Policy 4.08 - Satisfactory Academic Progress


According to federal and state regulations, students receiving financial aid must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The Financial Aid Office at Southeastern Community College monitors a student’s academic progress as a condition of eligibility when the student applies for financial aid and at the end of each enrollment period (semester). These requirements are applied to a student’s entire academic history at SCC, including transfer hours from other schools and including periods when financial aid was not received (e.g. courses taken through SCC in high school). A student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress when the following three requirements are satisfied: 

  1. Qualitative Standard (Cumulative Grade Point Average) –A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. * 
  2. Quantitative Standard (Completion Rate) –A student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67%.** 
  3. Maximum Timeframe –A student must successfully complete the program of study within its timeframe. Federal regulations specify that the timeframe may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program. When students exceed the timeframe for their programs of study, they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. However, students can submit an appeal to have their eligibility extended if there are extenuating circumstances. *** 

 *Cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total credit hours attempted for which the student received grades of A, B, C, D, F, and U. 

**Credit hours attempted will be cumulative and will include all hours for which the student was enrolled as of the census date of each academic term, or for which the student received a grade. The census date is defined as the day following the last day for registration and payment as outlined in the College catalog.  Credit hours completed with grades of A, B, C, D, T, CR, P, or AP will be considered credit hours completed. Grades of F, I, U, and W, will be considered credit hours attempted but not completed.  A student’ completion rate can be calculated by dividing the number of credit hours completed by the number of credit hours attempted.  Transfer credits should count as both attempted and completed credits. 

***For each program of study, a maximum timeframe will be calculated by taking the total credit hours required for the program as outlined in the College catalog and multiplying the total by 150%. Timeframes will vary from program to program.  

 Monitoring Satisfactory Progress. SCC will monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress every semester. 

 Key points to remember regarding the maximum timeframe: 

  1. Since the timeframe sets the limit for the number of credit hours a student may attempt and remain eligible to receive financial assistance, it is very important that the student plan class schedules carefully with his or her academic advisor and/or the Student Services counseling staff. It is the responsibility of the student to register only for classes listed in his or her chosen major in the College catalog and for scheduling only the number of hours he or she is capable of completing. Students are responsible for knowing the policy concerning the limitation on hours attempted for financial aid purposes. Registering for more courses than a student is capable of completing, having to withdraw from classes, registering for courses for which the student has already received credit, taking courses in error, etc. all impact the timeframe and could result in losing financial aid eligibility before completing a program of study.
  2. The timeframe is cumulative; therefore, by switching programs without completing the initial program, the student runs the risk of losing financial aid eligibility.
  3. The timeframe begins when the student first attends the College and continues until that student successfully completes a program of study regardless of the number of years that may elapse between enrollment periods.
  4. Students who take course work and are unclassified will have those hours attempted added to their timeframe if and when they enter a specific program of study.
  5. Students accepted into a program of study who are required to take developmental course work, as determined by placement testing results and the professional judgment of Student Services, will have those credit hours deducted when calculating maximum timeframe. (Financial aid can only pay for 30 credit hours of developmental course work).
  6. The credit hours for course incompletes, withdrawals, and repetitions will be counted as hours attempted toward the timeframe.
  7. Credit hours transferred in will be counted toward the maximum timeframe of eligibility.   

 SAP Status: Satisfactory Academic Progress statuses will be calculated based on the definitions listed below: 

 Satisfactory: Satisfactory status is achieved when the cumulative GPA, completion rate and timeframe are met. 

 Warning: Students who fail to meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and fail to complete a minimum completion rate are given a warning. Students in the status of warning remain eligible for financial aid for one payment period (semester). Participation in the following success strategies while on warning may positively impact a student’s performance as well as positively impact any appeal of loss of financial aid if it becomes necessary. It is recommended that students do the following. 

  1. Complete the one-hour “What It MeansTo Be a Successful Student at SCC” academic success workshop during the semester on warning. (See Financial Aid Office for specifics.) 
  2. Meet with their academic advisor to review academic success strategies during the semester on warning.

Participation in the success strategies mentioned above may affect whether any appeal of suspension is positively received. 

 Suspension: Students who fail to meet the conditions of a warning, which are to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67%, will be placed on suspension. Students who are placed on suspension forfeit their financial aid. A student may either appeal to have their financial aid eligibility reinstated, or may notify the Financial Aid Office when the student is meeting the satisfactory academic progress policy so that their financial aid eligibility can be reconsidered. If an appeal is approved, the suspended student, must meet with a financial aid advisor to agree to an Academic Plan.  Once that Plan is agreed to and signed, the student is placed on probation. *This also applies to students who have never received financial aid at SCC. 

 Maximum Timeframe: Students who fail to complete their academic program within the timeframe mandated by the government will be considered to be at Maximum Timeframe.  Students in this category will need to pay for additional coursework out-of-pocket until they have completed their program. Students may appeal the Maximum Timeframe designation, but they must provide adequate documentation as to why they were unable to complete their coursework within the 150% timeframe required by the federal government. 

 Probation: Probation occurs when students on suspension have their eligibility for financial aid reinstated by an approved Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal.  Students in the status of probation will have their financial aid eligibility reinstated for one more semester.  A student on probation may not receive aid for the subsequent payment period unless: 

  1. The student is now meeting the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy at the end of the probation period (semester); or 
  2. The student adheres to the financial aid student academic plan. The plan may include one or more of the following stipulations: 
  • Limiting the number of credit hours attempted
  • Not withdrawing from any courses
  • Repeat failed courses

Students will be notified of their status at the end of each payment period (semester) or when they first apply for financial aid. This notification will be sent to their student email account. 

 Continued Probation: Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, but who have met the requirements of the financial aid student academic plan will be placed on continued probation at the end of each semester. Students in the status of continued probation may remain eligible for financial aid until they complete their program of study. After the student has completed the program of study, the financial aid student academic plan is no longer applicable for receiving additional financial aid.  

 Appeal Process: Students who are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.  The students may appeal to the Financial Aid Office. All appeals will be reviewed and approved or denied by the Financial Aid Office.  Students will need to submit the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form and all required documentation to the Financial Aid Office.  Students will be notified of the Financial Aid Office’s decision within 30 days.  Students will be permitted to appeal the decision of the Financial Aid Office to the SAP Appeals Committee.  The SAP Appeals Committee will review the student’s second appeal, and this decision is final. 

 Paying out of pocket for classes or sitting out a semester is not grounds for reinstatement of aid. Students must bring their academic progress back into compliance or have an appeal approved to have aid reinstated.  Students may re-appeal after a denied appeal once they have successfully completed a self-pay semester with 1.) a 2.0 or higher GPA and 2.) 75% completion rate for the semester. It is important for students to remember that Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used cannot be waived through the submission of an appeal. 

Adopted: July 20, 2010

Revised: July 13, 2020

Reviewed: July 13, 2020