Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
The Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board mandate institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for a student to receive financial aid. This standard must apply to a student’s entire academic history whether financial aid was received or not. To remain eligible to receive aid at San Jacinto College, a student must meet these standards, as approved by the San Jacinto Community College District Board of Trustees.
Satisfactory Academic Financial Aid Components
San Jacinto College requirements for receiving financial aid include the following components:
- Grade Point Average (GPA) Component
San Jacinto College uses the 4.0 grade point average system and numerical code:
GPA GPA Numerical Code 4.0 A 3.0 B 2.0 C 1.0 D 0.0 F or FX
- Pass Rate Component
A student is expected to pass a minimum of 75 percent of all hours attempted at San Jacinto College. All transfer hours are included in the pass rate calculation.
- Time Frame Component
A student receiving financial aid funds will be expected to complete his/her San Jacinto College educational objective or course of study within the first 90 hours attempted, including college preparatory and transfer hours.
Grades of F, FX, I, NG, W, repeated courses, ESOL, and college preparatory courses are counted in the total number of hours attempted. However, for repeated and ESOL courses, only the higher grade is used in computing the cumulative grade point average and pass rate. Students will not receive aid for the third attempt if the class has previously been passed unless the program of study requires students to take the course more than twice.
Satisfactory academic progress will be measured for all students, not just students who apply for financial aid. Progress will be measured at the end of each term for all students who are enrolled in credit classes and when transfer work is evaluated. All students are expected to be in compliance with the academic requirements for receiving financial aid at the time they receive aid.
- Academic Standards and Pass Rate
The San Jacinto College Financial Aid Office will determine whether or not students have successfully passed at least 75 percent of overall hours attempted. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 on their institutional coursework. The College considers grades of A through D as successfully passed; however, students on probation or academic plan status must pass all classes with a C or higher.
Audited courses, credit earned by placement tests, repeated courses, or programs not approved by the US Department of Education are not eligible for financial aid funding.
- Time Frame Component
The Financial Aid Office will determine the total number of hours a student has attempted. Courses for which a student has received an incomplete, from which they have withdrawn, that have been repeated, and that are defined as college preparatory classes will be counted in the total. Once a student has attempted 90 hours, the student is ineligible to receive further consideration for financial aid. During the last term in which the student will reach the 90-hour limit, the student may receive aid for the number of hours for which they are enrolled.
Under the San Jacinto College Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid, transfer hours must be taken into account in determining whether or not a student is in compliance with the Time Frame and Pass Rate Components. Transfer hours are not used in the computation of GPA components. A transfer student must have a transcript from each college/university attended on file and must request to have the transcript(s) evaluated through the Admissions Office. A student who has attended a school outside the United States must also have the transcript(s) evaluated, at their own expense, by a foreign transcript evaluation company on a course-by-course basis.
A student who has not met Satisfactory Academic Progress, except for time frame component, will be placed on financial aid warning. A student, if otherwise eligible, may receive consideration for financial aid during the warning term.
A student who fails to meet the standards of academic progress by the end of the term of warning will be placed on financial aid suspension and is not eligible to receive further consideration for financial aid.
Maximum Time Frame
A student who has attempted more than 90 hours will be placed on financial aid suspension for max hours attempted and is not eligible to receive further consideration for financial aid.
A student under this status is on an appeal and eligible for aid. Appeal students are required to meet appeal conditions to maintain eligibility, which includes following an academic plan.
A student who completed and met the conditions of the appeal during the probation term, but is still not making satisfactory academic progress, will be placed on an Academic Plan. While on an Academic Plan, the student must continue to meet the conditions of their appeal within a specific point in time as stated on their educational plan.
Appealing Financial Aid Suspension/Regaining Eligibility for Aid
A student who has been suspended from receiving financial aid due to a low GPA and/or Pass Rate Component may regain eligibility by:
- Enrolling at his/her own expense and bringing himself/herself into compliance with the requirements.
- Filing an appeal with the Financial Aid Office prior to the middle of the semester.
A student who has exceeded the maximum time frame component must file an appeal to be able to receive consideration for financial aid.
The appeal for all satisfactory academic progress components must be in writing and supporting documentation regarding special circumstances must be provided. Appeals are considered for extenuating circumstances such as injury, illness and death in the immediate family, or undue hardship. A student must provide sufficient supporting information to explain his/her reason for lack of progress. Other documentation will be required in addition to what is listed on the appeal form. Students who have an Incomplete grade cannot submit an appeal until a final grade has posted.
If an appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for the term listed in the appeal. The student is required to meet the conditions stated on the approval letter without exception to continue receiving aid under the Academic Plan status. In addition, first-time appeal approval students are required to meet the conditions of the Program for Financial Education during their first term. If a student does not meet the conditions of the appeal, the student will be placed back on Financial Aid Suspension.
If an appeal is denied, the student may file a written request to meet with the Appeal Committee, which renders all decisions in writing. If the student needs to request a personal appearance, only the student is allowed to present his/her case to the committee.
Transfer Monitoring Students
Transfer Monitoring (TM) is the process by which schools must verify with the Department of Education through the National Student Loans Database System (NSLDS) a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Students are subject to TM if they begin their study mid-year or during the summer at San Jacinto College. Per regulation, during the seven-day period after a student's name is added to the NSLDS TM list, the College may not authorize or disburse Title IV aid to his or her account. It may take longer than seven days if, through NSLDS, any issues are identified that need to be resolved. During the seven-day NSLDS review, financial aid funds are not available to students and funds will not show on their financial aid file even if previously offered. Students may determine when their file was put on TM hold and when it will go off hold by accessing their SOS account.
Students may take the following steps to check on their status:
- Log into SOS,
- View My Registration, Financial Aid & Student Record,
- View My Student Record, and
- View Holds.
Any aid awarded to a student whose record goes on TM hold will be automatically reinstated after the seven-day period, unless there is an unresolved issue.
Withdrawals, Grades, and the Return of Title IV Funds
Return to Title IV (R2T4) applies if the student completely withdraws, officially or unofficially, from classes prior to completing more than 60 percent of the term and parts of term in which the student enrolled. Also, if the student receives any combination of FX (Failure due to non-attendance) and grades of F or W, he or she is subject to R2T4. Students receiving federal monies to fund their college education are subject to the R2T4 calculation. Federal guidelines require the student (and parent in the case of a PLUS Loan) and/or institution to repay any unearned portion of the federal funds credited or disbursed.
The federal funds that are subject to the R2T4 calculation are the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
Additional Restrictions for Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) have additional restrictions. Students and parents may owe the College any loan amount certified and disbursed due to any indebtedness created by the return calculation whether or not the student officially or unofficially withdraws.
Official withdrawal occurs when the student completes the withdrawal process through the web, the Admissions office, or the Educational Planning, Counseling, & Completion office. The student is considered to have officially withdrawn from San Jacinto College when all courses are dropped for the semester. After the student is withdrawn, the Financial Aid Office calculates the amount of earned and unearned aid for the period of enrollment. Notice will be sent to the student at the address on record if any indebtedness is created by the withdrawal and a copy is uploaded to the student’s record in SOS.
Any student who fails to complete at least one class successfully due to non-attendance during the period of enrollment is considered to have unofficially withdrawn. After grades are posted at the end of each term, the Financial Aid office completes a Return to Title IV Calculation. Students may refer to the Withdrawals, Grades, and the Return of Title IV Funds section. If San Jacinto College cannot determine the last date of attendance, the mid-point of the student’s enrollment will be used as the withdrawal date.
Students are required to attend their classes and complete their assignments, including assignments in Blackboard for online classes, throughout the semester. Those who fail to meet this requirement will have their aid adjusted.
San Jacinto College reviews attendance after the census and near the middle of the semester. For classes that are 10 weeks or longer, attendance is also reviewed around 70% of the semester (to make a total of 3 collection points). Students who fail to attend any class meetings as of the census date will lose their Financial Aid eligibility for those classes. Students who stop attending prior to the 60 percent point of the semester will lose part or all of their Financial Aid eligibility. If students manage to be successful for those classes, they can receive a retroactive disbursement at the end of the term for the classes in question. Otherwise, students will have to enroll in classes that start in later parts of term within the same semester to regain their financial aid eligibility.
Attendance for online/distance learning classes is defined by the US Department of Education as participating in class or being engaged in an academically related activity such as contributing to the class online discussion board. Documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not sufficient by itself to demonstrate academic attendance by the student.
Debts to the Department of Education
If the student owes the Department of Education, the eligibility to receive federal aid at any school will be lost until the debt is repaid or acceptable repayment arrangements are made with the National Payment Center of the Department of Education. San Jacinto College will assign any debt due to the Department of Education for processing.
Debts to San Jacinto College
Funds owed to San Jacinto College are subject to San Jacinto College collection procedures.
Note: Once tuition and fees are paid or financial aid is applied, students are considered officially registered until they complete the term or officially withdraw. Students who have never attended class or classes are not eligible for financial aid funds. Students must submit withdrawal requests electronically or in person at the Admissions Office or the Educational Planning, Counseling, & Completion offices. Students may refer to the Official Withdrawal section. Students are urged to take class enrollment and attendance seriously, consider the amount of time required to complete a class successfully and plan the number of hours in which they enroll. If necessary, students must officially withdraw; simply not attending class or telling the instructor does not constitute withdrawal.
Fraud or Financial Aid Abuse
San Jacinto College is required by US Department of Education Office of the Inspector General to report all cases where activities are perceived to be potential fraud or abuse of federal funds.