Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
In order to qualify for financial aid, students must have a high school diploma or GED or have completed homeschooling at the secondary level.
Maintaining Satisfactory Cumulative Grade Point Average
Federal and state regulations require institutions to develop academic progress standards and review student records to ensure they are complying with these standards and making progress toward their academic goals. SAP is reviewed at the end of the first semester and each semester thereafter for every student receiving financial aid. Course work used to evaluate SAP includes all attempted hours at the University of West Georgia, including learning support and repeat courses, as well as most transfer hours regardless of whether or not you received financial aid for those terms of enrollment. Students who do not meet the SAP standards are not eligible for financial aid with the exception of those students in a WARNING or PROBATION status as described below.
Students are required to maintain a minimum overall GPA based on their attempted hours:
30 Attempted hours – 1.8 Overall GPA
31-60 Attempted hours – 1.9 Overall GPA
61 Attempted hours or more – 2.0 Overall GPA
Completion Ratio -- Students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted (cumulative earned hours/cumulative attempted hours). Grades of F, W, WF, U, IP, I, and NR do not indicate successfully completed courses. They will be counted as attempted but not earned hours.
Maximum Time Frame -- Students are allowed to attempt up to 150% of the hours required for their degree level. Example: If a bachelor program requires 120 credit hours, a student may attempt a maximum of 180 hours before becoming ineligible for financial aid. Students who are pursuing a second degree or have declared a double major may have their maximum number of hours increased to include a maximum of 150% of the courses required for the second degree. (First degree must be a bachelor’s degree and must be verified. Students may not appeal for additional hours beyond the 150% for more than two degree programs.)
Completing Degree Requirements within Specific Time Limits
Students are expected to complete their programs of study within a reasonable period of time and may not receive financial aid after attempting the maximum number of hours for their degree program as indicated on the chart which follows. These limits do not include Learning Support and College Preparatory Curriculum courses.
Affected students will lose their eligibility for aid following the semester in which they reach or exceed the maximum number of hours allowed.
Declaration of Major before earning 60 hour
Undergraduate students must declare a major before 60 earned hours to continue to receive financial aid. Students who do not declare a major by 60 earned hours, will no longer be eligible for aid until a major is declared.
Maximum Number of Hours Allowed
120-hour Bachelor's Degree
WARNING Status -- Students who are not meeting SAP because of completion ratio and/or cumulative GPA are allowed to receive financial aid for one term with a status of WARNING. Students are notified by email when they are placed in a WARNING status and no appeal is necessary to receive aid for this status. Students must meet the SAP requirements at the end of their next term of enrollment or lose financial aid eligibility. Students may only be placed on Warning if they were meeting the SAP standards for the immediate preceding term.
SAP Appeals -- Students who lose their financial aid eligibility may appeal based on mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are defined as unanticipated and unavoidable events or situations beyond a student’s control that prevented him or her from successfully completing courses or meeting the terms of a prior appeal. Examples of mitigating circumstances could include (but are not limited to) serious accident or illness of the student, serious illness or death of immediate family member (parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse, children), being out of school for a minimum of five years or more, etc. Examples of unacceptable mitigating circumstances include (but are not limited to) financial reasons, withdrawal to avoid a failing grade, too many courses attempted, voluntary change of major, limited number of tests/assignments, disagreement with instructor, voluntary change in work hours, and incarceration.
The Department of Financial Aid realizes that students may not be able to continue their education without financial assistance; however, this is not a reason that will be considered for an appeal. Approval of all appeals is determined on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. To complete the appeals process, students should obtain an Appeal form from the Department of Financial Aid or www.westga.edu/finaid and submit supporting documentation along with their letter explaining the circumstances. The deadline to submit an appeal for a semester is noon on the second day of drop-add. Any appeals submitted after this deadline will be considered but not before the fee payment deadline.
Appeals are reviewed on a preliminary basis by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, consisting of staff members in the Department of Financial Aid. Appeals which are denied will be referred to the Second Appeals Committee at the student's request. Decisions made by the Second Appeals Committee are final.
PROBATION Status -- Students who lose financial aid eligibility and have an SAP Appeal approved are placed on financial aid PROBATION. Students in this status may continue to receive aid for one semester or for the amount of time designated in the financial aid academic plan outlined in the appeal approval. Students on financial aid PROBATION will have their progress checked at the end of each semester. Failure to meet any part of the academic plan will result in the appeal being rescinded and the immediate loss of financial aid eligibility.