Dec 05, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility



 

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) (Quantitative Measure)

All students at Ferrum College are expected to achieve satisfactory progress toward a baccalaureate degree. Exhibiting such progress is necessary to remain in good standing and to remain eligible to receive financial aid. For satisfactory progress to be demonstrated, a full-time student must meet the following minimum guidelines for advancement to the baccalaureate degree within a period of time, up to five years. For purposes of this policy, students will be considered full-time for the semester if their class load is at least twelve credit hours at the end of the drop period.

Total number of semesters completed 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Required cumulative GPA 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

Qualitative Measure

All students must complete 67% of all registered coursework by the end of the semester to remain in good academic standing. Withdrawn and transfer credits will count as attempted coursework. Part-time students who have not passed 50% of the hours attempted in any single semester will be placed on academic suspension.

Maximum Time-frame

In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress a student must complete a bachelor’s degree within a maximum 150% of full-time study or five years. The 150% requirement requires that a student may not earn more credit hours than 150% of what is required for the degree (i.e., Ferrum College’s degree program requires 121 credit hours so 150% of 121 equals 182 maximum credit hours.) Students entering their sixth year of full-time coursework are ineligible for financial aid. These time frames may be appealed. Please review the Appeals Process under Financial Aid Policies for additional information.  Students who change their major/degree or pursue a second degree may need to appeal the maximum time-frame if the additional coursework necessary to complete the student’s new program exceeds 150%.

Remedial Coursework

There are two pre college courses that cannot be credited towards graduation.  They are temeial courses offered as a means of academic recovery.  Students would still progress towards degree completion with simultaneous registration in remedial courses.  These courses would not prohibit students from maintaining maximum time-frame requirements.  Remedial coursework is not counted in the calculation of pace (quantitative measure).  Students receive one credit hour for each remedial course completed with a passing grade. 

Transfer and Readmitted Students

The status of transfer students will be determined based on the number of transferable hours they bring to Ferrum College upon entry. For example, a student who enters the College with 30-41 transferable hours will be considered to have completed three semesters; consequently, his or her first Ferrum College semester will be considered the fourth, and he or she must meet the appropriate Grade Point Average (in chart below) based only on coursework at the College.  Ferrum College only accepts transfer credits for courses that the student has earned a grade of “C” or better.  These credits are considered both attempted and completed hours on the student transcript.

Readmitted students who have taken courses at other institutions after leaving Ferrum College will not be considered transfer students for the purpose of determining satisfactory academic progress. These students will be evaluated individually by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the Dean of Admissions to determine their readmission status (good standing, academic warning, or academic probation). Transfer grades, with scores of “C” or higher and hours completed will be taken into consideration as will the students’ prior Ferrum College academic records in making this determination.

Total Transferable Credits (excluding Dual Enrollment 9-18 19-29 30-41 42-54 55-67 68-90 81-93
Semester equivalency: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Required GPA upon completion of semester 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

Incompletes

All incomplete work must be completed within seven weeks after the end of the semester in which the “I” is given or within three and a half weeks for a bi-term course.  In special cases, such as lengthy illness, the studnet, with the consent of the instructor, may petition the Provost before the end of the seven weeks to extend the period of completion.  

Upon completion of the coursework, the “I” will be replaced with a final grade.  If the course is not completed by the end of the seven weeks the “I” will be converted to an “F” grade.  Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed after the additional timeframe.  The student will be notified of their academic and financial aid progress by letter from the Provost’s Office and Financial Aid. 

Academic Standing

Students meeting the above standards will be considered in good standing. Academic penalties for not meeting these standards are Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Academic Suspension. If a full-time student fails to pass six credit hours in any one semester they are automatically placed on Academic Suspension. Students with excessive absences or that refuse to complete assigned coursework may be subject to suspension at anytime. Students listed on academic probation status will (see Financial Aid Policy) need to submit a letter of appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for review of financial aid eligibility.

Official student records are maintained in the Office of the Registrar. Students should email this office for any question regarding academic status at registrar@ferrum.edu.

Notification of Academic Standing 

Ferrum College is a credit hour institution and operates on a 14-week semester, which is subdivided into two, seven week bi-terms. Satisfactory Academic Progress is calculated at the end of the 14-week semester. The Office of the Registrar verifies academic progress and notifies the Academic Provost, Academic Deans, Academic Counselors in the Carter Center and the Financial Aid Office of students who are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Standards. The Academic Provost’s Office informs students of their status by letter and connects them to resources on campus, such as an Academic Counselor or Academic Advisor who assist the student in finding online, winter term, summer or other courses to reestablish eligibility and regain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The Financial Aid Office staff notifies students by letter and email of the impact to their Financial Aid and the ability to appeal their financial aid status based on extenuating circumstances (see Appeals below).

Academic Warning

At the end of any semester, if a student in good academic standing fails to meet the published standards (See chart above) and has passed at least six hours, he or she will be placed on academic warning.

A student on academic warning must attend a required College Skills course (CSK 092 - College Skills , see above statement regarding remedial coursework) and use the Carter Center for Academic Success and other appropriate campus resources. Students not adhering to the criteria of academic warning may be subject to suspension at anytime. Placement of academic warning will also impact a student’s financial aid eligibility (see Financial Aid Policies).

A student can remain on academic warning for only one semester. At the end of that semester, if he or she has complied with the program of study for students on academic warning and has met the published standards (see SAP Chart), he or she will return to good standing. If not, he or she will either be placed on academic probation or academic suspension.

Academic Probation

Some students on academic warning are unable to return to good standing in the next semester but have passed at least six credit hours. These students will be placed on academic probation.   

A student on academic probation must attend a required College Skills course (CSK 096 - College Skills ) and use the Carter Center for Academic Success and other appropriate campus resources. Students on academic probation will analyze behaviors, academic strategies and academic issues while planning their return to good standing.

Placement on academic probation will impact a student’s financial aid eligibility (see Financial Aid Policies). A student can remain on academic probation for only one semester. At the end of a semester of academic probation, if the student meets the published standards (see SAP Chart), the student returns to good standing. If the student does not meet the published standards following a semester of academic probation, the student will be placed on academic suspension. Students not adhering to the criteria of academic probation may be subject to suspension at anytime.

Eligibility for participation in co-curricular activities is determined annually, at the beginning of each fall semester. Students on academic probation are ineligible to participate in the following co-curricular activities:

  • Intercollegiate and club sports
  • Touring performance groups
  • Student Government Association (officers)
  • Clubs/Organizations (officers)
  • Art shows and major theatre productions unless required for satisfaction of course requirement
  • Student media organizations (editors and managers) unless required for satisfaction of course requirement
  • Study Abroad

Students on academic probation during the fall semester may participate in these activities during the spring semester provided they have returned to good academic standing. In addition, individual teams, clubs, and organizations may enforce stricter eligibility standards than these minimum standards.

Academic Suspension

Some students on academic probation are unable to return to good standing in the next semester but have passed at least six credit hours. These students will be placed on academic suspension.   

  • A student on academic suspension may not be enrolled during the next regular semester at Ferrum College.
  • Students seeking readmission following academic suspension should show evidence of being able to do successful coursework at Ferrum College. This is normally accomplished during the summer at Ferrum College or by successful coursework earned at another accredited institution.
  • A student suspended at the end of the spring semester may seek readmission on the basis of work completed during the summer.
  • Student must seek approval from the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling in a course at another institution by using the Request to take Courses Elsewhere form.
  • An official transcript must be sent to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students must earn a “C” or higher in order for courses to transfer back to Ferrum College.

Academic appeals of suspension must be made in writing to the Academic Appeals and Readmission Committee following directions provided in the student’s letter of suspension. No student may return to the College either part-time or full-time without following the appeals procedure outlined in his or her suspension letter. Students who submit an appeal should also submit an appeal for review of Financial Aid eligibility to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee (See Appeals Process under Financial Aid Policies). Readmission to the College does not guarantee approval of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Policies

Repeating Courses

For the purpose of improving their overall academic average, students are permitted and encouraged to repeat courses in which they have grades of “D” or “F”. Only the higher grade obtained in a repeated course is included in a student’s grade point average. For transfer purposes, note that other institutions may consider total hours attempted in calculating the GPA. A “Penalty F” (Grading System) may be repeated, but the “F” is still computed in the grade point average. (Quality Points are not factored into transfer work.) Federal Financial Aid may be affected by repetition of courses (see Using Federal Financial Aid for Repeating Courses).

Federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from awarding aid to any student who is not making satisfactory academic progress. The satisfactory academic progress policy applies to all sources of Title IV financial aid programs (including Stafford and PLUS loans) with the exception of the Virginia TAG grant and selected Ferrum College entitlement grants which do not have an academic requirement for renewal. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester.

Federal guidelines limit the use of federal financial aid when repeating courses. The first time that a student repeats a passed course with a grade of “D” or higher to improve Grade Point Average (GPA), it is permissible to use federal financial aid. However, if the same course is repeated a second time, the course will not be counted in the student’s total credit hours for the semester, possibly making the student part-time and therefore losing full-time federal financial aid. Students may retake failed courses with no reduction in federal financial aid.

Policy

Student folders are reviewed after each 14-week semester when final grades and academic standing lists become available from the Office of the Registrar. If the student is on academic probation, or suspension, he/she is determined to be ineligible to receive financial aid for the subsequent semester. A notification letter is sent to the student by the Office of Financial Aid regarding his/her financial aid status and right to appeal Students are encouraged to communicate with their Academic Advisor or Academic Counselor to assist the student in finding online, winter term, summer or other courses to reestablish eligibility and regain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Approved appeals are also an avenue to reestablish eligibility for a determined period of time.

If the student later notifies us that he/she has been able to make up the deficiency during the summer for the next fall semester, the reviewer will obtain updated academic progress confirmation from the Office of the Registrar and mark the folder accordingly. The student will then be reviewed for financial aid for the next semester.

Ferrum College operates on a two-semester model, each semester consists of 14-weeks and includes two seven week bi-terms. Ferrum College adheres to Title IV requirements. Payment periods are determined on a per year basis, unless the student has notified the Office of Financial Aid that his/her enrollment plans will be on a per semester basis.

Financial Aid Policies apply to all students regardless of enrollment status.

Financial Aid Appeals Process

All students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and have lost their financial aid eligibility have the right to appeal their financial aid status based on extraordinary or extenuating circumstances.

Students may also appeal the 150% maximum credit hour requirement, if they have accumulated 182+ credit hours.

Students also entering their sixth year of coursework will be required to appeal for financial aid, based on length of time of their program.

To appeal the student must submit a letter of appeal online at https://ferrumcollege.wufoo.com/forms/zqwfhi50jobnxh/ or by email at finaid@ferrum.edu, detailing why additional time is necessary to complete the degree and when the student expects to complete his/her program of study.

Appeals MUST contain: Why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, and what the student will do, or what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow him/her to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation. Appeals MUST be detailed regarding the circumstances that affected the student’s ability to maintain academic progress. Mitigating circumstances may include: injury or illness of the student, death of family member, extenuating medical or legal issues, and other extenuating circumstances that prohibited the student from maintaining academic progress.

Students will be notified by e-mail when a determination has been made by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

For students who are approved on Financial Aid Probation, the student must meet regularly with an Academic Counselor in the Carter Center and use all resources on campus to return to good academic standing. Those with a signed Academic Plan must also meet with their professors etc. as needed to ensure that they will be able to meet the Plan.

For students whose academic appeal are not approved or need to reestablish eligibility, it is recommended that they enroll in Ferrum Online classes to improve their grades, and then reapply to Ferrum College. The Financial Aid Office recommends that the student work closely with their Academic Advisor or a Carter Center for Academic Success Counselor to review what courses would be necessary to assist them in meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

Students are not guaranteed eligibility for financial aid through the appeals process.

Definitions

Financial Aid Warning: Financial Aid Warning occurs when a student does not make Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as listed above for the first time after a semester of good academic standing. Students who are placed on financial aid warning will retain their eligibility for financial aid for the next semester.

Financial Aid Probation: At the end of any semester during which the student has been on Financial Aid Warning, if the student does not return to good academic standing, they are considered ineligible for Financial Aid. Students may appeal their financial aid status (see Appeals Process). If the appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester and students may be required to complete an Academic Plan with the student’s academic advisor (see Academic Plan section below). Students are automatically placed in a College Skills course with their Academic Counselor and are required to maintain consistent communication with their counselor. It is their responsibility to use all resources available on campus in order to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Financial Aid Academic Plan

Students who have failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and who will require more than one semester to return to good standing may be eligible to regain eligibility for financial aid by completing an academic plan. The student must first appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee as detailed above. If the appeal is approved, the student will work closely with his/her advisor to develop an academic plan that will have the student back in good academic standing within a specific time-frame as designated in the approved academic plan.