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Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for 2012-2013


To keep getting financial aid every semester, you must move forward in your program of study. For a quick overview of the standards you are required to maintain, see our Satisfactory Academic Progress flowchart.

Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for 2012-2013

The colleges of DCCCD are required by law to formulate standards to measure a student’s progress toward completion of a program of study while receiving financial assistance through federal, state or institutional student aid programs by applying both qualitative and quantitative measurements to academic work (34 CFR 668.34). To comply with applicable laws and accreditation standards, the colleges have developed a policy describing Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for both applicants and recipients of student financial aid. The following SAP policy measurements became effective July 1, 2011. These measurements shall be used to determine student eligibility for all need-based and federal Title IV financial assistance, unless the terms of a particular grant or funding source state otherwise. All current and returning students to the colleges, after a lapse of one semester or longer, will be re-evaluated under the current SAP policy. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured at the end of each payment period of enrollment. Some financial aid programs have specific requirements. In those instances, the program requirements will supersede the general SAP policy stated here.

Each financial aid applicant must select a primary program of study on eConnect (login required) prior to receiving financial aid payments. A student can receive a retroactive financial aid payment for a prior term within the payment period only if he or she had a program of study selected or a degree program through Admissions for that particular payment period of enrollment. Students may not be allowed financial aid funding for multiple changes of programs for the purpose of extending financial aid eligibility. All previously repeated college-level courses will be counted.

Transfer students must submit official transcripts from all previous colleges attended. If you have an unevaluated transcript with a print date that is more than three years old, you must submit a new one for evaluation. For new-to-the-colleges transfers only, if transcripts are not received and evaluated prior to the start of your enrollment, SAP standards cannot be calculated. If your transcripts are still not received prior to the deadline date during the period, you will not be granted financial aid for the next payment period of enrollment.

The deadlines for submitting transcripts in order for SAP to be calculated for the next term are:

Spring — Oct. 1, 2012
Summer — March 1, 2013

Measurement 1: Qualitative Progress (CGPA)

A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.00 or higher must be attained by the end of the student’s first semester of enrollment at the colleges. This average must be maintained at the end of each subsequent semester for a student to continue to receive financial aid. Students who do not meet this minimum CGPA requirement will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one payment period of enrollment. If a CGPA of 2.00 or higher is not reached by the end of the warning period, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Measurement 2a:  Quantitative Progress (Maximum Time Frame 150 Percent)

A student may apply for and, if eligible, receive financial aid for attempted credit hours that do not exceed 150 percent of the minimum number of hours required to complete the student’s primary program of study. All hours attempted toward the completion of a program of study will be counted regardless of whether financial aid was received. Credit hours transferred to the colleges are counted when calculating the 150 percent maximum. When SAP is calculated, students who have attempted 150 percent of the allowed number of credit hours, or for whom it would be mathematically impossible to complete a program of study within the 150 percent maximum, will be placed on “MAX” status, Financial Aid Suspension. Students who are placed on MAX Financial Aid Suspension have exhausted financial aid eligibility to complete the program and may not again receive financial aid benefits to complete their program of study. Previous hours attempted by a student whose academic transcript has been cleared for a “fresh start” will continue to count toward the student’s 150 percent maximum limit.


  1. For a student completing an associate degree program that requires 66 hours, the student must complete the degree within 99 attempted hours. The student will lose eligibility for additional financial aid to complete the program after 99 attempted hours.

  2. For a student completing a certificate program that requires 30 hours, the student must complete the certificate within 45 attempted hours. The student will lose eligibility for additional financial aid to complete the program after 45 attempted hours.

Measurement 2b:  Quantitative Progress (Pace of Completion 67 Percent) 

To avoid exceeding the maximum time frame required to complete a program of study using financial aid, students are expected to maintain a “pace of completion.” At the end of each payment period of enrollment, students must have a cumulative passing rate of at least 67 percent. Grades of W, WX, E, F and I will be counted as hours attempted, but will not be counted as hours successfully passed. Repeated course enrollments will be counted in the completion rate and against the overall maximum time limit required to complete the program of study. Students who do not maintain the minimum 67 percent pace of completion will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one payment period of enrollment. If a 67 percent cumulative pace of completion is not reached by the end of the warning period, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. 

SAP Treatment of Developmental Course Work

An otherwise eligible student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 attempted credit hours of developmental/remedial course work. Once the 30 credit hour maximum is reached, additional developmental credit hours will not be used to calculate the award amount. Students taking ESOL classes, which are counted as developmental hours, may submit a written request to the Financial Aid Office to exclude ESOL classes from the 30-hour maximum if additional ESOL classes are necessary after the 30-hour maximum has been reached. Developmental hours are not included in the calculation of the overall maximum time frame to complete the student’s academic program or in the CGPA calculation. However, developmental and ESOL attempts and grades are used in the measurement of the pace of completion.

Reinstatement Procedures

Financial Aid Suspension cannot be appealed. To regain financial aid eligibility, a student placed on Suspension must pay enrollment-related expenses from personal resources until minimum SAP standards are met. The student’s progress will continue to be reviewed at the end of each payment period of enrollment. Eligibility will automatically be reinstated for the next term of enrollment upon successful completion of a term of enrollment in which the student meets the required SAP standards described in this section. A student who is placed on MAX status will be automatically reviewed to determine if he or she has truly met the maximum time frame allowed to complete the program. After review, a student who has reached the maximum time frame will be placed on Suspension status and may not again receive financial aid benefits to complete the program of study.