Feb 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Assistance and Scholarships

Title IV School Code: 003428

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

SAP Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility

Federal financial assistance programs are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended, and require the establishment of minimum standards of academic progress toward degree completion that students must meet to maintain eligibility for financial aid. While students meeting these standards are generally eligible for aid, some aid programs require higher standards that may preclude the student from qualifying for those programs. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility applies to all federal Title IV Student Aid Programs. This policy applies to all students seeking or receiving assistance whether or not aid may have been received previously.

The College of Charleston Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility applies to all aid programs administered by or through the Office of Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs. These standards apply to all students seeking or receiving assistance, whether or not aid may have been received previously. All students must be admitted to and eligible to enroll in an approved degree program of study. Non-degree students are not eligible for federal and state aid programs.

Qualitative Standards: Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.000. Students with a GPA of less than 3.000 are not eligible to receive financial aid.

Pace to Completion (Quantitative Standard): Graduate students are allowed 150% of the normal time frame to complete their first graduate degree. Graduate students who have attempted 64 credit hours (includes transfer, research and thesis) will cease to be eligible for financial aid. Graduate students must successfully complete 50% of the cumulative hours attempted. NOTE: Courses with withdrawn status are counted in attempted hours. Therefore, if the student wishes to drop a course from his/her schedule, it is important to drop the class prior to the end of the Drop/Add period. Otherwise, the course will be included in the total attempted hours.

General SAP Policies and Procedures

Assessment: SAP assessment is performed annually at the end of spring term after grades have been posted. Re-assessment occurs at the end of each subsequent term when a student who is placed on suspension, files an appeal and is approved for a probation semester. Additionally, all students are reviewed at the end of each term for compliance with the 150% program length of study time frame for degree completion.

Withdrawal: Students will be evaluated based on the number of enrolled hours at the end of the Add/Drop period. Withdrawn courses are included in the attempted hour calculation. Students receiving the Pell Grant will have their Pell Grant award adjusted based on the number of hours registered on the Pell Recalculation Date. Pell awards will not be adjusted for changes in enrollment done after the Pell Recalculation Date is set and hours frozen.

SAP Suspension: Students who are not in compliance with the SAP policy at the annual review, which occurs after spring semester grades are available, will be placed on SAP suspension making them ineligible to receive financial aid. Students on SAP suspension may enroll at their own expense or file an appeal.

SAP Probation: Students who file successful appeals may be continued on financial aid for an additional semester after which they must be re-evaluated. E.G., a student files an appeal at the end of spring semester and it is approved and the student chooses to enroll in summer school, then the student would be re-evaluated for full SAP compliance at the end of summer. The student may need to file another appeal and be approved in order to receive any financial aid awarded for the fall semester.

Termination of Aid: Students who are dismissed from the College of Charleston for any reason are terminated from financial aid.

SAP Appeal Form: The SAP Appeal form is available via the financial aid download forms website at http://finaid.cofc.edu. Appeals for reinstatement of eligibility are the responsibility of the student. The appeal must be submitted within the published calendar of appeal time frame and include the semester for which reinstatement is requested. Appeals must specifically reflect the mitigating circumstances that were beyond the control of the student. The appeal must provide a specific resolution to circumstances and supporting documentation as indicated on the appeal form.

Students submitting an appeal remain ineligible to receive aid during the appeal process. Students whose appeals are approved may have their eligibility for aid reinstated. Financial aid may be awarded if the student meets routine eligibility criteria, subject to availability of funds.

Aid programs covered by SAP standards include the Federal: Pell, SEOG, and TEACH Grants, Federal Work-Study, loans such as Perkins, Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Direct, and PLUS

SAP Appeals Calendar

Summer: Students appealing eligibility for the summer semester may submit an appeal from the second Monday in May, until the first weekday in June.

Fall and Spring: Students appealing eligibility for the fall semester may submit an appeal from the second Monday in May until the last weekday in September. Students who are attempting to make up deficiencies from the previous academic year in the summer are strongly encouraged to appeal for the fall semester immediately after summer grades are available in MyCharleston.

Spring: Students appealing for the Spring semester only may submit an appeal from the first weekday in January until the last weekday in February.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Return of Title IV Funds policy applies when the student completely terminates enrollment (i.e., cancels his/her registration, withdraws, or is dismissed) or stops attending classes before completing more than 60 percent of the enrollment period. The enrollment period begins the first day of scheduled classes and ends with the last day of scheduled exams, exclusive of breaks that are five days or more. Additionally, if a federal aid recipient earns no passing grade in the term and did not officially withdraw, we must determine the last date of attendance and apply the Return of Title IV Funds policy; if we are unable to determine the last date of attendance, we must assume the last day of attendance was at the mid-point of the enrollment period and apply the Return of Title IV Funds policy. The Return of Title IV Funds policy only applies to federal student financial aid programs. The Office of the Treasurer will calculate the amount of a refund, if any, for tuition and fees for students who withdraw.

Students who have state financial aid and a remaining refund balance after the Return of Title IV funds is calculated will have the state aid removed from the refund.

Repayment Policy: The amount of Title IV aid that a student must repay is determined by the Federal Formula for Return of Title IV Funds as specified in Section 668 of the Higher Education Act. This law also specifies the return of the Title IV Funds to the program from which they were awarded in the following order: Unsubsidized /Direct Stafford Loan, Subsidized /Direct Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, Direct PLUS (Graduate Student), Direct PLUS (Parent), Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant(FSEOG), TEACH Grant. A repayment may be required when aid has been credited to a student’s account from financial aid funds in excess of the amount of aid the student earned during the term. The amount of Title IV aid earned is determined by multiplying the total Title IV aid (other than Federal Work Study) for which the student is qualified by the percentage of time during the term that the student was enrolled. If less aid was disbursed than was earned, the student may receive a late disbursement for the difference. If more aid was disbursed than was earned, the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned (i.e., that was unearned) is determined by subtracting the earned amount from the amount actually disbursed, and the student may be left with a balance due to the College.

College of Charleston will distribute the unearned aid back to the Title IV programs as specified by law. The student will be billed for the amount the student owes to the Title IV programs and any amount due to College of Charleston resulting from the return of Title IV funds used to cover charges.

U.S. Department of Education Consumer Service Office

For general information about planning and paying for college, repaying federal student loans, and resolving disputes, please go to: http://studentaid.gov. To access your individual federal student aid history, please go to: www.nslds.ed.gov.