Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for 2020-2021

​​​​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.

Dallas College is 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, Dallas College has developed a policy describing Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for both applicants and recipients of student financial aid.

The following SAP policy measurements became effective Aug. 24, 2020. 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, 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 mustselect 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 period of enrollment within the payment period or award year only if he or she has chosen a primary program of study prior to the end of the particular period of enrollment. Financial aid funding may not be allowed if the student changes his or her primary program of study for the purpose of extending financial aid eligibility. All previously repeated college-level courses will be calculated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.

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 those who transfer to Dallas College, all previous college transcripts must be received and evaluated by the deadlines listed below. If you are applying for financial aid, please be prepared to pay tuition and fees until financial aid is evaluated based on your transfer request and eligibility.

The deadlines for submitting transcripts for the next term are:

  • Fall: May 1, 2020
  • Spring: Oct. 1, 2020

A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale or higher must be attained by the end of the student’s first semester of enrollment at the college. 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 on a 4.00 scale or higher is not reached by the end of the warning period, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

To avoid exceeding the maximum time frame required to complete a program of study using financial aid, students are expected to maintain a specific completion rate that is known as the “pace of progress.” At the end of each period of enrollment, students must have a cumulative passing rate of at least 67% of all classes attempted. Grades of W, WX, E, F and I will be counted as hours attempted but will not be counted as hours successfully passed. Repeating a course will be counted in the completion rate and against the overall maximum time frame required to complete the program of study. Transfer hours accepted toward the student’s primary program of study will be counted as both attempted and completed when calculating the pace of progress. With the exception of those students who exceed the maximum time frame, students who do not maintain the minimum 67% cumulative pace of progress will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one period of enrollment. If a 67% cumulative pace of progress is not reached by the end of the warning period, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

A student may apply for and, if eligible, receive financial aid for attempted credit hours that do not exceed 150% 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 or not. Credit hours transferred to Dallas College are counted when calculating the 150% maximum time frame. Once SAP is calculated, students who have attempted 150% of the minimum number of credit hours needed to complete their primary program of study will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students who are placed on Financial Aid Suspension may have exhausted their financial aid eligibility to complete the program and may not receive financial aid benefits to complete their primary program of study. Previous hours attempted by a student who has been cleared for a “fresh start” by Dallas College will continue to count toward the student’s 150% maximum time frame.

Examples:

  1. For a student completing an associate degree program that requires 60 hours, the student must complete the degree within 90 attempted hours. The student will lose eligibility for additional financial aid to complete the program after 90 attempted hours.
  2. For a student completing a certificate program that requires 32 hours, the student must complete the certificate within 48 attempted hours. The student will lose eligibility for additional financial aid to complete the program after 48 attempted hours.

An 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, counted as developmental hours, may submit a written request to the Financial Aid Office to exclude ESOL classes from the 30-hour maximum. All developmental and ESOL course attempts and grades are used in the measurement of the pace of progress as well as the cumulative GPA.

The Dallas College Office of Financial Aid will review academic records at the end of each period of enrollment and determine each student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress status. A student who fails to meet the SAP minimum standards for pace of progress or cumulative GPA but has not exceeded the maximum time frame will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one period of enrollment. If the student fails to attain the minimum standards for pace of progress or cumulative GPA by the end of the warning period, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. As described in the policy above, a student who exceeds the maximum time frame and fails to maintain the minimum standards for pace of progress, cumulative GPA or both will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension without a warning period.

To regain financial aid eligibility, a student placed on Suspension must pay enrollment-related expenses from personal resources until the minimum SAP standards are met. The student’s progress will continue to be reviewed at the end of each period of enrollment. Eligibility will automatically be reinstated for the next period of enrollment upon successful completion of a period of enrollment in which the student meets the required SAP standards described in this policy.

Dallas College recognizes that students sometimes encounter circumstances beyond their control that can adversely affect their academic progress.

Students with a Satisfactory Academic Progress status of Suspension may submit an appeal request. This appeal request must be typed or legibly written to the considerations listed below and must be presented as a complete packet with supporting documentation and submitted to the Financial Aid Department through the FA secure site by the designated deadlines. The request should include an explanation and adequate documentation of the reason(s) why the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards were not achieved and that the adversity has been resolved.

Deadlines to submit appeals will be the end of the business day on the following dates:

  • Fall: Oct. 19, 2020
  • Spring: March 22, 2021

Students must be mathematically able to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress policy standards by the end of the requested period of enrollment. Aid can only be awarded and transmitted based on eligibility with a completed financial aid file. The maximum time period for this probationary period is one period of enrollment regardless of the student’s enrollment. If the student fails to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy by their next period of enrollment, then they will become ineligible for all subsequent terms until either they meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy or another successful appeal is granted.

  • All documents pertinent to the appeals process become part of the student’s record. The decision of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Review Committee is final.
  • A Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee will be comprised of seven Dallas College team members representing Financial Aid (2), Instruction (1), Advising (1), Registrar (1), Disability Support Services (1) and Career and Workforce (1). Committee representatives will be identified by the chair/leader of the respective workgroup/council and will serve for a period of two years.

Appeals Procedure

  • Students are responsible for payments that become due to the college while an appeal is being considered.
  • Students with documented mitigating circumstances will submit a complete appeal packet by the deadline noted on the Financial Aid Appeal Form. Mitigating circumstances include:
    • Active duty service or other service in the United States Armed Forces or Texas National Guard during a period in which the student was enrolled that attributed to the failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy
    • Personal illness or previously undisclosed disability, injury or accident (requires a written statement by a doctor, valid hospital records, accident and/or police report) that affected the student’s academic performance
    • Death of an immediate family member or responsibility for the care of someone who is sick, injured or disadvantaged in which the provision of care affected the student’s academic performance
    • Natural disaster or declared national, state or local emergency

Students will submit a separate document addressing each of the items below for their packet:

  • The circumstance that impacted performance
  • What steps have been taken to remove the barriers?
  • Describe student educational goals.
  • How does the student plan to achieve success for this semester?
  • Other items of importance

Incomplete appeals will be denied. Complete appeals will be considered for review.

Appeal Decisions

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee will review and notify the student of the decision through the email address on file with the Admissions Office.

  • If approved and it is mathematically possible for the student to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress policy standards by the end of the requested period of enrollment, then the aid will be awarded and transmitted based on eligibility. The maximum time period for this probationary period is one period of enrollment regardless of the student’s enrollment. If the student fails to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy by their next period of enrollment, then they will become ineligible for all subsequent terms until either they meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy standards or another successful appeal is granted.
  • If denied, to regain financial aid eligibility, the student must pay the expenses related to the enrollment during the next payment periods until all Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requirements are met.

Financial Aid OK — Under Financial Aid OK status, a student is considered financial aid eligible, is regarded as meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and can continue to receive financial aid.

Financial Aid Warning — Under Financial Aid Warning, a student is not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for pace of progress or cumulative GPA and may continue to receive financial aid for one period of enrollment.

Financial Aid Evaluation — Under Financial Aid Evaluation status, the determination of whether a student is meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and, therefore, considered financial aid eligible must be reviewed. One reason that this may occur is if the student has not attended Dallas College in the past few years.

Financial Aid Suspension — Under Financial Aid Suspension, a student is not considered financial aid eligible and is not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for the next period of enrollment.

Period of Enrollment — A period of enrollment is equal to one term or semester, with Summer treated as one term for this purpose. For this purpose, Winter term is included as part of Spring term, and May term is included as a portion of the Summer term.

Appeal — An appeal is a request for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility following the determination that the student is suspended from financial aid due to their Satisfactory Academic Progress.