Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
Gogebic Community College is required to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for the federal and state financial aid recipients in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education regulations. These standards ensure only those recipients demonstrating satisfactory progress toward the completion of the student's educational program continue to receive financial aid. This policy applies to all categories of students.
Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) measures your performance in the following three areas:
- cumulative grade point average (GPA),
- completion rate of courses (credits) and
- maximum time frame.
Federal regulations require your entire GCC academic record be reviewed for satisfactory academic progress, including terms for which you did not receive financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester, including summer school.
You must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of each semester:
- All incomplete grades (I's) are calculated in your GPA as “F's” in determining financial aid eligibility. Your GPA will be recalculated when the incomplete grade becomes a letter grade. You have 30 days to complete the coursework for the incomplete.
- You will have your GPA recalculated to reflect the replaced grade, if you retake a course in which a "W" was received.
- The highest grade for any repeated course will be used for the calculation of your GPA.
- Audited and pass/fail courses do not count in the calculation of your GPA.
- The GPA of transfer credits does not count in the calculation of your GPA.
Your completion rate will be measured by calculating the number of credit hours earned and attempted. Your must cumulatively earn 67% of your attempted credits to remain in good standing. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours you have successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours you have attempted. The rate is calculated at the end of each semester:
- Transfer credits are included in the calculation of your completion rate.
- Credits in courses in which a grade of "I", "W" or “F” is received are not counted as earned credits until the credits have been completed with a “D-” or higher. The credits are always counted as attempted.
- All repeated credits are counted as attempted. The credits are counted as earned one time.
- Pass/fail credits do count in the evaluation of your completion rate.
- Audited credits do not count in the evaluation of your completion rate.
Maximum Time Frame
The maximum time frame you have to complete your program of study may not exceed 150% of the length of the program as measured in attempted credits. The maximum time frame for the completion of associate degree programs is 95-115 attempted credits and the maximum time frame for the completion of certificate programs is 45-85 attempted credits, depending on your program of study. The maximum time frame is reviewed on a semester basis.
- Transfer credits will count in your maximum time frame.
- Credits in courses in which you receive a grade of “I”, “W” or “F” will count in your maximum time frame.
- All repeated and pass/fail credits will count in your maximum time frame.
- Audited credits do not count in the evaluation of your maximum time frame.
College Credits in High School
The GPA of college credits taken by you in high school count in the calculation of your GPA. The credits are also counted in your completion rate calculation and your maximum time frame.
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 your enrollment status. All credits are counted toward the maximum time frame as well as in the calculation of your GPA and your completion rate.
Evaluation of Academic Progress
Your academic progress will be evaluated after each semester of the academic year, including the summer session. At that time, you will either be in good standing or not meeting the academic progress requirements. You must meet all three progress requirements to remain in good standing. All semesters of attendance will be evaluated, whether or not you received financial aid during those semesters. You will be provided with a written notification from the GCC Financial Aid Office, if you have not met the SAP standards. (It is your responsibility to know if you have not met the SAP standards. By telling the Financial Aid Office you never received a financial aid cancellation letter is not an excuse to miss the financial aid appeals deadline.) If you fail to meet any of the SAP standards at the conclusion of each semester, you will lose all federal aid (including federal student loans) eligibility until you meet the SAP requirements or you file a successful appeal.
If you do not meet the SAP standards and your financial aid is cancelled, you will be given the opportunity to appeal (except in some cases for maximum time frame, see Program Changes). Appealing is a process by which a student who is not meeting the institution's SAP standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student's 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.
Appeal forms will be mailed to you along with the cancellation letter at the end of each semester. The letter will include the reason for the cancellation along with the deadline dates and the procedure to follow for an appeal.
The appeal procedures are listed below:
- complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form,
- provide a written explanation of the extenuating circumstances that prevented you from successfully completing the semester,
- explain how your circumstances have changed, allowing you to successfully meet the SAP requirements for future attendance and
- provide third-party documentation to support the appeal, if applicable.
Students who have had financial aid cancelled after the fall semester, will have the appeal reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee the first week in January. Students under financial aid cancellation after the spring semester will have the appeal reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee in May/June. Students who have had financial aid cancelled after the summer session will have the appeal reviewed in August.
The GCC Financial Aid Appeals Committee reviews all appeal requests. The committee consists of 11 members chaired by the Financial Aid Director. The members include staff, faculty and administrative personnel.
This appeal is for financial aid purposes only. It does not substitute for the Dean's review of your academic suspension and will not influence whether or not you are dismissed from GCC.
Submitting an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement.
You will be notified and placed on probation for one semester, if your SAP appeal is approved. Students on financial aid probation are eligible for Title IV aid. The approval notification along with your academic plan will be mailed to you no later than two weeks after a decision has been reached by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. Academic plans are developed for all students on probation on a per semester basis by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. Academic plans require you to fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as decreasing the amount of enrolled credits, enrolling in specific courses, etc. The academic plan includes a course-by-course plan for one semester of your degree completion. You are responsible for meeting the conditions of the academic plan during the probationary period. Your academic plan needs to be submitted by you to the GCC Financial Aid Office with your and your advisor's signature before any financial aid can be disbursed. The GCC Financial Aid Office is responsible for the monitoring of your compliance with your academic plan. Students who refuse to follow the exact terms of the academic plan are not eligible to receive financial aid.
Your progress will be evaluated at the end of the probationary semester. Financial aid eligibility will be automatically reinstated if you are meeting the SAP requirements. If you are meeting the requirements of the academic plan, but are not meeting the SAP requirements, you will be placed on another probationary semester with a new academic plan for that semester. You do not need to appeal, but must submit the signed academic plan to the GCC Financial Aid Office. If you are not meeting the requirements of the academic plan and have not met the SAP requirements, your financial aid will be cancelled and you will need to follow the appeal process. You will only be allowed to appeal twice.
You will be notified, if the appeal is denied. The decision is final for that semester and you will not be eligible to receive financial aid, including federal student loans. You may re-establish eligibility to be considered for federal aid for a subsequent semester by taking action to bring you in compliance with the SAP standards.
Students Who Do Not Appeal
Students who do not appeal a financial aid cancellation will not be eligible to receive financial aid until an appeal is submitted and approved or the student re-establishes eligibility to be considered for financial aid for a subsequent semester by taking actions to bring the student in compliance with the SAP standards. Paying for one's classes or sitting out a semester does not affect a student's SAP standing, neither is sufficient to re-establish eligibility.
The financial aid cancellation letter will require you to submit appeal documentation by a deadline date. Students who fail to meet the January deadline date will have the appeal reviewed for the summer or fall terms. Students who fail to meet the May/June deadline will not have the appeal reviewed for the summer session, but are able to submit the appeal for the fall term by the August deadline date. Students who fail to meet the August deadline will have the appeal reviewed for the spring semester. Students who fail to meet the deadline date will not be eligible for financial aid for the current semester. Financial aid is not retroactive back to the beginning of the semester in which the student missed the deadline date.
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 The appeal will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid and other members of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. You must have the appeal documents submitted by the first day of classes. If this deadline is missed, the late appeal will be reviewed for the following semester (Students who never appeal the cancellation of their financial aid in past semesters and file a FAFSA after the first day of classes, are not eligible to file an appeal for the current semester.)
No appeal is reviewed after the first day of classes for the current semester.
You are allowed to change a program of study or obtain an additional degree/certificate as long as the maximum time frame has not been exceeded. Students who are nearing the credit limit will only be allowed to enroll in classes satisfying the requirements of the new program. The SAP standards are not program specific when changing programs. This means your cumulative totals for GPA, completion rate and maximum time frame will be calculated to determine if you will be eligible to enroll in a new program. 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 time frame. Appeals will be reviewed for students who only have a minimal amount of credits to earn over and beyond the maximum time frame. The above time frame rule also applies to students who may not be changing programs, but are still enrolled in the initial program.