FINANCIAL AID POLICIES HANDBOOK
Financial Aid Eligibility — Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid at Colorado College to monitor the academic progress of all students receiving financial aid toward the completion of their degree. This process is known as SAP. The following policy pertains only to financial aid and is separate from other academic policies published by the institution. However, Colorado College has attempted to make its SAP policy for students receiving financial aid as strict as the academic policies facing students not on financial aid while also remaining compliant with federal regulations. It is the responsibility of all students to be familiar with CC’s SAP standards and policies as those SAP guidelines apply to each student’s entire academic record at Colorado College, whether or not that student received financial assistance for previous terms of enrollment. Below follows the Colorado College SAP policy for all undergraduate students.
FREQUENCY OF EVALUATION
The SAP status for all Colorado College undergraduate students is evaluated on an annual basis beginning at the end of the summer term payment period. Those undergraduate students not meeting CC SAP standards will be placed on financial aid suspension with no guarantee of future federal or institutional financial aid unless they submit a SAP appeal to the financial aid office that is approved and sign a SAP probation contract. Undergraduate students will be notified of their SAP status and subsequent options via their CC email account after the end of each summer term if they are not meeting one or more of the CC SAP requirements listed below. Students placed on financial aid probation and/or academic plans will have their SAP status monitored each term until they have successfully begun to meet CC SAP requirements.
SAP is monitored using three factors:
- Cumulative grade point average (CGPA): Please refer to the CC registrar’s office website for more information on calculating GPA figures (https://www.coloradocollege.edu/basics/welcome/leadership/policies/academic-policies)
- All undergraduate students at Colorado College must maintain a 1.7 cumulative GPA during their first year of attendance (fall term, spring term, and optional summer term). During their sophomore year studying at CC and beyond undergraduate students at Colorado College must maintain a 2.0 CGPA. Grades of Incomplete (I), Excused (Y), Audit (Z), Withdraw (WP & WF), and Pass (S) are not included in the grade point average. Incompletes that are not completed within three blocks of their initial assignment are calculated as a grade of "NC" in a student’s GPA for SAP purposes. All grades for repeated courses are included in determining the GPA. Grades associated with accepted, transfer credits are not included in the calculation of a student’s CGPA.
- Cumulative Completion Rate (CCR): CCR is calculated by dividing the total number of credit hours a student has successfully completed (earned) by the total number he/she has attempted.
- CC undergraduate students must complete and pass a minimum of 67% of the courses they’ve attempted. Successful completion of a course of study requires a grade of “Pass” or “C-” or above. Grades of Withdrawal (WP & WF), Non-Credit (NC), In Progress (IP), Excused (Y), Audit (Z), or Incomplete (I) do not constitute the successful completion of a course. Repeated courses are only given earned credit once. All accepted, transfer credits are counted as both attempted and earned credits when calculating a student’s CCR. Remedial and ESL coursework is not accepted at Colorado College for credit towards a student’s degree so neither are included in the calculation of a students’ CCR.
- Maximum Time Frame (MTF) limit: Students are required to complete all degree requirements within a percentage of the minimum credits required to graduate.
- The MTF for all undergraduate students is 150%; thus, a student may attempt a maximum of 48 credits in order to complete a degree that requires 32 credits. In the case of a class taken more than once, both courses will be counted toward MTF. Accepted transfer credits earned through enrollment in programs outside of Colorado College also count as attempted credits in the calculation of a student’s MTF status if those credits are satisfying graduation requirements set by a student’s current degree program. Once a student has reached the MTF limit, or at the point it is determined they will exceed it if they complete their required courses, he or she is no longer eligible for federal or state financial aid. Students should note that audited coursework will be counted as attempted credit hours and therefore skew the calculations of their CCR and MTF which could place them on financial aid suspension. Colorado College students who meet all SAP standards during their enrollment at the college are still limited to eight semesters of institutional aid eligibility.
ADDITIONAL SAP GUIDANCE
- Changing Major or Degree Program While Attending CC: If a student chooses to change their major or degree program while attending CC before they complete their original course of study, all previously attempted credits (both CC and transfer) will be used to calculate a student’s CGPA, CCR, and MTF status regardless of whether those credits fulfill graduation requirements for a student’s currently declared major program.
- Simultaneously Pursuing Different Degrees at CC: If a student chooses to pursue earning multiple degrees/majors simultaneously while attending CC, it is possible that the total number of credit hours they attempt during their pursuit will cause them to violate SAP rules based on an overall calculation of their credit history. Students in this situation should be aware of potential SAP complications and prepare themselves to file an appeal with the financial aid office should their account be flagged for a SAP violation. Appeals may be approved based on enrollment history.
- Pursuing a Subsequent Degree at CC: If a student chooses to earn a degree at CC subsequent to finishing a different degree program, all previously attempted credits (both CC and transfer) will be used to calculate a student’s CGPA, CCR, and MTF status regardless of whether those credits fulfill graduation requirements for a student’s subsequent program of study.
- Enrollment in Summer Term: Credits attempted during summer term will be included in the calculation of a student’s CCR and MTF status. The grades associated with credits earned during a summer term will count towards the calculation of a student’s CGPA.
- Late Grades: Students are responsible for making sure they have received all of their grade results before the evaluation of their SAP status takes place. Students can end up on financial aid suspension as a result of late grade submission. The CC Financial Aid Office is not responsible for any financial consequences of late grade submissions but will re-review a student’s SAP status once made aware of the situation by either the student or staff/faculty member.
FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION
Students failing to meet any of the SAP standards described above will be placed on financial aid suspension thereby making them ineligible to receive a disbursement of federal, state, or institutional financial aid until said student has re-established their eligibility for financial aid. The CC financial aid office is not responsible for balances or late fees assessed to a student who has become ineligible for financial aid, even temporarily, due to him/her not meeting Colorado College’s SAP policy.
RE-ESTABLISHING FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY
Students placed on financial aid suspension at Colorado College may re-establish their eligibility for financial aid three ways:
- Enroll in, complete, and independently pay for enough credits at Colorado College until they once again meet CC SAP standards
- Enroll in, complete, and independently pay for enough credits at a different institution until they once again meet CC SAP standards via accepted transfer credits (not viable for students with CGPA issues).
- Submit a SAP appeal to the CC financial aid office that is approved and then sign a SAP contract with the office
SAP APPEAL PROCESS
Students who are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress and have extenuating circumstances surrounding their failure to abide by the above criteria may appeal their suspension status to the CC Financial Aid Office in order to be placed on financial aid probation. All required & requested SAP appeal documentation must be submitted at least one month before the end of the fall semester but it is recommended student submit paperwork before the start of fall term.
Examples of possible appeal reasons include a student dealing with extenuating personal/medical circumstances that have been resolved such as:
- Personal injury or illness
- Interpersonal problems with friends, roommates, significant other. Etc.
- Difficulty balancing school and work, family responsibilities, etc.
- Financial difficulties
- A death in the family
To appeal financial aid suspension, students are required to submit the following documentation to the Office of Financial Aid:
- CC Transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)
- A written and signed statement from the student explaining why he/she failed to make satisfactory progress, what has changed in his/her situation that will allow them to make satisfactory progress in the future, his or her program of study, anticipated completion date, a list of required courses left to complete the program.
- If appropriate, third party documentation surrounding the reason for the appeal.
Appeal decisions will be emailed to students within three to four weeks of submission. If the SAP committee needs more information regarding a student’s SAP appeal to render their judgment, the time frame for student notification of the committee’s decision will be delayed. Students not meeting CC SAP requirements are responsible for paying their enrollment bill with Colorado College on time even if they plan to appeal their SAP status and are awaiting the committee’s decision. Students may appeal their financial aid suspension once and ask for a reconsideration of an adverse appeal decision once per suspension notice. If an SAP appeal and reconsideration of appeal SAP appeal both result in a decision to deny financial aid funding a student may not submit further appeals for the same notice and will have to go about re-establishing their financial aid eligibility through one of the other means mentioned above. Appeals or reconsideration of appeal requests made without giving the CC Financial Aid Office apt time to review and disburse approved funds before the end of a payment period may be denied for that payment period.
FINANCIAL AID PROBATION
Financially-suspended students who submit a SAP appeal that is approved by the financial aid SAP committee must sign a SAP contract with the CC Financial Aid Office. Students who sign SAP contracts at CC are considered on SAP probation. Depending on his/her academic situation, students granted an approval on their SAP appeal will sign a contract with conditions expected to be met either by the end of the subsequent term or term(s). Students who find themselves in a SAP probation status (those who have had a submitted SAP appeal approved) are not permitted to earn a grade of incomplete (I) or in progress (IP).
Students whose approved SAP appeal requires they sign a multi-term contract with the CC Financial Aid Office must provide an academic plan signed by their CC academic adviser and themselves to the Financial Aid Office before the student will be allowed to sign their contract and regain their financial aid eligibility. Academic plans MUST demonstrate how the student will progress to earn the required CGPA and credits to get back on track in seeking his/her degree. Academic plans must detail that information for each term from the time the appeal is submitted until the student will graduate from their intended degree program. The student must be able to demonstrate that it is reasonably likely to get back on track towards a successful program completion while staying within the MTF regulations. Student may not veer from their documented academic plans without appealing to the financial aid office at CC (stating the reason behind their request and how they will be able to continue making progress with the change) and receiving office approval to do so beforehand. Unauthorized detouring from one’s academic plan will result in immediate loss of one’s financial aid eligibility.
Any student that does not meet the conditions of their SAP contract will be placed on permanent financial aid suspension, with no ability to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid for subsequent terms unless they submit another approved appeal. A subsequent SAP appeal application cannot be based on the same causations as the first appeal. The SAP probation contract is not available online. Students are required to make an appointment with a financial aid staff member to complete the contract. Unless otherwise stipulated in the contract, students on financial aid probation will have one term to complete the terms of their SAP contract. This will always be the fall term. Even if a student submits an approved SAP appeal, the student will not be eligible to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid if they do not sign a SAP contract.
Office of Financial Aid & Student Employment
Fax: (719) 389-6173
14 E. Cache La Poudre St
Spencer Center, 1st Floor
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Hours of operation: Mon - Fri, 8:30am-5:00pm