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

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy 

Effective Fall '18 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 once grades are posted.  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, Full Time Student Success Grant, and Completion Grant programs.  A separate academic progress policy applies to the California College Promise Grant (Formerly BOGFW).

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

1.  Cumulative Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)

 A student must maintain cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher.  This GPA includes units within the Coast Community College District and those from other regionally accredited colleges and universities that have been evaluated by the Admissions & Records Office at either OCC, GWC, or CCC, 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 such 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 that they attempt (all completed units divided by all 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.  All courses with grades of A, B, C, D and P will be counted toward total completed units.  Units from other regionally accredited colleges and universities that have been evaluated by one of our Admissions & Records Offices 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 will not remove such 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 120% 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 120% limit is applied.  For example, if the Certificate requires 30 units to complete, then aid could be paid up to 36 units. (Note: Federal regulations require colleges to set maximum timeframes, but allow these timeframes to extend to as much as 150% of the length of the student's program.  If a student filing a timeframe appeal has attempted 120% of the units required and does not have a GPA or Completion Ratio issue, and if the updated educational plan required for filing an appeal shows the student is on track to complete without attempting more units than the 150% federal limit, the student will be allowed to continue on with a financial aid ed plan.  Otherwise an appeal committee must decide whether to allow the student to continue to receive aid.)


 
**If you have received an AA/AS and/or BA/BS degree, you will be considered to have exceeded the Maximum Timeframe for further aid, and must submit an appeal if you wish to receive aid for a new program of study.

Repeating Coursework

A student may receive financial aid only one time for repeating a course in which the student has already received a passing grade.   A student may receive financial aid more than once for retaking a course that the student has never passed.  However, CCCD Colleges have a policy that only allows a student to take the same class three (3) times when attempting to receive a passing grade—one initial attempt, and two retakes.  Therefore, only the first three attempts to pass a class will be eligible for financial aid. 

 

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.  ESL and remedial courses are not considered to be eligible programs. Nevertheless, 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. 

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 student may receive financial aid for ESL courses when the student is also enrolled in an eligible program.  ESL units will be deducted from a student's maximum timeframe calculation.  However, ESL units will be counted in cumulative GPA and pace completion-ratio calculations.

Students who have attempted a combination of remedial and ESL classes that add up to a total of 30 attempted units (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.  If this condition is not met, then the student will not be considered to be pursuing an eligible degree or certificate, and will therefore be ineligible to receive student financial aid.

 

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, GPA, and completion ratio measures.   If the student is selected for Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) by the U.S. Department of Education, 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 are new to the Coast Community College District, and official transcripts have been evaluated upon or soon after entry, and if those transcripts show that the student was not making satisfactory academic progress, then 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 taken in a study aboard program that are approved by Coast Community College District for academic credit toward a student's vocational certificate, degree, or transfer, are counted in the SAP calculations.

     

    Program of Study

    Students must have as their Educational Goal of one of the following: AA/AS Degree w/transfer or without, transfer to a 4 year institution, or an eligible certificate approved for financial aid by the U.S. Department of Education.  The eligible program that the student is enrolled in must be in an eligible Program of Study offered at the institution where 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. 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 is now placed on "Warning".   The student 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 and placed 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 requirement, 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.

    The 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, or dependent 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. GWC will note that the student was denied at OCC and will automatically deny the appeal 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.

     

    References:

    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)

     

Updated: 7/20/18