Eligibility

  • A student is eligible for need based aid if the students EFC (Expected Family Contribution which is determined through the filing of the FAFSA) is less than the cost of attendance at the school.
  • The student must be enrolled in course of study that is eligible for financial aid. Eligible programs are programs that require at least 16 credit hours and require a full academic year to complete. Some exclusions apply based on Federal regulations.
  • The EFC and the enrollment level of the student determine the amount of some grant funds.
  • If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his/her degree, certificate, or other recognized credential, they cannot be used to determine enrollment status unless they are eligible remedial courses. This means we cannot award a student aid for classes that do not count toward his/her degree,certificate, or other recognized credential.
  • Funds from financial aid can be used to pay for classes that are ineligible, but the ineligible classes will not be used in the calculation for determining enrollment level and disbursement amounts.
  • In addition to being eligible based on financial information through the FAFSA the student must also meet the academic requirements for financial aid.
  • Remedial courses shall be eligible for Title IV aid payment provided the student has been accepted into an eligible degree/certificate program and is taking the remedial courses as part of that program. Payment shall not be made for more than the equivalent of one year of remedial course work (i.e., 30 semester hours).
  • We may count towards enrollment status and award Title IV funds to a student who is repeating, for the first time only (i.e. one repetition per class), a previously passed course in a term-based program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Illinois Central College (ICC) is required to establish satisfactory academic progress standards (SAP) 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 assistance, even those semesters for which a student did not receive financial assistance.

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 the student files the FAFSA and at the end of each Fall, Spring and Summer semester.

Course Completion Rate

ICC students must complete at least 67% of their cumulative hours attempted (66.5% or higher). 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. 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.

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. In addition, the WF and FA grades will be used in the GPA calculation as an F grade. All courses with grades of NG, GED classes and hours transferred in from other institutions are not considered in the completion rate calculation. All NR (Not Reported) and I (Incomplete) grades will be used in the calculation for completion rate at the end of the semester. Once the student has been notified that the grade change has been processed, the student must contact the Financial Assistance office for a new SAP calculation.

Grade Point Average

Each student must meet a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to meet the SAP requirements. For the purposes of these standards, GPA is taken directly from the student’s academic record at ICC. 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 ICC 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. Remedial coursework will not be counted toward maximum hours attempted. In general, a student must successfully complete approximately 2/3 of their attempted credit hours each semester to ensure successful completion of their program of study prior to reaching the maximum hours allowed for financial aid.

Any student exceeding the 150% requirement will automatically be placed on SAP termination status for financial assistance. GED courses are not included in the maximum hours calculation.

What if I fail to meet the Standards?

The first semester a student fails to meet one or more of the academic requirements the student is placed on SAP warning. The second consecutive semester a student fails to meet one or more of the academic requirements the student is placed on SAP termination.

Warning

A student must meet all three requirements every semester. A student is placed on warning status the first time they fail to meet the completion rate and GPA requirements. 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 one or more of the requirements are not met after the next semester. If the student raises his or her course completion rate and GPA to meet the standard, the student will be removed from warning and placed back in a satisfactory status.

Termination

A student is placed on termination if they fail to meet one or more of the academic requirements for two consecutive semesters (GPA or completion rate) or if they have met or exceeded the maximum hours attempted requirement. The student is not eligible for financial assistance during this time. 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 Merit Recognition Scholarships, Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and some academic scholarships.

If a student is placed on termination for financial assistance the student must regain good SAP standing by raising their course completion rate to 66.5% and/or raising their cumulative GPA to 2.0. Once these requirements have been met, and if the student has not reached maximum hours allowed for their program of study, financial assistance will be reinstated.

What options do I have if I am placed on termination status?

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 SAP, 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 which is available online. 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.

All students filing an appeal submit a program plan with their appeal. This program plan must be signed by their advisor and must list all of the classes needed for the student to complete the degree/certificate. If it is determined that a student cannot meet SAP prior to the completion of the degree/certificate, the appeal will not be approved. The ability to meet SAP prior to degree/certificate completion does not guarantee appeal approval.

A student appealing the maximum hours attempted requirement must be within 12 hours of degree completion in order to have their appeal reviewed. If more than 12 credit hours are needed in order to complete the program, the appeal will not be approved. Any appeal submitted without a program plan will not be reviewed until a program plan is provided. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with an advisor to determine the remaining courses for completion of the degree/certificate. Just providing a program plan does NOT guarantee continuation of financial assistance eligibility.

In cases where a student is on Financial Aid Termination for grade point average, maximum hours or completion rate, the student may appeal for a one-time “re-start” of their financial aid based on a change to their program of study. Please review the Financial Aid Restart Policy for eligibility.

Appeal Process

Your appeal will be reviewed by the SAP Appeal Committee, and the review process takes a minimum of 1 to 2 weeks. The student will be notified of the decision via ICC student email. All committee decisions are FINAL.

If the appeal for reinstatement is denied the student may still attend Illinois Central College, but will have to make other financial arrangements to pay for all charges incurred for the semester in which financial aid will not be paid.

If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Assistance Probation status and will be eligible to receive aid.
If the student changes their plan of study while on appeal, they must re-appeal under the new plan of study.

Continued Probation Status: Those students for which an appeal is approved and the student has successfully completed all coursework for the semester, but has not yet met the cumulative completion rate and GPA requirements, will remain on continued probation status for the following semester. If the student is on probation status due to maximum hours or has a cumulative GPA below the 2.0 requirement, the student must earn a C grade or higher in all attempted courses while on probation.

NOTE: Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards are established by the Office of Financial Assistance in accordance with regulations set by the U.S. Department of Education.