Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Financial Aid Banner Image
Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Effective Fall '16 and supersedes all previous policies.


The U.S. Department of Education requires the Coast Community College District (GWC, OCC and Coastline) to establish and apply standards of satisfactory academic progress for eligible students to receive financial aid under the programs authorized by Title IV of the higher education Act.

Satisfactory academic progress is determined at the end of every term by the Financial Aid Office.  Students are required to make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of an associate degree, an eligible vocational certificate and/or transfer to a four-year college/university.

 The SAP Policy covers all federal programs including:  Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Direct Loans.   Satisfactory Academic Progress also applies to the state Cal Grant program.  A separate academic progress policy applies to the Board of Governors Fee, please review that policy:

The following are the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy Standards, which students must meet to maintain academic progress:

1.  Cumulative Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)

 A student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).  This GPA includes units within the Coast       Community College District and those from other regionally accredited colleges and universities that have been evaluated by our college Admissions & Records Office and applied to the student's academic record.  GPA units are those with grades of A, B, C, D, or F.  Academic renewal is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and will not remove grades from this calculation.

2.      Cumulative Pace of Unit Completion (Quantitative Measure)

A student must complete at least 67% of the total number of units they attempt (completed units divided by attempted units).  All courses with grades of A, B, C, D, or F as well as P, W, I, IP, NP, NC, and repeated courses will be counted towards the total attempted units.  Units from other regionally accredited colleges and universities that have been evaluated by our colleges Admissions & Records Office and applied to the student's official academic record will also be counted.  Academic renewal is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and does not remove units from this calculation.

3.      Maximum Timeframe

The total number of units attempted, including those from outside transcripts which have been applied to the student's academic record, will be limited to 150% of the units required to complete the student's program of study.  For an AA/AS Degree and/or transfer to a four year college/university, students may be paid financial aid for up to 72 units before losing eligibility to receive further financial aid.  If pursing an eligible certificate, the same 150% limit is applied.  For example, if the Certificate requires 30 units to complete, then aid could be paid up to 45 units.
**If you have received an AA/AS and/or BA/BS degree, or a certificate you will be considered as exceeding Maximum Timeframe.


Repeating Coursework

You may not receive financial aid when you retake a course for which you earned a grade of A, B, C, or P.  You may repeat a course and receive financial aid if you initially received a grade of F, NC, NP, or W.  You may only repeat a course once (a total of two attempts).


Remedial Coursework and English as a second Language (ESL)

Students must be enrolled in an eligible program of study to be eligible for financial aid.  Students may receive financial aid for ESL and remedial courses if necessary to help a student succeed in courses that are part of an eligible program.  Students who have attempted a combination of remedial and ESL units that add up to a total of 30 (no more than 24 of which can be ESL) must show evidence of being enrolled in an eligible program.  From this point forward, regular coursework in an eligible program must account for at least 50% of all term units—no more than 50% of the term units may be remedial and/or ESL.

A student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 units of remedial coursework.  These units will not be counted toward a student's maximum timeframe.  However, they will be counted in GPA and pace completion-ratio calculations.

A maximum of 30 ESL units will be deducted from a student's maximum timeframe.  However, ESL units will be counted in GPA and pace completion-ratio calculations.


Transcripts from Other Colleges

If transcripts are on file with Admissions & Records, all courses that have been applied to the student's academic record will be included in the maximum time frame, pace of unit completion, and GPA measures.   If the student is selected for Unusual Enrollment History (UEH), and transcripts from the other colleges are reviewed by the Financial Aid Office for this purpose without having been evaluated by Admissions and Records, the Financial Aid Office may choose to evaluate the transcripts for satisfactory academic progress determination at that time- prior to the transcripts being reviewed by the Admissions and Records Office.

If students have not attended the Coast Community College District, and official transcripts have been evaluated, the student will be automatically disqualified from financial aid (not receive a semester on warning) for any of the following:

  1.  Student has reached the timeframe limit.
  2. Student is below the 2.0 cumulative GPAGPA, and/or the 67% completion ratio requirement; and will require more than one semester (based upon 12units) to bring their GPA and/or completion ratio up to the minimum standard.


Study Abroad

Courses approved by Coast Community College District for academic credit toward a student's vocational certificate, degree, or transfer taken in a study aboard program are counted as attempted and completed units.


Program of Study

Students must have an Ed Goal of one of the following: AA/AS Degree w/transfer or without, transfer only to a 4 year institution or a certificate.  The student must also be in an approved Program of Study at the institution they are receiving their financial aid.  Please review the catalog at the college you are attending for available Programs of Study, also please know not all programs in the catalog are eligible for financial aid.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy Statuses


Satisfactory Academic Progress it determined at the end of each term.  All terms of enrollment within the Coast Community College District, as well as outside transcripts applied to the student's record, are included when determining a student's satisfactory academic progress, even if the student did not receive financial aid in the past.

There are three outcomes once SAP has been determined at the end of each term, and they are as follows:

1.      Good = Student has met all of the requirements of satisfactory academic progress and will continue to be eligible for federal and state financial aid grants and loans, as long as all other financial aid requirements are met.


2.      Warning = Student did not meet all the requirements of satisfactory academic progress and are now placed on "Warning".   Students will receive financial aid even if they are in "Warning", as long as all other financial aid requirements are met.

  • Students have the current term in which they have been placed on "Warning" to meet all of the cumulative conditions of satisfactory academic progress or they will be disqualified from financial aid for the next term.


3.      Disqualified = Students who have not met all cumulative conditions of satisfactory academic progress after their term on "Warning", or those whose attempted units have exceeded the maximum time frame at the end of the term, or those who have transferred into our district and their official transcripts have disqualified them per this SAP policy.


4.      Probation = When a student has not met all conditions of SAP and has been disqualified, he/she may appeal to receive further aid.  An appeal committee will review the appeal and make a decision.  If the appeal committee decides to grant the student's appeal for a GPA or Pace of Unit Completion disqualification, the student will be approved for one additional semester of financial aid in a "probation" status.  If the student is able to meet all cumulative SAP measures after the grades from the probationary term are posted, the student will move to "good" status (unless the student has hit the timeframe limit).  If the student is unable to meet all cumulative SAP measures after the grades from the probationary term are posted, the student will lose financial aid eligibility and move to "disqualified" status.


Reestablishing Aid Eligibility:

Students who have been disqualified because they did not meet the minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement and/or the minimum 67% completion ratio, may reestablish their eligibility by raising their cumulative GPA and/or completion ratio to the minimum requirement. 


Appeal Process for Financial Aid Reinstatement or Extension

Students who have not met all the conditions of our Student Academic Progress Policy and have been disqualified, may go through the appeal process if they meet the terms of appealing.

Following are the conditions for which a student may submit an appeal:

  • Illness or accident of the student or immediate family member (documentation is required)
  • Death of an immediate family member (documentation is required)
  • U.S. Military service orders (documentation is required)
  • Diagnosed temporary disability which contributed to poor academic performance and is no longer an issue(supporting documentation is required)
  • If appealing due to maximum time frame you will be required to meet with a counselor and submit an updated official Student Educational Plan (SEP).


**"Immediate family" is defined as follows:  mother, father, grandparents, grandchildren, children, spouse/domestic partner, and siblings.  In addition, the following are also considered: stepparent, stepchildren, stepsibling's, foster children, dependents that is supported more than 50%.

All SAP Appeal Forms must be completed in ink, and accompanied with current documentation.

  • Supporting documentation must prove that the circumstance occurred during the term(s) in which the student did not meet the conditions of satisfactory academic progress.
  • Please review the appeal form for additional instructions and deadline dates etc.


If submitting an appeal you will be notified via email/mail of the outcome.  All appeal decisions are final and cannot be re-appealed.  When appealing at GWC, OCC or Coastline the decision will go into effect for all 3 campuses.

  • For example:  A student submits an appeal at OCC and the appeal is denied.  The student then decides to appeal at GWC for that same term or the next term, GWC will note that the student was denied at OCC and will  automatically denied at GWC.

All appeals are decided on a case-by-case basis.  Filing an appeal does not mean that a student will be allowed to receive financial aid, only that the appeal will be reviewed with the possibility of approval.  If approved, the student will be bound by the terms of the approval.

  • If the appeal is approved due to the student appealing for GPA and/or completion ratio, the student will be placed on "probation.".  If during this one term of probation the student does not re-establish academic eligibility and/or does not meet the terms that were set by the appeal committee, the student will be disqualified from financial aid.  A student may not re-appeal and must reestablish his/her GPA and/or completion ratio.
  • Appeal approved due to maximum timeframe:  the student must meet the terms that were set by the appeal committee, no exceptions.



California Student Aid Commission Institutional Participation Agreement Article IV, B 15 9CEC 69433.5(a).

Federal Student Aid Regulations:  34 CFR 668.42(c)(2)

​Programs of Study that are eligible for student financial aid.

  • AA/AS degree programs and programs of study following a transfer option (ignore this one)
  • Certificate of Achievement programs (except the certificates listed below)

 Programs of Study that are NOT eligible for student financial aid.

  • Certificates of Specialization
  • Community education courses
  • ESL only (not considered a program of study)
  • Non-credit courses
  • Courses that are being audited
  • Courses not listed within your program of study

Certificate of Achievement programs that are NOT eligible for student financial aid are:

Please check with your campus financial aid office as some of these certificates are now AA/AS degree programs.
Coastline Community College

PC Productivity Specialist

Desktop Publishing


Medical Specialist

Medical Administrative Assistant / Secretary

Purchasing, Procurement and Contracts

Management Science

Travel Services Marketing Operations


Golden West College


Architectural Technology

Broadcast & Video Production-Electronic Moviemaking Option

Broadcast & Video Production – General Production Option

Broadcast & Video Production – Non-Linear Editing

Broadcast & Video Production – Production – Sports Casting

Environmental and Pollution Control Tech./Technician

Recycling and Resource Management
Legal Secretary/Assistant

Engineering Technology

Automotive Collision Repair

Automotive Collision Repair / Automotive Refinishing Technician
Diesel Mechanic

Audio and Entertainment Technology – Home Recording

Audio and Entertainment Technology – Live Sound Reinforcement

Recording Arts

Management – Managerial and Organizational Leadership

Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Management – International Trade Marketing Management

Orange Coast College
Computerized Office Technology - Office and Administrative Assistant

Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts - Cook Apprenticeship

Food Service Management - Institutional Child Nutrition Program Management

Music - Private Music Teacher

Electronics Technology - Assembler

Machine Technology - CNC Machine Programmer

Aviation Technology - Airframe & Powerplant

Drafting Technology - Electro-mechanical Design/Drafting

Drafting Technology - Design/Drafting

Drafting Technology - Computer Aided Design/Drafting

Family and Consumer Health Science

Dietetic Technician Management Health Care

Dietetics - Dietetic Technician

Early Childhood Education - School Age Child Care

Assistant Costume Designer

Costume Dresser

Costume Stitcher

Costume Technician

Religious Studies

Dance Conditioning

Interior Design Program

Commercial Art-Jewelry Design

Entertain Technology - Scenic Artist

Music - Composer/orchestrator/copyist

Music - Concert Sound Engineer

Medical Transcription

Medical Assisting - Administrative/Clinical

Medical Assisting - Clinical

Respiratory Care

Echocardiography and Vascular Ultrasound

Cardiovascular Technology - Electrocardiography Technician

Neurodiagtnostic Technology - Nutrition Careers - Community Nutrition Assistant

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Radiologic Technology

Neurodiagnostic Technology


Hospitality, Travel & Tourism - Hotel Management, Room Operations Specialist

Marketing - Advertising

Management - Retail

Display & Visual Presentation




Updated: 7/14/2016