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Financial Aid

Keeping Your Financial Aid

What to expect when a student accepts Financial Aid

  • student accepts responsibility for making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • student must be in compliance with the SAP Policies as a condition of initial or continuing eligibility.
  • student must be enrolled in a program (associate degree, certificate or Tennessee College of Applied Technology certificate diploma) that is approved by the Department of Education.

The Financial Aid Office reviews the students' academic progress at the end of each semester to ensure the student is making reasonable progress toward completing their stated educational goals in order to receive funds. A student failing to meet SAP standards the first semester will be placed on probation (warning) status. A student in probation (warning) is still eligible to receive aid, however, failure to meet SAP standards in the next semester will result in the student being placed in a suspended status and not eligible to receive aid. Students in a suspended status must attend at their own expense. Suspended students have the right to submit an appeal the following semester (refer to the appeal procedures under the SAP Standard link for procedures for submitting an appeal).

Example

  1. Student attends in the fall semester and fails to meet SAP standards = student will be placed on probation (warning) at the end of fall
  2. Student may attend spring semester in a probationary(warning status) and receive aid
  3. Student attends in the spring semester and fails to meet SAP standards = student will be suspended at the end of spring
  4. Student must attend the summer at their own expense
  5. Student has the right to submit an appeal for the fall semester

Causes for Award Adjustments

  • You fail to begin your classes
  • You withdraw from the college
  • Your enrolled hours change - you drop below full-time or below half- time or you STOP attending your classes
  • You received additional financial aid, including scholarships, veterans benefits, etc.
  • Your tuition rate changes (out-of-state to in-state)

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

All Financial Aid recipients are provided a link to the satisfactory academic progress guidelines on their TigerWeb self-service account. Standards are published on this website.

Federal regulations require all colleges and universities monitor the academic progress of financial aid recipients to ensure they are advancing at an acceptable pace while maintaining an acceptable grade point average. Specifically, students must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of their degrees in order to continue receiving federal and state financial aid funds. Chattanooga State's Financial Aid Office determines eligibility by measuring academic performance against three SAP standards.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is comprised of three standards:

  1. Cumulative GPA - A student must earn the minimum cumulative combined GPA below for the total number of semester credit hours attempted:
    Cumulative GPA
    Attempted Hours Required Quality GPA
    0.0 - 12.0 1.00
    12.1 - 24.0 1.25
    24.1 - 36.0 1.50
    36.1 - 48.0 1.75
    48.1 - Above 2.00
    (Total hours attempted include collegiate hours)
  2. Completion Rate - students must achieve a passing grade in 67% of all classes they attempt AND 67% each semester. For example, a student, who attempts 15 credits hours in the fall semester must successfully complete 10 hours and must earn a grade of A, B, C, or D. The student must also have a 67% passing rate for all attempted classes at the end of the semester; for example, a student that has attempted a total of 60 credit hours, must be passing 41 credit hours. The following grades are not considered passing: F (failing); W (withdrawal from course); I (incomplete status); and AU (audited course for noncredit).
  3. Time Limitation - students must complete their education within a maximum timeframe. Students may receive financial aid for attempted credit hours; however, the number of attempted credit hours cannot exceed 150% of the credit hours necessary to complete the program. For example, most associate degree programs require students to complete 60 credit hours of study; therefore, students can use financial aid funds to pay tuition and fees for 90 attempted credit hours. Calculations for maximum timeframe will incorporate credit hours transferred from another institution but will not include developmental classes.

Notification

Students are responsible for checking their Academic Progress on their "TigerWeb" Account at the end of each semester. The Financial Aid Office will update each student's Academic Progress as it relates to their financial aid after grades are posted at the end of each semester.

Appeal Process

  • Students suspended due to their failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress standards will not receive financial aid for the next semester. Students must attend at their own expense and submit an appeal for financial aid for the following semester. Example: Student is suspended after completing the fall semester; the student will not receive aid in spring and must submit an appeal during the spring semester to receive aid for the summer semester. Exceptions to this policy are limited to documented medical circumstances or personal hardship beyond a student’s control that prohibited the student from attending classes.
  • Students must submit an appeal and provide appropriate supporting documentation, including an educational plan signed by an advisor. Students must provide documentation of extenuating circumstances beyond their control that significantly contributed to their academic performance. Examples would include death of an immediate family member, an extended medical illness and/or a disability. All documentation is subject to verification by a college official.
  • A student whose financial aid is reinstated as the result of an appeal must meet all conditions established in order to continue financial aid eligibility. Students failing to meet the conditions of an appeal do not qualify to submit a second appeal. Exceptions to this policy are limited to documented medical circumstances or personal hardship beyond a student’s control that prohibited the student from attending classes.
  • Chattanooga State reserves the right to deny or cancel a student’s financial aid in the event of extraordinary circumstances that may not be covered in the current policy.
  • The college guarantees prompt notification of ineligibility and explanation of the appeal process if a student is denied financial aid under this exception.
  • Appeals are not allowed for vocational students. If a student has failed to meet SAP standards, eligibility can be re-established by paying out of pocket for one payment period and making satisfactory academic progress at the next SAP evaluation.

Appeal Committee

The SAP Appeal Committee reviews appeal requests and is the final approving authority on all decisions as it relates to SAP appeals. The committee includes members from the academic staff, student service staff, and financial aid office. Students may request to speak to the committee concerning their particular situation; however, the committee is not required to meet with students to make their final decision.

Appeal Timeline

Appeals must be submitted by the priority dates listed below. Students must anticipate a minimum of 5 to 6 weeks for the appeals committee to review the appeal and make a decision on their request. Failure to provide required supporting documentation will delay the appeal process. Students will not be granted more than three appeals during their matriculation at Chattanooga State.

  • Requesting aid for fall: July 15
  • Requesting aid for spring: November 1
  • Requesting aid for summer: March 1

Students pending an appeal decision at the beginning of a semester are responsible for securing their classes via payment to the bursar office. No student class schedule will be held due to pending appeal decision.

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Appeal Process

  • In accordance with the policies set forth by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, the Financial Aid Office will review all Tennessee Education Lottery scholarship (TELS) appeals with regards to changing enrollment status after census date, requesting a leave of absence, reinstatement of award (based on meeting benchmark GPA), grade change, or one-time regain.
  • The Institutional Review Panel (IRP) hears appeals from decisions that denied or revoked a recipient’s eligibility to decide the continuation or revocation of a lottery scholarship award. To request an appeal of a denial or revocation of the TELS, the student must submit a letter to the ChSCC IRP for consideration. Students are notified upon the appeal denial their rights to appeal to the IRP. Students have 5 days to submit an appeal letter to the IRP after the initial denial notification from the Financial Aid Office. The IRP may award or reinstate the student’s TELS award with or without a hearing and shall make a determination no later than 14 calendar days after considering an appeal, except for exigent circumstances.
  • If the IRP denies an appeal, a student must then submit a copy of the denial as well as any additional documentation to TSAC for a ruling within 45 days of when the student was notified of the decision rendered by the IRP. Appeals made to the TSAC Appeals Panel should be mailed to the following address:

    Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
    c/o Lottery Scholarship Award Appeals Panel
    Suite 1510, Parkway Towers
    404 James Robertson Parkway
    Nashville, TN 37243-0820

SAP Status

In compliance with federal mandates, the Financial Aid Office reviews the academic progress of all financial aid recipients at the end of each semester. If a student's academic performance does not meet all three SAP standards, the Financial Aid Office moves the student's eligibility to either a warning or suspended status.

  • Good: student meets all the required standards to receive financial aid.
  • Financial Aid Warning: The first time a student does not comply with Chattanooga State's SAP standards, the Financial Aid Office moves the student to financial aid warning. While placed on financial aid warning, a student may access financial aid for one more semester, but he/she must meet all three SAP standards by the end of the semester to remain eligible for subsequent financial aid.
  • Warning Maximum: undergraduate student approaching the maximum number of attempted hours. The student remains eligible for aid while in a warning status.
  • Financial Aid Suspension: If a student, who is on financial aid warning, does not comply with Chattanooga State's SAP standards the following semester, the Financial Aid Office moves the student to financial aid suspension. When on financial aid suspension, the student is not eligible to receive financial aid. If the student wants to continue attending Chattanooga State, he/she will be responsible for paying tuition and fees at his/her own expense. A suspended student may request to recover his/her financial aid eligibility through a formal appeal process as stated above.
  • Appeal: students attending as a result of an appeal approval will receive a specific appeal code explaining the conditions that must be met to be eligible for future aid.
  • A student in a probationary or suspended status other than maximum time limit may re-establish eligibility by attending at their own expense and meeting all required standards.

Exceptions

  • Chattanooga State reserves the right to deny or cancel a student's financial aid in the event of extraordinary circumstances that may not be covered in the current policy.
  • The college guarantees prompt notification of ineligibility and explanation of the appeal process if a student is denied financial aid under this exception.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - SAP Standards

Qualitative Standards

  • The student must receive an "S" (satisfactory) in programs which are graded by student progress.
  • Students enrolled in programs where letter grades are given must receive passing grades (No I's, D's, F's, or W's).
  • A grade of "U" (unsatisfactory), "W" (complete withdrawal), or "F" (failing) will cause the student to be ineligible.

Quantitative Standards

  • Students must complete 91% of the scheduled hours each payment period to remain eligible for subsequent payments.
  • Excused absences in excess of the allowed 9%, and any unexcused absences must be completed before the student will be eligible to receive aid in future payment periods.
  • Failure to complete 91% of the scheduled clock hours in any payment period will cause the student to become ineligible.
  • Payment will not be made for the next payment period until the deficit hours from the previous payment period are completed. Payment will be pro-rated based on the hours remaining in the payment period after deficit hours are completed.

Time Frame

The maximum time frame for a Tennessee College of Applied Technology student to receive financial aid is the number of hours required for a certificate. A student will never receive Federal Financial Aid for hours past their program length.

Example: 1290 clock hours x 1 = 1290 clock hours.

Appeals

Appeals are not allowed for vocational students. If a student has failed to meet SAP standards, eligibility can be re-established by paying out of pocket for one payment period and making satisfactory academic progress at the next SAP evaluation.


Calculate Your Eligibility

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