According to the United States Department of Education regulations, all students applying for federal and/or state financial assistance must maintain satisfactory progress in his/her course of study to receive these funds. These standards stipulate, but are not limited to, attending your classes, maintaining acceptable grades, completing a sufficient number of credit hours per semester, and completing their program of study within a reasonable time frame. A student who does not meet these standards is not eligible to receive federal and/or state funded financial aid. All semesters of attendance are considered for satisfactory progress regardless of whether the student received aid. Adherence to the following standards will be necessary for continued financial aid eligibility.

A student must be making academic progress regardless of whether the student had previously received aid. Before aid is disbursed, a student’s progress will be evaluated according to policy guidelines. Any student who has not previously received financial aid may not be notified of his/her status until he/she has applied for financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined by:

Qualitative Measurement (GPA)

The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be a 2.0 for all attempted hours

Quantitative Measurement (Credit Hours)

Students must complete attempted hours according to the following:

  • Completion of 67% of cumulative hours attempted (i.e., a student attempts 15 hours, he/she must complete a minimum of 11).
  • Course grades of “I”, “W”, “WI”, “U”, “NG”, and “F” are considered attempted and not completed. Dropped courses prior to 2007-08 are considered attempted hours for academic progress.
  • Once a student completes a class for which they received a grade of an “I” or “NG”, the financial aid status can be reviewed and updated if appropriate, upon the student’s request.

Students not meeting the Qualitative and Quantitative Measurements above will be required to attend Financial Literacy Training before Financial Aid funds will be disbursed.

Maximum Time-Frame

Degree requirements must be completed within a specific time frame. The maximum time frame for a program of study at FVCC is 150% of the program requirements (i.e. an AS degree requires 60 credits for graduation so maximum time frame would be 90 attempted credits). Hours earned at FVCC, as well as hours transferred and accepted by FVCC are considered in this maximum time frame.

Any student who has exceeded the maximum time frame and/or who mathematically cannot finish the program within this period will be considered ineligible for financial aid.

Flathead Valley Community College understands that students may change their educational goals and programs of study, and that additional education is often needed to enhance career opportunities. These students may provide a written appeal for reevaluation of their status.

Students Seeking Additional Degrees/Certificates

Students who already have a Bachelor’s degree have limited eligibility for financial aid, because they have already reached their maximum time frame. In extenuating circumstances students may appeal for an extension of financial aid eligibility.

Students who wish to earn more than one associate degree and/or certificate are encouraged to use their maximum eligibility for this purpose.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Monitoring

Students’ records are reviewed for Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement and Maximum Time-Frame at the end of each semester.

Withdrawal Policy/Return of Title IV Funds

If a student totally withdraws or stops attending classes before the 60% point of a semester, federal regulations require that the student and/or institution return a portion of the Title IV Funds received to the federal government.

Financial Aid students who desire to officially withdraw from classes must visit with the Director of Financial Aid prior to starting the withdrawal process.

The Director will explain the consequences of withdrawal to the student and explore possible alternatives that would preserve the student’s eligibility for continued aid.

The student’s withdrawal date is the earlier of 1) the date they began the withdrawal process or 2) last attended classes. For a student who didn’t officially withdraw, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance as reported by the instructor or the 50% point of a semester.

The student’s withdrawal date, in calendar days, is used to determine the percentage of the semester the student completed. This percentage, multiplied by the amount of Title IV funds received by the student, determines the amount of aid that was “earned” by the student and that can be kept by the institution and/or student.