Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

For Financial Aid Programs (Effective July 1, 2011)

Federal regulations require that all students who receive federal financial aid must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (also referred to as SAP throughout this policy and the Office of Financial Aid website) towards achieving an AA/AS degree, transfer requirements, or a certificate program. For financial aid purposes, progress is measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average, percentage of units earned in relation to those attempted, and the length of the academic program.

SAP will be checked for all students after every semester, regardless of whether financial aid was received. Progress is evaluated based on all courses taken at Porterville College, Bakersfield College and Cerro Coso College plus transfer units from prior colleges/universities.

In order to assure that students make progress toward earning a certificate/degree both in terms of number of units completed and cumulative GPA, our school employs the following financial aid satisfactory progress policy:

Academic Requirements

Students meeting all of the following requirements are considered to be acceptable for SAP and can be considered for financial aid or reinstatement of financial aid:

  • Qualitative Measure‐Maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.00.A, B, C, D, and F grades are used to calculate a student’s GPA.
  • Quantitative Measure (Pace of Progression)‐Receive credit for at least 67 % of the total units attempted. Withdrawals (W), Incompletes (I or IP), No Credit (N, NC or NP, Report Delay (RD) and Failing (F) grades are considered units attempted. Transferable units accepted by the institution from prior colleges or universities will be included when determining a student’s pace of progression.
  • Maximum Timeframe ‐ Have attempted less than 150% of the maximum cumulative units required for completion of their program, for example: Most certificate programs require 30 units to graduate; the maximum timeframe to complete the program would be 45 units. Most degree or transfer program requires 60 units or more are needed to graduate; the maximum timeframe to complete the program would be 90 attempted units.
    • All English as a Second Language (ESL/ ENSL) and up to 30 units of remedial coursework may be excluded from the student’s cumulative units attempted.
    • Repeated coursework and courses disregarded under Academic Renewal/Grade Forgiveness will be included from units attempted.  Students may only receive federal financial aid funding for one repeat of a previously taken course.
    • All transferred units accepted by the institution from prior colleges or universities will be included when determining a student’s maximum timeframe.
    • If at any point in time, it is determined that the student cannot complete their course of study within the maximum timeframe, the student will be immediately disqualified from future financial aid for the remainder of his or her program, even if he or she is meeting the current SAP standards outlined above.

Financial Aid Warning

If a student does not meet all cumulative academic requirements outlined in Section I at the end of a graded semester, the student will be placed on WARNING status. Students who are placed on WARNING status may continue to receive financial aid for one semester, after which the student must meet the requirements outlined in Section I.Students who complete a semester on WARNING must have their academic progress reviewed before their financial aid eligibility for the following semester is determined. Due to theshort time period between semesters, there will be at least a three week delay in the notification of eligibility. If eligible, any disbursement of student aid will also be delayed.

Financial Aid Suspension

If a student does not meet all cumulative academic requirements outline in Section I at the end of the FINANCIAL AID WARNING semester, or it is determined that the student will not be able to graduate within 150% maximum time frame limit, the student will be placed on financial aid SUSPENSION. Generally, a student who is suspended from financial aid may reestablish financial aid eligibility by meeting all cumulative SAP criteria outlined in Section I.

Students placed on SUSPENSION status are not eligible to receive financial aid except for a BOG fee waiver, if eligible. Students who complete a semester on SUSPENSION must have their academic progress reviewed before their financial aid eligibility is determined for the following semester. Due to the short time period between semesters, there will be at least a three week delay in the notification of eligibility. If eligible, any disbursements of student aid will also be delayed.

Appealing Financial Aid/ Reinstatement of Financial Aid

Under certain conditions, students placed on SUSPENSION may file an appeal for consideration of reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. The following are examples of reasons a student may file an appeal:

  • Unable to complete their course of study within the maximum timeframe because of a change of academic major
  • Documented serious injury, illness or medical condition requiring doctor’s care
  • Death of an immediate family member (copy of death certificate required)
  • Documented extenuating circumstances that were beyond the student’s control

The following are not considered extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control:

  • Personal problems not requiring professional intervention
  • Poor time management
  • Unaware of academic progress policies or other college requirements
  • Not following assessment test recommendations
  • Not following an Academic Counselor’s recommendations
  • Transportation problems
  • Child care problems

To file an appeal, the student must submit a Petition for Reinstatement of Financial Aid with a statement indicating the circumstance(s) that prevented the student from making SAP and what has changed to allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation period, an approved Educational Study Plan. Supporting documentation must be submitted for any semesters where there was a lack of progress.

The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to limit the number of academic appeals a student may file to one appeal per semester. Once denied, the student may not be allowed to submit another appeal until the next semester. All decisions made by the Financial Aid Director/Committee are final and there is no higher appeal process.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

Financial aid eligibility may be reinstated when the student raises his/her cumulative GPA to a 2.00 and has achieved a cumulative completion rate of 67% of all units attempted. Reinstatement of financial aid eligibility may also occur upon approval of a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal.

Financial Aid Probation status is only granted upon the approval of a Financial AidSatisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal. Students may receive financial aid for one term. Students on PROBATION must meet the following requirements each semester to maintain financial aid eligibility: must meet SAP standards by the end of that semester to remain eligible for subsequent financial aid, be enrolled in and attending an eligible program for the purpose of completing an AA/AS degree, transfer requirements, or certificate program, and follow an approved Educational Study Plan.

Appeals may result in any one of the following actions:

  • Reinstatement on Probation
  • Denial of Reinstatement

Maximum Time Frame Extension Appeal Process

Students have the right to request an extension of their financial aid eligibility if they exceed or expect to exceed the maximum units allowed for their degree or certificate. Students will need to complete an appeal form and include an Educational Study Plan. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee approval.

If an appeal is approved, coursework will be limited to courses required for the completion of the degree or certificate. In addition, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 and successfully complete all courses listed on their Educational Study Plan. Failure to meet the requirements of the approved maximum time frame appeal will result in suspension of financial aid eligibility.

If a Maximum Time Frame Appeal is denied, the decision made by the Financial Aid Director/Committee is final and there is no higher appeal process.

Lifetime Eligibility for Pell Grant

Please note effective July 1, 2012, new federal regulations limits the receipt of a Pell Grant to a lifetime limit of up to 6 full‐time years (600%).This includes community colleges, vocational schools and four year public and private universities. This limit will be monitored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Regardless of the Pell Grant amount, if you receive the full year amount then you have received 100%. For example, your Pell Grant for the year is $4,000 and you receive $2,000 in Fall, $1,000 in Spring and the remaining $1,000 in Summer. You have received the entire $4000 or 100% for the year.

The 600% total eligibility applies at all schools and colleges. However, once you have earned a

Bachelor’s Degree, you are no longer eligible for a Pell Grant even if you haven’t received the entire

600% eligibility.In addition, you must also meet and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards to remain eligible eachyear.

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Academic Prog & Retention Info

A section of the Federal Law requires that information on academic programs, facilities, faculty graduations, and retention rates be made available to interested students. Today, the best sources of this information would be the college catalog. Specific questions should be addressed to the Dean of Instruction. The PC catalog is available online.