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Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard

Gogebic Community College is required to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for its federal and state financial aid recipients in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education regulations. These standards ensure that only those recipients demonstrating satisfactory progress toward the completion of their educational programs continue to receive financial aid.

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) measures a studentís performance in the following three areas:

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Completion rate of courses (credits)
  • Maximum timeframe

Federal regulations require that a studentís entire GCC academic record be reviewed for satisfactory academic progress, including terms for which the student did not receive financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester, including summer school.

GPA Requirements

Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 while in attendance at GCC.

  • All incomplete grades (Iís) are calculated in the studentís GPA as ďFísĒ in determining financial aid eligibility.
  • A studentís GPA will be recalculated when the incomplete grade becomes a letter grade.
  • Students who retake a course in which a ďWĒ was received will have their GPA recalculated to reflect the replaced grade.
  • The highest grade for any repeated course will be used for the calculation of the studentís GPA.
  • Transfer credits, including those received during consortium study, do not count in the calculation of the studentís GPA.

Completion Rate

A studentís completion rate will be measured by calculating the number of credit hours earned each semester. Students must earn 67% of their attempted credits each semester to remain in good standing. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours the student has attempted. The rate is calculated at the end of each semester.

  • Transfer credits are included in the calculation of credits of progress.
  • Incompletes, withdrawals and ďFĒ grades are not counted as earned credits until the grades have been completed with a ďD-Ēor higher. They are counted as attempted.
  • Audited courses do not count in the evaluation of a studentís completion rate.
  • Pass/fail course do count within the total of attempted and earned credits.

Maximum Timeframe

The maximum timeframe a student has to complete their program of study may not exceed 150% of the length of the program as measured in attempted credits. The maximum timeframe for the completion of associate degree programs is 95-115 attempted credits and the maximum timeframe for the completion of certificate programs is 45-85 attempted credits, depending on the studentís program of study.

  • Transfer credits will count toward the studentís maximum timeframe
  • Grades of ďIĒ, ďWĒ and ďFĒ will count as courses attempted.

Evaluation of Academic Progress

The academic progress of all students will be evaluated after each semester of the academic year including the summer session. At that time, a student will either be in good standing or not meeting the academic progress requirements. The student must meet all three progress requirements to remain in good standing. All semesters of attendance will be evaluated, whether or not the student received financial aid during those semesters. Students will be provided with a written notification from the GCC Financial Aid Office if they have not met the SAP standards. Students who fail to meet any of the SAP standards at the conclusion of each semester will lose all Federal aid (including student loans) eligibility until the student meets the SAP requirements or files a successful appeal.

Appeal Procedure

If a student does not meet the SAP standards, the student will be given the opportunity to appeal (except for maximum timeframe, see Program Changes). Appealing is a process by which a student who is not meeting the institutionís satisfactory academic progress standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the studentís eligibility for financial aid program assistance. Appeals will normally be considered for occurrences such as illness, change in employment schedules, family tragedy, or other extenuating circumstances. The mere passage of time will not restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility due to the failure to meet the SAP standards.

Students may appeal the denial of financial aid by following the procedures listed below:

  • Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form.
  • Provide a written explanation of the extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from successfully completing the semester.
  • Explain how the studentís circumstances have changed, allowing them to successfully meet the SAP requirements for future attendance.
  • Provide third-party documentation to support the appeal.

This appeal is for financial aid purposes only. It does not substitute for the Deanís review of a studentís academic suspension and will not influence whether or not the student is dismissed from GCC.

Submitting an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement.

If a studentís appeal for a probationary semester is denied, the student will be notified and the decision is final for that semester. The student may re-establish eligibility to be considered for Federal aid for a subsequent semester by taking action that brings the student in compliance with the SAP standards.

If a studentís appeal is approved, the student will be notified and placed on probation. Financial aid probation is a status assigned by an institution to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and is eligible for financial aid to be reinstated. GCC may require the student to fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses.

An appeal will be approved only if GCC has determined that the student will be able to meet the SAP standards after the subsequent semester or develops an academic plan with the student that, if followed, will ensure the student is able to meet the SAP standards by a specific point in time.

The studentís progress will be evaluated at the end of the probationary semester. Financial aid eligibility will only be reinstated if the student is meeting the SAP requirements or if the student is meeting the requirements specified by GCC in the studentís academic plan that was developed during the appeal process. Students will only be allowed to appeal twice.

Deadline Dates

Appeal forms will be mailed to students along with the denial letter at the end of each semester. Students who have been denied after the Fall semester will have their appeals reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid and other members of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee following finals week. Students who fail to meet the deadline date will not have the appeals reviewed for the Spring semester. The late appeals will be reviewed for the Summer or Fall semester. The deadline date will be given to the student in the denial letter.

Students who have been denied financial aid after the Spring semester will have their appeals reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee in May/June. Students who fail to meet the deadline date will not have their appeals reviewed for the Fall semester. The late appeals will be reviewed for the Spring semester. This will take place at the end of the Fall semester in December.

Students who have left GCC and never appealed for financial aid reinstatement but later return need to follow the appeal procedures if they are seeking financial aid. Students must have their appeal documents submitted by the first day of classes. If this deadline is missed, the late appeal will be reviewed for the following semester. The appeal will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid and other members of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

Remedial Courses

Students who are accepted into an eligible program and enroll in remedial courses are eligible for federal, state and institutional aid. No more than 30 semester hours of remedial coursework may be counted in determining a studentís enrollment status. All credits are counted toward the maximum timeframe. Students within this category will be given special consideration in reviewing their academic progress requirements. Noncredit remedial courses do not count towards SAP requirements and are not financial aid eligible.

Program Changes

Students are allowed to change their program of study or obtain an additional degree/certificate as long as they do not exceed the maximum timeframe. Students who are nearing the credit limit will only be allowed to enroll in classes that will satisfy the requirements of the new program. The maximum timeframe is not program specific when changing programs. The studentís cumulative GPA and the calculation of credits of progress will be based on the total amount of attempted credits. This includes all attempted credits as an enrolled student at GCC as well as any transfer credits. (Transfer credits do not count in the calculation of a studentís GPA.) Students who wish to begin a new program and are nearing the maximum credit limit will not be allowed to do so if it is no longer mathematically possible to achieve the graduation requirements by the end of the maximum timeframe. Appeals will be reviewed for students who only have a minimal amount of credits to earn over and beyond the maximum timeframe.

Students who have been academically suspended from GCC but who are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in the financial aid programs. Academic reinstatement is totally separate from funding decisions.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard :: Financial Aid :: Gogebic Community College
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906.932.4231 • 800.682.5910 • info@gogebic.edu
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