Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid
In order to be eligible for financial aid you must:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have a valid high school diploma or GED, or complete state approved home schooling;
- have demonstrated financial need by completing the FAFSA;
- be admitted into an approved degree or certificate program at FCC;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress;
- not be in default on a loan at any school;
- not owe a refund on a grant at any school;
- be registered with Selective Service, if required;
- be enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours (not including audited courses). Some students enrolled for fewer than six credit hours may be eligible for the Pell Grant.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
If you do not meet the stated academic standards at the end of a semester (see charts below), you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. While on Financial Aid Warning, you are eligible to receive financial aid for one more semester. If you do not meet the published standards at the end of the Warning semester, you will be suspended (even if you passed all of your classes). It is possible for a student to be placed on Warning without ever previously receiving aid. It is also possible for a student to be placed on suspension for Maximum Time Frame without a Warning semester. Review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards for Financial Aide here.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid
The following policy is effective 2016-2017 starting with Fall 2016 calculation of grades.
Students receiving any federal, state, or institutional financial aid must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree or certificate in order to continue to receive assistance. If you have attended FCC prior to applying for financial aid, all prior academic coursework is included in the calculation of satisfactory academic progress. Your progress is reviewed at the end of each semester and will be determined by three criteria:
a. COMPLETION RATE: the percentage of credits (college-level and developmental) completed each semester divided by the number of credits attempted each semester, including summer sessions;
b. GPA: minimum grade point average for total credits attempted; and
c. MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME: program completion within the specified time frame (based on attempted credits, not length of enrollment).
If you are pursuing an A.A.T. degree, you are required to meet the completion rate and minimum grade point average requirements listed below:
|Total Credits Attempted
||Completion Rate (of total attempted)
|0 - 15
|16 - 45
|46 & above
Students pursuing any other eligible associate degree or certificate program (not A.A.T.) must adhere to the following standards:
|Total Credits Attempted
||Completion Rate (of total attempted)
|0 – 15
|16 & above
Credits attempted include developmental classes and ESL classes. See the Schedule of Classes for the credit hour equivalent for developmental and ESL course work. Credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. Grades of “I,” “Z,” “U,” “AU,” “W,” “F,” “DX,” and “FX” are not considered successful completion. Per Federal regulations, the SAP policy must have a qualitative measure for developmental coursework. Since developmental credits are not included in the GPA calculation, grades of “D” and lower are also not considered successful completion for developmental coursework.
“P” grades are considered successfully completed for completion rate, but are not factored in to the GPA/qualitative
Revised 9/15/16 measure. For SAP, a grade of “D” for all college level (not developmental) courses are considered successfully completed, even if their program of study requires a “C” or better. Students on financial aid probation, may be required to meet a higher standard if specified on their academic plan.
If a student does not meet the stated SAP standards at the end of a semester, the student is placed on financial aid warning. While on financial aid warning, the student is eligible to receive financial aid for one more semester (the warning semester). At the end of the warning semester, academic progress is reviewed to determine if the student is meeting the quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe requirements. If the student is not meeting the requirements, the student is suspended from financial aid. If the student is suspended from financial aid, there is an appeal process available.
Impact of Repeated Courses:
Impact of Clemency Courses:
- A Repeated course counts as credit attempted during each term the student is enrolled in the course; however, a repeated course is counted as credit completed only one time, using the highest grade.
- Failing a repeated class that was previously passed results in 0 credits completed for the failed course.
- Eligibility for a repeated course:
- Financial aid can be received to repeat a course one time in which a grade other than “F” has been received. The highest grade earned will be used in the GPA calculation.
- If an “F” grade is received in a class, financial aid can be used to repeat the failed class. Keep in mind this will count each time as an attempted class and impact completion rate and maximum timeframe.
Per Federal Regulations:
Some schools have academic amnesty/renewal [clemency] procedures through which a student can apply to have credits attempted and grades earned in previous semesters excluded from the calculation of the student’s grade point average. The FSA [Federal Student Aid] program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty or academic renewal. Therefore, a school must always include courses… in evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress (both quantitative and qualitative components).
Therefore, grades of “DX” and “FX” will negatively impact the GPA calculation and the completion rate calculation for Satisfactory Academic Progress. GPA may not be impacted if the student retakes the course, see “Impact of Repeated Courses,” above.
Maximum Timeframe and Eligible Program
Financial aid applicants must complete their degree or certificate program within a timeframe that is no longer than 150% of the published length of the current programof study. The timeframe includes all attempted coursework at FCC except developmental and ESL coursework. Even if the student changes his/her program of study, all coursework is counted as attempted. Accepted transfer credits and advanced placement credits that fulfill requirements in the degree or certificate are included. The appropriate timeframe is calculated according to the current program of study (as listed in PeopleSoft).
For example, the General Studies A.A. degree program requires a maximum of 60 credit hours. To maintain financial aid eligibility, the student may attempt no more than 90 credit hours. If the school determines that a student cannot complete within the maximum timeframe, the student must be placed on suspension.
Some programs (certain certificates and letters of recognition) and courses (FEMA modules, non-credit courses, and continuing education) are not eligible for federal and state student financial aid. Contact with financial aid office with questions about eligible programs and courses.
Courses Not Required for Current Program
Any course that is listed as a “course not used” on the student’s current program of study (as listed in PeopleSoft) is not eligible for financial aid. Exceptions to this rule include approved pre-requisite, split course (some of the credit, but not all, falls into the “courses not used” category), approved repeated courses, and developmental courses.
A student who is enrolled in an eligible program of study can receive financial aid for up to one year (30 credits) of developmental and prerequisite coursework. Developmental coursework is not counted when determining maximum timeframe. “English as a Second Language” credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program of study.
Appeal Process and Reinstatement of Financial Aid
Students who become ineligible for financial aid due to academic progress or because of maximum timeframe, may appeal via the Appeal for Financial Aid Suspension, Maximum Timeframe and Unusual Enrollment History form. Students must have extenuating circumstances that led to their inability to meet the standards, and these circumstances must be resolved so as not to hinder future academic progress. Examples include: death in immediate family, involuntary transfer or change in work hours by employer, serious illness/accident/medical condition, or other documentable extenuating circumstances. An appeal is reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee and a decision sent to the student’s FCC email.
Students who receive financial aid must attend their classes. Passing grades are proof of attendance. Attendance in on-line classes is documented through submission of academic assignments, completion of exams, or actual participation in on-line discussions about academic matters. The Financial Aid Office confirms attendance with instructors. A student who stops attending a class, is required to officially withdraw. If the student stops attending or withdraws from all classes in a semester, the student’s financial aid may be adjusted based on the Federal Return of Title IV (R2T4) Refund calculation. If a student never attends a course for which financial aid was awarded, all aid for that course will be canceled and the student will be billed for any outstanding charges.
Please contact the financial aid office prior to withdrawing to determine changes in eligibility of funds.
This policy is in effect starting with the Fall 2018 Calculation.
If you are age 18 or older, any information you disclose in a SAP appeal regarding prior childhood abuse or neglect must be reported to local law enforcement authorities per state law, even if the event(s) occurred many years ago. College employees are also required by law to report disclosures of current childhood abuse or neglect to local law enforcement authorities if you are under age 18. (Refer to Opinion of the Maryland Attorney General dated December 3, 1993, at 78 Op. Att’y Gen. 189). http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Opinions%20Documents/1993/78oag189.pdf
Frederick Community College is also required to adhere to Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures. For a fuller understanding of Title IX and contact information for whom to speak with if you have concerns about sexual misconduct, visit: https://www.frederick.edu/current-students/downloads/title-ix-brochure.aspx.