Maintaining Your Financial Aid

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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress toward earning a degree in order to remain eligible for assistance. Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards apply to students receiving financial assistance from all federal, state, and institutional aid programs. Students must meet the requirements for both qualitative and quantitative components as outlined below.

Qualitative requirements

  • Students with less than 57 credit hours must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 1.75.
  • Students with 57 or more credit hours must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.

Quantitative requirements

  • Students must complete 67% of the credit hours attempted. For example, if after the second semester the student has attempted 32 credit hours, she must have completed 21 hours (32 x 67%).
  • Students must complete a program within an established time frame. Financial aid will be awarded according to the number of the required credit hours for the program multiplied by 150%. Students will lose eligibility for financial aid for all future semesters after the semester in which the maximum hours allowed are exceeded. For example, the Associate in Arts degree requires 62 credit hours. A student could receive aid for up to 93 (62 x 150%) credit hours. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires 120 credit hours. A student could receive aid for up to 180 (120 x 150%) credit hours.

Refund Policy and Return of Title IV Aid

Title IV funds are awarded to students under the assumption that students will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When students withdraw prior to completing 60% of the semester, students may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that were originally awarded. Title IV assistance at Cottey includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), and Federal Direct PLUS Loans.

The amount of Title IV aid earned by students must be determined as of the date of withdrawal. If the amount disbursed to students is greater than the amount earned, unearned funds must be returned to the funding agency. The percent earned equals the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the semester.

The school has 30 days from the date the institution determines that students withdrew to return all unearned funds. The order of the return of Title IV funds by the school is as follows:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  6. Other Federal Loan or Grant Aid

When financial aid is returned, students may owe a balance to the College.

Tips and Other Guidelines

  • Keep a file with all of your financial aid documents and information.
  • The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), includes many disclosure and reporting requirements. A disclosure requirement is information that a postsecondary education institution is required to distribute or make available to another party, such as students or employees. Please review the consumer information page on our website here.
  • A financial aid award may be reduced or canceled. Some common reasons for an adjustment include changes in enrollment, housing arrangements, levels of federal and/or state funding, or due to the receipt of aid from other sources.
  • If students withdraw from school prior to completing 60% of the semester, all or a portion of your financial aid to Cottey College or the U.S. Department of Education may have to be repaid.