Keeping Your Financial Aid
Once you have received financial aid, you must make progress toward completing your program to keep that aid. Federal regulations require that the Financial Aid Office continually monitor your eligibility for receiving aid. At the end of each academic term, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is assessed in primarily three areas:
- Grade point average
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 for attempted credit hours. Transition classes count when computing a GPA for financial aid purposes.
- Completion rate
Students must successfully complete at least 67% of the credit hours attempted. The number of earned credit hours is divided by the number of attempted hours to determine the rate.
- Time frame
Federal regulations require that a student complete a program of study within 150% of the number of credit hours required to graduate. For example, if a student’s program should be completed in 64 credit hours, he or she would be eligible to receive financial aid for up to 96 attempted credit hours (64 x 150%). For students switching to a different program, all preceding credit hours are considered in the total – changing majors does not wipe out their history.
Students who fall short of any of the SAP standards are placed on financial aid warning status for one semester. At the end of the warning semester, students who meet the three standards will be returned to satisfactory status. Any student who fails to meet the standards for a second semester will be suspended from receiving further financial aid. Students will be notified by email and through Self-Service of their status each semester.
Any student who has been suspended or terminated from financial aid may appeal the decision, explaining extenuating circumstances and providing supporting documentation. Before submitting the appeal, the student must complete an online Satisfactory Academic Progress workshop, which reviews the basics of SAP and how to complete an appeal form.
The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review each appeal and determine whether to accept or reject it.
Other financial aid eligibility issues
Federal regulations allow for only 30 credit hours of college transition coursework. Once a student reaches that limit, he or she would be responsible for paying for any remaining transition courses.
Dropping/withdrawing from classes
Eligibility for aid is based on the number of eligible credit hours enrolled in at the 10% point of the semester or term. If a student registers and then drops class(es) prior to that date, financial aid eligibility will be recalculated based on remaining eligible hours. Students who received financial aid based on more hours than those remaining as of the 10% point of the semester or term may be responsible for repaying a portion of any aid received.
Likewise, a complete withdrawal from Wake Tech may also mean a student will have to repay any financial aid received. Withdrawing from all classes before the 60% point of a semester would require the Financial Aid Office to recalculate aid eligibility because federal financial aid is earned on a prorated basis up to and including the 60% point. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the semester or term, he or she has earned all the financial aid awarded for that period. For state grants, financial aid is recalculated only through the 35% point of a semester or term.
A student's withdrawal date is either the last date of attendance as reported by an instructor or the date the student initiates the withdrawal process.
When a student withdraws from a class, those credit hours also are counted as hours attempted but not completed. Repeated withdrawals could jeopardize a student's completion rate and affect future financial aid eligibility.
A student who did not receive all the financial aid he or she earned before withdrawing may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. (Some federal aid funds cannot be disbursed to a student after withdrawal because of other eligibility requirements.) The student must give permission before Wake Tech can disburse any loan funds. The student can decline some or all the loan funds to avoid incurring additional debt.
Wake Tech will automatically use some or all the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees and other institutional charges, but the student's permission is needed to use post-withdrawal grant disbursement for any other school charges. Granting that permission helps reduce a student's debt at the school, but the funds will be disbursed to students who choose not to do so.
Contact the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from a class to determine how it will affect your aid.
According to federal regulations, students convicted for a drug offense that occurred while they were receiving federal financial aid may lose eligibility for federal aid. Convictions occurring during periods of non-enrollment do not count, nor does any conviction that was later set aside, reversed or removed from a student's record.
Return of unearned aid funds
Financial aid determined to be unearned because of a student's withdrawal will be returned to the appropriate federal or state agency from that student’s account.
Students – or their parents for a PLUS Loan – must repay unearned loans according to the terms of the promissory notes they signed. If unearned grant funds must be repaid, a student will be contacted by letter and given 45 days to pay it to Wake Tech. After that, the overpayment will be turned over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection. The maximum amount of unearned grant funds that must be returned is half of what the student received or was scheduled to receive. Any grant overpayment of $50 or less does not need to be repaid.
Unpaid balances due to Wake Tech that result from amounts returned to federal aid programs and other sources will be charged back to the student.