EWC Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies for Financial Aid

Eastern Wyoming College encourages students to review these commonly asked questions about maintaining financial aid eligibility.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid?

To be eligible for federally funded financial aid programs all student financial aid recipients must initially and continually meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The Eastern Wyoming College standards of SAP measure a student’s academic performance both qualitatively and quantitatively by reviewing the following three areas of performance:  cumulative completion rate for coursework enrolled, cumulative grade point average earned, and the maximum time frame to complete a degree.  The Office of Student Financial Aid is responsible for ensuring that all students receiving financial aid are meeting these minimal standards.  The standards of SAP apply for all federal financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study and Federal Direct Student and PLUS Loans.

Academic progress requirements for EWC institutional awards and foundation scholarships are defined by the respective donors and maintained in the EWC Financial Aid Office.  The institutional awards include scholarships, activity grants, and institutional work-study.

When is Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Reviewed?

Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed prior to the awarding of any federal financial aid, institutional awards and foundation scholarships.   It will also be reviewed and monitored at the end of Spring semester, and prior to the disbursement of aid for the following semester.

Establishing Initial Eligibility

In order to establish initial eligibility for federal financial aid, a student’s past academic transcripts will be reviewed according to the following guidelines:

a.       Students who have never previously attended EWC will be considered in good standing with regard to minimum semester credits completed and minimum GPA requirements.

b.      Students who have previously attended EWC will have their past academic transcripts reviewed regardless of whether financial aid was received for any previous attendance.

c.       Transfer credits from other institutions will be considered in determining eligibility under the maximum time frame criteria.

d.      Students must be admitted/enrolled in an approved degree or certificate program.

Maintaining Qualitative and Quantitative Eligibility

The following requirements are for all federal financial aid programs.  Students are considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress and will be eligible for federal financial aid at EWC as long as all three of the following requirements are met at the end of each semester.

a.       Completion Rate (67% Pace Rule)

Students must, at a minimum, successfully complete 67% of all the credits for which they enrolled.  This calculation is performed by dividing the number of cumulative credits earned by the cumulative credit attempted.

 Withdrawals, audits, and grades of F, IP, X, or U are not considered successful completions for financial aid purposes.

b.      Cumulative Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a 2.0 average.

c.       Maximum Time Frame

Students who have completed a degree or certificate will be considered to have reached maximum time frame.

Students must complete a degree or certificate program in no more than 150% of the average length of their program. Time frame limitations include all credits pursued, earned, dropped, repeated, and failed.  All applicable transfer hours accepted by EWC count as hours attempted as well as hours earned.  All of these credit hours are counted regardless if the student did or did not receive financial aid.

Students pursuing additional degrees are likely to reach maximum time frame. The maximum time frame may be adjusted upon approval of an appeal.

Degree seeking students will be required to submit a program evaluation signed by the student’s academic advisor when 48 credit hours have been attempted.  Students who attempt 70 hours will be required to appeal maximum time frame.  Students seeking a certificate will be required to appeal for maximum time frame after attempting 24 credit hours.

Other Factors

a.       Audits

Classes taken for audit will not be considered when determining semester award amounts.  Classes taken for audit will not be considered as attempted credits toward the maximum time frame for completion.

b.      Remedial/Developmental Courses

After a student has attempted 30 hours of remedial/developmental credit hours, he/she cannot receive financial aid for remedial/developmental credit hours.  From that point on, remedial/developmental credit hours will count in his/her attempted hours but not in enrollment status or cost of attendance for financial aid purposes.

c.       Academic Amnesty

EWC allows an academic amnesty policy as part of its institutional academic policy.  For purpose of calculating SAP, earned credits and grades eliminated under the policy will be considered to calculate financial aid eligibility.

What does Warning, Probation, or Loss of Eligibility status mean?

Financial aid probation and loss of eligibility apply only to a student’s status for purposes of financial aid eligibility at EWC.  This does not become part of the student’s permanent record and is not transferable to other institutions.  Please be aware, your financial aid status may differ from your academic status.

a. Warning

Students who do not complete the minimum number of credits or who do not possess a satisfactory grade point average will be placed on warning for their next semester of enrollment.  A student remains eligible to receive financial aid while on warning status.  If both the completion rate and cumulative GPA requirement are met at the end of the warning semester, the student will be removed from warning status.

b. Probation

If a student does not meet SAP requirements, an appeal for reinstatement of aid may be completed.  Students who have an approved appeal will have financial aid reinstated on a probationary status.

c.Loss of Eligibility

A student will lose federal financial aid eligibility if the requirements for maintaining eligibility are not met during the warning or probationary semester.

Students who have reached or exceeded the maximum time frame for completion will be placed on immediate loss of eligibility status.

How does a student reinstate Federal Financial Aid eligibility?

Cumulative Completion Rate and Cumulative GPA

Students may appeal federal financial aid loss of eligibility for any of the following reasons: personal injury, illness, death of a family member, or special circumstances.

To appeal for any of the above situations, students must submit a complete appeal packet.  The packet includes:

1)      a written statement indicating what circumstances prevented the student from meeting the standards and what steps the student plans to take to ensure future success;

2)      a program evaluation signed by the student and student’s current academic advisor;

3)      an EWC Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form.

If the appeal is approved, the student‘s financial aid will be reinstated on probationary status.  Financial aid award will be based on funds available at the time of reinstatement.  Reinstatement will be effective from the current term or next term of enrollment as determined by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.  Reinstatement of aid will not be effective retroactively for an already-completed term.

Maximum Time Frame

Students are allowed one appeal for maximum time frame.  To appeal a student must submit a complete appeal packet.  The packet includes:

1)      a written statement indicating why the student should be allowed to exceed maximum time frame;

2)      a program evaluation signed by the student’s current academic advisor;

3)      an EWC Petition for Maximum Time Frame signed by the student and students’ current academic advisor.

If the appeal is approved, the student’s financial aid will be reinstated on a probationary status.  Students must also meet the cumulative completion rate and cumulative GPA requirements.  Financial aid awards will be based on funds available at the time of reinstatement.

The appeal forms are available in the EWC Financial Aid Office or in the financial aid section of the EWC website .

Is there a limit to how much Federal Financial Aid a student is eligible to receive?

Federal Pell Grant Duration of Eligibility

Receipt of Federal Pell Grant has a lifetime limit of 12 full-time semesters or its equivalent. (students may not appeal the duration of Federal Pell Grant eligibility)

Federal Direct Loan Limits

Federal Direct Loans have set annual and aggregate limits. (students may not appeal the limits set for Federal Direct Loans)