The Higher Education Act requires that a student be maintaining satisfactory academic progress in the course of study he/she is pursuing in order to receive financial aid under the student financial assistance programs authorized by Title IV of the Act. These programs include the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, the Federal Work-Study Program, and loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Pennsylvania Highlands Financial Aid Office measures academic progress both quantitatively and qualitatively. The Financial Aid Academic Progress Policy includes maintaining a certain grade point average (GPA) in accordance with the College's academic standing policy, successfully completing at least two thirds (67%) of all attempted credits, and program completion within a 150% timeframe.
In compliance with current federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office:
- Checks student academic progress at the end of the fall and spring semesters.
- Includes all withdrawals and incompletes as noncompleted course work, which will affect financial aid academic progress. (Courses with an "I" (incomplete), "W" (withdrawal) or an "F" grade will be considered as courses attempted but not successfully completed.)
- Sends financial aid "warning" status correspondence to students in danger of losing financial aid due to academic standing.
- Sends financial aid "suspension" status correspondence to students who fail to make financial aid academic progress.
Conditions for receiving financial aid:
- Students must demonstrate that they are qualified to enroll in postsecondary education by having a high school diploma or general Educational Development (GED) certificate, or by passing an approved Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) test.
- Students must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a matriculated student working toward a degree, certificate or diploma.
- Students must meet satisfactory academic progress standards in accordance with the College's academic standing policy and the Financial Aid Academic Progress Policy.
- Students must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid social security number.
- Students sign a statement on the FAFSA or FAFSA Renewal that certifies that they will use federal student aid for educational purposes only.
- Male students - ages 18 through 25 - must comply with Selective Service Registration.
- Students cannot be in default on a federally funded loan or owe a refund on a federal student grant.
- Students officially withdrawing from the institution should contact the
- Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing to determine the impact on
- their financial aid.
- Students making satisfactory progress can apply for financial aid
- for up to 150% of the total credits for his/her program.
- Students who change majors will be allotted the amount of time needed to complete the new program without regard to time spent in previous course work provided the student was making financial aid academic progress at the time of change.
- Students may receive financial aid for repeated courses only if the original grade in the course was below a "C."
- Students may not receive financial aid for audited courses.
- Students must be enrolled for at least six credit hours for most financial aid programs. Only certain Federal PELL grant recipients are able to receive financial aid at a less than half-time status.
- Students applying for a Federal Stafford Loan must complete Loan Entrance Counseling regarding the rights and responsibilities of the student borrower and a Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
- Students with unusual circumstances, which may have affected financial aid academic progress, may file an appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.