Federal Student Aid - Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations (General Provision CRF 668.1) require Hellenic College Holy Cross (HCHC) regularly review the academic progress of students who apply for and/or receive financial assistance. Satisfactory academic progress is comprised of three areas as required by federal regulations.

A student must:

  1. Complete their degree within a specified period.
  2. Demonstrate that he or she is making progress towards the completion of his or her degree by earning a minimum number of credit hours each semester.
  3. Achieve a GPA that is consistent with meeting the graduation requirement of 2.0.

This policy on satisfactory academic progress relates to all students who apply for and/or receive federal financial aid and/or Hellenic College Holy Cross scholarships and grants.

In addition to meeting the federal standards for receiving financial aid, students must also meet the academic standards of Hellenic College Holy Cross. Be advised that the criteria for many state grants and other forms of tuition assistance programs on academic progress may differ from the federal regulations.

Students may be suspended if they fail to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP), financial aid standards set by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, or academic standards set by Hellenic College Holy Cross.

Financial Aid Probation and Suspension

Satisfactory Academic Progress is monitored at the end of every semester. A student who fails to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA will receive a Warning notification and be placed on Financial Aid Probation for the next semester. If the student does not attain the required cumulative GPA (2.0) and/or cumulative completed credits percentage during his/her warning period, or exceeds the maximum time frame of 150% of the published degree credit required to complete the program, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

While on Financial Aid Suspension the student is not eligible for most financial aid programs. Exceptions include some private loan programs. Students should check with private lenders to determine if they offer loans to students not meeting SAP requirements.

Students may continue to attend Hellenic College Holy Cross, at their own expense, until they attain a cumulative GPA of above 2.0.

To regain financial aid eligibility, a student’s record must reflect that he or she has met these requirements. Students who fail to meet these standards due to unusual circumstances have the right to appeal their SAP suspension status by writing to the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Withdrawal/Leave of Absence

Federal Student Aid Recipients
Students are awarded Title IV funding (federal student aid) with the assumption that they will attend the entire period for which aid was awarded, typically a semester or term. If a student wishes to withdraw or take a leave of absence from a term, he/she must contact the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Financial Aid to complete the appropriate forms. For the purposes of federal student aid, a leave of absence must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period. The date the student completes the forms is the official date. This process also applies to students who drop all of their classes for the semester.

Federal regulations require that any student awarded Title IV assistance who takes a leave of absence or withdraws is subject to a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation. This calculation is based on the official withdrawal date as determined by Student Affairs and can result in an adjustment to Title IV funding.

The calculation is based on the percentage of Title IV aid earned by determining the number of days the student completed as a percentage of the number of days the student was expected to complete. Students are considered to have earned 100% of their Title IV aid if they are in attendance through 60% of the term. Unearned Title IV funds need to be returned to the appropriate federal programs, which may result in the student owing a balance to the university. Title IV funds are returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
  3. Federal PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal SEOG

Unofficial Withdrawals
At the end of the semester, the Office of Financial Aid is notified of any student who did not complete any classes for which he or she was registered. Students who cease to attend and do not earn any credit for the term are considered unofficial withdrawals. Unofficial withdrawals are also subject to the R2T4 calculation.

Massachusetts State Grant Recipients
Under Massachusetts regulations, students who do not complete the term may be subject to return of state funds. Similar to the federal guidelines, students earn their state aid while in attendance. To determine the amount a student is allowed to retain, the percentage of the term completed and the student balance with Hellenic College is considered.

Institutional Aid Recipients
Institutional aid is disbursed to a student’s account after the student incurs 100% tuition liability. This usually occurs after the fourth week of the semester. If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence, all institutional aid is returned.