According to federal regulations, students receiving financial aid must maintain Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FASAP). The Financial Aid Office at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College monitors a student’s academic progress as a condition of eligibility when the student applies for financial aid and at the end of each Spring Semester. These requirements are applied to a student’s entire academic history at A-B Tech, including transfer hours from other schools that apply to the student’s program and including periods when financial aid was not received (e.g. courses taken through A-B Tech in high school). A student is considered to be making Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress when the following three requirements are satisfied:
1. Qualitative Standard (Cumulative Grade Point Average) – A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
2. Quantitative Standard (Completion Rate) – A student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 50% between 1-29 completed hours. A student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67% with 30+ completed hours.
3. Maximum Timeframe – A student must successfully complete the program of study within its timeframe. Federal regulations specify that the timeframe may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program. When students exceed the timeframe for their programs of study, they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. However, students can submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee to have their eligibility extended if there are extenuating circumstances.
Monitoring Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. A-B Tech will monitor Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress using the chart below.
Credit Hours Attempted*
Minimum Cumulative Completion Rate**
Minimum Cumulative GPA Required***
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress statuses will be calculated based on the definitions listed below. Students will be notified of their status at the end of each payment period (year) or when they first apply for financial aid. This notification will be sent to their student email account.
Calculations will only be made once per year, following the Spring Semester.
1. Satisfactory: Satisfactory status is achieved when the cumulative GPA, completion rate and timeframe are met.
2. Suspension: Students who fail to meet any or all of the three Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements are placed on suspension. Students who are placed on suspension forfeit their financial aid. A student may either appeal to have their financial aid eligibility reinstated, or may notify the Financial Aid Office when the student is meeting the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for students receiving financial aid so that their financial aid eligibility can be reconsidered.
3. Maximum Timeframe: A student must successfully complete the program of study within its timeframe. Federal regulations specify that the timeframe may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program. When students exceed the timeframe for their programs of study, they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid unless an appeal is upheld.
Appeal Process: Students who are not meeting the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FASAP) policy may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. If an appeal is approved, the suspended student is placed on probation. A successful appeal will be accompanied by documentation that supports all unsuccessful terms that appear on a student’s transcript. All appeals will be reviewed, approved, and/or denied by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. An appeal can only be submitted if a student’s failure to make Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress is based upon events beyond their control. Applicable circumstances would include medical issues, family death/illnesses, and any other uncontrollable events. Students will need to submit the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form and Financial Aid Student Academic Plan to the Financial Aid Office before the start of their next semester. Students will be notified by email of the committee’s decision. Appeals are ONLY reviewed in between semesters. Students must bring their academic progress back into compliance or have an appeal approved to have aid reinstated. It is important for students to remember that Pell Life-Time Eligibility Used, Undergraduate Loan Limits, and Termination status cannot be appealed.
Probation: Probation occurs when students on suspension have their eligibility for financial aid reinstated by an approved Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal. A student in the status of probation will have their financial aid eligibility reinstated for one more payment period (semester). A student on probation may not receive aid for the subsequent payment period unless:
1. The student is now meeting the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy at the end of the probation period (semester); or
2. The student adheres to the financial aid student academic plan. The plan may include one or more of the following stipulations:
- Limiting the number of credit hours attempted
- Not withdrawing from any courses
- Repeat failed courses
*Students may appeal the conditions of their probation due to exceptional circumstances. These appeals must be made prior to the end of the probation period to be considered. These appeals may not be considered after the next SAP calculation has been made.
Continued Probation: Students who fail to meet the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, but have met the requirements of the financial aid student academic plan will be placed on continued probation at the end of each semester. Students in the status of continued probation may remain eligible for financial aid until they complete their program of study. After the student has completed the program of study, the financial aid student academic plan is no longer applicable for receiving additional financial aid.
Terminated: Students who fail to meet the terms of their probation for any reason will be terminated. Students in this status will not qualify for aid until they are meeting the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FASAP) standards. This can be accomplished by paying for classes and completing them, and bringing cumulative completion rate and cumulative GPA in to the required percentages while staying within the timeframe of the program. There is no appeal for terminated students.
Key points to remember regarding the FASAP policy and maximum timeframe
Since the timeframe sets the limit for the number of credit hours a student may attempt and remain eligible to receive financial aid, it is very important that the student plan class schedules carefully with his or her academic advisor and/or the Student Services Advising staff. It is the responsibility of the student to register only for classes listed in his
or her chosen program of study and for scheduling only the number of hours he or she is capable of completing. SOME STUDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO TAKE PROVISIONAL (DEVELOPMENTAL) COURSES, WHICH WILL ALSO BE COUNTED AS HOURS ATTEMPTED. Students are responsible for knowing the policy concerning the limitation on hours attempted for financial aid purposes. Registering for more courses than a student is capable of completing, having to withdraw from classes, registering for courses for which the student has already received credit, taking courses in error, etc. all impact the timeframe and could result in losing financial aid eligibility before completing a program of study.
The timeframe is cumulative; therefore, by switching programs without completing the initial program, the student runs the risk of losing financial aid eligibility.
The timeframe begins when the student first attends the College and continues until that student successfully completes a program of study regardless of the number of years that may elapse between enrollment periods.
Only students who successfully complete a program of study will have attempted and completed credit hours from earning a degree, diploma, or certificate deducted from the maximum timeframe calculation for the next program of study.
*Students may only complete two programs of study within a five-year period receiving financial aid (the five year period will be considered from the time a degree is completed). This rule may not be appealed. All programs of study, with exception of GOT A.A.S., completed more than five years from the time of initial degree completed can be subtracted from the calculation.
Students who take course work in a financial aid ineligible program of study will have those hours attempted added to their timeframe if and when they enter a financial aid eligible program of study.
Students accepted into a program of study who are required to take developmental course work, as determined by placement assessment results, will have the credit hours attempted for such course work count toward their maximum timeframe. (Financial aid can only pay for 30 credit hours of developmental course work.)
The credit hours for course incompletes, withdrawals, and repetitions will be counted as hours attempted toward the timeframe.
Credit hours transferred from other institutions of higher education will be counted toward the maximum timeframe of eligibility only if they count towards the current program of study. Prior degrees earned will be taken into consideration when determining transfer hours.
Students who wish to double major (attempt two programs of study at once) may appeal to the Financial Aid Office to do so. The Financial Aid Office will determine an adequate timeframe for the multiple programs.
*Students may only complete two programs of study within a five-year period receiving financial aid (the five year period will be considered from the time a degree is completed). This rule may not be appealed.
Credit hours attempted will be cumulative and will include all hours for which the student was enrolled as of the 10 percent point (the point at which a student cannot drop a course for a partial refund, and must receive a W grade) of each academic term, or for which the student received a grade. The census date is defined as the 10 percent point of a semester. Students have the right to drop courses during this period.
Credit hours completed with grades of A, B, C, D, T, TR, CR, P, or AP only will fulfill this requirement. Grades of F, R, I, W, and Y will not fulfill this requirement.
Cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total credit hours attempted for which the student received grades of A, B, C, D, F, P, R, and U.
The second quantitative standard, referred to as the maximum timeframe, will be measured independently of the monitoring chart. For each program of study, a maximum timeframe will be calculated by taking the total credit hours required for the program of study as outlined in the College catalog and multiplying the total by 150 percent. Timeframes will vary from program to program.
All classes taken at A-B Tech that appear on the College curriculum transcript are included in FASAP calculations (this includes courses taken through Early College, Middle College, and/or High School Dual Enrollment).
Transfer courses may be deducted from the calculation if they do not count towards the program of study, however, courses cannot be deducted if they are considered a prerequisite for a course in the program.
If at any point it is determined that a student cannot complete their program of study within the maximum timeframe, the student’s aid will be suspended.
Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy; Financial Aid for Students Who Withdraw or Drop Out. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended Oct. 1, 1998 allows institutions participating in any Title IV program (e.g. Pell Grant, Direct Loan Program etc.) to implement the policy and make a “good faith effort” to enforce it prior to the writing of the final regulations, which became effective on October 7, 2000.
The law focuses on the return of Title IV Funds received for the semester the student was enrolled if that student completely withdraws or partially withdraws (terms with modules) from the College prior to the 60 percent point of the semester.
If a student withdraws after the 60 percent point of the semester or minimester, the student will be considered to have earned all funds disbursed and no return of funds will be required unless a student had received a loan that was subject to repayment under the terms of the loan.
Any student who decides to completely withdraw, or stop attending classes at the College prior to the 60 percent point of the semester and who has been disbursed Title IV funds may be required to repay a portion of those funds to the Department of Education and/or the College based on the federal calculation.