Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress
Foothill Students on campus

The Department of Education and Student Financial Assistance Programs require schools and colleges to develop and apply a consistent standard of academic progress in determining student eligibility. Foothill College adheres to this regulation by maintaining a Satisfactory Progress (SP) policy for the awarding of Title IV funds and institutional financial aid. The college awards assistance based on demonstrated financial need. In addition, an individual educational plan that leads to either transfer to a four-year college, or obtain a degree/a certificate may be required. By applying for financial aid, you are expected to demonstrate the ability to succeed by being persistent in maintaining enrollment and a minimum GPA of 2.00.

ADVISORY: SP is determined on a district-wide basis. All work attempted and/or completed at both Foothill and De Anza Colleges is used to determine SP. In addition, all units attempted at all other colleges; universities and trade schools are included to assess the overall frame frame (see below).

Eligible Program
Student can not be offered or paid financial aid if they are not in an eligible program at Foothill College. Eligible Programs includes AA/AS Degree, Transfer, and certain Certificate Programs.

Good Standing
Policy change effective for Summer Quarter 2009 and all subsequent quarters. The minimum standards to maintain “good standing” on financial aid are:
  • FULL-TIME STUDENTS (attempting 12 or more units) must earn at least 10 units each quarter with at least a 2.0 G.P.A. per quarter and cumulative.
  • THREE-QUARTER-TIME STUDENTS (attempting 9 – 11.9 units) must earn at least 7.5 units each quarter with at least a 2.0 G.P.A. per quarter and cumulative.
  • HALF-TIME STUDENTS (attempting 6 – 8.9 units) must earn at least 6 units each quarter with at least a 2.0 G.P.A. per quarter and cumulative.

First-Year students (50 units attempted in higher ed) will meet the federal pace requirement by being in Good or Warning SP status. Second-Year students will meet the pace requirement by showing they are at least 50% complete with degree requirements (if they have 50 - 74 units attempted) OR at least 75% (if they have 75 - 99 units attempted) by submitting a DegreeWorks Audit printout OR by submitting a DegreeWorks printout showing they have met with a counselor and are following a "locked" educational plan. Failure to establish proof of pace will result in a financial aid packaging and disbursement holds.

Time Frame
Students are allowed a maximum amount of time to reach their goals in their eligible programs. At Foothill College, students may not exceed 150% of the designated length of an eligible financial aid program (AA/AS degree, Transfer, Eligible Certificate). Therefore, if students reach a total attempted units that meets or exceeds the maximum allowable units they will be considered to have reached their maximum time frame and no longer qualify for federal aid. All work performed at other colleges is included in determining whether students are under or over the allowable unit count. If applicants approach this excess level and are applying for federal aid, they must submit a petition that will be reviewed to determine whether this student's time frame should be extended once beyond the normal time. The purpose of the federal aid programs is to provide low-income students with the opportunity to gain higher education. When students have had that opportunity, they may not be assisted all the way through to a series of multiple goals if the time they have spent exceeds 150% of the amount of time normally needed to reach this goal.

Financial Aid Warning
If during a quarter a student fails to meet the requirements for either the Completed units OR Quarterly GPA OR Cumulative GPA that student may be placed on Warning. Students in warning status are still eligible for financial aid during the quarter if all other eligibility criteria are being met. A notice will be posted on each student's MyPortal account and an e-mailed notice will be sent to the student, when an e-mail address is available, indicating that the Satisfactory Academic Progress statuses have been updated.

Example: Mike, who was in good standing after summer school, does NOT meet the SAP requirements in fall quarter. Mike would be on warning for winter quarter OR the next quarter that he attends. For the following quarter Mike could still be paid financial aid.

Financial Aid Disqualification
If during a quarter when a student is on Warning (no appeal needed) or Probation (an approved appeal is needed), a student fails to meet the requirements for either the Completed units OR Quarterly GPA OR Cumulative GPA that student may be placed on Disqualification. Disqualification will be considered a status in which financial aid is cancelled and financial aid eligibility for the disqualified quarter forward will be cancelled, until SAP has been demonstrated or an appeal approved. A notice will be posted on each student's MyPortal account and an e-mailed notice will be sent to the student, when an e-mail address is available, indicating that the Satisfactory Academic Progress statuses have been updated.

Example: Mike was on warning after fall quarter and he returns to attend college at least halftime in winter quarter. Mike once again does NOT meet the SAP requirements in winter quarter. Mike would be disqualified for spring quarter OR the next quarter that he attends. Mike could keep his BOG Fee Waiver, but may have all other aid cancelled for spring quarter and the following quarters if SAP is not met.

Appeals & Probation Status
If the student feels there were extenuating circumstances to explain their disqualified SAP status they have the option to appeal to the Financial Aid Director or their designee. An appeal may require the student to meet with a counselor, seek tutorial assistance, correct the difficulties that prevent success, view web-based videos, and/or other suggested remediation to show increased possibilities of future SAP success. An approved appeal will give the student only 1 quarter of Probation and allow them to receive financial aid, pending availability at the time of approval.

If a student is in a Disqualified status, they attend a following quarter at halftime or more, and they meet the SAP requirements they will be considered to be making SAP for the quarter after showing success.  During the quarter after showing SAP success the student would be in an eligible status and could be awarded, pending availability at the time of Reinstatement.  It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office of a successful quarter.

Example: Mike was disqualified after winter quarter and he returns to attend college at least halftime in the spring.  Mike finally meets the SAP requirements in spring.  Mike would be eligible to let the Financial Aid Office know that he reinstated himself.  Mike would be eligible for aid the next quarter he attended, pending eligibility and availability at the time of Reinstatement.

Units and GPA calculation
We will depend on Admission and Records (A&R) to properly show units completed and GPA for our use in determining SAP.  Grades of “F”, “W”, “NP”, “IP”, and “I” are not counted as completed units and thus will be assessed as not completed units when determining SAP.  Courses taken as P/NP may have the GPA manually calculated, if not all classes were passed (P).  We will follow A&R’s rules on repeating courses for credit and may be able to pay for retaking a course.  Because below college level courses are often used to get up to college level courses, meaning there is the intention to be in an eligible academic program, those classes will be used in determining SAP. See grade point calculator.

Return of Title IV (R2T4)
Return to Title IV is a process by which the percentage of Title IV aid the student received or should have received must be determined after a student has completely withdrawn from their courses (100%) and ceased activities on the campus for any given quarter prior to the 60% completion date. Any financial aid student who completely withdraws from a quarter will be evaluated to see if one of the following must occur:
  • They received aid, but owe some back to the school/Federal Government.
  • They received aid (or perhaps they did not), but they should have been eligible to receive additional aid for the time they did attend classes.
  • They received aid (or perhaps they did not), but the amount received was within the range where nothing needed to be paid back.
The determination of drop date will be based on official notification by the student (in any form of writing or from a conversation indicating they are withdrawing) or by using the A&R Office's records within the Banner system. At any time a student withdraws from 100% of their classes and ceases official activities on the campus, the percentage completed calculation will be determined, using the Banner system and federally provided worksheets. If the records available for their 100% withdrawal date are incomplete or inconclusive, the FAO may use a default point of 50% completion. Counseling appointments, where official school business is conducted, may count as official campus activities as long as recorded proof is available. We will follow the federally mandated order of repayment for the Title IV funds, which for Foothill College is Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Federal Subsidized Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, and finally Federal SEOG. We will perform the calculation within 30 days of completely dropping units and will obtain repayment or a satisfactory repayment agreement within the required timeframe of 45 days post calculation.

Once the R2T4 calculation has been completed, the student will be notified of their repayment responsibility and a debit amount equal to the student AND institutional liabilities will be placed on the student's account for repayment. Students will be liable for both portions of the required repayment (Student & Institutional portion). In the cases were a post-withdrawal disbursement is necessary, the amount owed to the student will be disbursed to their student account and refunded through the above mentioned mechanism at the next regular disbursement date. Additionally, for students who owe the college or Department of Education, holds may be placed on the student's ability to register and order transcripts and a National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) hold may be placed after 45 days, preventing further Title IV aid until the debt has been resolved. If repayment does not happen in a timely fashion the student will be sent to collections by the A&R Office along with all debts.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from all your classes.

Example: Mary is a full time student and received a Pell disbursement of $1,350 for the quarter. She dropped all her classes during the 5th week of the quarter. After the calculation of Return of Title IV funds, Mary owes and must repay $234 of the Pell amount.