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Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

The Richland Community College Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulations to monitor academic progress toward a degree or certificate for all financial aid recipients.

In order to receive financial aid at Richland, a student’s total academic record, including transfer work, dual credit classes, and classes for which aid was not received, must be evaluated. While developmental class hours are not counted in the College cumulative grade point average calculation, they will be reviewed for semester GPA and successful completion for financial aid purposes.

Failure to meet any Satisfactory Academic Progress conditions will result in a student being placed on Financial Aid Warning or Suspension. A student who was formerly in good standing who fails to meet any condition listed below will be placed on Warning. A student on Warning who fails to meet any condition will be placed on Suspension. Financial Aid Warning and Suspension are not the same as Academic Probation and Suspension.

Students on Warning may receive financial aid (including grants, loans, veterans’ benefits, etc.). Students on Suspension are not eligible to receive financial aid (including grants, loans, veterans’ benefits, etc.).

Students on Suspension may attempt to appeal their suspension. Students must submit a Financial Aid Appeal form that includes an explanation of the unusual circumstances that led to their failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Conditions (severe or prolonged personal illness or injury, death in the immediate family, extreme family emergency, etc.) along with an explanation of what has changed in the student’s situation that will now allow the student to succeed in their courses. Documentation of the explanation must be included for the appeal to be considered. Students will be notified via email of the appeal decision. If approved, the student must complete an academic plan with their advisor before they will be eligible for aid. Financial Aid Appeal forms are available in the Financial Aid Office and on Students who are attempting to receive aid once they have attempted 150% of the credit hours for their required certificate/degree program must also submit a Financial Aid Appeal.

Students on Suspension and students who have had an appeal denied can still attend courses by paying out-of-pocket or using resources outside of federal and state financial aid.  In order to be considered to receive financial aid in the future, a student who does not have an appealable circumstance or who has had an appeal denied should contact the financial aid office after they have taken and passed (with a C or better) at least six (6) credit hours and had no withdraws or incompletes. 

Students paying out-of-pocket are eligible to set up a payment plan online at, pay in person at the Cashier’s Window located in the Workforce Development Institute building, or call 217.875.7211 ext 226 or 227 to pay over the phone. 

Progress will be checked at the end of each semester. Students who are on Warning or Suspension will be notified by Richland email.

The following three conditions must be met each semester in order to receive financial aid

Condition I. Grade Point Average Standard

The following cumulative grade point average must be maintained:

Cumulative Hours Attempted GPA Required
1 - 15 hours 1.70
16 - 30 hours 1.85
31 + hours 2.00

Students who do not earn the above cumulative grade point average will be placed on Warning. Students on Warning status must raise their GPAs to meet the requirements, or they will be placed on Suspension. Students must also receive a 2.0 semester GPA or they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning or Suspension. Students who utilize IVG, ING, and MIA/POW are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.


Condition II. Completion of Hours Standard

Based on the student’s enrollment status as of the “Last day to drop with refund” date, a student must complete 67% of the credit hours each semester and cumulatively.

Grades of A, B, C, and D are considered successful completion for the Credit Hour Completion Standard. Grades of F, W, or I do not count as completed classes; however, they will be reviewed for attempted completion. A student with an incomplete class at the end of the term that prevents him/her from complying with the above conditions will be placed on Warning or Suspension until the class is completed and a grade is posted


Condition III. Maximum Credit Hour Standard

Students who have not completed a degree or certificate must be terminated from financial aid once they have attempted 150% of the required credit hours needed to complete their program. This percentage includes all attempted, completed, failed, developmental, withdraw, dual credit, and transfer hours whether or not aid was received for those hours. The Federal maximum time frame allowed for all credit hours attempted is 150%. For example: AA or AS degree 60 credit hour program x 150% = 90 maximum credit hours for completion.

Students who have completed coursework for a degree but have not received the degree will not be eligible for financial aid until the degree is awarded.