Satisfactory Academic Progress
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?
To be eligible to receive federal and state aid, you must be maintaining progress toward a degree, certificate or transfer. Maintaining SAP means that you must: 1) complete at least 67% of the units you attempt (pace calculation); 2) maintain a cumulative institutional GPA of 2.0 or higher; and 3) complete your educational program within a 'reasonable' timeframe (see below).
Is the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy the same as COD’s academic policy as written in the catalog or class schedules?
No, the financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy follows federal laws tied to student eligibility to receive federal and state financial aid. Although some similarities may exist between the two policies, students must meet the financial aid SAP criteria to receive aid.
What does “completed units” mean?
You complete a course when you earn credit by receiving a passing grade. The following grades do not count towards your completed units (however, they do count toward attempted units): F, I, IP, NC, NP, RD, W or FW. Audit units or any zero unit courses are not included in either the attempted or completed figures as these units are ineligible for financial aid.
May I receive financial aid for non-degree applicable and repeated courses?
Yes, up to 30 units of non-degree/remedial courses qualify for federal financial aid. You may also be paid for any repeated class (one time) if you previously passed ('D' or better).
May I receive financial aid for classes not needed for my program of study?
No. Financial aid is intended to fund your program of study, including any preparatory courses needed.
What happens if I complete less-than 67% of my attempted classes or fall below a cumulative institutional GPA of 2.0?
If you complete less-than 67% of your attempted units or your cumulative institutional GPA falls below 2.0, you will be automatically placed on a financial aid 'Warning' status for the following semester. Students may only be on 'Warning' status for one term.
Some students may be automatically suspended based on previous academic history.
What happens if I still don’t complete 67% of my attempted classes or maintain a cumulative institutional GPA of 2.0 during the “Warning” period?
If you still earn less-than 67% of your attempted units or your cumulative institutional GPA falls below 2.0, your financial aid eligibility will be suspended.
How do I re-qualify if my financial aid eligibility is suspended?
At the end of the warning semester, if you meet the SAP standards (successfully completed at least 67% of all classes you have attempted and raised your cumulative institutional GPA to at least a 2.0), you will regain eligibility for financial aid. Please come to the Financial Aid Office to have your file re-evaluated.
How does the Financial Aid Office calculate a reasonable timeframe?
Federal regulations require that you complete your academic program within 150% of the standard timeframe for your program. For example, if you are in a Liberal Arts A.A. program that is 60 units of coursework, you will need to complete your program by 90 units or your financial aid will be suspended. All attempted units are counted (less non-degree/remedial/ESL coursework up to a maximum of 30 units) even if you did not receive financial aid and even if the units taken do not count for credit toward graduation. The calculation of attempted units includes coursework completed at COD as well as all other transferable coursework completed at other institutions.
Once you reach the unit cap of 150% for your program, you are ineligible for aid.
Can I change my program of study?
Yes, you can change your program of study, but if you change your program of study after you have already attempted 100% of the units needed to complete your program of study (less remedial courses), your financial aid will be suspended.
May I appeal if I lose my eligibility for financial aid due to my SAP status?
Yes, you have the right to appeal your SAP suspension by submitting an appeal form (no more than once per term) with a personal statement, academic plan (Student Educational Plan or SEP) and documentation of extenuating circumstances. Appeals forms are available in the Financial Aid Office. Please allow 2-4 weeks for the Appeals Committee to evaluate your appeal after it has been submitted in full to the Financial Aid Office. Please note that submission of an appeal does not guarantee approval and decisions made by the Appeals Committee are final.
What happens if my appeal is approved?
If your appeal is approved by the Appeals Committee, you will be placed on "Probation" for one semester to monitor your progress. During this probationary period, you are eligible to receive financial aid. Depending upon the Committee's decision, you must either meet the SAP standards at the end of the probationary semester or be required to follow a specific academic plan.
If I submit my appeal after the semester can I receive financial aid retroactively?
No, the SAP appeal, with all attached documentation, must be received by the Financial Aid Office no later than 2 weeks prior to the end of the semester in order to be reviewed by the Appeals Committee, and if approved, your receiving funding for the current and following terms (if you meet the conditions established by the Appeals Committee) in the school year. Aid cannot be awarded retroactively. For instance, if you submitted your SAP appeal in January, and it was approved by the Appeals Committee, you would only qualify for aid for the Spring semester.
Can I take classes not listed on my educational plan?
Yes, but you will not receive financial aid funding.
Will I receive financial aid for all of the classes listed on my educational plan?
Not necessarily. Financial aid funding is only for classes needed to complete your educational program. Classes not needed to meet this objective will not be funded.
What happens if I don’t meet my probation requirements or my SAP appeal is denied?
If you fail to meet the conditions of your SAP probation, or your appeal is denied due to your cumulative institutional GPA being below 2.0 or your completion percentage being below 67%, you will need to bring your cumulative institutional GPA up to 2.0 and/or complete at least 67% of your classes before you will be eligible to receive financial aid. If your appeal is denied by the Appeals Committee due to not completing your program in a reasonable timeframe no new appeals will be accepted.