Illinois Central College is required to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for its federal and state financial assistance recipients in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education regulations. These standards ensure that only students demonstrating satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their educational programs will continue to receive financial assistance. It is required by the U.S. Department of Education that an entire student’s record be evaluated for determining academic eligibility for financial aid, even those semesters for which a student did not receive financial aid.
Whether a student is considered to be making satisfactory progress depends on a successful course completion rate, grade point average (GPA), and maximum hours attempted to complete his or her course of study. These requirements are evaluated at the time you file your FAFSA and at the end of each fall, spring and summer semester.
Students must meet all the requirements listed below:
Course Completion Rate
ICC students must complete at least 67% of their cumulative hours attempted. The first semester a student’s cumulative completion rate falls below the 67% requirement, the student is placed on satisfactory academic progress probation. The second consecutive semester a student’s cumulative completion rate falls below the 67% requirement, the student is placed on satisfactory academic progress termination.
The completion rate is calculated as follows: Total # of Hours Completed / Total # of Hours Attempted
Hours attempted include all courses taken during a period of enrollment including withdrawals, repeated courses, and remedial courses.
Hours attempted include all courses taken during a period of enrollment including withdrawals, repeated courses, and remedial courses. Hours completed are defined as courses completed with grades of A, B, C, D or S. Hours attempted with grades of F, W, WF, WU, EX, FX, U, I or FA are considered NOT completed. All courses with grades of NG or NR are not considered in the completion rate requirement along with GED classes. Hours transferred in from other institutions are not used in the course completion rate calculation. All hours forgiven under ICC’s Academic Forgiveness Policy appear on the academic record and count towards hours attempted. There is no forgiveness of courses in the calculation of course completion rate for Financial Assistance eligibility.
Grade Point Average
Each student must meet a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to meet the requirements of the satisfactory academic progress standards. The first semester a student’scumulative grade point average falls below the 2.0 requirement, the student is placed on satisfactory academic progress warning. The second consecutive semester a student’scumulative grade point average falls below the 2.0 requirement, the student is placed on satisfactory academic progress termination. For the purposes of this policy, GPA is taken directly from the student’s academic record at ICC. It is required by the U.S. Department of Education that an entire student’s record be evaluated for determining academic eligibility for financial aid, even those semesters for which a student did not receive financial aid.
Grades earned at ICC are counted in this requirement. All hours forgiven under ICC’s Academic Forgiveness Policy are removed from the GPA calculation on the academic record, and are therefore removed from the GPA calculation under this policy.
Maximum Hours Attempted
The maximum attempted hours a student has to complete their degree is equal to 150%, or 1.5 times the number of hours required for the completion of the degree or certificate. This includes hours transferred into Illinois Central College from other institutions or hours taken at ICC that were credited toward other program requirements. If the student changes their program of study, any previous coursework completed will be included in the calculation of attempted hours for the current program of study designated by the student.
Any student exceeding the 150% requirement will automatically be placed in a satisfactory academic progress termination status for financial assistance. All courses that are under 100 or GED are not included in the total attempted hours calculation for determining the academic progress standing based on the maximum hours attempted requirement.
Failing to Meet Academic Standards
A student who fails to meet the standards could be placed in probation or a termination status. A brief explanation of probation and termination is provided below
Warning status does not stop a student from receiving assistance, and is intended to serve as a notice that eligibility for assistance may be in jeopardy if the requirements are not met. If the student raises his or her course completion rate or grade point average to meet the standard, the student will be removed from warning and placed back in a satisfactory status.
A student is placed on termination if they fail to meet either the course completion rate or the grade point average requirement after spending one semester on probation. Termination status stops a student from receiving all types of financial assistance including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Federal Work Study, ISAC MAP Grants, ISAC IIA Grants, ISAC Merit Recognition Scholarships, Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and some academic scholarships.
A student is also placed directly on termination status once he or she has exceeded the maximum hours attempted requirement.
Options After Placed on Termination Status
If a student is placed on termination for financial assistance, the student must regain satisfactory academic progress by raising their course completion rate to 67% and/or raising their cumulative grade point average to 2.0. The student is not eligible for financial assistance during this time. Once these requirements have been met, and if the student has not reached maximum hours allowed for their program, eligibility for financial assistance will be reinstated.
All students on termination for financial assistance may appeal. Only extenuating circumstances that can be supported with documentation (i.e. medical documentation) will be considered in the appeal process. Unawareness of withdrawal policies, unawareness of requirements for satisfactory academic progress, or unprepared for college coursework will not be accepted reasons for the purpose of an appeal. The student must complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, located on the back of the termination notice or available online at www.icc.edu/financialaid/forms.asp. The appeal must include: (a) reasons why the student did not achieve the minimum academic requirements, (b) supporting documentation for the extenuating circumstances and (c) a description of what has changed that will now allow the student to meet the academic requirements. If the appeal is approved, the student may be eligible to apply for a student loan.
A student appealing the maximum hours attempted requirement must provide a signed academic plan from their advisor outlining the remaining courses needed to achieve the degree/certification graduation requirements. If more than 12 credit hours are needed in order to complete the program, the appeal will not be approved. Appeals submitted without an academic plan will not be reviewed until an academic plan is provided. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with an advisor to determine the remaining courses for graduation. Providing an academic plan does NOT guarantee continuation of financial aid eligibility.
Students have 30 days from the date of notification of termination to file an appeal for the current semester. If the appeal is not submitted by this deadline, the student may be liable for tuition charges incurred for the semester in which financial aid will not be paid. The student will be notified of the decision in writing. All decisions are FINAL.
If the appeal for reinstatement is denied the student may still attend Illinois Central College, but he or she will have to make other financial arrangements to pay for courses. The student may appeal again after successfully completing additional coursework or providing new documentation that may alter the decision. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation status.
Continued Probation Status: Those students for which an appeal is approved and the student has made continued progress, but has not yet met the cumulative completion rate and/or GPA requirements, will remain on probation status the following semester.
Satisfactory Progress is an Office of Student Financial Assistance Policy in accordance with regulations set by the U.S. Department of Education, not an ICC Records or Admissions policy.