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Current college-wide policies

Requirements to Maintain Eligibility

Federal regulations require that all Title IV aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward achieving a certificate or degree. Progress is measured at the end of each term by evaluating the student's cumulative grade point average, credits earned in relation to attempted hours (pace), and the length of the academic program. These standards apply to your entire academic history, regardless of whether Title IV aid was received or not.

Maintain Eligibility


Pace: Is the number of successfully completed hours divided by the number of attempted hours. Students must pass at least 67% of all attempted hours (not earned) in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Attempted hours include; "W,AU, I, IP, N, N/C, W, WD, WF, X". Students placed on Warning, Probation, or Removal will be notified through Alerts on MyWS .

Cumulative Progress: In addition to the above standards, students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0

Maximum Hours

  • Associate Degree & Certificate Programs: Recipients majoring in Associate Degree Programs and eligible Certificate Programs are limited to 150% of the required hours of their program of study, excluding learning support. This maximum (which is based on cumulative attempted hours and not earned hours) will be reviewed after each term.
  • Learning Support Hours : Students are allowed to receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 cumulative attempted hours of learning support coursework.
  • Transfer Students : Credits/grades officially accepted by WSCC are included in the cumulative attempted hour limitation as stated above.
  • Second Degree Students: Students who enroll to obtain a second degree or certificate are subject to the above limitations as well. Credits from a prior enrollment at WSCC (or other institution) will be included in the maximum hour limitation.
  • Repeated/Audited Courses: All credits from repeated sources will be counted toward the maximum hour limitation. A student may receive financial aid to repeat a previously passed course one time only, but they may receive financial aid to repeat a failed course until it is passed or until the college limit is met or maximum hour limitations are reached.
  • Change of Major: Changes in majors do not extend the maximum hours allowed.

Maximum Duration of Eligibility

  • The amount of Federal Pell Grant Funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is now limited to 600%. This is the equivalent to 6 years or 12 semesters. Students enrolled less than full time will be assessed at the fractional enrollment status. This cannot be appealed.

How enrollment status changes can impact your award

Example A

Student A is enrolled in 9 credit hours and receiving a Pell grant in the amount of $2,220 based on eligibility and current enrollment status as of August 21.

On August 25 the student decides to add a 3 credit hour course which will increase the students enrollment status from 9 hours (three quarter time) to 12 hours (full time).

The student award would increase from $2.220 to $2,960.

Example B

Student B is enrolled in 12 credit hours and receiving a Pell grant in the amount of $2,960 based on eligibility and current enrollment status as of August 21.

The student has attended all courses registered for but on September 4 the student decides to drop two courses, or 6 credit hours, which will reduce the students enrollment status from 12 credit hours (full time) to 6 credit hours (half time).

The student award would decrease from $2,960 to $1,480.

Please note that changes in enrollment status may result in a cancellation of funds initially applied to the account, repayment of tuition and fees and may also impact your future eligibility. Please come by or call the financial aid office if you have questions.

Financial Aid Warning

If a student does not meet the term and cumulative academic requirement as stated above, he/she will be placed in a financial aid "warning" status. The student will be allowed to receive financial aid for the next term that he/she attends; however, the student's status will be evaluated after the "warning" term and the student must meet the required academic standards including pace and GPA to continue financial aid eligibility. If the student reaches or exceeds the maximum hour limitation, he/she will not be eligible for financial aid.

Financial Aid Removal

Students who receive all unsatisfactory grades, any combination of: F, AU, I, IP, N/C, W, WD, WF, X for a term will automatically be placed on financial aid removal. This applies to grades transferred from other higher education institutions. This may be appealed by following the appropriate procedure stated below. Students will return to "Good Standing" by satisfactorily achieving the required academic progress standards at the next evaluation period.

Students will be placed on financial aid removal if any of these conditions occur:

  • Students in "warning" status fail to meet SAP in their next semester of enrollment.
  • Students receive all unsatisfactory grades, any combination of : F, AU, I, IP, N/C, W, WD, WF, or X.
  • Students are placed on academic suspension.
  • Students fail to meet the conditions of an IAP (Individual Academic Plan).
  • Students meet the maximum hour limitations

Students placed on financial aid removal may continue to enroll at Walters State without financial aid if they are eligible to re-enroll according to institutional policies and have the resources to pay their fees.

If a student registers for a future term prior to grades being evaluated for the current term, the aid posted for future terms will be cancelled as a result of being placed on financial aid removal.

Reinstating Financial Aid

Students who become ineligible to receive financial aid due to failure to meet the above measurements may submit a letter of appeal to the Executive Director of Financial Aid and the appeals committee if extenuating circumstances precluded them from meeting these standards. Documentation must be provided to substantiate the reason of appeal. Only complete and legible appeals will be considered.

Appeals will be considered for the following reasons:

  • Serious injury or illness of the student
  • Death, serious injury/illness of immediate family member (mother, father, sibling, spouse, child)
  • Family trauma which occurred during the semester in question
  • Other extenuating circumstances (must be documented)

A student who has lost eligibility for financial aid due to suspension or a denied appeal will be reinstated once the student has subsequently completed coursework resulting in an "overall combined" pass rate of 67% (assuming the student is otherwise eligible and also meets the Qualitative and Maximum Timeframe requirements).

Academic criteria for other programs –Scholarships and other third party sources of financial aid may have additional requirements regarding satisfactory academic progress. Please refer to the guidelines of the specific scholarship or third party source for additional requirements (ie.TN Lottery).

Walters State offers counseling, career guidance, testing, tutoring and academic advising free of charge in order to assist students in achieving their educational goals. The Financial Aid Office encourages all students to use these services as needed.