FINANCIAL AID ACADEMIC STANDARDS POLICY
Federal regulations require institutions to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory academic progress for the purpose of awarding financial assistance under the Title IV programs authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (CFR 668.34). LeMoyne-Owen students must pursue and complete courses at a rate that will allow them to earn their degree in a reasonable amount of time. Many students are able to complete the requirements for the degree in four years by earning an average of 15 credit hours in each of their eight semesters. However, some students will require more than four years to earn their degree. The College has established standards that define a minimum rate of progress toward the degree. They define the minimum number of course credit hours that must be attempted, the number that must be completed, and the cumulative grade point average that must be achieved as credit hours are accumulated. A course and its credit hours are considered to be completed if a grade of A, B, C, D or P is earned. The number of course credit hours attempted includes all courses for which one of those grades was received, plus courses where the result was a designation of WA, WD, F or I. Repeated courses are counted as attempted and completed (or not), for each attempt. However, only the most recent grade and credit hours are included when calculating the GPA.
This policy is applicable to Federal Title IV Programs, State Programs inclusive of the Tennessee Student Assistance Award and the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship, and LOC Scholarship Programs. References to financial aid within this policy apply to these programs. The following measurements apply whether or not a student received financial aid during the period(s) being measured.
LOC elects to use the same academic standard as stated in the Academic Regulations pertinent to the academic catalog. This policy is used to determine satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. Students should reference the LOC Academic Catalog as related to Academic Regulations used to determine acceptable academic standing, whether or not the student is receiving financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
LeMoyne-Owen College is an annual review institution; therefore, SAP is checked annually (at the end of each spring semester). A student is considered to be in good academic standing if he or she has earned at least 70% of all attempted credit hours and has a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 at the end of each spring semester.
LOC students must be aware of the differences in our Academic Policies versus their eligibility to receive financial aid funds. Students who are on financial aid suspension may be eligible to enroll at the college. The College has established standards that define a minimum rate of progress toward a degree. This rate also requires students to achieve a certain grade point average at the end of each year. Any student receiving state and federal financial aid must also earn at least 70% of all attempted hours. Consequently, a student could be on probation academically but not be eligible for state and federal financial aid. Students are reviewed at the end of the academic year (after spring semester). Students who do not earn at least 70% of all attempted hours and earn a GPA of less than a 2.0 and upon a successful written appeal through the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) can continue to receive federal financial aid for one semester. At the end of that semester, if the student does not meet the academic standards, federal financial aid is suspended.
Students can only receive financial aid once for the repeat of a passed course. A passed course for financial aid purposes is defined a grade with designation of A, B, C, & D.
Full-time students who meet these standards are said to be in academic good standing, having made satisfactory academic progress in their time at the College. They remain eligible for state and federal financial aid.
Part-time students are those attempting fewer than 12 credit hours in a regular semester. Part-time students lose eligibility for state and federal financial aid if they fail to maintain progress as defined under Financial Aid.
Note: State and federal financial aid are only available for support of the first 180 credit hours attempted by a student. These credit hours include all accepted transfer credit hours from all previously attended institutions, even those in which a student did not receive state/federal aid. As a further restriction, part-time students may receive state or federal financial aid for a maximum of twelve years.
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee is composed of the Academic Standards Committee members. This committee reviews financial aid appeals as related to the Pace Standard. Students will be notified by written notification regarding the appeal decision.
An appeal can be made by a student who has been suspended. The appeal must be presented in writing to the Academic Standards Committee and should fully describe the extenuating circumstances on which the appeal is based. The appeal should be supported by documentation. An appeal should be made as soon as possible, but no later than one month, before registration for the next semester. A meeting is scheduled for the student to meet with the committee. After the meeting, the student will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision.
The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final and cannot be further appealed for one year unless the student has subsequent transfer coursework.
Note: There is no appeal process for students who have reached their maximum aggregate hours of 180.
Reinstatement of Eligibility
A student who has lost eligibility for financial aid due to suspension or a denied appeal will be reinstated once the student has subsequently completed coursework (LOC and/or transfer) resulting in an "overall combined" pass rate of 70% (assuming the student is otherwise eligible and also meets the Qualitative and Maximum Timeframe requirements). A student’s financial aid eligibility may also be reinstated due to the approval of a grade change. Upon receiving the grade change approval, SAP is recalculated. If the Pace completion rate along with the Qualitative Standard meets satisfactory standards, the student will be removed from academic and/or financial aid suspension.
Students should refer to the Academic Regulations within the undergraduate catalogs as related to how repeats are counted in the GPA calculation.
For the purpose of this policy, all attempted undergraduate college level credit hours are included in both the Pace and Maximum Timeframe measurements, inclusive of credit hours associated with all repeated coursework. Additionally, all attempted undergraduate remedial / developmental (R&D) coursework is included in the R&D 30 attempted credit hour limitation, inclusive of credit hours associated with all repeated R&D coursework.
When determining a student’s enrollment status for Federal Title IV purposes, LOC may pay for repeated coursework through the above specified financial aid programs. However, LOC cannot pay for more than one repetition of a previously passed course. The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program has additional rules as related to repeated coursework.
Additional Bachelor’s Degree:
Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree but are working on another undergraduate degree may be eligible to receive Federal Stafford Loans at the undergraduate limit. Students must submit a written request to the Financial Aid Office.
A Financial Aid Counselor will allow 150% of the additional hours needed to complete an additional bachelor’s degree to the existing “overall” credit hours previously attempted for the first bachelor’s degree. This new value will establish the new Maximum Timeframe that the student can receive financial aid.
Students who have completed an undergraduate degree and are enrolled in an undergraduate program, for the sole purpose of attaining teacher licensure, may be eligible to receive Federal Stafford Loans at the undergraduate limit. Students must be enrolled at least half-time in required teacher certification coursework. Students must submit a written request and a signed copy of their Program of Study to the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid will allow 150% of the additional hours needed to complete the teacher licensure to the existing “overall” credit hours previously attempted for the first bachelor’s degree. This new value will establish the new Maximum Timeframe that the student can receive financial aid.
Qualitative Standard (GPA):
Federal law requires that the financial aid academic standard must be at least as strict as the school's standard for students enrolled in the same educational program who are not receiving Federal Title IV assistance. Additionally, federal law requires that for programs longer than two academic years, students must have a C average or its equivalent by the end of the second year (regardless of how many credits they have accrued) or have an academic standing consistent with the requirement for graduation.
The Financial Aid Office reviews the GPA at the end of the spring semester. Students who are suspended from financial aid may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee is final as related to this measurement.
Pace Standard (Percentage of Credit Hours Passed):
The Financial Aid Office reviews the completion rate at the end of the spring semester. Students who are suspended from financial aid as related to this measurement may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee.
Students must minimally pass 70% of their cumulative "overall combined" credits attempted to remain in "Good Standing" for financial aid. Grades of "A", "B", "C", or "D" count as credit hours passed. All courses for credit will be counted as hours attempted including withdrawals, incompletes, repeated coursework, and coursework graded as "WD", "WF", "WA", and "F". "Overall combined" includes college level coursework and remedial / developmental coursework. The 70% pass rate is determined by dividing the cumulative "overall combined" number of credit hours the student has passed by the "overall combined" cumulative number of hours the student has attempted.
Maximum Timeframe Standard:
Federal law allows students to receive Title IV assistance up to 150% of length of program. The Financial Aid Office reviews the maximum timeframe limitation at the end of each semester (fall, spring, summer).
Notification to Students
- Pace Standard:
- Suspension: Undergraduate students suspended from financial aid will be sent an e-mail/letter from the Financial Aid Office. The e-mail/letter will include guidance regarding the appeal process.
- Probation: Undergraduate students for whom an appeal has been approved will be notified by the Academic Standards Committee regarding the resulting status of Probation. Students who maintain eligibility for financial aid by meeting the requirements of their academic plan but whose cumulative “overall combined” Pace is less than 70% at the end of the subsequent semester(s) will be sent an e-mail/letter by the Financial Aid Office notifying them of their continued probationary status.
- Maximum Timeframe Standard:
- Undergraduate students who have 30 or less college level credit hours of remaining financial aid eligibility will be sent an e-mail/letter from the Financial Aid Office reminding them of the credit hour limitation.
- Undergraduate students who have reached maximum timeframe will be sent an e-mail/letter from the Financial Aid Office notifying them of their status.