Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal and State Financial Aid Programs.

The Net Price Calculator is a tool that provides  a sample financial aid package that outlines the types of aid you may receive if you are both admitted to Wells College and you complete a federal aid application (FAFSA).  The information you provide on the net price calculator will generate an estimated award package based on the 2015-2016 Cost of Attendance figures and student aid eligibility requirements. Simply sign in and enter your information to recieve your results.

Contact Us

Wells College Financial Aid Office
170 Main Street
Aurora, NY 13026
Phone: 315-364-3289
Email: financial-aid@wells.edu
Fax: 315-364-3445

Full-time and Part-time Students

Wells College is required to have Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress to comply with the federal and state regulations governing financial aid programs. These standards are in reference to financial aid programs. They are not the academic standards defined by the faculty of Wells College. This means that a student can be placed on academic probation and still receive financial aid as long as they are in compliance with the financial aid standards outlined below. These regulations are subject to change by both federal and state legislative action at any time.

Wells College’s academic progress policy for financial aid includes a qualitative and quantitative measure in reviewing a student’s academic progress. To ensure that a student is making both qualitative and quantitative progress throughout her or his course of study, Wells College will assess the student’s progress at the end of each semester for New York State TAP requirements and at the end of each academic year for federal aid purposes.

Part-time students shall be evaluated by the same standards as full-time students from the date they first matriculate. However, part-time students need only to accrue courses at one-half the rate of full-time students.

The following regulations will apply when reviewing a student’s program pursuit:

  • A student must earn 120 credit hours to graduate.
  • A student is eligible to receive institutional and federal financial assistance for 180 attempted credit hours in her or his pursuit of the Baccalaureate Degree. A student is eligible under federal guidelines to receive (12) semesters of a Pell Grant and in the New York State TAP program to receive (8) semesters of aid. However, a student has (7) years in which to complete her or his degree requirements, regardless of her or his eligibility for financial aid.
  • Grades at Wells College are recorded in terms of the letter A, B, C, D, F with additional gradation for the letters A through D, indicated by plus or minus signs. The numerical equivalent of these letter grades for the computation of academic standing is as follows: A+ = 4.3, A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0, B- = 2.7, C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0, C- = 1.7, D+ = 1.3, D = 1.0, D- = 0.7, and F = 0.
  • Certain courses are graded as U (Unsatisfactory), S (Satisfactory), and Pass/Fail. These courses will not be used in the calculation of a student’s grade point average with the exception of F and U = 0. However, all courses passed can be applied to the total number of credits successfully completed.

New York State Student Aid

In order to maintain eligibility for New York State financial aid awards, students must meet minimum requirements for academic progress. These requirements are both qualitative (minimum GPA) and quantitative (minimum courses successfully completed). Eligibility is reviewed prior to the start of each semester using cumulative GPA and courses completed. Students must attempt a minimum number of credits and must have successfully earned a certain number of credits for each payment period. These requirements are outlined in the chart below. 

Semester 
Payment
Minimum # of 
Credits Attempted
Total # 
Earned Credits
GPA
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

0

6

6

9

9

12

12

12

12

12

0

6

15

27

39

51

66

81

96

111

0

1.5

1.8

1.8

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

Note: All students who have received four semester payments of New York State TAP must have a 2.0 GPA and earn a minimum of 12 credits per semester. This includes students who may have received TAP payments at another college prior to enrolling at Wells College.

Repeated Courses

New York State regulations mandate that if a student repeats a course in which a passing grade acceptable to the institution has been received previously, the course cannot be included as part of the student's minimum full-time course load for New York State financial aid purposes. However, in the following instances repeated courses may count toward full-time or part-time study: (1) when a failed course is repeated and (2) when a grade received is passing at the College, but is not acceptable in a particular student's major field of study.

Incomplete Courses

A student with incomplete courses at the end of the semester must complete the coursework prior to the start of the next semester or may lose state financial aid eligibility. Incomplete courses will not be used to evaluate a student's academic progress as indicated in the chart above. If a student completes these courses during the next semester and regains satisfactory academic progress, state aid may be reinstated upon the student's written request.

Withdrawals and Leave of Absence

A grade of "W" does not indicate whether the student passed, failed, or completed all work in a course, and therefore cannot be counted toward meeting either qualitative or quantitative standards. Students who received New York State aid for a semester from which they withdraw or take a leave of absence and do not earn any academic credits are not considered to be meeting the state's pursuit of program requirements and will not be eligible to receive state aid the following semester. A student who withdraws from the College and is readmitted will be eligible for state financial aid provided they were in compliance at the end of their last semester of attendance.

Loss of State Financial Aid

Students who have not fulfilled the chart requirements listed above in a term when they received a state grant or scholarship are not eligible for an award for the next semester. The financial aid office will notify all students at the end of each semester who have been determined to be ineligible for state financial aid. All students have the right to appeal their loss of state financial aid by following the appeal process below.

Reinstatement of State Financial Aid

Students who have lost their state financial aid and have not been granted an appeal may restore aid eligibility in one of the following ways:

  • Make up past academic deficiencies by completing one or more semesters of study without receiving any state grants or scholarships.
  • Students who lose state aid for not maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better after four semester payments of state aid cannot regain eligibility for state aid by sitting out two semesters. Students who have received four semesters of payment can only regain eligibility by acquiring a GPA of 2.0.
  • Students who lose state aid because they did not attempt the minimum number of credits required and choose to attend the following semester without state aid, will regain their eligibility if they complete the number of credits that were deficient.
  • Be readmitted to the College after an absence of at least one year (two semesters). This is not allowed if a student has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 after attempting 60 credit hours.
  • Transfer to another institution and earn credits that could be transferred back to Wells.

Appeal Process for State Aid

The satisfactory academic progress requirements for state aid may be waived for undue hardship based on: 1) the death of a relative or student; 2) the personal injury or illness of the student; or 3) other extenuating circumstances. The appeal is intended only to accommodate extraordinary or unusual cases directly related to academic performance and the student's failure to achieve the requirements. The appeal process does not exist to provide one additional term of eligibility for all students who fail to meet pursuit or progress requirements. It will not be granted automatically. Students will be asked in their appeal to 1) explain the reasons the student failed to meet satisfactory academic progress and 2) describe what actions the student plans on taking to ensure their academic success in the next semester. The College has developed a learning contract and academic course for all students who have not met their academic standards and this contract and course can be used in their action plan. Appeals will not be automatically granted because a student accepts their learning contract. The appeal will be granted only when there is reasonable expectation that the student will meet future satisfactory academic progress requirements.

Please note that:

  • A student may be granted only one waiver of New York State requirements for failing to meet the minimum requirements; whether the number of courses or the GPA requirement, before the fifth payment.
  • A waiver of New York State requirements may be granted only once for failure to accrue the required number of courses in a student's undergraduate career.
  • A student may be granted more than one waiver of New York State requirements for failing to meet the GPA requirement of 2.0 or higher after the fourth semester.
  • A student's failure to achieve "good academic standing" shall be identified by the director of financial aid. The student will be notified before the beginning of the student's next semester if they have not met the standards of financial aid academic progress and are ineligible for financial aid funds. Notification will also be sent to the provost, dean of students, and registrar.

All students have the right to request an appeal of the determination that they are not making satisfactory academic progress. The student should request an appeal in writing within the time frame outlined by the director of financial aid. Students should be specific in outlining those mitigating circumstances and provide any documentation which they would like taken into consideration upon their reviews. The provost, registrar, dean of students, director of financial aid, and director of academic advising and success shall review the student's appeal. Notification of their decision and any specific requirements that must be fulfilled will be sent to the student in writing. Copies of the student's appeal letter and decision will be retained in the student's permanent financial aid file.

Federal Student Aid

Students must meet minimum requirements for satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid awards as well. These requirements are also both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (maximum time for program completion). The financial aid office will review a student's satisfactory academic progress annually. The chart below outlines the minimum number of credits a student must earn and the minimum cumulative GPA required for each payment period.

 

Academic Year
 
Total AY Earned
 
Total Cumulative
Credits Earned
Cumulative GPA
 

AY1

AY2

AY3

AY4

AY5

21

21

21

21

21

21

42

63

84

105

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0 

  

Repeated Courses

Repeated courses will not impact any federal aid if the student receives credit for the course from Wells College. However, only the highest grade earned will be calculated into the cumulative GPA average. Students can only receive financial aid funds for one repeated attempt to achieve a passing grade or an improved grade in a course.
 

Incomplete Courses

A student with incomplete courses at the end of the academic year must complete the coursework prior to the start of the next academic year. If a student completes these courses during the next academic year and regains satisfactory academic progress, federal aid may be reinstated upon the student’s request.
 

Withdrawals and Leave of Absence

When evaluating a student’s annual satisfactory progress, grades of “W” do not constitute grades which indicate that a student passed, failed, or completed all work in a course and cannot be counted toward meeting program pursuit requirements. If a student withdraws from all courses during a semester or takes a leave of absence and does not complete the semester for which they received federal aid, they will most likely not meet satisfactory academic progress and will not be eligible for federal aid.
 

Loss of Federal Aid Eligibility

Students who do not meet the standards listed above forfeit eligibility for federal financial aid awards for each subsequent academic year until academic progress standards are met. The financial aid office, at the end of each academic year, will notify all students who have been determined to be ineligible for federal financial aid. All students have the right to appeal their loss of federal financial. The student should request an appeal in writing within the time frame outlined by the director of financial aid.

The appeal process does not exist to provide one additional term of eligibility for all students who fail to meet progress requirements. It will not be granted automatically. Students will be asked in their appeal to 1) explain the reasons the student failed to meet satisfactory academic progress and 2) describe what actions the student plans on taking to ensure their academic success in the next semester. The College has developed a learning contract and academic course for all students who have not met their academic standards and this contract and course can be used in their action plan. Appeals will not be automatically granted because a student accepts their learning contract. The appeal will be granted only when there is reasonable expectation that the student will meet future satisfactory academic progress requirements. If a student is appealing because of extenuating circumstances such as a death in the family or illness, they may not be required to sign a learning contract. However, they should submit supporting documentation to support these reasons.

The financial aid director will notify all students who have not met their satisfactory academic progress standards and are ineligible for financial aid funds by the beginning of the student’s next semester. Notification will also be sent to the provost, dean of students, director of academic advising and success and registrar.

The student should request an appeal in writing within the time frame outlined by the director of financial aid. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student’s letter of appeal and all supporting documentation. The provost, registrar, director of academic advising and success, dean of students, and director of financial aid shall review the student’s appeal. Notification of their decision and any specific requirements that must be fulfilled will be sent to the student in writing. Copies of the student’s appeal letter and decision will be retained in the student’s permanent financial aid file.
 

Financial Aid Probation

If a student is granted a financial aid appeal, that student is placed on financial aid probation. They will be given an academic action plan with specific requirements that the committee feels would improve the student’s academic status. Also, the committee will provide a new, revised schedule that outlines the student’s requirement for cumulative number of credits earned and cumulative GPA that is to be achieved in a specific time period.

Students who fail the satisfactory progress check after the end of the probationary payment period may only continue to receive aid if the Appeals Committee grants a second appeal with a revised academic plan. Students will have an opportunity to present any documentation that explains reasons why they were unable to meet their original revised academic plan.
 

Reinstatement of Federal Financial Aid When Appeals Are Denied

Students who have lost their federal financial aid and have not been granted an appeal may restore their aid eligibility in one of the following ways:

  • Attend Wells College without financial aid. The financial aid office will review the student’s academic progress every semester and once the student has made up past academic deficiencies they can have their aid reinstated. Financial aid cannot be retroactively reinstated for semesters the student was not achieving satisfactory academic progress.
  • If failed to achieve satisfactory academic progress based on earning the required number of credits, a student could attend another institution and earn credits that could be transferred back to Wells.

 

Transfer Student Eligibility

Transfer students will be considered using slightly different procedures than that of students in continuing status. For example, when a student transfers into Wells College from another institution, Wells College will evaluate the student’s academic record and determine a certain number of credits it is willing to accept in transfer from the student’s previous study. That assessment and the number of payments received by the student will be used to place the student at an appropriate point in the institution’s schedule of academic progress. Placement for state aid purposes may be either in accord with the number of payments received or number of credits earned – whichever is more beneficial to the student. The point at which the transfer student is placed, and the number of payments she or he has received, may not line up. Students can receive TAP for a maximum of 8 semesters and Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan funds for 12 semesters, regardless of the number of semesters needed to complete their degree requirements at Wells College. Placement for federal aid purposes is in accord with the number of credits attempted at previous institutions. Students can only receive federal aid for a maximum of 180 attempted credit hours. Students who have received four or more semesters of TAP or students who have earned junior standing must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater.

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

170 Main Street, Aurora, NY 13026
Admissions: 800.952.9355
General Information: 315.364.3266
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