Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Eastern Arizona College (EAC) Office of Financial Aid is required by federal regulations to monitor academic progress toward a degree or certificate for all degree seeking financial aid applicants. As a result, the Office of Financial Aid reviews grades and attempted coursework of all applicants, whether or not aid was received, prior to the awarding of financial aid and following each period of enrollment. All students receiving financial aid are required to meet the standards listed below. Credit hours earned prior to receiving financial aid are subject to these standards. Students who do not meet these standards will be placed on financial aid warning, probation or suspension as stated below.

Standards

  • Satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate includes maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (C), or its equivalent. The student must continue to earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 throughout the course of attendance. Grade point values are: A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, F = 0. Passing (P) grades do not count toward GPA but do count as completed course work.

  • Satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate also includes the total number of credit hours attempted each semester. Federal regulations require students to complete their program of study in a 150% time frame. The pace of progress, as established in this policy, requires students to complete a minimum of 67% of attempted credit hours. The completion rate is calculated by earned hours divided by attempted hour's equal's completion rate. Transferred credit hours, as determined by the Registrar, will be added to the total hours attempted and earned when calculating the completion rate and 150% time frame.

  • Students seeking additional degrees from EAC are limited as follows. After earning a first Associates Degree of any type, a student may earn an additional 30 credit hours toward a second Associates Degree but may not exceed 96 total credit hours. Students are limited to three certificates. Hours attempted while obtaining any degree count toward the aggregate of 96 credit hours. Students seeking a third Associates Degree or fourth Certificate are suspended from receiving Title IV financial aid even if they have fewer than 96 total credit hours.

  • All repeated course work will be calculated as attempted hours. In accordance to federal regulations students can repeat a failed course until it is passed. A student can repeat a passed course once to improve the grade.

  • The college does not consider Withdrawals (W), Fail (F), Incomplete (I), as successfully completed course work when determining the minimum hours completed. Courses dropped without record before expiration of the add/drop period are not counted against maximum time frame.

  • There is no academic amnesty for financial aid recipients per federal regulations. Academic amnesty is when a student has successfully petitioned for withdrawal without record to have a Withdrawn or Failing grade removed from the transcript. Financial aid will still count removed course(s) as attempted credit hours.

  • Students taking remedial course work will be given an additional 28 credit hours to complete degree requirements. The student must be accepted as a regular student in a degree program and need the remedial course work to successfully complete required degree courses.

Warning Status

Students who do not comply with either the grade point average or minimum credit hour completion ratio will receive a single semester of Warning Status. During this warning period the student must improve his/her GPA to a cumulative 2.0 and/or complete and make up deficient credit hours reaching a 67% completion rate. If a student earns a cumulative GPA that is below 1.0 no warning period will be given. If a student earns 2 or less credit in a semester no warning period will be given unless earned hours divided by attempted hours is equal to or greater than 67 percent.

 

Suspension Status

Students who do not achieve a GPA of 2.0 or make up deficient credit hours during a period of warning will be placed on financial aid suspension status. Students who earn a semester GPA of less than 1.0 will be placed on suspension status unless their cumulative grade point average remains a 2.0 or higher. Students who earn 2 or less credit during a single semester will be placed on suspension status unless their earned hours divided by attempted hours is equal to or greater than 67 percent.

 

Maximum Credit Hours Suspension

The maximum number of credit hours a student may attempt and still be eligible for financial aid is 150% of the credits required to complete a declared degree, generally 96 credit hours for an associate's degree. This includes credits accepted as transfer to EAC. In keeping with institutional policy, the transferred GPA will not be included in the college's calculation of the institutional GPA. A student may be suspended prior to exceeding the 150% time frame if this time frame will be exceeded during the next period of enrollment.

Students completing additional hours beyond the 150 percent allowed by regulation are required to complete the Maximum Credit Appeal (MCA) form.

 

Financial Aid Appeal Procedure for Suspension based on Non-satisfactory Academic Progress

A student whose financial aid eligibility has been suspended must meet the following conditions in order to regain financial aid eligibility:

  • Complete the necessary credit hours on personal resources to improve cumulative GPA to a 2.0.

  • Complete the necessary credit hours on personal resources to achieve a 67% completion ratio.

If a student feels there were circumstances beyond his control that affected academic performance he may submit a single appeal for one probationary period.

Suspended students will receive a suspension notice from the Financial Aid Office with information on the probationary appeals process. The appeal form is on line at:  http://www.eac.edu/Student_Services/Financial_Aid/forms/14-15-SuspensionAppeal.pdf

Circumstances under which a student is permitted to appeal are:

  • Death of a family member

  • Injury or illness of the student

  • Change in employment or work schedule

  • Other special circumstances.

Required documentation:

  • Newspaper obituaries or death certificates to substantiate death.

  • Physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or accident.

  • Written statement from clergy, family member, or other third party who knows your situation.

  • Written statement from academic advisor or instructor.

  • Documentation of change in work schedule that caused inability to attend courses.

  • Lack of documentation will always result in the denial of the appeal.

Appeal submission and possible outcomes:

  • A completed Non-Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form is submitted to the EAC Financial Aid Office with accompanying documentation within the specified appeals time frame as indicated in the suspension letter.

  • A probation period may be granted for one semester if the student can achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and/or a completion ratio of 67% within one semester. The student will be notified by email or letter of this determination.

  • A probation period may be granted based on an academic plan if it is not possible for the student to achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and/or 67% completion ratio in one semester. This plan, if followed, will achieve the required cumulative grade point and completion rate when concluded.

  • Failure to adhere to the conditions of the probationary period will result in financial aid termination without the possibility of further appeal. To again become eligible a student must attend on personal resources to improve cumulative GPA and/or achieve a 67% completion ratio.

  • If a probationary period is denied an appeal to an appeals committee is permitted if the student provides documentation that was not part of the original appeal. This must be received within seven days of the appeal denial. The financial aid office must deem the additional information substantive enough to make a difference to the original outcome. The committee will review the original appeal, the additional documentation, and render a decision within 7 working days. The committee's decision will be provided to the student by letter; it is final and cannot be challenged.

  • There are instances when it is not mathematically possible for a student to achieve good standing within 150% time frame. Under this circumstance the appeal will be denied. The exception might be when the time frame only needs to be extended by a single semester for the student to reach a 2.0 cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate, and then the appeal may be approved.

 

Financial Aid Appeal Procedure for a Maximum Credit Appeal

Suspension resulting from exceeding the maximum time frame of a150% to complete degree requirements may be appealed to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Appeal submission and possible outcomes:

  • The student will obtain the required appeal document here. The appeal must be submitted within the specified time frame as indicated in the suspension letter.

  • The student will complete part one on the appeal and then schedule an appointment to meet with an academic advisor/counselor. This meeting is to determine what course work is required to complete degree requirements and when the courses will be taken. The advisor/counselor will complete part two and sign the appeal. The student will agree to the terms of the appeal by reading and signing part three.

  • The academic advisor/counselor will submit the completed appeal form to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

  • The Office of Student Financial Aid will evaluate the appeal and determine if the student’s time frame to complete the stated degree is appropriate within federal guidelines. If approved, the appeal and courses outlined will be the contract under which the time frame is extended. The student must abide by this contract. Failure to do so will result in suspension without the opportunity to further appeals. Time frame appeals will be completed for one academic year at a time. No additional course work is permitted beyond what is listed on this contract, even if financial aid does not pay for the additional courses. Revisions to the contract must be approved by the academic advisor/counselor prior to enrolling for non-approved courses.

  • If the appeal for extended time frame is denied a denial notice will be sent to the student by email or letter. The student may appeal this denial within seven days of the date the denial was sent. The appeal must be in writing explaining why the student feels the denial should be reviewed by the financial aid committee. The financial aid committee will review the student’s appeal and letter. The decision of the committee will be communicated in writing to the student within seven working days. The committee’s decision is final and cannot be challenged.