Fall Semester 2020 Catalog

Academic Policies for Financial Aid

Federal regulations require the College to establish policies--Standards of Satisfactory Progress--to measure whether students applying for financial aid are in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their diploma or degree programs. A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 to receive financial aid and maintain a 67% completion rate.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

A student is required to maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for financial aid.  Augusta Technical College uses the following standards to monitor a student’s progress toward his or her diploma, degree, or certificate. 

Satisfactory progress is measured in terms of three components:

  • Length of time to complete the program (150%)
  • A qualitative component (2.0 GPA) GPA-Grade Point Average
  • A quantitative component (Pace of Progression, 67%)


Maximum Timeframe

There are a maximum number of hours that students may attempt in pursuing their current program of study.  Students may not exceed 150% of the hours needed to complete the program of study they are currently enrolled in, excluding Learning Support courses.  This does include transfer coursework that has been accepted as credit toward the student’s current program of study.  Once a student has attempted 150% of the minimum number of credit hours necessary for completing the program requirements, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid.


Qualitative (Grade Point Average)

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 to remain in good standing.  Financial aid GPA’s will be monitored at the end of term.  A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 is placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next term of enrollment.  This will allow a student one term to increase the GPA to the satisfactory level.  If, after one term, the GPA remains below 2.0, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and eligibility will be lost until the cumulative GPA has been brought back to at least a 2.0 level.  Students may receive aid while on Financial Aid Warning, but will not receive aid while on Financial Aid Suspension. Transfer coursework and Learning Support courses are not counted in the cumulative GPA calculation. 


Quantitative (Pace of Progression)

In order for students to graduate within the maximum “time frame” of hours, at the end of each payment period they are expected to have cumulatively completed at least 67% of their credit hours attempted.  A student, who, at the end of these terms, has not successfully completed 67% of their cumulative hours attempted, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next term of enrollment.  This will allow the student one term to increase the cumulative completion rate to the satisfactory level.  If, after one term, the cumulative completion rate remains below 67% the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and eligibility will be lost until the cumulative completion rate has been brought back to at least 67%. Students may receive aid while on Financial Aid Warning but the student will not receive aid while on Financial Aid Suspension.

Students may re-establish good standing when they have cumulatively completed 67%of their attempted credit hours.  The following grades (see Grading System) do not count toward successfully completing a course: “F”, “I”, “W”, “WF”, “WP”, “IP”, and "Z".  For all courses, any combination of these results in no progress, and will be calculated in the completion rate when computing eligibility for financial aid.  Repeat courses will be considered as any other class and both grades will count in the GPA. Grades of “F” and “WF” will be counted in computing your GPA.

Learning Support courses are graded on an A* through F* scale.  A grade of A*, B*, or C* will be considered satisfactory completion of a learning support course.  A grade of D* or F* will be considered unsatisfactory.  Grades received for learning support courses are included in the 67%hours attempted completion rate, but not in the GPA calculation.

Example: A student completes his first year at Augusta Technical College with the following grades:

30 cumulative attempted credits with

18 credits of passing grades (these credits count as attempted and completed)

12 credits of failing grades (these credits count as attempted but not completed)

The student’s completion rate is 60.00% (total completed divided by total attempted – 18/30 = 60.00%)

The student in this example did not meet the quantitative (completion rate) SAP standard and is at risk of losing financial aid.

If the student had completed 21 credits with passing grades, they would have met the quantitative SAP standard.  (21/30 = 70.00%)



Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades are designated as an “I” (Incomplete) or “IP” (In Progress) are not calculated in the GPA but are calculated in the attempted hours completion rate.  Once the “I” or “IP” grades are updated to actual grades, the cumulative GPA will be checked at that time.  If a student does not meet the standards after recalculation and has received funds for classes, the funds will have to be repaid by the student.




Effective beginning Spring 2020 semester, the Z grade (withdrawal due to the COVID-19 pandemic) was implemented.  Z grades are not calculated in attempted hours for SAP purposes; however, for State Programs (HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Grant, Zell Miller Scholarship), the Z grade counts the same as a 'W' and will be counted in attempted and paid hours.


Treatment Transfer Hours

Transfer students accepted by Augusta Technical College, but not previously at Augusta Technical College, will be classified as maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for the first term of attendance.  After the first term, the student's grades will be measured in accordance with Augusta Technical College's Satisfactory Academic requirements.  Students who previously attended Augusta Technical College, transferred to another school, then returned to Augusta Technical College, will have all of their course work reviewed.  If a student fails to meet the qualitative or quantitative standards at the end of a term, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  The student will continue to receive aid while on Financial Aid Warning.  However, if the student does not meet the qualitative and quantitative standards by the end of the warning term, he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. The student can continue taking courses while on suspension at the student's expense.


Policy for Reinstatement of Eligibility for Financial Aid

  1. A student whose GPA is classified as unsatisfactory can re-establish eligibility when the cumulative GPA reaches 2.0. Students may re-establish good standing when they have cumulatively completed 67% of their attempted credit hours.
  2. The above requirements to re-establish financial aid will be at the student's expense unless a Financial Aid Appeal has been approved. 

Financial Aid Appeal Process

Students that did not meet the qualitative and/or the quantitative components will be notified via their Augusta Technical College’s student Smartweb email account of their failure to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of Fall Term and Spring Term after grades have been posted.  If the student was placed on Financial Aid Suspension and feels there were extenuating circumstances beyond his/her control that kept him/her from maintaining satisfactory progress, he/she may appeal in writing by completing the Financial Aid Appeal form (supporting documentation must be attached).  Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to: death or extended illness of a family member, illness or injury of student, house fire, or victim of a violent crime. Work conflicts are not ex­tenuating circumstances.  Appeals must be submitted by the first day of the semester for which the student is requesting reinstatement of financial aid.  Only completed appeals will be considered submitted. Students are only allowed 1 appeal during their academic career.

Filing a Financial Aid Appeal

In order to appeal your Termination, you must:

  • Be accepted into a program of study
  • Be enrolled in classes for the term for which you wish to appeal
  • Have a completed FAFSA on file (all required documents are submitted)

If you meet the above requirements:

  • Complete the Financial Aid Appeal Form
  • Type your appeal statement
  • Attach supporting documentation (no appeals will be accepted without valid documentation)
  • Complete Academic Plan
  • Submit to the Financial Aid Office


Outcome of Appeals

Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.  Please note the decision is final and cannot be appealed to a higher authority at the college or to the Department of Education.


Financial Aid Appeal Results

SAP Appeal Approved (Probation)

Academic performance of students on Probation is monitored after end of term grading.  Students who violate their probation status and remain below the standards will be placed back in Financial Aid Termination and aid will be removed.  In rare cases, some student may meet SAP standards regardless of unacceptable grade.  These students will be placed in satisfactory status and become eligible for aid.


If your appeal is denied you will remain in Financial Aid Suspension Status and will not be eligible for any federal or state Financial Aid until the standards are met.


Withdrawing From or Dropping Classes

Federal financial aid (Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Georgia's HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant, Zell Miller Grant, and Zell Miller Scholarship programs do not consider hours dropped during the drop/add period (usually the first three days of the semester) as registered hours for students. All HOPE funding for tuition of dropped classes is refunded to the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

If students withdraw from classes after the first three days of the academic term, HOPE will cover tuition provided students attended class or attempted to contact their instructors during the first full week of the semester. The Financial Aid Office will recalculate the amount of Pell Grant and FSEOG awarded based on the Federal Return of Title IV Funds  policy. Please consult with a financial aid counselor prior to withdrawing from a class. Withdrawing affects students' satisfactory academic progress.

Refund Process for Students Receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid (R2T4)

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) specifies how Augusta Technical College must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from the semester or stop attending all of your courses for a term. Augusta Technical College’s Title IV programs that are covered by this regulation include Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOGs).

When you withdraw or stop attending all courses during your period of enrollment (term in which you are registered), the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or Augusta Technical College received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned to U.S. DOE.

You cannot receive federal aid for the full semester if you were not enrolled in class(es) for the full semester. We disburse funds to students assuming they are going to remain enrolled for the full semester.  If you withdraw or otherwise stop attending, with no regard for the reason(s) of such action/inaction, the amount of assistance (aid) that you have earned is determined on a 'prorata basis'. For example, if you completed 30 percent of your period of enrollment, you earn 30 percent of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60 percent of the period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period. 

If you did not receive all of the funds that you 'earned', you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. Augusta Technical College  will automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees. The school needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges (fees not automatically paid with financial aid funds). If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow Augusta Technical College  to utilize the funds to reduce your debt at the school. There may be some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw or stop attending because of other eligibility requirements.

If you (or Augusta Technical College on your behalf) receive excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  • your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  • the entire amount of excess funds.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that must be returned is called an overpayment. Augusta Technical College returns on your behalf any funds to U.S. DOE for which you were not entitled. However, at the same time, the college charges those funds to your student account (bills you for what had to be returned). This balance must be resolved/paid by the student before future registration/enrollment can occur, before a student may receive transcripts or enrollment verification, etc. In some cases, student balances are referred to U.S. DOE or outside collection agencies.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw or stop attending all courses for a term are separate from the Institutional Policy  Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Augusta Tech will charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. Remember, per institutional policy, we are charging you 100% tuition/fees on day 4 of the term--as if you will complete the term. A withdrawal does not reduce your tuition/fees due after day 3.


Unofficial Withdrawals:  As a college, Augusta Technical College does not have an official attendance policy after the 'no show' period has ended. However, just like previously stated, you cannot receive aid for a term's worth of work if you weren't present to do work during that full term. Someone who simply disappears or chooses to stop attending but fails to withdraw is considered an "unofficial withdrawal". Any student who unofficially withdraws (stops attending class(es)) will have his or her aid recalculated based on this federal policy. This recalculation will likely result in the student being required to return unearned federal funds to the college. As well, official and unofficial withdrawals negatively affect a student's SAP and could result in the loss of future funding. Students with balances due to the college will have their student accounts placed on hold--preventing transcripts, registration, etc.


If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, please contact the Financial Aid Office. You may also contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913.