Standards of Academic Progress (SOP) for Financial Aid Recipients
A financial aid recipient is a student who receives any scholarship, loan, grant, work-study award or veteran's benefits administered through the Seminole State College Student Financial Resources Office.
Federal, state and college regulations require that a student must maintain satisfactory progress to receive financial assistance. The minimum standards at Seminole State are contained in this document and applicable to the financial assistance programs administered by the Student Financial Resources Office.
At Seminole State, a student's entire academic history, including credits that are transferred from other schools, is evaluated to determine whether he/she is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Eligibility to receive financial aid is established each term, based on a student's ability to meet the criteria for Standards of Academic Progress.
Failure to meet these Standards of Academic Progress will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension. Students who are on financial aid suspension will be prohibited from receiving any financial assistance until they have returned to satisfactory progress. Students on financial aid suspension may continue to enroll and attend classes at Seminole State, as long as tuition charges are paid through resources other than financial aid.
- Successful completion of a class: Defined as having earned a grade of "A," "B," "C," "D," "S" or "P"
- Unsatisfactory completion or non-completion of a class: Defined as having earned a grade of "F," "N," "W," "I," "U" or "X"
- Enrollment Status: This is established by the number of credit hours for which a student is officially registered each term. Students must successfully complete a specific number of credits as determined by their program of study and their enrollment status.
- Total hours attempted: Students are expected to earn a degree or certificate within a specified number of attempted hours and are only eligible for financial aid during this time. The number of attempted hours cannot exceed more than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program.
All students receiving any type of federal financial aid must meet the Standards of Academic Progress (SOP) for Financial Aid Recipients. The requirements for these standards are set by federal regulations. Students must meet all three criteria for ongoing eligibility for federal aid.
- A student must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
- A student must successfully complete at least 67 percent Student Completion Rate (pace) of all Seminole State courses taken (including transfer courses accepted by Seminole State).
- A student must complete his/her degree within the 150 percent time frame (example: an associate degree requiring 60 credit hours must be completed within 90 credit hours).
Minimum Cumulative 2.0 GPA
For students who have attended other colleges, the courses accepted as transfer credit by Seminole State, including those taken as part of another program of study, will be included in determining SOP for financial aid purposes.
How to Calculate Student Completion Rate (Pace)
The formula for calculating the completion rate is: total hours earned divided by total hours attempted. The resulting percentage must be 67 percent or greater to meet Standards of Academic Progress (SOP) for Financial Aid Recipients.
For financial aid purposes, successful completion of a course means an earned grade of A, B, C or D. All other grades (F, I, W1, W2, W3, W4) are attempts or unsuccessful completions and will impact a student's progress. Attempts include any courses in which a student is enrolled for credit beyond the official add/drop refund deadline.
The chart below demonstrates 67 percent completion rate (pace) for attempted hours in a semester. The left-hand column is the attempted hours and the corresponding number in the right-hand column is the number of hours you must successfully complete with a 2.0 GPA to maintain satisfactory SOP.
Example: A student registered for 12 credit hours must complete eight credit hours with a 2.0 GPA or higher to meet the satisfactory SOP requirements for the semester. The 2.0 GPA and completion rate (pace) of 67 percent apply to the semester and cumulative totals on a student’s transcript.
|Credit Hours Attempted||Earned Hours Needed |
(Passed with a GPA of 2.0 or higher)
Maximum Time Frame Eligibility
- Students who have attempted more than 150 percent of the credits required for their program of study are not considered to be making satisfactory academic progress, according to requirements for SOP, and therefore, are ineligible for financial aid funds. Students who do not have a degree and exceed maximum hours will not be able to regain financial aid eligibility at Seminole State College.
- Students who change their educational program or graduate and reapply to a new program still must adhere to the maximum time frame policy. If or when the students exceed the maximum time frame allowed for their respective programs, they may appeal if they have mitigating circumstances. All attempted credits and transfer credits will be included when determining maximum time frame eligibility. Consideration will be given to students seeking a second degree or certificate.
- Students are limited to one time frame appeal and will be required to successfully complete 100 percent of all future coursework if approved. Therefore, it is important that students take only the number of courses that they will complete successfully. A degree audit/grad check will be required for all time-frame appeals. Appeals submitted without a degree audit/grad check will be automatically denied.
- A student with a bachelor’s degree or higher will be considered to have exhausted the maximum time-frame eligibility. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree may not earn an Associate in Arts degree with support from financial aid.
Standards of Academic Progress (SOP) will be evaluated at the end of every term. Students who do not meet the SOP standards will be placed on "Financial Aid Warning" at the end of the semester in which they did not meet the standard(s). They will be eligible to receive federal financial aid funding for the following semester and given an opportunity to resume good academic standing. Students given this status are not required to petition for possible reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility
Students placed on Financial Aid Warning status will be sent a notification advising them of their status, the impact of their future financial aid eligibility, and the importance of seeking guidance/advising/counseling from appropriate staff. Students who do not meet SOP standards after this period of Financial Aid Warning will be denied eligibility for future semesters and placed on Financial Aid Cancellation status until they meet the SOP standards or submit an SOP Appeal that is approved.
The appeal must include a prescribed academic plan that must be approved by Academic Advising. If the appeal is approved, they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. The student will continue on probation as long as he/she is successfully complying with the prescribed academic plan requirement(s) that is submitted as part of the SOP Appeal. The probation status will stay on the student's financial aid file until the student meets Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards or completes his/her degree.
The student's progression will be monitored during the probationary period at the beginning and end of the semester to ensure the student is following the prescribed academic plan and successfully matriculating through their program of study. Disbursements will not be made for a semester unless it is verified that the student's prior review (if applicable) was acceptable and the student is in proper classes for the term in question.
A student will be considered successful in an Academic Plan if all three of the following items are met:
- All of the classes taken under the Plan are required for the student's program of study.
- Student maintains a minimum 2.5 GPA for the semester in question (not cumulative GPA).
- Student successfully completes 100 percent of the classes prescribed in the Academic Plan.
If any one of the three items above is not met, then student will be considered to not have met the terms and conditions of the Academic Plan, and will be placed in Financial Aid Cancellation and will be ineligible for financial aid until such time student regains eligibility by establishing a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and reaching a 67 percent completion rate for all classes attempted.
If a student meets all three criteria above, student will not have to re-appeal again for the following semester, and student will remain on this Academic Plan until such time student retains eligibility.
Financial Aid Appeals Process
Students who have not met SOP standards and are placed under Financial Aid Cancellation status must complete the following steps to appeal their status and be considered for reinstatement for their financial aid eligibility.
- Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form available online in the financial aid forms section of the MySeminoleState Student Center.
- Attach documentation that supports the extenuating circumstance(s) to the appeal form (Examples: statement signed by student's doctor, death certificate).
- Attach a copy of unofficial transcript, circling every grade (in every semester) that is "W", "I", or "F." An explanation of the circumstances of these grades must be contained in the appeals documentation (letter from student describing situation).
- Visit Academic Advising and Counseling for assistance with completing the academic plan portion of the SOP appeal. A signature from an academic advisor is required on the academic plan form available online.
- Submit the appeal and the supporting documentation to the Student Financial Resources Office.
Incomplete appeals will not be accepted. Appropriate documentation as prescribed above must be provided at the time the appeal is submitted. After a thorough evaluation of the written request and all supporting documentation, the Financial Aid Review committee will make a decision and notify the student of the decision by email communication. Appeals are only accepted for the semester immediately preceding the appeal. The decision of the Financial Aid Review Committee is final.
The SOP Appeal must include a prescribed academic plan that must be approved by Academic Advising. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. The student will continue on probation as long as he/she successfully complies with the prescribed academic plan requirements that are submitted as part of the SOP Appeal. The probation status will stay on the student's financial aid file until the student meets Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards or completes his/her degree.
The student's progression will be monitored during the probationary period at the beginning and end of each semester to ensure the student is following the prescribed academic plan and successfully matriculating through his/her program of study. Disbursements will not be made for a semester unless it is verified that the student's prior review (if applicable) was acceptable and the student's in the proper classes for the term in question.
A student will be considered successful in an academic plan if all three of the following items are met:
- All of the classes taken under the plan are required for the student's program of study.
- Student maintains a minimum 2.5 GPA for the semester in question (not cumulative GPA).
- Student successfully completes 100 percent of the classes prescribed in the academic plan.
If a student meets all three criteria above, he/she will not have to re-appeal again for the following semester, and the student will remain on this Academic Plan until the student regains eligibility.
if any one of the three items above is not met, then the student will be considered to not have met the terms and condition of the academic plan and will be placed on Financial Aid Cancellation and will be ineligible for financial aid until the student regains eligibility by establishing a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and reaches a 67 percent completion rate for all classes attempted.
Note: The College has requirements for Standards of Academic Progress (SOP) as outlined in College Procedure 4.1000 and Standards of Academic Progress (SOP) for Financial Aid Recipients as outlined in College Procedure 4.2000. While on financial aid suspension, a student may be granted an appeal for SOP and register for classes. However, the amount owed will be the responsibility of the student. Financial aid does not cover payment for students who are on suspension.
Extenuating Circumstances (Re-establishing Eligibility after Cancellation)
Any student with extenuating circumstances (Examples: death of an immediate relative, an illness or injury of the student) who is placed on a cancellation status, may appeal to the Financial Aid Review Committee for reinstatement based on his/her special case. If the student was canceled for failure to complete 67 percent of the attempted hours, and since cancellation, has brought up the percentage to a minimum of 67 percent, the student will be instated during the end of the semester review process. If a student was canceled for not meeting the GPA requirement, he/she will be placed back on a reinstated status once his/her GPA has been brought up to the proper level during the end of the semester review process.
Note: There is no reinstatement after suspension for exceeding the maximum credit review.
- It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Student Financial Resources Office when this condition has been met.
- Students who exhaust the 150 percent time frame and have used their one appeal cannot be reinstated for financial aid at Seminole State.