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In keeping with federal grant regulations, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology pays federal grant funds in increments called payment periods. Payment periods are defined by regulation and are determined by your program length and academic year. The Tennessee College of Applied Technology will apply a portion of each payment period’s grant funds to pay estimated direct school costs (tuition/fees/books) for the payment period. If there are funds remaining after those costs are paid, you will receive a residual check or direct deposit (if authorized by the student) for the unused portion, which can be used to pay indirect school costs. Since tuition/fee costs are assessed by academic term (trimester) and payment periods may span more than one academic term, tuition/fee costs are estimated on the front-end. Grant funds will be credited to a student’s account or disbursed by direct deposit or check to the student approximately one month after the beginning of the term for students who enroll at the beginning of the term. For students who enroll later in the term, residual checks or direct deposit will be disbursed no later than the end of the term. Checks are mailed directly to students, if not direct deposited.
All disbursements represent payment made in advance of training. Students must successfully complete the hours and weeks in the payment period before they can receive disbursement for subsequent payment periods. In addition, if you withdraw or graduate before completing the hours you have been paid for you are at risk for overpayment with the Department of Education and may owe money to the school.
Graduating early - students that complete all program requirements and graduate without completing the scheduled clock hours on which their Title IV financial aid disbursement is based, a recalculation of aid may be required that is based on the number of clock hours completed in the payment period. The recalculation may then result in a billing to the student's account.
The SAP policy applies to students eligible for either Federal or State financial aid and to all students within various categories (full time, part-time, different programs of study, etc.).
A. To make satisfactory progress a student must meet both qualitative and quantitative standards as defined below:
B. Satisfactory progress will be evaluated at the expected end of a student’s payment period. If the student fails to make satisfactory progress, the student will be placed on financial aid warning for the next payment period. If the student fails to make satisfactory progress for the next payment period, financial aid will be suspended. There is no appeal process for financial aid satisfactory progress. To reestablish financial aid eligibility, a student must make satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation date.
C. Remedial Courses - Any courses considered ‘remedial’ are included in the student’s normal program of study and are included in the students SAP calculation.
D. Program Changes - Changes in program will not affect SAP because a student will then have a new program length and new payment periods.
E. Transfer Credit - Students who receive credit for hours completed for previous education (other institutions, life experience, work credit, dual enrollment, etc.) will have their program length reduced. A student that receives transfer credit will have a maximum timeframe calculated based on the reduced program length. Transfer credits are not included in the GPA calculation nor the cumulative hours of completion.
Program Repeats - Any student who completes an entire clock hour program and later re-enrolls to take that same program again or to take another program may be paid for repeating coursework regardless of the amount of time between completion of the first program and beginning the same program or another program.
Course Repeats - The repeated course grade will be counted along with the previously assigned grade. Repeated course hours will count toward total cumulative hours (pace of progression).
G. Withdrawals will not impact a student’s satisfactory academic progress unless they return within 180 days.
Reentry within 180 days - A student who withdraws from a clock hour or credit hour non-term program and reenters within 180 days is considered to remain in the same payment period when he/she returns and, subject to conditions imposed by ED, is eligible to receive FSA funds for which he/she was eligible prior to withdrawal, including funds that were returned under R2T4 rules. The repeated course grade will be counted along with the previously assigned grade. Repeated course hours will count toward total cumulative hours (pace of progression).
Reentry after 180 days and transfer students - Generally, you must calculate new payment periods for a clock hour or credit hour non-term program for:
* Note: SAP Must be evaluated at the point of reentry regardless of the length of time between enrollments. If the student’s previous hours + the number of hours required to complete the program is greater than the maximum number of hours, then the student is not eligible for Title IV aid.
For example – A student enrolls in Welding (1296-hour program) and completes 700 hours. Student returns 2 years later. Instructor requires student to retake entire program. Student could not complete the program in 150% (1944 hours) as 1296 +700 = 1996 hours. Therefore, this student would not be eligible for Title IV aid upon re-entry.
H. Incompletes An incomplete “I” grade is not utilized at the TCAT. The TCAT issues a grade of CONT. CONT is awarded when a student completes clock hours within a term for a course but is not able to complete all clock hours for a specific course. This grade simply denotes that the student is continuing the course into the next trimester, and the remaining clock hours for the course will be included in the overall clock hours for the next trimester. The CONT does not mean the student did not complete the scheduled hours in the trimester, only that all hours were not completed for a course. The CONT grade is not included in the GPA calculation. Once a course is completed and a grade entered, that grade is factored into a student’s GPA. The attended hours associated with a CONT grade are factored into a student’s PACE of completion.
I. Maximum Time Frame (this is for maximum timeframe only, cannot pay more than 100% of student’s program length). Students may continue to receive State Aid at the pace of 67% or greater until they have been enrolled 150% of their scheduled hours.
Students will be notified via campus email of any evaluations (warnings or suspensions) that impact eligibility of Title IV or State aid. Institutions may also use additional forms of communication, such as direct mailing or text messaging (for those who voluntarily authorize use of texting) to help ensure students are aware of their SAP statuses.