Academic Progress and Return of Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Recipients

To remain eligible for financial aid, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) requires students to maintain satisfactory academic progress. These standards are more stringent than WCTC's Standards for Academic Success and they apply to transfer credits, current coursework and previous academic history -- even if financial aid was not received for those credits.

ED requires WCTC to review qualitative progress (Grade Point Average) and quantitative progress (Pace of Completion) after each term, including summer.

Students must advance through educational programs at a pace in which they will graduate within a maximum timeframe of 150 percent of the number of credits required to earn a degree.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

To maintain satisfactory academic progress, the standards and pace must be achieved each semester:

  • Earn at least a 2.0 term grade point average
  • Successfully complete 67 percent of the credits attempted

Attempted Credits Include

  • All financial aid-eligible credits enrolled in as of the census date, (which occurs after the third week of each semester and the second week of the summer term).
  • Courses dropped on or after the census date. (These, however, do not count as completed credits.)
  • Repeated courses.

Courses that are dropped before the census date do not count as attempted credits. Audited courses are not eligible for financial aid.

Considerations for Successfully Completed Credits

  • Courses completed with a passing grade (A, B, C or D) are considered Successfully Completed Credits.
  • Courses that are not considered Successfully Completed Credits are those with a non-passing grade: W, AU, I, F and ID. View grade code information

Maximum Time Frame of Eligibility

Students may attempt up to 150 percent of the number of credits required to earn a degree before financial aid eligibility expires. Credits transferred from other colleges and credits attempted at WCTC all count toward this 150 percent threshold.

Graduating from one program or switching to a second program does not restart the count of attempted credits. For those enrolled in multiple programs, the time frame for the longest program determines the maximum number of credits.

Program Length Average Required Credits Maximum Credits Allowed
1 semester 16 24
1 year 32 48
2 year 68 102

Financial Aid Warning, Suspension and Reinstatement

Financial Aid Warning

Students are placed on Financial Aid Warning and will receive notification by mail if they:

  • Earn a grade point average (GPA) of less than 2.0.
  • Complete less than 67 percent of attempted credits.

Students on Financial Aid Warning, however, are still eligible to receive aid. First-time aid recipients who previously attended WCTC will also have their academic history reviewed.

Students remain on Financial Aid Warning for all future semesters unless they fail to meet minimum academic progress a second time.

Financial Aid Suspension and Reinstatement

If a student's GPA drops below 2.0 or the student completes fewer than 67 percent of attempted credits a second time, the status will move from Financial Aid Warning to Financial Aid Suspension. This results in the student losing financial aid eligibility in future semesters.

Students who receive financial aid and do not successfully complete any course (grades of F, W, I, ID or AU) are also placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Students on Financial Aid Suspension may reinstate their financial aid eligibility in one of the following ways:

  1. Pay with sources other than financial aid and successfully complete at least six credits in one semester at WCTC, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 and 67 percent pace of completion.
  2. File a one-time appeal if extenuating circumstances prevented them from maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Prior to submitting an appeal, the student must attend ‘Back-on-Track,’ a non-credit life skills / financial literacy workshop, and complete all requirements of the course. Register or view upcoming available workshop times. Only one appeal may be filed for financial aid reinstatement at WCTC. Other requirements include:
    • An explanation of why the student did not maintain academic progress and how the situation has changed to enhance future academic success.
    • Steps taken to resolve these obstacles and to prevent them from recurring.
    • Awareness of WCTC resources available to help maintain academic progress.
    • A personal plan of action to ensure academic progress will be met and maintained.
    • An academic plan, including a summary of classes to be taken each semester, and the expected degree completion date.
    • Third-party documentation to support reasons for not maintaining academic progress.

Students who are successful in having their financial aid reinstated are placed on probationary status.

Return of Federal Aid

For students considering withdrawing from all credit classes, WCTC recommends talking with an academic advisor or program counselor - especially if receiving financial aid. Those who choose to withdraw from WCTC must understand the college's tuition refund policy, grading policy and federal law relating to the return of financial aid.

  • Federal law states that students who stop attending classes prior to the 60 percent point of the semester do not earn all of their financial aid; therefore a portion must be returned to the federal government. Students may owe WCTC and the federal government.
  • The withdrawal date is defined as the last date of attendance or academically related activity, such as submitting an assignment or taking a test.
  • The approximate 60 percent dates are early November for the fall semester; early April for the spring semester; and mid-July for summer.

Of the federal funds used to pay tuition, the amount that is to be repaid is a proportional part of that tuition. The formula to calculate this repayment is as follows:

  • Number of days completed by student (up to withdrawal date) divided by the total number of days in the semester.

Auditing a class or failing to attend any class results in full aid repayment.

Students will be billed for any funds the college is required to repay. Contact the billing specialist at 262.691.5283 for payment arrangements. This calculation is separate from WCTC's state-approved tuition refund policy.

Recommended Withdrawal Procedure

If you are unable to withdraw online or in person, call Registration at 262.691.5578 and choose option #1 to speak to a Registration operator.