Students receiving financial assistance through a federal program or a South Carolina Grant must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree, diploma or certificate at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. The financial aid office monitors the progress of all students to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress toward completion of their program in a reasonable period of time. The cumulative review determines the student's eligibility for financial assistance based on his or her academic history. Student progression towards the completion of their certificate, diploma, or degree is measured in three different ways:
- Qualitative Standard – Monitored to ensure that students are completing courses with a GPA high enough to graduate at the end of their course requirements.
- Quantitative Standard - Monitored to ensure that students are completing the required number of credit hours each semester to complete their certificate, diploma, or degree in 150% of the published time frame (measured in credit hours) of their current program.
- Maximum Time Frame – Monitored to ensure that students who have transferred in or have changed programs will be able to complete their certificate, diploma, or degree in 150% of the published time frame (measured in credit hours) of their current program.
Qualitative and Quantitative Standards
Standards are measured by both Cumulative Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure) and Cumulative Credit Hours (Quantitative Measure):
- A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 (C average) or better AND must successfully pass 67% (percentage of courses passed vs courses attempted) of all course credit hours attempted each term to remain eligible to receive financial aid at OCtech.
- Students will receive credit for grades A, B, C, or D. Course grades of F, W, WF, WP and I are not considered completed courses and negatively impact satisfactory academic
- progress standards. All courses must be completed during the normal grading period. However, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid of any grade changes for reevaluation, if their status is Warning, Danger or Suspension. Repeat courses are included in the calculation of attempted credit hours. Students will not receive credit for a course that they register for that has previously been taken if the grade is lower than the initial grade reported.
Standards for Students Enrolled in Diploma and Certificate Programs (Academic programs of one year or less)
Students, who are in one year certificate and diploma programs, will have Qualitative and Quantitative standards measured at the end of each semester. If the cumulative GPA is less than a 2.00 and/or the term completion rate is less than 67%, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Financial aid will be continued during the Warning term. Students on a Warning status must meet the overall SAP standards, which include the cumulative 2.0 GPA and term completion rate of 67% or meet ALL three of the following requirements: 1. enroll at least 6 credit hours, 2. complete 100% of all attempted credit hours, and 3. earn at least a 2.0 term GPA. Students who fail to maintain standards at the end of the Warning term will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
Standards for Students Enrolled in Associate Degree Programs (Academic programs of more than one year)
Students who are in degree programs will have the Qualitative and Quantitative Standards OFFICIALLY measured at the end of the academic year (at the end of the summer semester). Even though the official review will occur at the end of the academic year, the financial aid office will monitor a student’s course completion rate at the end of each term and will notify students who are in “Danger” of being placed on Financial Aid Suspension at the end of the academic year. At the end of each term, if the student’s cumulative GPA is less than a 2.00, and/or the term completion rate is less than 67%, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Danger1. Financial aid will be continued during the Danger1 term. Students on a Danger status must meet the overall SAP standards, which include the cumulative 2.0 GPA and term completion rate of 67% or meet ALL three of the following requirements:
- Enroll in at least 6 credit hours
- Complete 100% of all attempted hours
- Earn at least a 2.0 term GPA
Students who fail to maintain standards at the end of the Danger1 term will be placed on Financial Aid Danger2 Status. Failure to maintain ALL of the above standards at the end of
Danger2 will result in Financial Aid Suspension.
Maximum Time Frame
- A student may only receive financial aid for a limited time. Eligibility for financial aid is terminated after a student has attempted 150% of his/her program credit hours length.
- A student may receive financial aid for up to 1.5 times the published length of the program of study.
- For example, a student enrolled in a 60 credit hour program is eligible until 90 credit hours are attempted (60 x 1.5 = 90).
- Transfer hours from other colleges that apply towards program completion at OCtech are added to the total hours attempted at OCtech to determine the 150% credit hour
- limit towards degree completion.
- A student may repeat a course but repetitions will count toward the time frame/length of eligibility.
- The attempted hours will consider all course work taken (including DVS, and transfer credits accepted by the college).
- All periods of enrollment count when evaluating SAP, even periods in which the student did not receive Federal Student Aid funds.
- The maximum time frame is program specific based on required credit hours for graduation.
- Once the maximum number of hours is attempted, the student is placed on financial aid suspension.
- Max Time Frame will be checked prior to packaging a student each academic year and at the end of each semester.
- If a student has been placed on a Financial Aid Warning, Danger, or Suspension status because of failure to meet the Quantitative Standards and/or the Qualitative Standards
- they will be notified of their status via their OCtech email. If a student has been placed on Financial Aid Suspension, the notification will provide instructions on how to appeal
- their Financial Aid Suspension and the deadline for submitting their appeal.
- If a student has been placed on Financial Aid Suspension for Maximum Time Frame, the student will be notified of their status via their OCtech email. The email notification will
- provide instructions on how to appeal their Financial Aid Suspension and the deadline for submitting their appeal.
Reinstatement after Financial Aid Suspension
To re-establish financial aid eligibility, the student must submit and have an approved appeal or the student must satisfy the following requirements:
- Complete a term at OCtech
- During the term of attendance, the student must enroll in at least 6 credit hours
- Complete 100% of all attempted courses during the term
- Earn at least a 2.0 term GPA
It is the responsibility of the student to determine when an appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility is appropriate. The cumulative transcript will provide the student with the number of hours completed each term and the grade point average attained. Once the criteria has been met for reinstatement of financial aid, the student must submit a request for reinstatement of eligibility. The request should be brought to the attention of the Office of Financial Aid (Building S), Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, 3250 St. Matthews Road NE, Orangeburg, SC 29118.
Exceptions to this policy will be reviewed based on an appeals process under the umbrella of Professional Judgment. Students with legitimate appeals may be given exceptions on a case-by-case basis. A typed written appeal must be submitted and approved for reinstatement.
- A student on financial aid suspension may appeal by submitting a typed written letter to the Office of Financial Aid, which explains the reason why the student failed to make
- satisfactory academic progress and what has changed now that will allow the student to meet SAP at the end of the next payment period. The student must also provide documentation to support the appeal. Acceptable reasons for an appeal include: serious illness, death or substantial documented change in working hours. Incomplete appeal
- documents will not be processed.
- All decisions made by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee are final. Students whose appeals are denied must regain eligibility prior to receiving additional financial assistance
- or submit a new appeal for a subsequent semester.
- If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on financial aid probation with or without an academic plan. Financial aid probation without an academic plan: if it is
- determined that the student should be able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next payment period, then the student is placed on financial aid probation for one
- Financial aid probation with an academic plan: if it is determined that the student will require more than one payment period to meet the SAP standards, then the student is
- placed on financial aid probation with an academic plan.
It is the student's responsibility to regularly monitor his/her status for Satisfactory Academic Progress via their Self Service Financial Aid Self-Service Account to ensure they are aware of their financial aid SAP status at all times. The Financial Aid Office will review the GPA and earned credit hours, and notify students who are failing to meet standards as quickly as possible via their OCtech email account. Undelivered messages or failure to check email messages does not exempt a student from his/her responsibility to maintain financial aid satisfactory academic progress or to know his/her current SAP status. Students on suspension will be ineligible for all Title IV aid, (i.e. Pell Grant, FSEOG, FWS, and Federal Student and Parent Loans) and most state aid.