Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal regulation requires that Gogebic Community College (GCC) monitor the satisfactory academic progress of all students regardless of whether they have received financial aid in previous semesters. These financial aid requirements are separate from students' academic requirements. To maintain eligibility for federal student aid, as well as most state and institutional student aid programs, there are three distinct criteria that must be monitored and met. SAP will be monitored at the end of each semester.
Standards to maintain
1. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.
Withdrawals, Fs, Incompletes, grade changes and Work in Progress are handled as follows:
- Withdrawals are counted as a 0 GPA if they occur after registration has closed and the add/drop period has ended.
- Fs are counted as a 0 GPA.
- Incompletes are counted as Fs (0.0) until the grade is changed, after completion of the required work. At the next SAP evaluation, the cumulative GPA will be recalculated using the final grade.
2. Completion Rate
Students must successfully complete at least 67% of the credits they attempt. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of credits satisfactorily completed by the number of credits attempted.
- “Attempted coursework” is defined as any course in which the student is enrolled after the College’s add/drop period. “Successfully completed credits” are defined as credits in which a student received a grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D and D-
- Transfer hours that count toward the student’s educational program count as both attempted and earned.
- Withdrawals, Fs, Incompletes, repeated courses, grade changes and Work in Progress
are handled as follows:
- Withdrawals are counted as credits attempted, but not completed, if they occur after registration has closed and the add/drop period has ended.
- Fs are included as credits attempted, but not
- Incompletes are counted as credits attempted but not completed until the required work is completed and a grade is given. Whether the student has successfully completed the course will be taken into account at the next SAP evaluation.
- Repeated courses count as credits attempted each time the course is taken.
- Completed Credits divided by Attempted Credits=Completion Rate
3. Maximum Timeframe
A student is no longer eligible to receive federal financial aid once they have attempted 150% of the credits required to complete the degree for which the student is currently enrolled. The maximum timeframe evaluation is based on the total number of credits attempted. Transfer hours are included in the total number of credits attempted. Transfer hours are not taken into consideration for satisfactory academic progress until after receipt of official transcripts and evaluation by the Registrar.
- Attempted credits are counted for all terms, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid.
- Credits attempted while enrolled part time are counted in the maximum
- Withdrawals are counted as credits attempted, if they occur after registration has closed and the add/drop period has ended.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Review
At the conclusion of each semester, including Summer, after grades have been officially posted, a report is run by the Financial Aid Office. This report is used to perform the evaluation of students in accordance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. As a result of this evaluation a student will be in a status of Good Standing, Warning, or Suspension.
A student is in good standing if they have met all three standards of SAP. They will continue to receive federal aid.
Financial Aid Warning
Students who do not meet the grade point average and/or cumulative pace SAP requirements, are placed on financial aid warning their next term of enrollment. At the end of the warning period, students will be reviewed for compliance of SAP eligibility criteria (listed above) and if found to be in compliance will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for the following term. If the student does not meet the criteria listed above the student will be put on a financial aid violation and will not be eligible for financial aid.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who fail to make satisfactory progress after the warning period lose their aid eligibility and are placed on Financial Aid Suspension. When a student’s financial aid is suspended because they failed to make satisfactory progress the student may appeal on the basis of extenuating circumstances.
If the student has received a financial aid denial notification, the student may appeal for reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility based on extenuating circumstances.
Examples of extenuating circumstances are death of a relative, student illness or injury or other extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.
All appeals must:
- Be submitted using the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Appeal and Academic Plan Form available on the GCC FAO website.
- Include the required supporting documentation.
A committee will review the students’ appeal and render a decision. The committee may ask for additional information. The committee’s decision is final. Decisions are usually made within 2-3 weeks of when all documents are received. Students who have an appeal approved will generally have one semester to clear their violation or must meet the requirements set by the academic plan. Students who are denied may provide additional information not previously submitted for reconsideration.
If an appeal for a student on Financial Aid Denial/Suspension status is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester and may continue to receive federal student aid for one semester. If at the conclusion of the Financial Aid Probation semester, Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are not met, as outlined below or according to the student's academic plan, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Denial/Suspension and become ineligible for federal student aid.
Students should be prepared to seek other funding options if the appeal is not approved.
Students may regain federal aid eligibility by completing the requirements list under
Regaining Financial Aid eligibility.
If for any reason the Financial Aid Office fails to provide an intended notification, this does not relieve the student from the obligation of continuing to maintain satisfactory academic progress or from any other requirements of the financial aid program.
The Academic Advisor and the student should develop a plan that ensures the student is able to meet the institution's satisfactory academic progress standards by a specific point in time but is more generally established to guide the student to program completion. All academic plans must be signed by both the student and the student’s advisor.
In the case of an academic plan which needs to cover multiple semesters, the student must submit an updated courses plan each semester in which the student is still on an academic plan. This update must also be signed by both the academic advisor and the student.
Notification of Appeal Decision
Once the SAP Committee has reviewed a student’s appeal a communication is sent to the students GCC email containing the decision.
If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A communication is sent telling the student they are on probation and outlining any academic requirements. The student is also notified that they will receive financial aid for one semester only and at the end of that semester, the student’s eligibility for financial aid will be reevaluated.
If the appeal is not approved, a communication will be sent to the student stating their appeal has been denied. The student is also notified that his or her eligibility for financial aid will be reevaluated at the end of each subsequent semester. At the point the student is again making satisfactory academic progress their financial aid will be reinstated for the following semester.
Financial Aid Probation
If a student appeals the suspension of their financial aid and the SAP Committee approves the appeal, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation. Probation status is for one semester only. The Financial Aid Office must review the student’s progress at the end of that semester to re-determine whether the student has met the SAP standards or the terms of their academic plan.
If the student has met the SAP standards the student will be taken off Probation and will be returned to good standing. If the student is not yet meeting the SAP policy standards, but is meeting the requirements of the academic plan, the student will remain on probation but will be eligible to receive financial aid for the following semester.
A student who does not meet the terms of their academic plan may submit a new appeal with a new or revised academic plan. This appeal must contain a detailed explanation of why the student failed to meet the requirements of their academic plan. In most cases, this will require a new extenuating circumstance during the semester when the student did not meet their academic plan. The appeal must also contain an explanation of what has changed and how the student will be able to meet the terms of the new academic plan.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Notifications
Any student who fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards for purposes of financial aid will receive an e-mail notification of their SAP status. The notifications will specify which standard they have failed to meet. The student’s advisors will also receive a copy of this notification.
Reestablishing Aid Eligibility
A student may reestablish financial aid eligibility when the student meets compliance with GCC satisfactory academic progress standards for purposes of financial aid. Neither paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a term affects a student’s academic progress status with regard to financial aid. Neither is sufficient to reestablish financial aid.