WAG 03-06-01-d: Degree Programs

PM 03-06-01-d

revised textStop the TANF counter based on GPA for the caretaker in a Category 04 case who has a counter under 61 and:

  • currently attends an accredited college full-time in an Associate or Bachelor's degree program approved by the LOA (or designee) as part of the RSP and
  • has a cumulative grade-point-average (GPA) of at least 2.5 on a 4-point scale for their previous grading term.

NOTE: The client's grade report should contain 2 GPAs - the current GPA for just that grading term and the cumulative GPA for all courses taken at the school. The grade report should also show whether the GPA is based on a 4-point scale (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) or 5-point scale (A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, F=1).

Use the cumulative GPA for all determinations. If the school uses a 5-point scale, convert the GPA to a 4-point scale by subtracting one point (1.0) from the GPA provided by the school. For example, a client's grade report shows a cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 5-point scale. This is a GPA of 2.5 on a 4-point scale.

New TextTo stop the counter in the TANF Work Verification System (WVS), enter "Yes" to "Eligible to stop 60-month counter based on GPA" on the screen for Vocational and Bachelor/Associate Degree programs in the RSP. This will cause Item 73 to be coded with a G for the recipient. Item 73 Code G is valid with Item 60 Activity Code 342 (Postsecondary Associate/Bachelor Degree) or Code 350 (Vocational Training) on the CDB.

New textIf the person remains approved for Postsecondary Bachelor/Associate Degree, or Vocational Training, but no longer meets criteria to have the counter stopped due to their GPA, or they are no longer attending as a full-time student, answer "No" to "Eligible to stop 60-month counter based on GPA" on the WVS RSP screen for Vocational or Bachelor/Associate Degree programs. Item 73 will be centrally updated to Code 9. If the RSP is revised to no longer include either Bachelor/Associate Degree or Vocational Training, WVS changes Item 73 Code G to Code 9. 

Example: Ms. S is approved to attend the nursing program (a vocational degree program) at the community college beginning 08/28/00. She is taking 15 credit hours, which is full-time. revised textApprove Vocational Training (Activity Code 350) effective 08/00. In 12/00, she receives her grades and has a 3.2 (out of 4) GPA. She will continue to attend her approved program full-time during the 2nd term, which starts 01/15/01. Stop the counter for 01/01. Do not adjust the counter for the months of 08/00 through 12/00.

revised textIf the client attends the degree program full-time (according to the school) during the summer, continue to stop the clock. If the client does not attend during the summer, or attends only part-time during the summer, they are not eligible to have the clock stopped during those months. Resume stopping the clock for the month in which the client returns to full-time attendance if they still have at least a 2.5 GPA and the degree program remains approved as part of the RSP.

NOTE: For schools on a semester schedule, the number of credit hours considered full-time for the summer term is usually less than for a regular semester.

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revised textWhen Item 73 is coded with G, the person's counter does not increase each month. Code G does not stop the counter for other adults in the case. 

See PM 21-02-08 for more information about when to revised textstop the counter for Associate/Bachelor Degree programs.

revised textIf Item Code 73 G was not entered during a period in which the client met the criteria to stop the TANF counter:

  • determine the number of months counted in error and
  • adjust the counter (see PM 03-06-03-d and WAG 03-06-03-d for how to change the counter).

New TextNote: Prior to implementation of the TANF Work Verification System 01/01/12, Item 60 Activity Code 300 or 301 was required to stop the counter for persons who met criteria for a degree program.

This may happen at REDE or when reviewing the client's grade report and/or approving continued participation in a degree program. If it happens when you review the grade report, be sure to use the cumulative GPA from the previous grade report, not the one you just received. Write up the determination and counter change in the case record. Give the client YOUR TANF TIME LIMIT (Form 4335).

How to Determine the Number of Months Counted in Error

  1. Determine whether the counter advanced during the period the client met the degree program criteria. If the counter did not advance because of budgeted income, no months were counted in error.
  2. If the counter did advance during this period:
    • Stop counting with the month in which the client's next full-time term began after they achieved a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
    • Start counting again with:
      • the first month the client does not attend full-time during any part of the month or
      • the month after the client receives a grade report with a cumulative GPA less than 2.5.

Example: Ms. A began attending her local community college full-time in 08/98 in an approved Registered Nursing program. The fall semester ended in 12/98, and her cumulative GPA was 2.7 on a 4-point scale. She attended full-time in the spring semester, from 01/99 through 05/99. Her cumulative GPA on the 05/99 grade report was 2.5. She worked 30 hours per week from 06/99 through 08/99, and the income was budgeted against her TANF benefits. She returned to school full-time from 08/99 through 05/00. Her cumulative GPA was 2.4 on her 12/99 grade report and 2.6 on her 05/00 grade report. She attended school part-time and worked 20 hours per week during 06/00 and 07/00. Her cumulative GPA after the summer term was 2.5. She returned to school full-time from 08/00 through 05/01 and had a cumulative GPA of 2.6 on her 12/00 grade report and 2.4 on her 05/01 grade report. She graduated in 05/01.

Ms. A received TANF Cash for a total of 19 months that did not count due to her full-time attendance in a degree program while having a GPA of at least 2.5. The months not counted for this reason were: 01/99, 02/99, 03/99, 04/99, 05/99, 09/99, 10/99, 11/99, 12/99, 08/00, 09/00, 10/00, 11/00, 12/00, 01/01, 02/01, 03/01, 04/01, and 05/01. In addition, the months of 06/99, 07/99, and 08/99 did not count due to budgeted earnings.