III:07:03 Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress


To meet federal requirements to define the institutions standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving Title IV financial aid.


Any student who receives Title IV aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined below:


Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Volunteer State Community College has the following standards of "Satisfactory Academic Progress" applicable to all Title IV funds. These funds include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study Program, and Federal Direct Student Loans. The following institutionally awarded state funds are subject to the same "Satisfactory Academic Progress" standards, Tennessee Student Assistance Award, Tennessee Educational Lottery Scholarships, and Access and Diversity Grants. The purpose of this policy is to maintain a consistency for all students receiving these sources of aid.

Federal and state regulations require that students maintain adequate academic progress toward receiving a degree or certificate in order to continue eligibility for Title IV financial aid programs. The following standards are for Title IV financial aid purposes only and neither replaces or overrides VSCC Academic Status and Retention Standards as published in the VSCC catalog. Please see exception explanation under Financial Aid Warning and Probation.*

Criteria Requirements

  1. Qualitative: Cumulative Grade Point Average Requirement
    Students must maintain a minimum grade point average based on the number of credit hours attempted at VSCC (including remedial, developmental and learning support classes). Transfer credits and the grades received in those courses are not considered in this GPA calculation. The following chart outlines the cumulative GPA a degree or certificate seeking student who is receiving Title IV funding must maintain according to the number of institution combined GPA hours attempted:
    Overall Combined GPA Hours Attempted 0-14 14.1 26.1 40.1 48.1 56.1
    Cumulative GPA - 1.0 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.0
  2. Quantitative Pace - Measurable Progress Requirement
    Students must complete, with a passing grade, 66.7% of all classes attempted at VSCC. Grades of W, I, K, YC, or F are considered in this calculation and will negatively impact the student where measurable progress is concerned.

  3. Maximum Time Frame (MTF)
    Students must complete their program of study within 150% of the published length of the program. For associates degree programs, students are allowed to receive Title IV financial aid up to the first 90 hours attempted. Students enrolled in Title IV eligible certificate programs may receive aid through completion of 150% of the individual program length. Transfer credit and repeated coursework will negatively impact the student. All VSCC coursework is included in this measurement even if it does not apply to the student's current program.

    Students are limited to 30 attempted hours of remedial, developmental, and learning support coursework.

Financial Aid Warning and Probation

The Financial Aid Office will evaluate each of these measurements at the end of each academic term. Students, who do not meet the standards of the GPA or Pace will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.

Students in this status may continue to receive Title IV financial aid for one additional semester. At the end of that semester if they have not met the GPA and/or Pace requirement, they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation (suspension). Students on Financial Aid Probation will be ineligible to receive any Title IV financial aid (including loans) and must take classes at their own expense until GPA and/or Pace meet the standards outlined in this policy.

*EXCEPTION: Students who earn zero credit hours with a zero grade point average will be removed from Title IV Financial Aid without a Financial Aid Warning Period.

Students who do not meet the Maximum Time Frame (MTF) measurement are not eligible for a Financial Aid Warning Period and immediately become ineligible for Title IV financial aid.

Appeal Process

Students can file a Financial Aid Appeal to regain eligibility if there were extenuating circumstances that impeded the student's academic progress, which subsequently placed the student on Financial Aid Warning or Probation status and prevented the student from receiving Title IV financial aid. This appeal process is outlined in the VSCC Student Handbook.

VSCC Source: Former III: 07:01, July 5, 1989, April 30, 1990, September 27, 1990, April 8, 1999, President; November 26, 2007, President; November 7, 2011, President's Cabinet