Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In accordance with federal regulations, the Grossmont College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy requires review of each student’s academic record at the end of each academic term. Pace of progression/maximum time frame (quantitative) and GPA (qualitative) standards apply to all financial aid students regardless of previous financial aid history. The standards detailed below explain the standards, disqualification and reinstatement by appeal processes that must be met in order to maintain eligibility for all federal programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), and Federal Direct Loans as well as the state Cal Grant programs.

 

Financial Aid SAP standards are separate and distinct from general academic policies, and apply only to financial aid applicants. A similar but separate academic progress policy applies to the California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the Board of Governors [BOG] Fee Waiver).

 

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Students must declare a specific academic goal and major area of study by choosing the degree or certificate program that best suits their educational goals. The catalog lists the requirements for various majors and not all goals and majors are eligible for financial aid payment. If undecided about a major course of study, it is recommended that students meet with an academic counselor. 

 


Grade Point Average (Qualitative)

While receiving financial aid, students must maintain a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 or greater. A student's overall GPA is also evaluated whenever a student applies for Financial Aid and the minimum 2.0 GPA standard must be met. Furthermore, students enrolled in an Associate degree or Transfer program must have an overall 2.0 GPA after two years. The Department of Education has defined two academic years as the equivalent of 4 terms, regardless of enrollment status. 

 

 


Unit Completion Rate 

(PACE of Progression/Quantitative)

 

Students must meet the SAP standards listed below to make certain their overall completion rate is at least 79% to ensure an acceptable Pace of Progression. Pace of Progression is calculated by dividing the number of units completed by the number of overall units attempted to calculate the student's completion rate. Example: a student has 65 units completed and 80 overall units attempted. By dividing the 65 units completed by 80 units attempted the result is an 81% completion rate.

 

Full-time students (12 or more units)
must complete at least 9 units each semester


Three-quarter-time students (9-11.5 units)
must complete at least 7 units each semester

Half-time students (6-8.5 units)
must complete at least 5 units each semester


Less than half-time students (0.5-5.5 units)
must complete .5 units

 

In addition to the term Pace of Progression standards listed above, overall a student must not go beyond 19 deficient units or they will have exceeded the 79% Pace of Progression standard.  For example, the Unit Maximums described above inform students that they cannot accumulate more than 71 units completed and/or 90 units attempted or they will need to petition.  The difference between these two unit maximums is 19, so any student who exceeds nineteen units (in any combination) of W's, F's, No Passes or Incomplete's will be required to petition. 

 


Maximum Timeframe (Quantative)

Satisfactory progress is defined by the Department of Education as a normal length of time for a student to achieve an educational objective that cannot exceed 150% of the length of the student's academic program. Since most Grossmont College Associate degree programs and GE Transfer programs are approximately 60 units, students will be expected to complete their educational objective by the time they have completed 71 units and/or attempted 90 units, whichever comes first (60 units times 150% equals 90 units attempted maximum). This includes change of majors and degree objectives. Students will be expected to complete their educational objective for a Certificate by the time they have completed 36 units and/or attempted 45 units, whichever comes first.

 

The maximum time frame will not be extended for students who change academic programs or have prior degrees or certificates.

 

Units not completed (F's, Withdrawals, Incomplete's and NP's) are added to the total number of units completed to calculate the overall number of units a student has attempted to ensure that the student does not exceed the 150% unit maximum.

 


The following will be considered as units completed:

 

“A” through “D” grades
“CR” or “P” – Pass grade

 


The following will be considered as units not completed:

 

“F” Grade
“W” – Withdrawal
“EW” – Emergency Withdrawal
“I” – Incomplete
“NP” – No pass
“MW” – Military withdrawal
“RD” – Record delayed

 

All repeated courses count toward the 150% unit maximum and the minimum 2.0 GPA standard, including semesters for which Academic Renewal may have been applied by Admissions and Records or for which standard course repetition was achieved.

 

 


Previous Coursework

All units transferable to Grossmont College from other institutions will be counted toward the 150% units attempted maximum. Official academic transcripts from all colleges attended (including foreign institutions where Title IV aid was received) should be submitted to the Admissions & Records Office for calculation of advanced standing.

Students transferring to Grossmont College with at least 12 units attempted and with an overall G.P.A. less than 2.0 will be subject to the Financial Aid Appeal process.

 

 


Remedial Coursework

Students may be funded to a maximum of 30 units of remedial courses if documented by assessment scores and/or an academic counselor.  Remedial courses taken in descending order or below the placement score will count as regular units and may not be deducted.  Exceptions may be made if documented by Grossmont personnel and approved by the Financial Aid department.

 

 


ESL Units

ESL coursework may be funded to a maximum of 35 units. ESL courses will be in addition to the established unit maximum stated above. Students who take ESL courses below the recommended placement level, per their assessment scores, will not have those courses considered as part of the 35 units and will be counted against the unit maximum. The unit maximum calculation will include ESL courses that are transferable or degree-applicable (ESL 115 and ESL 122).

 

 


Transfer Coursework

All units transferable to Grossmont College from other institutions will be counted toward the Pace and Maximum Timeframe calculations. Official academic transcripts from all colleges attended (including foreign institutions where Title IV aid was received) should be submitted to the Admissions Office for evaluation and will be included in SAP calculations.

Students transferring to Grossmont College with at least 12 units attempted and with an overall G.P.A. less than 2.0 will be subject to the Financial Aid Appeal process. 

 

 


Credit by Exam

Units earned through Credit by Exam cannot be counted for federal aid payment purposes. These units still count toward SAP determination and Maximum time frame limits.

 

 

 

Reinstatement, Warning, & Disqualification

 

Reinstatement, Warning, & Disqualification

A calculation of SAP eligibility will be performed at the end of each semester. Students who have not met the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be notified of their status and may petition for reinstatement or continuation of aid.

 

Students who did not receive financial aid during the previous academic year will have their entire academic record reviewed, as well as coursework transferred in from other colleges. 

 

If the student is deficient by 12 or more units or the overall GPA is less than 2.0, an appeal for lack of progress/low GPA will be required. New applicants who are not meeting SAP standards are not eligible for Financial Aid Warning consideration.

 


Financial Aid Reinstatement

Reinstatement is not an automatic process and is not guaranteed. Students may attempt to regain eligibility for financial aid after disqualification and/or denial of petition for lack of progress by:

 

Enrolling in a minimum of six (6) units and completing a semester of SAP according to the standards outlined in 'SAP Pace of Progression' above, 

AND

Meeting with an Academic Counselor to complete a semester Educational Plan. Students must submit their Financial Aid Probation Education Plan with their petition form. Students who have been Disqualified as a result of lack of progress while receiving federal aid are required to complete the COUN 095 course, 

AND

Students MUST describe how they have resolved the issues that prevented them from making SAP and/or describe any preventative measures they have enacted to ensure it will not be a factor in their future progress, 

 

AND

 

Complying with any other specific conditions that were set in the Appeal decision made by the Financial Aid Advisor or the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

 

 

 


Financial Aid Warning

Students who are paid for a term and do not meet SAP standards can be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester. However, students on Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation status are not eligible to be placed on Warning status again for a consecutive term.  In addition, students with more than 19 units deficient or who have completed four or more terms and have an overall GPA that is below a 2.0 are not eligible for Financial Aid Warning status.

Students placed on Warning status are eligible for financial aid for the Warning term and must meet SAP standards for that term in order to maintain their continued financial aid eligibility.

 

Students will be notified in writing that they have been placed on Warning status and they will not be required to submit a Financial Aid petition or Appeal for the Warning term. A student placed on Financial Aid Warning who does not make SAP again for the Warning term will be disqualified the following term and will be subject to the Financial Aid Appeal process.

 

 


Financial Aid Disqualification

All students who do not meet all SAP standards (excluding students who meet the Financial Aid Warning status) will be disqualified from receiving financial aid.

 

Students who choose not to go through the Financial Aid Appeals process or who do not make SAP while on Financial Aid Probation will be disqualified and will not regain eligibility for Title IV aid at Grossmont College until they meet the reinstatement conditions outlined below.

 

 

Petition, Probation & Appeal of Denied Petition

 

Petition, Probation & Appeal of Denied Petition

For student currently not on aid

The units attempted will be compared to the units completed. If the student has attempted at least 12 units, and is deficient by 12 units or more or has an overall GPA below 2.0, the student will be subject to the Financial Aid Appeal process. New applicants who are not meeting SAP standards are not eligible for Financial Aid Warning consideration and will be required to submit a financial aid petition at the time of SAP review for any given term.

 


For students currently on aid

Following each semester, the GPA and the number of units completed will be evaluated based upon the 'SAP Pace of Progression' standards above.

 

 


Petition Process

Students may appeal for reinstatement or continuation of financial aid by submitting a Financial Aid Petition form to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Petition must indicate:

 

The extenuating circumstances surrounding why you did not complete the minimum number of units, maintain a 2.0 GPA, or exceed the maximum unit time frame.

 

The steps you will take to improve your academic status or positive progress to complete your educational objective.

 

Documentation to support your extenuating circumstances.

 

Petitions are initially reviewed by FA Advisors. Students who are approved through this process will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and are eligible for financial aid.

 


Petitions will be considered based upon:

Documented extenuating personal difficulty (i.e. recent disability, job layoff, severe illness or injury, death of a family member or other extenuating circumstances), which may be the basis for approval with consideration given to: supporting documentation, detailed explanation from the student or independent third party, current progress reports, and the student’s overall academic record. The following reasons are not considered extenuating personal difficulties:

- Coursework was too difficult

- Attempted too many units and couldn’t handle the workload

- Transportation issues

- Lack of time management

- Financial Aid processing late or delayed

- Had to work too many hours

 

In reviewing petitions where pace of progression is an issue, it may be possible to deduct units attempted if the student has provided detailed reasons for the deficiencies and has also provided documentation for the extenuating circumstances. It may also be possible to take into consideration, on a case-by-case basis, any elective or non-degree applicable coursework the student has completed as long as they have not exceeded the 150% limit and the combination of the unit deficiencies and elective/non-degree applicable coursework does not exceed 19 units.

 


The following may be used as a basis for approval:

 

Serious medical or personal difficulty - documentation required.

 

Enrollment as a retraining student.
The term “retraining student" denotes a student who can no longer pursue employment in a previous occupation due to circumstances beyond his/her control; or Is a Displaced Homemaker who:

has worked primarily without remuneration to care for a home and family and, for that reason, has diminished marketable skills;


AND

 

has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by such income;

 

OR

 

has been dependent on public assistance or has been receiving public assistance because of dependent children in the home;

 

AND

 

is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.

 

Must present a comprehensive educational plan. Approval will be only for courses listed on the plan and required for program completion.

 

Units needed for major - up to 150% attempted for the academic program. Approvals are on a case-by-case basis.  Criteria to be considered include overall track record and whether a student is in a high unit major.

Units needed to transfer - up to 150% attempted for the academic program. Approvals are on a case-by-case basis. Criteria to be considered include overall track record, whether a student is transferring into a high unit major, and if prep for the major is required to enter a transfer institution.

 

Students who are subject to disqualification going into summer will be required to submit a petition for reinstatement for the subsequent fall or spring term. If a student receives financial aid in the summer session, they will be held to the SAP criteria previously outlined in the General SAP standards.

 

Students who are subject to disqualification going into summer will be required to submit a petition for reinstatement for the subsequent fall or spring term. If a student receives financial aid in the summer session, they will be held to the SAP criteria previously outlined in the General SAP standards.

 

 


Retroactive Awards

Students are not eligible for retroactive awards if the petition is approved. Students who petition only because they have completed more than the unit maximums may be eligible for a retroactive award because they may need additional units to complete their objective and they are not in a lack of progress status for that retroactive term.

 

 


Petition Deadlines

SAP petitions must be submitted by the last day of the term for which the student is applying.

 

 


Probation

Students who are approved through the Appeals process will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and are eligible for financial aid.

 

Students on Financial Aid Probation must make SAP according to SAP general standards above by the end of the following term and may also need to meet the conditions set by the Appeals Committee to maintain financial aid eligibility. If they do not, they will need to submit an additional petition for the following term.

 

Students who are subject to disqualification going into summer will be required to submit a petition for reinstatement for the subsequent fall or spring term. If a student receives financial aid in the summer session, they will be held to the SAP criteria previously outlined in the General SAP standards.

 


Appeal of Denied Petition

Students wishing to appeal the denial of their financial aid petition must submit an Appeal form with documentation of extenuating circumstances not already presented with the petition (Progress  Reports from all classes enrolled are also required after the  7th   week of the semester). The appeal will be reviewed by a committee consisting of Financial Aid Advisors, Academic Counseling staff, the Financial Aid Supervisor, and/or the Director of Financial Aid.

 

Students may appeal the committee’s decision to the Director of Financial Aid.  Students must provide compelling information regarding the College, District, State and/or Federal regulations or policies that were misinterpreted or wrongly applied by the committee to the Director.