Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for most types of financial aid, the student must:
- Have completed or left high school
- Be at least sixteen (16) years of age
- Have earned a high school diploma or equivalent
- Pursue a degree/diploma/certificate in an eligible course of study
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- Demonstrate financial need
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Register with Selective Service if required (REGISTER ONLINE NOW)
- Not be in default of a student loan or owe a refund on previously received grant
- Agree to use any funds received for educationally related purposes only
Certify that they will not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of controlled substances.
Pell Recalculation Date (PRD) Procedure
Each semester, the Financial Aid Office will set a Pell Recalculation Date (PRD) in line with guidance from the Department of Education on federal financial aid disbursements. The PRD date is sometimes referred to as the census or freeze date. The PRD is a “snapshot” of a student’s enrollment status (credit hours) for the semester at that time.
Wiregrass Georgia’s PRD is the second day after the published date to add a class for the semester. The enrollment status (credit hours) of the student is locked on the Pell recalculation date.
A student must be registered for all courses (including transient classes at another college) by this date in order to have those credit hours considered for Pell Grant funding. Any new classes added after that date will not count towards the student's Pell Grant eligibility.
Exceptions to this policy include when a student adds a class for the first time that semester (i.e. adds a part of term class that starts later in the term as their first time enrolling for the term), when a student fails to begin attendance in a class, or when the college receives an initial FAFSA for the student. In these cases, Pell must be recalculated (updated for the new hours).
For example: Student begins summer semester on May 18 in 6 credit hours and in June decides to add a 3-credit hour class for the Express Term which begins on June 1. The student would not receive additional Pell funds for the Express Term credit hours because they were added after the PRD.
The PRD date only applies to Pell. If the student has state aid such as the HOPE Grant, that grant would be updated for the added class.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal and state regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue to receive aid. SAP measures whether students applying for financial aid are in good academic standing and making progress toward completion of their programs. Satisfactory progress is evaluated at the end of each semester for all students. Not making satisfactory progress can affect your ability to receive state and federal financial aid including the HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship, Pell Grant and other forms of aid.
- Qualitative Standard: GPA Requirement
The minimum GPA allowed is 2.0. Students falling below the minimum at the time of review will be placed on financial aid warning and will have one semester to remove themselves from that status by completing the required number of semester hours of coursework to achieve a cumulative 2.0 or higher GPA. Students who do not attain the 2.0 GPA at the end of the warning semester are on financial aid suspension and their financial aid award is terminated. Students on financial aid suspension must pay for and successfully complete the required number of semester hours to achieve a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 67% earned rate to have aid reinstated.
- Quantitative Standard: Completion Rate
Financial aid recipients must successfully earn at least 67% of the credit hours attempted to remain eligible for financial aid. Students falling below the 67% successful earned rate at the time of review are placed on financial aid warning. Students placed on financial aid warning must complete the warning semester with the required number of semester hours of coursework to achieve a minimum 2.0 GPA. Failure to do so will result in financial aid suspension. Students on suspension must pay for and successfully complete the required number of semester hours to achieve a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 67% earned rate to have aid reinstated.
- Maximum Time Frame
Students must complete their educational program within a maximum time frame of one and a half (150 percent) times the length of the program in which they are enrolled. This means that students will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid once they have attempted one and one-half times the number of credit hours required for graduation in the program in which enrolled.
Grades of “I”,”IP”, and “W” are not included in calculating a student’s GPA. With the exception of “IP” and “W” grades are counted as coursework attempted, and will be used to determine SAP status. Students who receive “I” grades will have their SAP re-evaluated when the final grade is posted by the Office of the Registrar. Grades received for Learning Support do not affect GPA, but the hours are calculated in the formula to determine the 67% completion rate.
- Termination of Financial Aid
Financial aid will be terminated when a student is determined by the Financial Aid Office to be ineligible, if the office has evidence that the student has falsified information on the application materials, or if federal or state funds are not provided to meet the award.
- Appeal Process/Reinstatement of Aid
Students have the right to appeal the denial of financial aid if they have extenuating circumstances which prevented them from making satisfactory progress. The appeal must be made in writing by contacting the Financial Aid Office. The student must complete the form and attach documentation to support the appeal. The completed form will be returned to the Financial Aid Office. Students who are approved for an appeal will be placed on financial aid probation for the semester the appeal was approved. In certain situations, an academic plan may be appropriate to outline the academic rigor the student will need in order to achieve the SAP policy. The Financial Aid Committee will review the appeal and if properly documented may approve the appeal for one semester. If not documented, the appeal will be denied and the student will not be awarded financial aid for the semester. Notification will be provided for all decisions.
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