Student & Consumer Information

ACM’s Student Financial Aid Office educates and counsels students and parents on all aspects of financial aid in order to align financial resources with financial need so that the greatest number of students, regardless of financial circumstances, can obtain their education.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is required to receive federal financial aid and based on your efforts to successfully:

  • maintain a certain cumulative grade point average.
  • complete more than 67% of all attempted classes, and
  • graduate before reaching Maximum Aid Time, which is equal to 150% of the published length of your program.

SAP is reviewed at the end of every semester. If you do not meet SAP standards, you will receive a Financial Aid Warning status letter but remain eligible to receive financial aid.

If your SAP does not improve, you will receive a Financial Aid Termination status letter and have all financial aid removed from your account. Your status may be viewed in WebAdvisor.

Financial Aid Appeals
You may appeal financial aid termination if extenuating circumstances (student illness or injury or that of a direct family member, family member death, family or financial difficulties, or other documented, unexpected circumstances) affected your ability to meet SAP policy.

You must meet with your academic advisor to discuss why you were unsuccessful in the past, what you will do differently in the future, and develop your Academic Compliance Plan.

Your appeal consists of your Academic Compliance Plan and a Financial Aid Information Sheet. Both forms must be completed in their entirety and submitted before the Appeal Information Sheet deadline.  

Student Financial Aid Code of Conduct

Our Student Financial Aid Office is a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), the Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and the Delaware-District of Columbia-Maryland Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

We act in the best interest of students and their families. All actions and decisions are bound by NASFAA's Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals and the State of Maryland’s Code of Conduct, copies of which are available in the SFAO, and regulations developed by the U.S. Department of Education.

We participate in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program with the U.S. Department of Education is its lender for all Title IV Federal Student Loans.
Should the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) be revived, we will adhere to the 2009 code of conduct policy approved by the ACM Board of Trustees.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires educational institutions participating in a Title IV Loan Program to adhere to a Code of Conduct, which prohibits conflicts of interest between Allegany College of Maryland's (ACM) officers, employees, and agents with any lender, lender servicer, and/or guarantor. Sections 487 (a) (25) and 487 (e) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, require the development, administration, and enforcement of a Student Financial Aid Code of Conduct to govern federal student aid programs. Staff members of the ACM Student Financial Aid Office (SFAO) are bound to act in compliance with the ACM Student Financial Aid Code of Conduct, the Maryland State Code of Conduct, and the Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

Officers, employees, contract employees, trustees, and agents, including alumni associations, booster clubs, foundations, athletic organizations, social, academic, and professional organizations, and other organizations directly or indirectly associated with or authorized by ACM, agree to the provisions of the ACM Student Financial Aid Code of Conduct and will refrain from:

  • Revenue Sharing - No officer, employee, or agent of ACM shall enter into any revenue-sharing or profit-sharing arrangement with any lender.
  • Denial of Borrower's Lender Choice - The ACM SFAO shall not deny or delay a Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) borrower his/her choice of a FFELP Lender or Guarantor. The ACM SFAO shall not assign, through any awarding, certifying, or packaging method, a borrower's loan to a particular lender.
  • Prepackaging Private/Alternative Loans - The ACM SFAO will not package a private/alternative education loan as part of the student's financial aid award, unless the student has signed the FFELP Waiver Form and continues to agree to the terms and conditions of the private/alternative loan. The ACM SFAO may suggest that a student borrow under the private/alternative program if the borrower is ineligible for additional funding, has exhausted the limits of the Title IV loan programs, or refuses to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • Accepting Gifts, Goods, and/or Services - No officer, employee, or agent shall solicit or accept impermissible gifts, goods, and/or services from a FFELP or private/alternative lender, lender servicer, and/or guarantor. A gift to any family member of the above mentioned is also not permissible. Gifts, goods, and/or services include:  gratuities, meals, travel, lodging, entertainment (expenses for shows, sporting events, or alcoholic beverages), favors, loans, discounts, hospitality (such as private parties of select training or conference attendees), and in-kind services, such as printing customized consumer information for borrowers with the ACM school logo. ACM SFAO staff may accept only items of nominal value, certain services, and/or certain materials. Permissible gifts would include items such as pens, pencils, notepads, sticky-notes, rulers, calculators, small tote bags, and other individual office supply items.  An employee may accept any general items of value from a lender, lender servicer, and/or guarantor provided that the item is also offered to the general public. ACM SFAO staff may accept informational brochures and can participate in meals, refreshments, and receptions in conjunction with meetings and trainings that contribute to his/her professional development, and conference events open to all attendees.
  • Accepting Philanthropic Contributions - No officer, employee, or agent shall accept philanthropic contributions from a lender, lender servicer, and/or guarantor that are related to the educational loans provided by the lender, lender servicer, and/or guarantor or that is made in exchange for any advantage related to the educational loan. Educational loans here include loans made by ACM under the private/alternative loan program. ACM will not accept scholarships or grants from a lender or guarantor in exchange for FFELP applications, referrals, a promised loan volume, or placement on the ACM recommended lender list.
  • Advisory Board Compensation - ACM employees with responsibility for any financial aid services will not accept anything of value for serving on or otherwise participating as a member of an advisory council or advisory board for a lender, lender affiliate, lender servicer, or guarantor, except that the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred while serving in such capacities.
  • Accepting Compensation for Consulting - No officer, employee, or agent shall accept from a lender or its affiliate any fee, payment, or other financial benefit, including the opportunity to purchase stock, as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide education loan-related services to or on behalf of the lender.
  • Lender Staff Assistance - ACM will not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing. ACM may accept from a lender professional development training and training materials, educational counseling materials, or staffing services on a short-term, nonrecurring basis during emergencies or disasters.
  • Competitive Rates Based on Loan Volume -The ACM SFAO shall not request or accept competitive rates on private/alternative loans in exchange for a specified amount of loan activity or in exchange for endorsing the lender's FFELP loans.
  • Lender Affiliated Employment -ACM SFAO staff members shall not accept full time or part time employment with any educational loan lender, lender servicer, and/or guarantor.  Staff members who are approached by these entities shall immediately disclose this information to the SFAO Director.

ACM will not use a Preferred Lender List; however, the SFAO will make use of a Recommended Lender List. The ACM SFAO may request and accept assistance from lenders and/or guarantors to conduct entrance and exit loan counseling. ACM SFAO staff shall always be in control of the counseling sessions and will not permit the lender and/or guarantor representative to promote in any way the specific lender's products or services. ACM will make use of the various lender and/or guarantor's materials and products to aid students in financial literacy.

ACM is committed to providing the information and resources necessary to help every student achieve educational success and will consider the individual needs of each student.

The information contained herein has been provided to all ACM officers, employees, and agents affiliated with this college. In addition, this Student Financial Aid Code of Conduct will be published on the ACM internet site and at least annually, will update the code and inform the officers, employees, and agents of the provisions of this code. Staff, employees, and agents affiliated with this college who fail to comply with this policy will be subject to all applicable disciplinary actions.

Approved by the Board of Trustees July 20, 2009

College Financing Plan

To help you and your family make informed decisions about financing your education, we recommend using our College Financing Plan – a comparative consumer tool that simplifies college costs and financial aid information. Think of it as your shopping cart for financial aid.

Your individualized College Financing Plan sheet is available through WebAdvisor (under the Financial Aid section) after you have been awarded financial aid by the Student Financial Aid Office. Carefully consider its contents before making your final decision.

If you have fully completed the financial aid process and you do not see your College Financing Plan, contact us at 301-784-5213.

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