Policy & Procedures
Policies & Procedures
Dakota County Technical College and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policy 2.9, in compliance with Federal and State regulation, require that all students maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a degree, diploma, or certificate in order to receive financial aid.
Programs covered by this policy include Federal and State work-study, loans, grants and some scholarships. Students are first and foremost responsible for their academic progress and for seeking assistance when experiencing academic difficulty.
Dakota County Technical College reserves the right to withhold aid from any student, at any time, who is not performing satisfactorily at minimal academic standards, or due to an attendance pattern, appears to abuse the financial assistance programs. For example, financial aid could be withheld from a student who withdraws from all classes two consecutive terms, or a student who has previously attended two or more institutions and who has not progressed satisfactorily, or a student who does not appear to be pursuing degree/diploma/certificate completion, etc.
The college is required to develop a satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy that shall apply to all students receiving financial aid under federal Title IV financial aid programs or under programs of aid authorized under Minnesota Statutes 136 A.
The qualitative and quantitative standards contained in the college's policy must be cumulative and include all periods of enrollment, whether or not a student received financial aid.
Financial aid recipients are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. (Note: A 2.0 GPA is required to graduate).
Required Completion Percentage
The college uses cumulative credits completed, divided by credits attempted, to measure completion percentage.
To remain eligible for financial aid, a student is required to progress toward the completion of an academic program by successfully completing 67% of all credits attempted at Dakota County Technical College. Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of A, B, C, D and P are included in the calculation of cumulative credit completion percentage as courses successfully completed.
Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of I, IP, N, NC, W, F, FN, and FW will be treated as credits attempted but not successfully completed. Blank (Z) grades will be treated as credits attempted but not successfully completed. Audited courses (AU) are not included in the calculation.
Maximum Time Frame
The maximum allowable time frame for a student to complete an academic program is 150% of the published credit length of the program of study. For example, if the program of study is 72 credits in length, you would be eligible to receive financial aid for up to 108 attempted credits (72 X 1.5 = 108). All cumulative credits attempted are counted, including accepted transfer credits, and consortium credits, regardless of whether financial aid was received for the credits, or the course work was successfully completed. All credits attempted at Dakota County Technical College will be counted; even though a period of time (years) may have elapsed between enrollments and regardless of whether the student received financial aid for the terms and credits measured.
NOTE: If at any point it is determined that a student will not be able to finish the required courses to graduate from their program within the 150% time frame, financial aid eligibility will be terminated immediately.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated three times each year after Fall, Spring, and Summer Semester grades are recorded.
A. Financial aid probation
If you fail to meet the above defined Financial Aid SAP standards, you will be placed on financial aid probation for one term. While on probation, you may still receive financial aid. To be removed from probation, you must meet the Financial Aid SAP standards at the end of your probation period. If you fail to meet the standards, you will be suspended at the end of your probation period. However, if at the end of the probationary period a student who has been on probationary status has met the qualitative and quantitative standards listed above for all courses in which she or he was enrolled during the probationary period but has not met the institution's cumulative standards, the institution shall permit the student to retain her or his financial aid eligibility under a "continued probation" status, until such time as:
- The student has met the institution's cumulative qualitative and quantitative standards, at which time the student's financial aid eligibility shall be reinstated, or
- The student fails to meet the institution's qualitative or quantitative standards for the courses in which he or she was enrolled during the probationary period, at which time the institution shall suspend the student from financial aid eligibility immediately upon completion of the review, or
- The institution determines that it is not possible for a student to raise her or his GPA or course completion percentage to meet the institution's standards before the student would reach the end of the program for which he or she is receiving financial aid, at which time the institution shall suspend the student from financial aid eligibility immediately upon completion of the evaluation.
B. Financial aid suspension
You may be suspended if you fail to meet the Financial Aid SAP standards. While on suspension, you are not eligible for financial aid programs (excluding the alternative loan programs. Contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for more details.)
You may attend Dakota County Technical College at your own expense until you attain the cumulative GPA and overall credit completion requirement. To return to financial aid probation status, your record must reflect that you have met these requirements, or your Financial Aid Suspension Appeal must be approved.
C. Suspension of Students for Extraordinary Circumstances.
Any student may be immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility in the event of extraordinary circumstances, including, but not limited to, previously suspended (and reinstated) students whose academic performance falls below acceptable standards during a subsequent term of enrollment; students who register for courses, receive financial aid, and do not attend any classes; and students whose attendance patterns appear to abuse the financial aid programs.
When students are placed in a probationary status for, or suspended from, financial aid, the Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid will notify the student in writing.
Any student who has been suspended from financial aid has the right to appeal their status based on unusual or extenuating circumstances that are beyond the control of the student and were not present at the time of initial enrollment. Some examples of acceptable reasons may be:
- Documented death of a close relative.
- Documented personal illness, hospitalization or injury.
- Military leave.
All appeals must be submitted in writing on a Financial Aid Appeal Form available from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid with supporting documentation attached, to the Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid. The Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid will approve or deny appeals as they are submitted. Results of an appeal will be sent to the student in writing. Any student whose appeal is denied by the Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid has the right to appeal the denial to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee will use the same criteria in rendering its decision.
To reinstate financial aid a student must have an approved Financial Aid Appeal or must meet the financial aid satisfactory academic progress cumulative qualitative and quantitative standards. Neither paying for classes out of pocket, nor sitting out a period of time is sufficient in and of itself to re-establish a student's financial aid eligibility.
Treatment of grades:
Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P are included in the calculation of cumulative credit completion percentage as courses successfully completed. Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of I, IP, N, NC, W, F, or Z will be treated as credits attempted but not successfully completed.
Is not available to financial aid recipients. All attempted credits at DCTC are counted toward Financial Aid SAP.
Audited courses will not be funded by financial aid and are not included in any financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements.
Credits for which financial aid is received under a consortium agreement will be included in cumulative GPA, completion percentage, and maximum time frame calculations.
Remedial/developmental credits are included in the cumulative GPA and completion percentage measurement of SAP. Remedial/developmental credits will increase the length of the program of record up to 30 credits when calculating maximum time frame.
Students are allowed to repeat a course as often as allowed by the academic policies of the college. All attempted repeated credits will be counted toward the completion percentage. Upon submission of the repeat form to the Registrar, only the highest repeated grade will be counted toward the cumulative GPA measurement.
Transfer credits accepted by the institution and applied toward a student's degree, diploma, or certificate requirements to graduate will apply toward the maximum time frame calculation. If at the point of admission a transfer student's prior academic record does not meet the college's minimum cumulative qualitative or quantitative SAP standards, the college may immediately place the student in a probationary status for financial aid eligibility.
Credits for which a grade of "W" is received are considered attempted credits but not successfully completed credits. A grade of "W" does not impact GPA but does negatively impact the cumulative completion percentage and counts toward the maximum time frame.
Federal Return of Title IV Funds Process
Dakota County Technical College is not required to, and does not, record student attendance. Federal regulations mandate that the college have a procedure in place to ensure that students have attended, at a minimum, one class session in each course in which that student has registered, if that course was used to determine enrollment status for Federal Pell Grant. (Pages 3-40 through 3-42 - 2004-05 Federal Student Aid Handbook)
On the sixth class day of the semester, after the add/drop period has ended, faculty members must submit to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, the names of students that have not attended a class session. Classes the student has not attended are flagged as ineligible for financial aid in the ISRS system and are not included in the award calculation for disbursement of funds. If a faculty member does not include a student in the report to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid of non-attendees, it is inferred that the student has attended at least one class session.
If a student officially withdraws from all courses (total withdrawal), it is determined whether a Return of Title IV Funds calculation is required. If required, a calculation is completed and the student is notified of any financial liability. Institutional repayments are made to the appropriate financial aid program and overpayments are recorded on NSLDS. Students that fail to make satisfactory arrangements to repay an overpayment, or fail to comply with a previous arrangement, are referred to the United States Department of Education for collection after 45 days of noncompliance.
Students who have unofficially withdrawn are identified at the end of each term. A report of students who have earned zero credits for the term is generated and a letter is sent to the student notifying the student of potential financial liability if the student cannot provide proof of attendance past the 60% point of the term. If the student can document attendance beyond the 60% point, no calculation is required, as aid is 100% earned per federal regulation. If attendance cannot be documented or certified by the faculty, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will complete a Return of Title IV Funds calculation using a 50% rate as prescribed by federal regulation. The student is notified of any financial liability resulting from this calculation. Institutional repayments are made to the appropriate financial aid program and overpayments are recorded on NSLDS. Students that fail to make satisfactory arrangements to repay the overpayments or fail to comply with a previous arrangement are referred to the United States Department of Education for collection after 45 days of noncompliance.
Refunds to Minnesota Financial Aid Programs and Other Non-Title IV Financial Aid Programs
Refunds to Minnesota financial aid programs and other non-Title IV financial aid are calculated using State Grant Refund Calculation spreadsheet from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and DCTC’s Institutional Refund Policy.
Students with questions regarding financial aid should contact their Academic Advisor in the Student Services Office.
General Financial Aid Questions?
- Student Services Financial Aid Help Desk
Toll Free: 877-937-3282 ext.299
- Summer Hours (now through August 8)
7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday
7 a.m. – 12 p.m. Friday
- Regular Hours
7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday
7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday