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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Published or Revised January 28, 2021

Effective August 2012

According to U.S. Department of Education Financial aid guidelines, Paris Junior College requires students who receive financial and state aid to maintain the following standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). These measurements shall be used to determine your eligibility for all federal Title IV aid and for other need-based financial assistance, unless the terms of a particular grant or funding source states otherwise. Students must meet all three measurements below to maintain their eligibility for financial aid.

1. Qualitative Progress Measurement: Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average

To continue receiving financial aid payments, you are expected to successfully complete all your classes with good grades. You must have at least a 2.00 cumulative overall GPA (including developmental courses) at the end of the spring semester each year, or you will be suspended from receiving your financial aid unless you file a successful appeal. Students will receive a warning letter at the end of the Fall semester and must see an academic advisor to establish an academic plan and monitoring system. See the section on Financial Aid probation below for more information on how Financial Aid suspension may affect your ability to receive aid. If you are awarded Summer aid your GPA will be checked again at the end of the summer. You must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA at the end of the summer or your financial aid will be suspended (see suspension guidelines below).

2. Quantitative Progress Measurement: Number of Credit Hours Required to Complete

When you enroll in classes and receive financial aid, you are expected to complete those classes. If you do not complete at least 67 percent of the credit hours that you started during the year (Fall and Spring), you will be suspended from financial aid. Only passing grades ( D or above) count as successful completions. Incomplete or other grades that do not result in earned credits will not count as completions. Students will receive a warning letter at the end of the Fall semester and must see an academic advisor to establish an academic plan and monitoring system. Summer aid each year will be awarded and at the end of Summer your hours attempted and completed will be checked again. You must have successfully completed at least 67% of all classes attempted during that year or your financial aid will be suspended (see suspension guidelines below). Except for a program that takes less than one year to complete, SAP will be calculated at the midpoint of the program.

How do I calculate 67 percent?

  • Add all the hours you attempted during the year (Fall, Spring) Classes dropped are counted
  • Multiply by 0.67.
  • Round any decimal up to the next whole number and that is the number of hours you must successfully complete with a grade of an A, B, C, or D.
Attempted Hours                         Must Complete With A, B, C Or D
1 through 4All
6 and 75
9 and 107
12 and 139
15 and 1611
18 and 1913
21 and 2215
24 and 2517
27 and 2819
30 and 3121
33 and 3423
36 and 3725
39 and 4027

3. Quantitative Progress Measurement: Maximum Time to Complete a Degree/Program

When you receive financial aid to help pay for a program of study, you are expected to complete that program without wasting a lot of money and time. You must select a program of study before you can receive financial aid. To make sure that you complete your program in a reasonable amount of time, a limit has been placed on the number of hours that you can attempt in order to complete your program. That limit is 150 % of the minimum number of hours required to complete your program. Paris Junior College will allow funding for 150 percent of 60 hours or 90 hours with an exception made for the registered nursing program after a student is accepted to the program and that maximum will be 168 hours. Once you reach the 150 percent limit, you will no longer be eligible to receive additional federal financial aid. The lifetime maximum Pell grant can only be received for 12 full time semesters combining all schools attended.

There are a lot of variables that go into calculating that limit, including, but not limited to: 

  • All attempted credit hours are counted regardless of whether or not you received aid to pay for them.
  • Any transfer hours that are accepted from other colleges toward completion of your program are counted. If you are a transfer student, you must submit transcripts from all previous colleges before the end of your first semester or second semester aid will be canceled.
  • If you repeat a course, both attempts are counted.
  • If you withdraw from a course, it is still counted as an attempt.

Note: If you cannot complete your program within the 150 percent limit, you will be placed on financial aid suspension when that determination is made.

Financial Aid Suspension

If you fail to meet any one of the SAP measurements described above, you will be placed on financial aid suspension for at least one award year, unless you file a successful appeal. (Once you exceed the 150 percent limit, you cannot regain satisfactory progress. However, in extreme circumstances you may appeal to extend your eligibility to complete a program.) During the period of suspension, you will not be eligible to receive financial aid.

To regain financial aid eligibility, you must pay the expenses related to at least half-time enrollment (six hours) at Paris Junior College and satisfy all SAP requirements.

Unusual Circumstances and Appeals

If unusual circumstances contribute to students' lack of academic progress, those students may regain Title IV eligibility through direct appeals to the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid administrators review appeals and make exceptions to SAP policies on a case-by-case basis using professional judgment. Federal regulations offer sample situations of unusual circumstances. According to federal guidelines, unusual circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Personal crisis
  • Death in the family
  • Other unusual circumstances that reasonably could contribute to a lack of academic progress

If you are placed on financial aid suspension, you may petition the Financial Aid Office to consider mitigating (special) circumstances that resulted in your inability to meet the SAP requirements. The Appeal Form must be completed and must include supporting documentation ( if applicable) regarding the circumstances (i.e., medical statements, divorce documents, letters of unemployment, etc.).

You will be notified by the Financial Aid Office within five days after a decision has been made regarding the appeal. If the appeal is approved you will be put on financial aid probation for a period of no less than one semester. You will be required to meet with an academic advisor evaluate your educational goals and program of study. You must abide by all probationary requirements as designed by the advisor and the Financial Aid Office.

If the Financial Aid Office denies the petition, you may follow the same written procedure to appeal to the college Financial Aid Committee for review.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who are awarded aid on financial aid probation will be required to meet with an academic advisor every two weeks and report grades and absences to their advisor. Progress will be monitored throughout the semester. Students will be required to attend regular tutoring. Financial aid disbursements may be held until the student complies with probation terms agreed upon by the student and the academic advisor. When a student successfully raises their Cumulative Overall GPA to a 2.0 and completes enough hours to meet the 67% of attempted hours, they will be released from probation.

WARNING: Repayment of Federal Funds

If you receive federal financial aid and withdraw from all courses at or before the time when 60 percent of the term is completed, you will be required to repay a portion of the federal aid received.

If you receive a grade of F in all courses for a semester, you will be required to repay a portion of financial aid received unless an instructor documents that you participated in at least one class through the 60 percent point of the term.

Financial aid will not pay for: 

  • Any credit hours in excess of the 150 percent maximum program limit (see discussion of Quantitative Measurement No. 2 above)
  • Credit hours earned by placement tests
  • Courses you register for after the official certification date of the semester
  • Courses taken by transfer (transient) students attending for summer only

Federal Direct Student Loan Restrictions

In accordance with federal regulations, a school must verify that a loan recipient is meeting SAP each time funds are released to the student. If you have been awarded money under the Direct Loans, all or part of your loan will be canceled if you are not meeting SAP at the time loan funds are available for disbursement (distribution).

You then will not be considered for future loans until the SAP requirements have been met. Other restrictions related to your college's default management plan may limit how much you may borrow and when you will receive your loan payments.

Summer Enrollment and the SAP

When calculating the SAP status, summer hours attempted will be counted toward the 150 percent maximum, and summer grade points earned will be calculated as part of the cumulative grade point average.

Clock-Hour Certificate Programs

This section provides financial aid and related information for students enrolled in clock-hour certificate programs offered through Workforce Development (12-month License Vocational Nursing program, and Surgical Technology program).

Types of Aid

Students in clock-hour certificate programs may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant program. To be considered for aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate financial aid year.

Academic Programs and Academic Year

All clock-hour certificate programs must have an academic year with a minimum length of 15 weeks and 600 clock hours, in order for students to be eligible to receive federal financial aid. Students are considered attending on a full-time basis if they attend class at least 24 hours per week. The following Paris Junior College’s clock hour programs are equal to or exceed these minimums.

  • Licensed Vocational Nursing 12 - Month Program - Academic year = 1008 hours, 1394 total clock hours*
  • Surgical Technology – 21-Month Program - Academic year = 1200 hours, 1200 total clock hours

* Students enrolled in the Practical Nursing program will complete part of a second academic year. The financial aid these students receive during the second year will be prorated per federal guidelines based upon the number of clock hours in their second year. * Students enrolled in the Surgical Technology program will not be paid on a full time basis each semester. They do not clock 24 hours per week. 

Payment Periods and Disbursement Procedure for Clock-Hour Certificate Students

Federal aid, which includes Federal Pell Grants, will be disbursed to students (or their tuition accounts) in two or more payments, depending on the number of academic years for their program. The first payment period begins at the start of a program and ends at the halfway point of the academic year. Unless a student has paid the tuition with her/his own money or other funding, some or all of the federal aid a student is eligible for will first go to reduce the student’s tuition bill. Students will not receive another payment until they have clocked 450 hours.

Federal aid payments are normally refunded within 7 days of reaching the required clock hours. Depending on the program, there are two to four payment periods. Programs with one academic year will have two payment periods, while programs that have a second academic year will have either three or four payment periods. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to receive federal aid.

If students are sponsored for educational costs by an agency or program such as JTPA, Hospitals, or WIA, their Pell Grant may be first used to reduce that agency’s cost to sponsor them.

Financial Aid Criteria on Satisfactory Academic Progress for clock-hour programs

In order for students in a clock-hour program to receive financial aid, they must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their certificate. Satisfactory progress is evaluated at the end of each payment period. If satisfactory progress is not achieved at the end of that payment period, financial aid assistance will be terminated. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is measured in terms of Pace and grade point average (GPA). Pace is defined as the ratio of clock hours completed to clock hours attempted in a program.


Student Financial Assistance Programs Disclosure of Social Security Account Number: Section 7(a) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5U.S.C.552a) requires that when any federal, state, or local government agency requests an individual to disclose his or her Social Security Account number, that individual must also be advised whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority the number is solicited, and what use will be made of it.

Accordingly, applicants are advised that disclosure of the applicant's Social Security Account number (SSAN) is required as a condition for participation in student financial assistance programs sponsored by the federal government, state of Texas, or the local government, in view of the practical administrative difficulties that would be encountered in maintaining adequate program records without the continued use of the SSAN.

The SSAN will be used to verify the identity of the applicant and as an account number (identifier) throughout the life of the loan or other type of assistance in order to report necessary data accurately. As an identifier, the SSAN is used in such program activities as determining program eligibility, certifying school attendance and student status, determining eligibility for deferment or repayment of student loans, and for tracing and collecting in cases of defaulted loans.

Authority for requiring the disclosure of an applicant's SSAN is grounded on Section 7(a)(2) of the Privacy Act, which provides that an agency may continue to require disclosure of an individual's SSAN as a condition for the granting of a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law where the agency required this disclosure under statute or regulation prior to Jan. 1, 1975, in order to verify the identity of an individual.

The state of Texas has for several years consistently required the disclosure of the SSAN on application forms and other necessary program documents use pursuant to statutes passed by the Texas Legislature and regulations adopted by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System. Oct. 12, 2007.