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Student Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

To receive funds administered by the Student Financial Aid Office at Lamar State College Port Arthur students must be making measurable progress toward the completion of an eligible degree or certificate. Federal regulations require that the student’s entire academic record be evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), regardless of whether the student has previously received financial aid.  Due to the complexity of this policy if you have any questions contact the Financial Aid Office for further clarification.

For a student to be eligible to receive Federal student assistance at LSCPA, the student MUST maintain SATISFACTORY PROGRESS in the course of study being pursued as described below:

  1. Quantitative Standard- Complete at least 70% of attempted courses.  Failing grades, drops, incompletes and withdrawals can result in failure to meet 70% completion rate.
  2. Qualitative Standard-   Students must meet the minimum GPA of 2.0 as defined in the college catalog.
  3. 150% Time Frame- Graduate within 150% of the time frame required to obtain your degree.

*Students who have re-entered LSCPA on Academic Probation will be considered ineligible for financial aid.  Students must follow proper appeal procedures for any mitigating circumstances.

*Satisfactory Academic Progress bases enrollment status on the number of hours in which the student is enrolled as of the college census date or when financial aid funds were received (whichever is later) for each semester.

*Students must be enrolled at least 6 semester credit hours to be considered for financial assistance and to maintain SAP.

* Lamar State College Port Arthur Calculates SAP annually at the end of spring semester. Programs that are one year or less, SAP is reviewed every semester. If you attend summer term, SAP will be reviewed at the end of summer term. Review of SAP will occur once grades are posted in the college’s system. If the student meets all three of the conditions listed above, they will remain eligible to receive federal student aid funds until the next evaluation period.

Under Federal regulations once a student has received a Bachelor’s Degree from any institution or reach 600% of Pell eligibility, they are eligible to receive Federal Loans, but not the Pell Grant.  Lamar State College Port Arthur participates in the Direct Loan Program offering Subsidized and Un-Subsidized loans. Lamar State College Port Arthur does not offer Parent PLUS loans.

REPEATING COURSES

A student can retake any previously passed course (one time only). This retaken class will be counted towards a student’s enrollment status, and the student may be awarded Title IV aid.   However if student passed a class once then is repaid for retaking it and fails the second time that failure counts as their paid retake and the student will not be paid for retaking the class a third time.  Student should contact the Financial Aid Office prior to repeating a course.

PROGRAM COMPLETION TIME FRAME

Normally students cannot receive financial assistance for periods of enrollments beyond 150% of the published program length (to be measured by all hours attempted).

Attempted Hour Limitations
Degree/Certification Hours Attempted/Pursued
Associate Degree (Two Year Degree) 90 hours attempted / pursued

If a specific two-year associate degree program has a total published program length of 60 semester credit hours the maximum time frame a student has to complete that program  is 90 semester credit hours.  All work from other institutions that will transfer into the LSCPA degree plan, as required courses, will be included in the program completion time frame. A student may continue to attend LSCPA after the program completion time frames have expired, but no financial assistance can be awarded to the student.  Exceptions can be made through an appeal process on a case by case basis. Student must complete the Excessive Hours/Earned Degree Appeal and submit to the Financial Aid Office.

NOT CONSIDERED SATISFACTORY COMPLETED HOURS

Grades of F (Failed), Q/Q6 (Dropped), I (Incomplete), U (Unsatisfactory), W (Withdrew), or NG (No Grade)

DEVELOPEMENTAL COURSES

Each required developmental course which has been successfully completed will be considered as hours earned for calculating SAP.  However, the total number of developmental courses to be accepted toward the minimum hour requirement listed above cannot exceed a total of 9 semester hours.  (Developmental courses in which a grade other than A, B, or C, will not be accepted as SAP and will not be considered as hours earned.)

WHO IS CONSIDERED ELIGIBLE?

  • Entering Freshman- will be considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress when the student is accepted for enrollment at LSCPA.  Thereafter, the student must successfully meet the minimum academic requirements of this policy.
  • Returning Students- who have missed the equivalent of at least one long semester (Fall or Spring) will be considered to have remained academically eligible if the student meets the GPA requirements, successfully meets the requirement pertaining to the number of hours completed, and is accepted for readmission at LSCPA. 
  • Entering Transfer Students- will be considered eligible if   the student is successfully meeting the minimum academic requirements of this policy as well as gpa of 2.0.
  • Continuing LSCPA-Students who meet SAP requirements as outlined in this policy. (The evaluation will be based on the student’s records, academic history, and documented circumstances. This includes all academic periods, even those in which the student didn’t receive financial aid.).

WHAT HAPPEN IF I FAIL TO MEET SAP REQUIREMENTS?

  • Appeal Procedures- Students with mitigating circumstances contributing to failure to maintain SAP may submit an appeal with any supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Appeals Team.  If a further appeal is desired, the student may submit additional information in support of the appeal to the Director of Student Financial Aid.  If the student desires a further appeal after these first two levels, the student may submit additional information in support of the appeal to the Dean of Student Services.  Submission of an appeal does not guarantee the approval of aid eligibility.  Therefore, students who have been denied financial aid due to lack of SAP must be prepared to pay their registration costs.
  • Mitigating Circumstances- The evaluation of unusual circumstances, which may have influenced academic performance during the semester/year; might be used in the determination of academic eligibility.  Mitigating circumstances may be considered even though the student does not meet all of the requirements for academic eligibility.  Some unusual circumstances which may be considered are: 1) Verifiable employment of 30-40 hours or more per week while attending the college less than full-time status; 2) Personal injury of extended illness supported by specific documentations; 3) Returning student after several years of non-enrollment; 4) Unusual circumstances that affected students’ academic performance including death or illness of a family member; 5) Other special circumstances as determined by the institution.
    • Information to Include in Appeal - Specify why SAP was not maintained and what plan you have in place that will allow SAP to be maintained at the end of the next term.  Complete the Academic Progress Appeal and submit to the Financial Aid Office.
    • Results - Once a decision has been finalized an email/letter will be sent to you.  The decision could be, Granted Financial Aid Probation, Academic Plan Approved, and Academic Plan Approved for Change of Major or Denied. If your appeal is denied, you will not be eligible for that semester. If you’re extenuating circumstances change, then you have the right to appeal for a future semester that you wish to attend. The Financial Aid decision is final.
  • Students Who Withdraw from the College- Students must maintain SAP according to this policy including the semester of withdrawal.  Returning students who left LSCPA on academic suspension who are readmitted to LSCPA on academic probation will not be considered for federal financial aid until the student has met the minimum SAP requirements.  Students are recommended to attend the summer semesters in order to complete the required hours.  Students may follow proper appeal procedures for any mitigating circumstances.

HOW CAN I REGAIN ELIGIBILITY?

  • Inform the Student Financial Aid Office- Once SAP has been achieved, students meeting any of these criteria may be reinstated for financial aid consideration.  Students who fail to maintain academic eligibility after being reinstated will become ineligible for aid consideration at LSCPA until they have achieved SAP requirements. Students will need to appeal to be considered for further eligibility.
  • Financial Aid Reinstatement- Students terminated from financial aid participation due to lack of SAP may become eligible again for financial aid once they meet SAP requirements. During this time the student must achieve academic progress sufficient to bring his/her overall performance into alignment with the standards of this policy.