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2012-2013 Catalog

Office of Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress


Applying for Financial Aid | Viewing Your Financial Aid Status | Awarding Process | Vocational Rehabilitation | Veterans' Benefits | Satisfactory Academic Progress

Effective: July 1, 2011

Students admitted into a course of study leading to a degree, and who receive federal, state, institutional or veterans’ financial assistance, have their academic progress reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid at the end of each payment period.  Financial aid recipients must meet several aspects of satisfactory academic progress to maintain their aid eligibility.  Federal guidelines state that all periods of attendance will be counted toward the students’ academic progress review, regardless of whether the student received financial aid.  Students must meet the following qualitative and quantitative standards to maintain financial aid eligibility at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Qualitative Measures of Academic Progress

Grade Point Average

Incoming freshman or new undergraduate transfer students to the University of Houston-Victoria will be eligible to apply for financial assistance if they have been admitted to the university.

Undergraduates, including post baccalaureate students, must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative G.P.A., based on a 4.0 grading scale at the University of Houston-Victoria.   

First-time, first-year, or transfer graduate students will be eligible to apply for financial assistance if they have been admitted to the university.

Graduate students are required to maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average, based on a 4.00 grading scale at the University of Houston-Victoria.

The minimum cumulative grade point averages are consistent with the university’s requirements for graduation.

Quantitative Measures of Academic Progress

Pace of Progression
Undergraduate students, including post baccalaureate students, receiving financial assistance must complete at least 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted at the University of Houston-Victoria in order to maintain eligibility. 

All graduate students receiving financial assistance must complete at least 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted at the University of Houston-Victoria in order to maintain eligibility. 

Maximum Timeframe

Undergraduate students, including post baccalaureate students, are expected to complete their degree or certification within a maximum of 180 attempted credit hours.  If a student changes plans, he or she must still receive his or her bachelor’s degree or certification within a maximum of 180 attempted credit hours.  No limit is set to the number of times a student may change his or her plan; however, all attempted hours at UHV and transfer hours will be included in the SAP maximum timeframe determination.

Graduate students are expected to complete their degree or certification within a maximum of 68 attempted credit hours.  If a student changes plans, he or she must still receive his or her master’s degree within the 68 attempted credit hour limitation.  No limit is set to the number of times a student may change his or her plan; however, all attempted hours at UHV and transfer hours will be included in the SAP timeframe determination.

Transfer Work

Credit hours transferred to the University of Houston-Victoria will count as both attempted and completed hours.

Treatment of Grades

Withdrawals (W) and unsatisfactory (U) grades are not figured into a student’s grade point average.  Withdrawals and unsatisfactory grades are considered attempted hours in the pace of progression and maximum timeframe quantitative measures.  Incomplete grades are also considered attempted courses.  When a student informs the Office of Financial Aid that an incomplete grade has changed to a passing grade, the student’s academic progress will be reassessed at that time.  If the student does not inform the office, the grade change will not be reflected until the next regular review of satisfactory academic progress.

Repeated courses are considered attempted hours and if the student received a passing grade, the repeated courses will also be considered completed courses.  The most recent grade of a repeated course will be included in the GPA calculation.  Undergraduate students may receive Title IV aid for only one repeat of a previously passed course.

Remedial class(es) and ESL classes are not included in the quantitative and qualitative measures.

Courses dropped prior to the term’s census date will not be considered in the SAP calculation.

Monitoring of Academic Progress

The cumulative grade point average, pace of progression, and maximum credit hour limitation are monitored each term.  UHV advisors monitor the student’s who have at least 105 completed courses to identify who has or will be completing the academic program during the upcoming or current term.  If a student has completed his/her program, the academic advisor will notify the Financial Aid Specialist.

If any student fails to meet one of the SAP quantitative or qualitative measures, the student will be placed on financial aid warning for one term. If the student does not meet the measures at the end of the following term in which the student was on warning, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.  Students on financial aid suspension will not be eligible to receive any form of financial assistance.  Records used to monitor satisfactory academic progress will be filed in the student’s financial aid electronic folder.  Students will be able to view their Satisfactory Academic Progress on the MyUHV Self Service website.  Email notifications will be sent to the student’s UHV email account when they have been placed on Warning status.

Appeal Process

All students not meeting the satisfactory academic requirements will be notified by mail stating that they have been placed on financial aid suspension.  The letter will contain the website link to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and a link to the SAP Appeal Form.  Students who have questions or concerns about the situation are welcome to speak with the Financial Aid Specialist who monitors SAP or they may appeal the suspension.

Students who have mitigating circumstances may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form along with pertinent documentation within two months of receiving the letter of suspension.  Examples of mitigating circumstances are a death of a relative, an illness or injury to the student, or other special circumstances.  The appeal should be submitted to the University of Houston-Victoria’s Financial Aid Appeals Committee; University of Houston-Victoria; 3007 N. Ben Wilson; Victoria, TX 77901-5731.  The committee consists of the Director of Business Services and the Director of Student Retention and Academic Success, or their designees.  The appeals committee will meet within two weeks of receiving the appeal.   The deadline to submit the SAP Appeal form is one month prior to the end of the term in which the student is applying for aid.

The student must provide the following:

    a.  The circumstances which caused their suspension and what has changed in the student’s situation that will
         allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation
    b.  The student’s plan to correct the circumstances (i.e., planned usage of the Academic Center)
    c.  Your intended future enrollment plan including the number of hours remaining before receiving degree
    d.  A current copy of the student’s signed degree plan
    e.  Any other pertinent documentation regarding mitigating circumstances (i.e., letter from physician).

If the student receives a favorable decision from the UHV Financial Aid Appeals Committee, the student will be placed on financial aid probation. Financial aid eligibility will be granted for the probationary period.  A student on financial aid probation may receive aid for one payment period or UHV may develop an academic plan for the student, and if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet the institution’s SAP standards by a specific point in time.  The student will need to fulfill specific terms and conditions such as meeting the terms of a Financial Aid Academic Success Agreement, taking a reduced course load, enrolling in specific courses, no drops or withdrawal of classes, and/or achieve a specific term GPA.  At the end of one payment period on financial aid probation, the student must meet UHV’s SAP qualitative and quantitative measures or meet the requirements of the academic agreement developed by the institution in order to receive financial aid funds for the subsequent payment period.

The student is called after the committee meets to explain the results of the appeal.  An email will also be sent to the student via E-forms notifying him or her of the results of the appeal.  Appeal denial letters are to include a statement stating that neither paying for their own classes nor sitting out for an enrollment period is sufficient for students to re-establish eligibility for Title IV aid.  A copy of the letter will also be filed in the student’s folder.  If the student is concerned about the outcome of the committee’s appeal, the student can make an appointment to visit with the Financial Aid Director.  A maximum of two appeals per career may be submitted.

A student may receive grants, scholarships, and work study for the payment period in which the student regains eligibility.  For Federal Direct Loans, a student who does not meet satisfactory academic progress standards at the beginning of a period of enrollment but who meets the standards later in that period is eligible for the entire period of enrollment in which he or she met the satisfactory academic progress standards.

Disbursement of Policy

Students are notified of the SAP policy in the UHV Catalog online.  In addition, copies are available as a handout in the OFA. SAP policy guidelines are available on PeopleSoft Self Service to aid applicants and they are on the UHV OFA web page.  The policy is also mailed to students not meeting academic progress.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Effective: July 2011
When a student totally withdraws, stops attending, is expelled or takes a qualified leave of absence from all classes in a given semester, the Higher Education Act requires the institution to determine whether Title IV funds must be returned by or on behalf of the student.  Title IV aid is earned in a prorated manner on a per diem basis up to and including the 60% point in the semester.  For example, a student who withdraws completing only 30% of the term will have "earned" only 30% of any Title IV aid received. The remaining 70% must be returned by the school and/or the student.   Aid adjustments may cause the student to repay a portion of any financial aid received.   Students will be notified of any indebtedness to UHV.  Students who withdraw after completing 60% of the term will be considered to have "earned" 100% of the aid. 

If a student is thinking about withdrawing from all classes PRIOR to completing 60% of the semester, he or she should contact the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) to see how withdrawal of classes would affect his or her financial aid.  A copy of the “Return of Title IV Funds" worksheet used for this calculation can be obtained from UHV´s Office of Financial Aid.

Tuition and Fee Refund Policy for All Students

Refunds on all institutional charges, including tuition and fees, will be calculated in accordance with Section 54.006 of the Texas Higher Education Code refund policy when a student drops a class or withdraws from UHV. UHV´s Institutional Refund policy is available at: http://www.uhv.edu/Bursar/DropWithdrawlRefundSchedule.aspx.

Official and Unofficial Withdrawals

This policy shall apply to all students who officially or unofficially withdraw from the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV), and receive financial aid from Title IV funds.

The term "Title IV Funds" refers to the Federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: unsubsidized Direct loans, subsidized Direct loans, Direct PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, TEACH Grant, Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant, and Federal SEOG. The calculation does not include the Federal College Work-Study program.

A student’s withdrawal date is: the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of the intent to withdraw. This can be done by withdrawing in MyUHV.  For a student who leaves without notifying the institution, the withdrawal date will be determined by the midpoint of the period or the student´s last date of attendance at a documented academically-related activity (examples of academically-related activity include an exam, a tutorial, computer assisted instruction, physical attendance where there is direct interaction between instructor and student, participation in on-line discussion about academic matters, initiation of contact with instructor to ask questions about academic subject matter, class assignments completed, or a meeting  of a study group assigned by the school).  Logging into an on-line class only is not considered an academically-related activity.   If special circumstances exist that prevent a student from beginning the withdrawal process, the Director of Financial Aid will consider these matters on a case by case basis.  

Enrollment reports are reviewed to determine who has withdrawn and the date of withdrawal.  The Office of Financial Aid also receives an “All F" report at the end of each semester from the Registrar’s Office.  Students who receive a letter grade of “F" in all courses registered for a term will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation once a withdrawal date is determined.  Professors are contacted for determining the student´s last academic related activity.

For students enrolled in Modules
A student is considered withdrawn if the student does not complete all of the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete.   UHV will track enrollment in each module (a group of courses in a program that do not span the entire length of the payment period, for example, an intersession or mini-sessions combined to form a term) to determine if a student began enrollment in all scheduled courses.  If a student officially drops courses in a later module while still attending a current module, the student is not considered as withdrawn based on not attending the later module.  However, a recalculation of aid based on a change in enrollment status may still be required.

If a student provides written confirmation to UHV at the time of ceasing attendance that the student plans to attend another course later in the same payment period, the student is not considered to have withdrawn from the term.  If the student does not provide written confirmation of plans to return to school later in the same period, a school considers the student to have withdrawn.  However, if the student does return to UHV in the same period, even if the student did not provide written confirmation of plans to do so, the student is not considered to have withdrawn after all and is eligible to receive the Title IV funds for which the student was eligible before ceasing attendance.  UHV will then reverse the R2T4 process and provide additional funds the student is eligible to receive at the time of return.

Title IV Aid Disbursed or Could Have Been Disbursed

The first step of the calculation is identifying all the net Title IV aid disbursed to the student’s account or by check prior to the determination of the student’s withdrawal date.   To be aid that could have been disbursed, the Department of Education had processed the student’s FAFSA with an official EFC, SEOG was already awarded, a loan was certified or originated by the school and the student had a valid MPN.  Aid that is prohibited from being disbursed prior to the student withdrawing is also aid that could have been disbursed.  However, the student will never be able to receive the funds.  For example, aid prohibited from being disbursed could be the 2nd disbursement of a loan for the payment period.

Earned Aid
The percentage of Title IV aid earned shall be calculated as follows: # of days completed by student / Total # of days in term.   The percent of term completed shall be the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student. The total number of calendar days in a term of enrollment shall exclude any scheduled breaks of more than five days.

Unearned Aid
The percentage of Title IV aid unearned (i.e., to be returned to the appropriate program) shall be: 100% minus the percent earned.   First, UHV shall return the unearned aid to the federal programs or servicer by debiting the student´s account.  The calculation is as follows:

 Total required institutional charges X percent of unearned aid = amount returned to program(s) by UHV

Institutional charges consist of tuition and fee charges assessed prior to the withdrawal and on-campus room and board charges.

Second, the student shall return the unearned aid to the federal programs or servicer as follows:

           Total unearned aid less the institution´s share = amount returned to the program by the student

Distribution of Title IV Funds
Unearned Title IV aid shall be returned to the following programs in the following order:

    Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
    Subsidized Stafford Loan
    Graduate PLUS Loan
    Parent PLUS Loan
    Federal Pell Grant
    Federal SEOG
    TEACH Grant
    Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant

Exception: no program can receive a refund if the student did not receive aid from that program. When the total amount of unearned aid is greater than the amount returned by UHV from the student´s account, the student is responsible for returning unearned aid to the appropriate program(s) as follows:

    Unsubsidized Stafford Loan*
    Subsidized Stafford Loan*
    Graduate PLUS Loan*
    Parent PLUS Loan*
    Federal Pell Grant**
    Federal SEOG**
    TEACH Grant**
    Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant**

*Loans amounts are returned with the terms of the promissory note.
 **Grant funds due to be returned would be the initial amount of grants for the student to return minus 50% of grant aid disbursed. A student does not have to repay grant overpayments of $50 or less per program.

Time Line for Return of Title IV Funds

Refunds and adjusted bills will be sent to the student´s home address on file in MyUHV following withdrawal.   Students are responsible for any portion of their institutional charges that are left outstanding after Title IV funds are returned. The Bursar´s Office will send each student up to three collection notices, allowing outstanding balances to be paid within 90 days. Delinquent accounts are assigned to an outside collection agency and are reported to the credit bureau. Students who have an outstanding balance on their UHV student account will remain ineligible to register for courses in upcoming semesters until the account is paid in full.

Institutional and Student Responsibilities

UHV´s responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV funds include:
        • Providing each student with the information given in this policy (See the UHV Catalog or UHV Financial 
          Aid website at http://www.uhv.edu);
        • Identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Funds 
          calculation for those students within 45 days of determining the student withdrew and returning any Title 
          IV funds that are due the Title IV programs within 45 days of determining the student withdrew.  
        • Contact a withdrawn student prior to making a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement of loan funds to explain 
           loan obligations and confirm if the loan funds are still wanted by the student within 30 days of the school’s 
           determination of the student withdrawal.  Documentation of the student´s decision and contact 
           information must be filed in the student´s folder.

The student´s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds include:
        • Becoming familiar with the Return of Title IV policy and how complete withdrawal affects eligibility for 
          Title IV aid; and
        • Returning to UHV any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and which the student was 
           determined to be ineligible for via the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.
        • Provide a response within 15 days instructing UHV to make a post-withdrawal disbursement.

Example
Michael withdrew after attending 11 days of a 110 day enrollment period.
He received a $1000 Pell Grant and a $2500 Federal Subsidized Loan.
His institutional costs were $1000.
Days attended 11 / Days in Period 110 = Percentage completed 10%

Total Title IV aid disbursed $3500 X % Completed 10% = Earned Aid $350
Total disbursed aid $3500 – Total Earned Aid $350 = Unearned Aid $3150 100% - % Completed 10% = % Unearned Aid 90%
% Unearned Aid 90% X Institutional Charges $1000 = Uncoverable charges $900 The lesser of: Unearned Aid to be Returned ($3150) or Uncoverable Charges = $900 Unearned Aid $3150 – Institution´s Share $900 = Student´s Share $2250

The institution will return $900 to the Federal Subsidized Loan servicer.
The student will return $1600 to the Federal Subsidized Loan servicer according to the terms of the promissory note.

Initial amount of unearned aid due from the student $2250 – student´s repayment to the student´s loan $1600 = Initial amount of Title IV Grants for Student to Return $650
Grant aid disbursed $1000 X 50% = $500
$650 - $500 = Title IV Grant Funds for the Student to Return $150
If the student´s account has a balance after returning the financial aid, the student will be billed.

Appeals
Students may make a written appeal for an exception based on their individual circumstances. The appeal should be made to the Financial Aid Director. An appeal would be, for example, if the professors withdrew a student from all the classes.  The professors did not provide a last day of academic related activity so the calculation used the midpoint in the term.  The student wanted to provide documentation to prove that he or she attended classes longer than the midpoint in the term.

The fees, procedures, and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change at any time.