Standards of Academic Progress (SAP)

Central Community College is required to establish minimum academic standards that students must meet to maintain eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid, including but not limited to grants, federal work study, student loans, and institutional scholarships. We are required to monitor the progress of all students receiving financial aid to ensure continued compliance with the policy. 

The following components are measured to determine whether the student is meeting SAP standards:  Cumulative GPA, Pace Requirement (percentage of completion), and Maximum Time Frame. 

Grade Point Average

A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

Pace Requirement

A student must maintain completion rate of 67% or higher.

This component of the SAP policy is measuring the pace at which a student must progress through his or her program of study to ensure completion within the maximum time frame permitted and provides for a measurement of the student’s progress at the end of each semester. Pace is calculated by determining the cumulative number of credit hours the student has successfully completed divided by the number of cumulative credit hours the student has attempted. Attempted credits include any course taken for credit while attending CCC except for foundations coursework and certain certificate options. Credit hours transferred in from another institution are included in both attempted and completed credits. (In order to discount any transfer credits, a degree audit would need to be provided to the financial aid office from the student’s advisor indicating how many transfer credits are being used toward the current program of study.) Successfully completed credit hours include all grades between an A and a D-. Credit hours that will not count as successfully completed include letter grades of F (Fail) or I (incomplete), D (drop) or W (Withdrawal). Title IV funds can pay for repeat coursework previously taken in a program as long as it is not a result of more than one repetition of a previously passed course.  A student becomes ineligible when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete his/her program within 150% of the length of the program.

Maximum Time Frame (rate of program completion)

Students are expected to complete their program of study within a reasonable time period. A student’s MTF is based on total credit hours attempted at CCC plus any transfer credits accepted towards their program of study. These limits must apply regardless of whether the student received federal funding for all or any of the credits attempted.

Students are eligible to receive aid for up to 150% of the published number of credit hours for a program of study. Example: If a program of study requires 64 credit hours to graduate, the maximum credit limit a student can take and receive financial aid would be 96 (64 x 150%). All credit hours attempted are counted toward MTF, except for foundations coursework and short-term certificate options including but not limited to LPN Certification (LPN-C) and Truck Driving.

At the end of each semester, the total number of attempted credit hours will be counted to see if the student has reached the maximum number of credit hours for a program. This includes credit hours attempted in semesters where aid was not received, credit hours attempted prior to a change in a program of study, and credit hours transferred from another institution toward the program of study. Students who change majors should contact the financial aid office to find out how this affects their MTF. Also, students approaching or having reached maximum time frame have the right to file an appeal to request an extension. 

Explanation of Statuses

Financial Aid Warning: Financial Aid Warning status is assigned to a student who fails to meet one or more of the SAP measures indicated above at the conclusion of a payment period. During a warning semester, the student may still receive financial aid. The student’s future financial aid eligibility is dependent upon how well the student does during the warning term. If the student completes the warning semester and now has a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and an overall 67% or above completion ratio, the student will be removed from financial aid warning status and restored to good standing. If, however, the student again fails to meet one or both requirements, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.

*Please note: The Financial Aid Warning period does not apply to students failing or withdrawing 100% of their coursework in a term. In the event of a 100% non-completion, students will be placed directly on financial aid suspension. 

Suspension: A student will be placed on financial aid suspension if he/she fails to meet the academic standards of progress requirements at the end of a warning semester. This means losing eligibility for grants, federal work study, student loans, and institutional scholarships. Students who do not successfully complete any coursework in a term are automatically placed on suspension unless their overall completion rate at CCC still meets the 67% requirement and their cumulative GPA meets or exceeds 2.0. 

Regaining Eligibility

A student may qualify for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility by enrolling in coursework at his/her own expense and bringing their cumulative GPA at or above 2.0 and by bringing their pace requirement up to 67% to meet the minimum requirements of the satisfactory academic progress policy.

Appeals: A student may appeal their financial aid suspension if extenuating circumstances (death of a family member, injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances) exist. Appeal forms are available at any CCC financial aid office and must include supporting documentation of the circumstances. In the appeal request the student must provide information regarding why he/she failed to meet the SAP requirements, and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow them to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. If a student’s appeal is granted, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student on probation may receive aid for one payment period. At that point, the student must meet CCC’s standards of academic progress or the requirements of an academic plan that was established on an individual student basis because of the appeal process. Denied appeals may be directed to the Area Director of Student Financial Aid Services.

Appeal form Suspension

Appeal form Max Time Frame

Additional Information

Registration Status: The student’s official registration status for financial aid purposes is locked in at the end of the 100% refund period. This census date falls after the tenth-class day in the fall and spring semesters for students who start classes on the first day of the term. The college catalog details census date information for students with late start dates. The 100% refund period will most likely be different for summer coursework.  Check with the financial aid office if you have questions about how your summer aid award will be determined.

Return of Federal Funds: Students who receive Federal financial aid but fail to complete any coursework will be subject to a Return of Federal Funds calculation and may be required to repay a portion of the aid that has been awarded. Students who are considering withdrawing their entire class schedule should check with the Financial Aid Office first to find out what the consequences will be in terms of repayment and future financial aid eligibility.

Foundations Education Coursework: (Sometimes referred to as developmental or remedial coursework.)  Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 credits of foundations education coursework.

Incompletes: Incomplete grades are counted as an ‘F’ on their transcript until they have been successfully completed within the appropriate time frame. The financial aid status will be reviewed when the course has been completed and the grade is changed.

Additional Degree: If a student has completed one program of study, he/she may qualify for federal, state or institutional aid for one additional qualifying program of study. The student will be required to meet with the aid office for a credit evaluation to determine eligibility.

Withdrawals: Students withdrawing all coursework during a semester will be placed on financial aid suspension, with the right to file an appeal. The only exception to this will be when the student has enough prior coursework successfully completed at CCC to still meet the overall 67% completion requirement and 2.0 minimum cumulative grade point average.

Evaluation Time Frame: All aid recipients will have their standards of academic progress evaluated at the end of each term of enrollment. Students placed on warning, probation, or suspension will be notified of their status via regular U.S. mail.  It is the responsibility of the student to keep their address updated with the college.

Repeated coursework:  The federal regulations indicate that financial aid may be paid for repeated coursework previously taken in the program but may not include more than one repeat of a previously passed course. The best grade is included in the SAP evaluation.

Transfer hours:  Transfer hours that are accepted toward a student’s program of study will count as attempted and completed credits in the SAP calculation and toward maximum time frame.