Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible to receive Financial Aid funds (PELL, SEOG, FWS, Loans, HOPE), students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Atlanta Technical College (ATC) is required by the U.S. Department of Education to establish minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) means the student is matriculating through their program of study in a positive manner toward fulfilling the educational requirements. Students attending ATC must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress. ATC uses the following standards to monitor student's progress toward their diploma, degree, or certificate.

SAP Appeal Deadlines:
Spring 2017 - Term 1 & 2
SAP appeal committee meeting - December 13, 2016
SAP appeal submission deadline - January 5, 2017
SAP appeal committee meeting - January 6, 2017
Spring 2017- Term 3
SAP appeal submission deadline - February 16, 2017
SAP appeal committee meeting -February 17, 2017

**All appeals that are submitted to the Financial Aid Office after the Janary 5, 2017 deadline will be reviewed at the February 17, 2017 committee meeting for Term 3.

Students are responsible for maintaining an acceptable level of progress regarding quality, quantity and time frame of work.  Progress will be reviewed at the end of every semester.  Records are reviewed after grades are posted at the end of each semester.

SAP includes three components:

  1. Qualitative Grade Point Average (GPA) (Cumulative): Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. The GPA is computed by the Registrar’s office on a scale of 4.0. The GPA is cumulative (includes entire Academic history). Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 when they transfer programs in order to receive financial aid for the new program.
  2. Quantitative Hours Completed (Cumulative): The financial aid recipient must have passed at least 67% of all hours attempted. Grades of A, B, C, or any derivative of these letters are “satisfactory” for financial aid purposes. Students who do not complete the required minimum hours or whose GPA drops below the minimum requirement in a given semester are not considered to be maintaining SAP and are placed on Financial Aid Warning. Financial aid funds will be disbursed during the following semester of enrollment on a warning status. If the student fails to make SAP after receiving aid while on warning, the student’s financial aid is suspended until they meet all elements of the institutional SAP policy. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours the student has attempted.  This calculation is performed in Banner after final grades are posted by the Registrar at the end of the semester.
  3. Time Frame: The purpose of the Federal Title IV financial aid programs is to assist students in meeting their educational expenses while they progress toward timely completion of their educational objectives.  For that reason, federal regulations require that students must complete their educational objective within a maximum time frame of one and one-half times the length of the program in which they are enrolled. Program length is measured in credit hours and is determined by the number of credit hours required for completion of the program.  For example, if a student is enrolled in a diploma program that takes 100 semester hours to complete, that student may receive financial aid (if eligible) for 150 semester hours before financial aid is suspended.

Once a student is found to have exceeded the maximum time frame allowed, he or she will be ineligible for all types of Title IV federal financial aid.  HOPE eligible students who become ineligible for Title IV financial aid may still receive HOPE Grant and/or Scholarship until they reach the Paid or Attempted Hour Limits for the HOPE Programs, outlined below.  Students may appeal a loss of financial aid eligibility due to maximum time frame requirements if extenuating circumstances prevented them from completing their program within the specified time frame.

If a student graduates from one program and re-enrolls in another program, the maximum time frame will be reset.  However, all previous credit hours attempted that count toward the new program will be included in the new time frame calculation.  (For example, if a student graduates from the Accounting diploma program, and re-enrolls in the Accounting degree program, all previously taken Accounting courses that are counted toward both programs will be counted in the time frame calculation for the new program.)

Financial Aid Warning

Students who fail to maintain either a 2.0 cumulative GPA or 67% cumulative completion rate will be placed on financial aid warning. Students on financial aid warning will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for one term only.  Students on financial aid warning must meet all SAP requirements by the end of their warning period in order to receive financial aid in subsequent terms.  Students placed on financial aid warning who fail to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or higher and their completion rate to 67% or higher by the end of their next term of enrollment will be placed on financial aid suspension and will be ineligible for all forms of financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who fail to meet one or more SAP requirements for at least two consecutive terms of enrollment are placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible for any form of financial aid.  Students have the right to appeal a financial aid suspension if there are extenuating circumstances that have prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements. 

Right of Appeal by Students Placed on Financial Aid Suspension

Financial aid recipients who have failed to meet SAP and who have been placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Appeals must be written, specifically addressing the extenuating circumstances and must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by the published deadline posted on the OFA website and SAP email notification of the failure to make satisfactory progress. Appeals will be considered for extenuating circumstances only, which may include, but are not limited to, the death of a family member, an injury or illness of the student or their immediate family member, or other special circumstances that are generally outside of the control of the student. Supporting documentation must be provided or the appeal will be denied. All appeals will be considered on a case by case basis.  A student paying for his/her own tuition and fees or sitting out for one or more terms does not automatically reinstate the student’s financial aid eligibility.  All students are required to submit an academic plan to the SAP committee along with their appeal. If the SAP appeal is approved, students are required to follow the academic plan to ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final. 

Approved Appeals

For all appeals that are approved by the committee, OFA changes to Academic Plan (AP). During the semester, students in AP status must maintain a 2.0 GPA and a completion rate of 67%.  Withdrawing during your financial aid Academic Plan status will change your status automatically to denied status. Students who fail to meet the requirements of the AP will be denied FA and will be required to pay out of pocket until the student meets all SAP requirements.  

Reinstatement of Aid

A student who has been placed on financial aid suspension or has been denied due to unsatisfactory progress will regain eligibility for financial aid when he/she has met the minimum cumulative requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Notification of SAP Status

All students who fail to meet SAP requirements will be notified via email of their SAP status at the end of the term in which they failed to make SAP.  SAP is evaluated each term after final grades have been posted by the Registrar.  Students who appeal a financial aid suspension will be notified as soon as a decision is reached by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee regarding their status.