Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress is the minimum standards required to maintain financial aid eligibility for federal and state programs.
Federal and state financial aid is intended to assist students as they make successful progress toward completing a degree. Therefore, each student carries the responsibility to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.
St. Charles Community College has the responsibility of monitoring student progress as follows:
- The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress in 2006, mandates institutions of higher education to define, establish and enforce minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for receiving financial assistance. Students receiving assistance from federal and state sources must meet the college’s satisfactory academic progress policy in order to maintain their financial assistance eligibility.
- The policy is based on cumulative attempted hours and is applied consistently to all federal and state student financial aid programs.
- The policy is applied equally to new, continuing and transfer students. All students are required to meet the cumulative requirements to be eligible to participate in the federal and state financial aid programs administered by St. Charles Community College.
- Students not receiving financial assistance are held to these same standards.
There are several factors that affect satisfactory academic progress. It is the student’s responsibility to read and understand all the variables involved.
Components of Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Grades – Successful completion is defined as receiving a grade of A, B, C, D or P (Pass). A grade of “F” (Failure), “W” (Withdrawal), “I” (Incomplete) or “R” (Re-enroll) is considered unsatisfactory. All coursework must be completed within the regular semester time frame. Although the college allows a student until mid-term of the following semester to complete an “I” grade, the course is considered unsatisfactory for financial aid purposes.
- Grade Point Average – Students must meet the following minimum grade point averages:
The highest grade is counted toward a student’s grade point average for courses that have been repeated; however, all repeated classes are counted as attempted hours. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed each semester.
|Cumulative Hours Attempted||Cumulative GPA|
|31 or more
- Is it better to withdraw or take an “F”? – This is a frequently asked question. A “W” will not affect your grade point average but will adversely affect your completion ratio. A grade of “F” will have a negative effect on both your grade point average and your completion ratio.
- Hours Attempted vs. Hours Earned – Students must complete a total of 67 percent of all coursework attempted, including remedial coursework. Coursework attempted during all semesters, including fall, spring and summer, will be evaluated cumulatively. This is reviewed each semester. Students participating in the St. Charles Community College financial aid program are required to submit official transcripts from all previous institutions attended. Transfer credit accepted from other colleges and universities will be included in the number of credit hours attempted and earned. Financial aid applications will not be processed until transcripts from all previous institutions have been received and evaluated.
- Maximum Hour Limit –The maximum number of credit hours allowed for a student enrolled in an associate of arts degree program at SCC is 96 attempted credit hours. Students accepted and enrolled in the associate degree nursing program are allowed 108 attempted credit hours. This includes hours transferred in from other colleges, hours previously completed at SCC (whether or not financial assistance was received) and withdrawals.
- You may change programs, but program changes do not extend the maximum number of credit hours for which you will be eligible.
- The maximum number of credit hours for a certificate program will be based on the number of credit hours required for completion of those individual programs. For example: A certificate program that requires 36 credit hours will have a maximum of 54 hours of financial assistance eligibility. Student records will be reviewed at the end of each semester.
- Students who have earned an Associate's or Bachelor's degree are considered to have met the maximum attempted credit hour limit.
What happens if I fail to meet the minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Warning – Failure to meet all parts of the satisfactory academic progress policy will result in financial aid warning. Students may continue to receive assistance for one semester, but must meet all parts of the satisfactory academic progress policy by the end of the warning semester.
Suspension – Failure to meet the minimum required GPA or minimum completion ratio during the semester(s) following notification of warning will result in financial aid suspension. Failure to complete at least 3 credit hours in a semester with a passing grade or a complete withdrawal from SCC during a semester, whether or not aid was received, will also result in automatic suspension of aid.
Can I get state and federal financial aid funds reinstated?
Students can regain eligibility by bringing themselves back into compliance with the required cumulative GPA, and the required 67 percent completion ratio out of all hours attempted at SCC and hours accepted from transferring institutions.
Right to appeal suspension
Students who are placed on financial assistance suspension due to extenuating circumstances may appeal their suspension through the Enrollment Services Appeals Committee. Appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Students whose financial assistance has been reinstated as a result of an appeal will be granted the status of "Probation." Progress will then be monitored on a term basis rather than a cumulative basis. Students will be required to meet with a financial assistance counselor to develop an academic plan. They will then be allowed to enroll in only those courses that are part of established academic plan.
Students will also be required to maintain a term grade point average of at least 2.0 and a term completion ratio of 100% for each future term of enrollment. A student who fails to meet the term requirements after being reinstated will be ineligible for any future financial assistance until his/her cumulative grade point average is a minimum 2.0 and their cumulative completion ratio is 67%. Additional appeals will not be considered. Students may continue to attend at their own expense.