Satisfactory Academic Progress

Under current federal guidelines, students who are receiving financial aid are required to maintain the standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The assessment will be made on a semester basis, regardless of the number of semester hours attended or the number of hours attempted during the year. Grades of A, B, C, D, and P are considered hours completed. Drops, withdrawals, IP, XN, N, F and course repeats are counted as hours attempted. Course repeats are counted as attempted hours and either earned or unearned depending upon the grade assigned as note above. All coursework attempted at the college and any transfer work completed is considered when determining satisfactory academic progress regardless of whether the student previously received financial aid.

It is the student’s responsibility to read, understand, and adhere to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy in order to remain eligible for financial aid. Failure to comply with this policy can result in the student’s financial aid being terminated at Central Texas College.

The following will affect your Financial Aid academic progress and may result in having to pay back funds:

  • Students who do not attend a course before the census day may be dropped from the course by the instructor.
  • For an online course, student must complete one academically related activity (graded or non-graded) prior to the census date or may be dropped from the class by the instructor. For blended or hybrid classes if the first class meeting is after the census, completion of a graded activity is required or the student may be dropped from the course by the instructor.

*Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic conditions, some students' Financial Aid academic standard calculations may be waived under CARES Act legislation.

Satisfactory Standards

Students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) during each semester of enrollment as well as a cumulative average of 2.0 to remain eligible for aid. Should the student’s GPA drop below cumulative average of 2.0 the following actions will be taken:

  • The first time the GPA drops below 2.0 the student will be placed on financial aid warning for the following semester enrolled.
  • At the end of the warning semester, if the student’s GPA is 2.0 or above, the student will be removed from warning status and returned to satisfactory. If after one semester the GPA is still below 2.0, the student will be placed on suspension and will not be eligible for financial aid until the student’s GPA meets the 2.0 standard.

*A grade of F will count in the GPA regardless as to if the class was retaken and passed.

A. Pace of Program: Along with meeting the Grade Point Average/Qualitative Standard, students must also meet quantitative standards. Students must complete 67% of all credit hours attempted regardless of whether financial aid was received for the hours. Our policy is not to round up during this calculation process. For example, if a student’s completion rate is 66.666% the completion rate requirement of 67% has not been met. Withdrawals, incompletes, *repeated courses, and failing grades will count as attempted coursework credit hours.

* If you repeat a course, both attempts will be counted in the maximum credit hours, even if you did not receive aid for both attempts.

B. Maximum Timeframe: Students who have attempted 150% of the allowed number of credit hours will become ineligible to receive additional financial aid disbursements for hours in excess of the 150% maximum regardless of their semester/cumulative GPA, and regardless of whether or not financial aid was received during previous semesters. Students are advised to work with their academic advisors to "stay on target" to complete educational goals.

C. Transfer Maximum Timeframe:Academic progress from other institutions will be included in maximum timeframe. All attempted credit hours from CTC and/or any other institution of attendance will count towards attempted credit hours with regard to maximum timeframe. Students who have attempted 150% of the allowed number of credit hours for any degree and/or certificate will be ineligible to receive financial aid at CTC.

SAP Rules for Remedial or Developmental Coursework

An otherwise eligible student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 27 attempted credit hours in developmental/remedial course work. Once the 27 credit hours maximum is reached, additional developmental credit hours will not be used to calculate the award amount. Developmental hours are included in the qualitative (GPA) calculation, quantitative calculation (completion rate), and the calculation of maximum time frame.

Evaluation Outcomes

A student who does not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria will be placed on financial aid warning status for one semester. While on a warning status, the student will continue to receive financial aid for which he or she has qualified. This is a warning to the student that he or she must meet the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (2.0 semester/cumulative GPA and also maintain a semester/ cumulative completion rate of 67%) during the next semester of enrollment.

NOTE: Students on Probation under the prior standards will be considered on Warning for purposes of these standards.

If during a semester a student completely withdraws (W), receives grades of all F’s, all N’s, all IP’s, all XN’s or a combination of W’s, F’s, N’s, XN’s or IP’s, he or she may be placed on automatic suspension without being given a warning. A student placed on an automatic suspension status will not receive financial aid assistance until this status has been cleared. To reestablish eligibility, the student must meet both Qualitative and Quantitative standards of completing 67% of all attempted hours and maintaining a semester/cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.

Students placed on automatic suspension may continue to enroll at the college; however, they must pay their own expenses to include tuition, fees, room and board, and other college costs.

If the student does not meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria at the end of his or her warning period, the student will be denied from receiving financial aid until he or she meets the reinstatement requirements or has an approved Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal from the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

Students placed on financial aid suspension may continue to enroll at the college; however, they must pay their own expenses, to include tuition, fees, room and board, and other college costs.

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Financial aid eligibility will be reinstated after a student meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria listed above, both the cumulative completion rate (67%) and cumulative grade point average (2.0) or has an appeal approved. Financial aid will not be reinstated for violations of Quantitative Standards or Qualitative Standards until the appeal has been approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Classes taken at institutions other than Central Texas College do not count towards reinstatement. Students who regain eligibility by completing the required coursework must notify the Financial Aid Office in order to have their progress reevaluated.

Academic Amnesty

The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty or academic renewal. Therefore, a school must always include courses (whenever taken) in evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress.

Appeal Process

Central Texas College recognizes that students sometimes encounter circumstances beyond their control that can adversely affect their academic progress. Any student subject to suspension of financial aid eligibility may appeal to the Financial Aid Office for a review of the decision. Under the revised Department of Education rules, an appeal cannot be approved if the student is unable to meet the 2.0 GPA and the 67% completion rate within one semester. Also, the student may not appeal for failing to complete their program within the maximum time frame. It is the responsibility of the student to successfully complete all classes enrolled. Please remember that dropping a class, failing a class, or withdrawing from a class is a personal decision made by the student and may negatively affect the maximum time frame allowance for their program.

All appeal documents must be attached to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form that can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. If an appeal is approved, the committee will impose enrollment restrictions on the student for the best chance of academic success. The enrollment restrictions are that at a minimum the student is required to pass all remaining courses successfully (grade of “C” or higher) and not have any withdrawals for the semester (or the student’s next semester of enrollment) the appeal is approved. Any student that fails to meet this requirement will lose his/her future financial aid eligibility.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

  • The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal and the student will be notified by email after the appeal decision has been made.
  • All documents pertinent to the appeals process become part of the student’s financial aid record.
  • If the petition is denied, the student has the right to request that the appeal decision be reconsidered by the Associate Dean of Financial Aid and Veteran Services. This appeal must be turned in within 10 days of receiving notification of the decision denying the appeal. The decision of the Associate Dean of Financial Aid and Veteran Services is final.
  • Reasons such as being unprepared for college course work, the course was not what was expected, not liking the instructor and other related excuses are NOT qualifying circumstances for an appeal and will result in an appeal being denied.
  • Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress status. Our office makes every attempt to notify students of their status however failure to receive notice does not affect the calculated status and is not a reason to appeal.
  • Please ensure that home and email addresses are updated with the Admissions and Records Department.

Appeal Decisions

When a student is placed on an approved appeal status the student must meet the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy (2.0 cumulative GPA and a cumulative completion rate of 67% of ALL attempted hours) during the next semester of enrollment. If the student does not meet the SAP policy, their financial aid will be suspended and will not eligible to re-appeal. If the student meets semester academic standards, the student will be placed on a Continued Probation status for one additional semester. They must meet the cumulative 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate at the end of the next semester for continued eligibility. When a student does not meet the above standards, they must complete the requirements of the 2.0 GPA and completion rate of 67%, at their own expense, before their aid can be considered for eligible reinstatement.

The student will not be eligible to receive financial aid until he or she meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards as provided above. It may take several semesters in order for a student to regain aid eligibility.

NEW: Please visit SAP GPA Calculator or SAP Completion Rate Calculator to receive an estimate of what may be required to regain eligibility.

Students may continue to enroll however it is the student’s responsibility to pay their own expenses.

Enrollment/Student Status

When a student has a break in enrollment and is readmitted, the SAP status for prior terms will apply. For example, if a student is placed on financial aid suspension at the end of the spring term, does not return in the fall term, and is readmitted the next spring term, the student will continue in a financial aid suspension status for that term.

Students who receive Title IV (PELL/FSEOG/Loans) financial aid and drop, withdraw, or are administratively withdrawn from courses during the financial aid year may be required to repay financial aid received and may be placed on financial aid warning status or suspension. Repayment is based upon the student’s last date of attendance. Detailed information is provided in the Return/Repayment of Title IV Funds section of this website.

If a grade is changed, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office immediately. The Financial Aid Office can then initiate a review of the effect of the grade change on the student’s academic progress within 15 days of notification.

Students who have successfully completed a course and attempt to take the course a second time will be covered by financial aid. However, if they attempt the course a third time, financial aid will no longer pay for that course. Repeat courses still count toward your attempted hours and GPA for financial aid purposes.

Students who have successfully completed a course and attempt to take the course a second time will be covered by financial aid. However, if they attempt the course a third time, financial aid will no longer pay for that course. Repeat courses still count toward your attempted hours and GPA for financial aid purposes.

Financial Aid will NOT pay for:

  • Courses taken by audit
  • Successfully completed courses that have been attempted more than two times
  • Courses exceeding 27 attempted credit hours in developmental course work
  • Credit hours earned by placement tests
  • Continuing education courses
  • Courses for which you register after the official census date of the term
  • Credit hours in excess of the 150% maximum program limit
  • Courses taken without having a declared eligible program (enrolled as a transient student)
  • Courses not on a student’s degree plan
  • Courses that extend beyond the official standard semester

Return of Federal Title IV Funds (60% Dates)

Students earn Title IV aid through attendance during each payment period or period of enrollment. The return of Title IV funds is a complex process involving a great deal of interoffice cooperation and coordination.

Title IV funds are awarded to eligible students under the assumption that they will attend Central Texas College for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. Only students who have withdrawn from all classes in a payment period are subject to the return of Title IV formula. If a student changes their enrollment status, such as drops courses but is still enrolled for at least one course they would not be subject to the return of Title IV funds formula but would be subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. Central Texas College is an institution required to take attendance. Central Texas College confirms enrollment at the census date, which is the last day to withdraw without a “W” grade. If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws from Central Texas College after beginning attendance, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined.

The following list is of financial aid programs, Title IV, to which the Return of Title IV funds requirement applies. The financial aid programs are listed in the order that the school must return per the federal formula:

  • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

Central Texas College determines the date the student withdrew depending on the type of withdrawal.

Official Withdrawal: 

If the student begins the official withdrawal process or provides official notification to Central Texas College of his or her intent to withdraw the date Central Texas College determines that the student withdrew would be the date the student began the official withdrawal process, or the date of the student’s notification, whichever is later. If the student did not begin the official withdrawal process or provide notification of his or her intent to withdraw, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew would be the date that Central Texas College becomes aware that the student ceased attendance. If Central Texas College is informed that a student has died, the withdrawal date is determined either by the official notification from the student, if they had started an official withdrawal process due to illness or accident, etc. prior to the death, or the withdrawal date is the date that Central Texas College determines is related to that circumstance if no official withdrawal was initiated. The withdrawal date will be no later than the date of the student’s death. Central Texas College does not disburse post-withdrawal disbursements to a student that has died during the payment period. The Registrar’s Office notifies the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) via the National Student Loan Clearinghouse of enrollment changes.
The Registrar’s Office is the designated contact point for students who wish to withdraw. The Registrar’s Office assists the student with completion of the top section of the withdrawal form which includes student’s demographic information, why they are leaving, and their last date of attendance. The student collects the required signatures from offices such as Housing, Financial Aid, Enrollment Services, Student Accounts/Cashier, and Registrar’s Office and returns the completed form to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office determines the withdrawal date and reports it to the other affected institutional offices by entering that information into Ellucian database. 
Office of Financial Aid checks to see if the student has received Federal Stafford Loans and if so provides them with an Exit Counseling request via email. The Office of Financial Aid begins the Return of Title IV funds process as soon the Office of Financial Aid determines the withdrawal of all classes from a weekly drop report that identifies the students who need to have the Return of Title IV calculation to determine the amount of federal financial aid programs the student has earned.  

Unofficial Withdrawal:

If the student did not begin the official withdrawal process or provide notification of his or her intent to withdraw, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew would be the date that Central Texas College becomes aware that the student ceased attendance. If Central Texas College is informed that a student has died, the withdrawal date is determined either by the official notification from the student, if they had started an official withdrawal process due to illness or accident, etc. prior to the death, or the withdrawal date is the date that Central Texas College determines is related to that circumstance if no official withdrawal was initiated. The withdrawal date will be no later than the date of the student’s death. Central Texas College does not disburse post-withdrawal disbursements to a student that has died during the payment period. The Registrar’s Office notifies the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) via the National Student Loan Clearinghouse of enrollment changes.
Upon receipt of an email from the Registrar’s Office that the student is no longer enrolled, or if the institution becomes aware that the student is no longer attending, and the student did not begin the official withdrawal process or provide notification of his or her intent to withdraw, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew would be the date that Central Texas College becomes aware that the student ceased attendance. As soon as the Office of Financial becomes aware the Office of Financial Aid gathers the student's information to complete the Return of Title IV calculation to determine the amount of federal financial aid programs the student has earned. The last date the student attended a class is provided by faculty.

In order for the Office of Financial Aid to determine if there is a return of Title IV funds for the student, the Office of Financial Aid collects the student’s information for the payment period, which includes original direct costs at Central Texas College for the payment period from the Student Account, the date of determination of the withdrawal date from the Registrar’s Office, the federal financial aid programs that have been disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student from the Student Account and from the AIDE screen in Colleague. With these documents the Office of Financial Aid utilizes the return of Title IV funds online program provided by Ellucian, to calculate and manage the return of Title IV funds for the student. This software is tested to ensure it is compliant with the Federal FSA Department of Education software. When a student withdraws after the 60% point of their payment period, they have earned 100% of their federal financial aid funds and there is no money to return because the student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the payment period. If the student earns equal to or less than 60% the student is subject to the return of Title IV funds calculation. The Office of Financial Aid determines the amount the student earned, which is based on a prorated schedule based on what the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. The return of Title IV funds calculation determines the amount of federal financial aid the student earned, the amount the student did not earn, the amount the student might have to repay, the amount the school must return, if a student is owed a post-withdrawal disbursement, and if the student owes a repayment.

After completion of the calculation online, the Office of Financial Aid is responsible for ensuring the proper amounts are returned to the appropriate Title IV programs in a timely manner. The Office of Financial Aid returns funds from Ellucian to COD as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the date it determines that the student withdrew. All returns of federal student aid grants and Direct Loan funds previously disbursed are made through the G5 system by the Accounting Office. 
The Office of Financial Aid collaborates with the Student Accounts/Cashier office to not release a Title IV credit balance when a student withdraws until the Office of Financial aid performs the Return of Title IV Funds calculation, the Central Texas College refund policy has been applied, and any Title IV credit balance is allocated to repay any grant overpayment owed by the student as a result of the current withdrawal. Central Texas College returns such funds to the Title IV grant account within 14 days of the date Central Texas College performs the Return of Title IV funds calculation. Central Texas College releases the remaining credit balance to the student, parent for a PLUS loan, or back to the Title IV loan debt with student’s authorization. 

The Business Office will notify the student of his or her obligation to repay funds, track the repayment, determine whether a repayment agreement will be offered and monitored by Central Texas College, as well as the 45-day timing responsibility for referring overpayment to ED for any amount over $50. Acceptable methods of payment for paying funds under an agreement with Central Texas College to the Student Accounts/Cashier Office would be in the form of cash, personal check, cashier’s check, money order, or credit card through the Business Office. 
Student Accounts/Cashier places a hold on the student’s school records or account and is authorized to release them once the student’s obligation has been satisfied. 
The Office of Financial Aid will record the student’s obligation to repay an overpayment in NSLDS and will monitor, update, and notify the student. 
The Office of Financial Aid offers the student any earned post-withdrawal disbursement. Students are notified via email and responses are due within two weeks upon notification. If the student does not respond in the two-week time frame the Office of Financial Aid will return funds according to the return of Title IV funds results. If timing will not allow for a two-week response time frame from the student, the Business Office will make all attempts to contact the student as quickly as possible, including phone calls. Central Texas College complies with the post-withdrawal disbursement time frames and disburses any Title IV grant funds a student is due within 30 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew and disburses any loan funds a student accepts within 180 days of that date. 
The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is e-mailed to the student’s email account that is on file with Central Texas College with a letter of explanation regarding the student’s SAP status. 

PLEASE NOTE: The financial aid SAP standards are not the same as Central Texas College’s general academic requirements. Students should contact an academic counselor to determine those separate requirements for maintaining their academic enrollment.

Maintaining Eligibility

State & Federal money intended to help students meet the cost of attendance.

Money borrowed through the government loan programs. 

Gift aid awarded by the CTC Foundation Office or outside organizations.

State & Federal program that allows students to earn a portion of their educational expenses through part-time employment.

  • If you are trying to budget for the upcoming school year, check out the estimated cost of attendance (COA) for the specific academic year. More...
  • Information is available regarding military educational benefits, Selective Service registration compliance, veteran benefits and vocational rehabilitation (Texas campuses only). More...
  • A consortium agreement is a contract between two colleges/universities that recognizes your registration at each location for financial aid purposes. More...

(Calculator results are unofficial estimates)