student expects to complete his/her program of study.

To appeal for financial aid based on academic standing, the student must submit a letter of appeal online at https://www.ferrum.edu/financial-aid/ by clicking the link “Financial Aid Appeals for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)”.

Appeals MUST contain: Why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, and what the student will do, or what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow him/her to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation.  Appeals MUST be detailed regarding the circumstances that affected the student’s ability to maintain academic progress.

Students will be notified by e-mail when a determination has been made by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

Students are not guaranteed eligibility for financial aid through the appeals process.

Financial Aid Academic Plan

Students who have failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and who will require more than one semester to return to good standing may be eligible to regain eligibility for financial aid by completing an academic plan. The student must first appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee as detailed above. If the appeal is approved, the student will work closely with his/her advisor to develop an academic plan that will have the student back in good academic standing within a specific time frame as designated in the approved academic plan.