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Satisfactory Academic Progress and Appeals

SAP Appeal Committee Meeting Dates

Appeal and Documentation Due Committee Meeting For Term
 July 28, 2015  July 31, 2015  Fall 2015
August 11, 2015   August 14, 2015 Fall 2015 
 August 26, 2015  August 31, 2015  Fall 2015
 September 25, 2015  September 30, 2015  Fall 2015
 October 27, 2015  October 30, 2015  Fall 2015
 November 23, 2015  November 30, 2015  Spring 2016
 December 15, 2015  December 18, 2015  Spring 2016

*All dates above are tentative and subject to change.


Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements

Federal regulations require students who receive financial aid under Title IV programs to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regardless of whether financial aid is awarded each semester. SAP is measured at the end of each semester/term for all students based on the following standards.

  • Qualitative Standard: Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Quantitative Standard: Successfully complete at least 67% (two-thirds) of all credit hours attempted
  • Maximum Time Frame (MTF): Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma/certificate in their chosen program of study within a maximum time frame defined as 150% of the number of credits required to graduate from that program (all classes required to graduate plus an additional 50%). Federal regulations require that students be evaluated for “Pace Progression” to determine whether they are on track to receive their credential before aid is lost due to exceeding MTF. Note that transfer credits also count toward MTF.

Students can monitor their current SAP status through Student Self-Service by choosing “View Financial Aid” and clicking on the current award year. Students should then see the Satisfactory Academic Progress link, which will list current SAP status. Students who end the semester on a Warning or Suspended status will also be notified of their current SAP standing via KCTCS email at the end of the term.

SAP Warning: Students who do not meet the Qualitative or Quantitative Standard for the first time will be placed on SAP Warning. The student will remain eligible for financial aid funds.

SAP Suspense: Students who fail to meet the Qualitative or Quantitative Standard at the end of the warning period will be placed on SAP Suspense and are not eligible to receive additional Title IV financial aid. Students who exceed MTF are placed on SAP Suspense immediately upon exceeding 150% of required credits without a warning status.

SAP Appeal: Students may appeal their SAP Suspense status if they feel extenuating circumstances prevented them from meeting SAP standards. To appeal, students must complete a SAP Appeal Form available in the Student Self-Service Center and provide any additional information/documents required by the college. The appeal will be evaluated by the SAP Appeals Committee of the home college. Students will be notified of the committee’s decision, typically within ten days of the committee meeting. Since deadlines for submission of appeals, frequency of SAP Committee meetings, and other details of the process may differ by college, students should refer to the SAP information provided on their college’s website. A link to this information for each college is provided below.

  • If the SAP appeal is approved, the student will be assigned a Financial Aid SAP Probation status and given an academic plan of action/contract that stipulates certain conditions and academic requirements. Upon acceptance of the academic plan of action/contract, the student may receive financial aid for one additional term. At the end of that term, the student’s status will be re-evaluated. Federal student aid for the next term will not be awarded or disbursed until the student has successfully completed all terms specified within the academic plan of action contract or is found to have met SAP requirements.
  • If the SAP appeal is denied, the student is not eligible for federal student aid will remain ineligible until they are again in compliance with SAP standards. These students may continue to college at their own expense.

NOTE: Students are responsible for all expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies pending the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee and must contact the Business Affairs Office to make payment arrangements with the institution. Decisions made by the SAP Appeals Committee are final and are not subject to further appeal.


Changes in SAP Requirements

Revised Federal Regulations mandate KCTCS modify its Satisfactory Academic Policy to hold students to a higher level of accountability.  All students are evaluated to determine if they meet the new Federal requirements for Title IV Financial Aid that went into effect July 1, 2011.  These changes to the SAP policy due to new regulatory guidelines include:  

  • Limiting students to only one consecutive probationary period.

  • Students must be on pace to progress toward graduation by a 150% of credit requirement.

  • Students must be enrolled in a program other than Undecided or Pending beyond the 30th credit hour.

Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 67% of their classes to remain eligible for financial aid.  Students, who fail to maintain this standard for more than one consecutive term exclusively or in combination, will no longer be eligible for Federal or state aid.   

Students must be evaluated to determine if they are able to graduate from their stated degree by attempting no more than 150% of the hours required to obtain the degree.   This is referred to as Maximum Time Frame (MTF).  For example as student enrolled in a 60 hour associate degree program cannot receive financial aid beyond their 90th credit hour attempted.  Students not “on pace” to obtain a degree within this 150% time frame will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid.   

Students must be enrolled in a declared major or accepted in an eligible program other than “pending” or “undecided” to receive aid beyond their 30th credit hour attempted.  Students enrolled in a “pending” program must be evaluated to determine if they are eligible to be accepted in the desired program within a reasonable period.   A reasonable period is a term that allows a student to be accepted and graduate prior to a student becoming ineligible for financial aid because he/she exceeds maximum time frame.   

Students who believe they have or had extenuating circumstances that prohibited them from making the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards may appeal to a committee appointed by the home campus to review such requests (see dates listed at the top of this page).  Students requesting their circumstance be reviewed for special consideration must:   

  • Complete a SAP Appeal Request online in their Student Self-Service Center,

  • Provide an explanation of circumstance(s) and,

  • Provide supporting documentation of circumstance(s) (i.e. medical records, obituary, etc.) to the ECTC Financial Aid Office.   


Financial Aid Appeal Process

To be eligible for Financial Aid funds, a a student must make satisfactory academic progress.  When you do not meet the academic standards and your financial aid eligibility has been suspended, you have the right to appeal. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to appeal for reinstatement of your Federal and State Financial Aid eligibility. All Financial Aid Appeal documentation must be submitted prior to the appeal deadline for the term of anticipated enrollment.  The decision of the appeals committee is final.

Instructions for submitting an Appeal Request 

Include ALL of the following items (Steps 1-3) in your Appeal. Incomplete appeals will not be considered.  Submit the COMPLETE Appeal to the Financial Aid Office. 

Step 1 - Personal Statement: submit a detailed statement online explaining the basis of your appeal request describing the following:

  • The circumstance(s) that led to poor grades, multiple withdrawals, or incompletes (i.e. death of a relative, an injury or personal illness, or other special circumstances).
  • How you plan to improve your academic standing.
  • Note: The statement must address both the circumstance(s) and a plan for improvement.

Step 2 - Supporting Documentation of Circumstances:  submit documentation to the financial aid office to support your appeal for the semester(s) in question.  An appeal without proper supporting documentation will not be considered.  Acceptable documentation includes:

Acceptable Documentation
Detailed letter, on letterhead, from physician explaining dates and types of illness or injuries, recommended treatment, dates of non-attendance, prognosis, etc.
Death of Family Member
Death Certificate, obituary notice
Legal Issue
Divorce decree, separation agreement, police report detailing incident, date and those involved
Job Conflict
Letter from supervisor, on letterhead, stating scheduling problems, etc.
Disability Letter from Special Populations Coordinator addressing problems that arose during the term in question and the resolution for future terms or medical documentation from other outside sources, letter from a doctor, etc.
Maximum Time Frame
Letter stating why you have not yet earned a degree.
Any other documentation that will support your appeal (letter from faculty, or third-party source).

Where to submit documentation for an Appeal

To appeal, students may complete a SAP Appeal Form available online in the Student Self-Service and also provide any additional information/documents required by submitting to the financial aid office at ECTC.

Notifications of Appeals Committee Decision

Students will be notified by their student email and regular mail of the committee’s decision within 48 hours of the committee meeting. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

Approved Appeal

If your appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, you will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester.

The Financial Aid Office will continue to monitor your academic progress to ensure you are meeting the conditions of your probationary status. If you fail to meet the conditions of the probationary status, your eligibility will once again be suspended.

The SAP Appeal Committee may approve your appeal with certain academic progress conditions or limit future hours.  If approved, you will receive a plan of action or enter into a contract specifying academic requirements necessary to remain eligible to receive financial aid for the remainder of the enrollment or until SAP standards are achieved.

Denied Appeal

If your appeal is denied, you will be responsible for expenses incurred at the college without benefit of financial aid. You may, if eligible, use Veteran or Military Education Benefits, or other third-party funding, as well as make payment(s) online or at the business office on campus.

Other Important Information

  • The SAP Appeals Committee may request additional information.
  • Financial Aid will not pay for courses taken by audit, credit hours earned by placement tests or non-degree courses.  Transfer credit hours count in the attempted/completed SAP hours as recorded by Admissions and Records.

Additional SAP information from KCTCS:

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Contact Information

KCTCS/Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
Financial Aid Office
RPC 1st Floor Room 105
610 College Street Road Elizabethtown, KY 42701
(270) 706-8802 or (877) 246-2322 extension 68802
1-855-746-3282  24/7/365
FAX 270-769-0736 

This page maintained by Laura Lamb