Satisfactory Academic Progress

All students receiving any form of financial assistance are expected to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP). All first-time financial assistance applicants must have their previous grades from SCC and their cumulative completion rate from ALL previous course work evaluated prior to disbursement of any type of federal financial assistance.

All financial assistance awards are pending until this process has been completed. If you have not met the minimum standards for grades or completion rate or complete at least three credit hours each term, you will be placed on warning or suspension even if you have not received assistance in the past.

You should select courses that will fulfill your educational goals. These courses must follow published degree requirements. Students will be evaluated at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters in order to determine eligibility of assistance for the next term. Please be aware that some programs may have a higher GPA requirement for renewal.

To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), students must meet the minimum requirements noted below. The first column below shows the number of cumulative credit hours attempted and the second column shows the minimum cumulative GPA required based on those credit hours. For example, if you have attempted 18 credit hours, you are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.8.

Cumulative Credit
Hours Attempted**
Cumulative GPA
1-15 1.5
16-30 1.8
31 or more 2.0

** Completion (with a passing grade) of at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted. To calculate completion ratio, divide the total number of hours completed by the total number of hours attempted. For example: you have completed 35 hours and you actually attempted 45 hours, then 35 divided by 45 = 77%.  Grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in the cumulative GPA (Grades of I, P, R and W are not counted in cumulative GPA, but do count toward attempted hours).

A student can receive financial assistance for a previously passed course only once as long as the student is again receiving credit for the course.  If a student previously passed a course and subsequently failed the same course, then any additional attempt of that course cannot be included in the student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes.  If a student fails a course, they may repeat the course and receive financial aid for the course until a passing grade is achieved.

In addition to these standards, there may be additional requirements for enrollment in certain programs, such as eligibility for the Title IV programs and/or for VA education benefits. Students who fail to meet the GPA or completion rate standards will be placed on SAP warning for one semester.  Students are eligible to receive federal financial aid funds while on SAP warning.  Failure to meet the GPA or completion rate standards after being placed on SAP warning will result in financial aid suspension.  Students who fail to complete three credit hours each term are automatically placed on financial aid suspension.

A student’s financial aid will be suspended for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to meet the minimum required cumulative GPA during the semester(s) following notification of warning.
  • Failure to complete 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted. To calculate completion ratio, divide the total number of hours completed by the total number of hours attempted. For example: if you have completed 35 hours and you actually attempted 45 hours: 35 divided by 45 = 77%. (This includes grades of A, B, C, D, I, W, F, P and R).
  • Complete withdrawal from SCC during any semester, whether or not aid was received.
  • Failure to complete a minimum of three credit hours during a given semester with a passing grade (A, B, C, D).
  • Receiving failing or incomplete grades for all courses in a given semester or a combination of F, I, W, or R grades in a given semester.
  • Completion of the maximum number of credit hours allowed at the community college level.
  • Prior degree from an accredited institution.

Financial Aid eligibility ends after attempting 150% of the credit hours required for your degree/certificate program.

For example: an SCC student enrolled in an associate of arts degree program is entitled to receive financial assistance for a maximum number of 96 attempted credit hours. Total attempted hours include any hours transferred from other colleges, hours previously attempted at SCC (whether or not financial assistance was received), withdrawals, and repeated coursework.

You may change academic programs, but program changes do not automatically extend the maximum number of credit hours for which you will be paid.

The maximum number of credit hours for a certificate program that would be eligible for financial assistance is based on the number of credit hours required for completion of those individual programs. For example: for a certificate program that requires 36 credit hours, you will be allowed no more than 54 attempted credit hours for financial aid eligibility.

Students who have previously earned an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree are considered to have met the attempted maximum credit hour limit.

These rules apply for every semester of attendance regardless of whether student aid was received.

Student records will be reviewed at the end of each fall, spring and summer semester. If you fail to meet the standards for financial assistance eligibility, you may continue to enroll at your own expense.

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 required by an established academic plan. Students will also be required to maintain a term grade point average of at least 2.0 and a term completion rate of 100% for each future term of enrollment.   The Appeals Committee may also enforce restrictions or other requirements.

A student who fails to meet the term requirements after being reinstated will be ineligible for any future financial assistance until their cumulative grade point average is a minimum 2.00 and their cumulative completion ratio is 67%. Additional appeals will not be considered. Students may continue to attend at their own expense.


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