Financial Aid Policies

Financial Aid Policies

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require all students receiving federal financial aid (Federal Title 4 aid including: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Stafford Subsidized, Unsubsidized or Plus Loans) must make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree or certificate. Students receiving an Alabama Student Assistance grant must also make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree or certificate.

After each review of satisfactory academic progress, students who do meet the progress requirements will be notified via their campus e-mail or by mail to their permanent address on file.  The notice will tell the student what type of satisfactory progress issue the student has: satisfactory academic suspension or satisfactory maximum time suspension. 

According to 34 CFR 668-16(e), there are two major components of satisfactory academic progress:  the qualitative component (cumulative GPA) and quantitative component (timeframe of completion).

Qualitative Requirement (Cumulative GPA) – Students must meet or exceed the following minimum cumulative GPA’s based upon total hours attempted:

Semester Credit Hours Attempted                            Cumulative GPA
12-21                                                                             1.50
22-32                                                                             1.75
33 or more                                                                     2.00

Quantitative Requirement (Timeframe for Completion) – Eligible students may receive federal financial aid for a period of time not to exceed 1.5 times the normal length of his/her program of study.  Students enrolled in the Certificate programs may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 credits and if enrolled in an Associate degree a student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 semester hours attempted. All credits transferred into a the college will be counted toward the maximum number of hours attempted. Each student on federal financial aid must earn two-thirds (67%) of all the hours he/she attempts in order to complete a program in the normal length of time allowed.   Students who have not passed the required number of hours will be suspended (financial aid suspension) from receiving federal financial aid.  Financial aid is reinstated when the student has achieved the minimum cumulative GPA required and earned the required minimum number of credit hours.

If a student repeats a course which was previously successfully completed, the hours obtained the second time the course is attempted do  count toward the minimum number of academic hours required for program completion.  Failing grades, withdrawals, incompletes and/or repeated classes may result in financial aid suspension because these classes are considered as attempted hours not successfully completed (these hours are included in the maximum number of hours attempted).

Developmental Courses – A student receiving federal financial aid may not enroll in the same developmental (remedial) course more than three times and continue to receive federal financial aid.  A federal financial aid recipient may not receive aid for more than 30 semester hours of developmental work.  Credit hours attempted for developmental courses are included when determining a student’s qualitative or quantitative progress for financial aid, including the maximum time frame requirement.

Academic Suspension – Is different than Financial Aid Suspension.  A student who is readmitted academically or who has appealed successfully their academic suspension, may not be able to receive financial aid and MUST contact the financial aid office.  Approval of the student’s appeal to the admissions committee for readmission does not reinstate the student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension – Academic progress will be assessed at the time a student applies for financial aid, and reviewed each academic year.  The student is placed on financial aid suspension when the Qualitative Requirement (Cumulative GPA) and/or the Quantitative Requirement (Timeframe for Completion) have not been met.  Financial Aid will be reinstated when the student attends college at his/her own expense and meets the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress or if the Financial Aid Appeal Committee reinstates eligibility.

Change in Program If a student changes programs, he or she will be allowed to continue to receive federal financial aid for 1.5 times the normal length of the second program.  Any student exceeding the normal maximum credits to receive a degree will need to appeal for maximum time.   A student may change programs of study more than once but will not be allowed to receive federal financial aid for more than 180 credit hours attempted.

Appeals Process If a student wishes to request consideration for re-instatement of federal financial aid due to either a maximum time situation or an  extraordinary circumstances (examples:  death of parent, spouse or family member, documented medical issues, documented injury (Note: work is not considered extraordinary)), the student must do the following:
  1. Complete a Financial Aid Appeal form and follow the form directions.
  2. A student must  have a written statement  regarding why the student failed to make SAP (extraordinary circumstance).
  3. A student must state what has changed to allow the student to make SAP progress and what the student is going to do to be successful.
  4. Students must provide a detailed academic plan signed by the student academic advisor, indicating courses needed to graduate in cases where financial aid suspension resulted from maximum time (credit consumption).  This degree plan must include graduation date (term).  If appeal is approved, the plan must be followed exactly or future aid will be removed.
  5. Provide third party unrelated professional documentation of reason for extraordinary circumstance.  This documentation must be date and time specific and address the reason as stated in the appeal.  For death of a family member, an original death certificate must be received, as well as other third party unrelated professional documentation that supports the reason as stated.

A student may submit an appeal for reinstatement of federal financial aid one time.  Any appeals that are not complete will be returned to the student unprocessed.  Once appeals are received by the Financial Aid Committee, written decisions will be sent to the student (either by email or US Postal Service) within two weeks. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee is final.

Send to – Send all appeal documents to :

Faulkner State Community College
ATTN: Financial Aid Office
1900 US Highway 31 South
Bay Minette, AL  36507

Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Students convicted of a federal or state offense of selling or possessing illegal drugs may not be eligible for federal student aid (grants, loans, and work-study).  Students who answer “Yes” to question 31 on the FAFSA will be sent a worksheet by the federal processing center to determine if the conviction affects eligibility for aid.  Also, if the Financial Aid Office is notified that a student has been convicted of possession or sale of illegal drugs during the academic year, all federal student aid will be suspended immediately.

Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for federal student aid funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

Possession of illegal drugs                                         Sale of illegal drugs
1st offense     1 year from date of conviction              2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense    2 years from date of conviction            Indefinite period
3+ offenses    Indefinite period

Students regain eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when they successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make them ineligible again.  Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed for the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility.

It is the student’s responsibility to certify to the Financial Aid Office the date of the conviction and if (s)he has completed a drug rehabilitation program.