Starting with the Fall 2011 semester, a change to the law surrounding satisfactory academic progress will go into effect for students at Southwestern College and across the nation.
"It is important that students on financial aid understand this change," said Brenda Hicks, Director of Financial Aid, "because it applies to everyone receiving even $1 from the federal government for school."
Satisfactory academic progress refers to a process that is required by the United States Government for all students receiving federal financial aid. The process exists to ensure that students who are receiving the tax supported dollars are progressing steadily toward the successful completion of their college degree.
At the close of the fall semester, students on financial aid at Southwestern College will be evaluated against the following four standards: 1) cumulative grade point average (GPA), 2) successful completion of at least 70% of their coursework in the semester under evaluation, 3) successful completion of at least 70% of their overall coursework (new), and 4) overall maximum time to degree. Failure to meet the first three standards two semesters in a row results in suspension of the student's financial aid privileges. Failure to meet the fourth standard results in an automatic suspension.
"The changes to the law are designed to standardize the process across the United States," said Hicks. "This way a student failing to meet a standard in Kansas will experience a similar process to a student failing to meet a standard in California or New York."
Among other things, Congress has defined standardized terminology for colleges to use, added a fourth progress measurement called "pace", and added a required academic plan for students who have successfully appealed their suspension.
Details about the complete policy can be found on the Southwestern College website by downloading the Maintaining Eligibility .pdf located on the policy webpage: http://www.sckans.edu/student-services/the-award-letter/policies/.
Questions about the changes can be directed to Brenda Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.