Satisfactory Academic Progress

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Federal regulations require that all students who receive financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress and work towards an eligible degree or certificate. In addition, federal regulations require students be on pace to complete their degree or certificate before reaching the 150% maximum timeframe limit (see maximum timeframe eligibility section below for more information). Please note, due to additional federal requirements for students receiving financial aid, there are differences between PCC’s Academic Satisfactory Academic Progress and PCC’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Determination of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standing

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be determined for all applicants prior to being awarded financial aid. Determination will be based on all previous academic history at PCC regardless of whether or not financial assistance was received. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of every term.

How do I meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress?

PCC’s requirements for making Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress are:

Maintaining a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or higher
Cumulative grade point average is calculated from all grades achieved by a student, not just from one term.
Successful completion of two-thirds of attempted credits each term

Chart to Determine Two-Thirds Completion Each Term

The chart below demonstrates the minimum number of credit hours required to complete each term in order to achieve a two-thirds completion. For example, if enrolled for 12 credit hours, completion of 8 or more credit hours is required.

Credit Hours Attempted Must Successfully Complete
19 13
17-18 12
16 11
14-15 10
13 9
11-12 8
10 7
8-9 6
7 5
5-6 4
4 3
2-3 2
1 1
Ability to complete declared degree or certificate within 150% maximum timeframe limit

Maximum Timeframe Eligibility

Federal regulations require that the student complete their degree or certificate within 150% of the credits required for a program of study. For example, if an associate degree requires 90 credits, a student must complete the degree within 135 attempted credits.

Attempted credits include all earned, unearned, repeated, and transfer credits. All attempted credits count toward this limit even if financial aid is not received or there are extenuating circumstances for not completing credits. Up to 45 total credits of combined ESOL and Developmental Education (credits less than 100 level) will be excluded when calculating maximum timeframe eligibility.

A student’s record will be evaluated to determine if they are able to complete a degree or certificate within the maximum timeframe allowed. When it is determined a student will not complete their program within the 150% credit limit, the student will be suspended from receiving financial aid. The 150% maximum credit rule is applicable to students who change their major or pursue double majors and second degrees.

Students who have a bachelor's degree and who have declared the following majors: Associate of General Studies (ASG), Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer (AAOT), or Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer-Business (ASOTB) will be required to submit a timeframe extension appeal.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility and Appeal Process

Financial aid eligibility may be reinstated when the student raises his/her cumulative GPA to a 2.0 and has achieved a cumulative completion rate of two-thirds (66.67%) of all credit hours attempted. Reinstatement of financial aid eligibility may also occur upon approval of a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

A student may request consideration for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility through a formal appeal process by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form with appropriate documentation. An appeal must be received and approved prior to or during a term for which aid is being requested. Aid will not be awarded retroactively for a prior term in which financial aid eligibility was suspended or during which satisfactory progress was not made.

A student may appeal if the reason for failure to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards was the result of extenuating circumstances and if the situation that caused the poor performance has been resolved. Documentation of extenuating circumstances may be required. Students will receive notification of the results of their appeal via MyPCC email within 2-4 weeks of submission.

Appeals may result in any one of the following actions:

  • Reinstatement on probation
  • Reinstatement on an academic plan where the student will be held to specific requirements
  • Denial of reinstatement
Maximum Timeframe Extension Appeal Process

Students have the right to request an extension of their financial aid eligibility once per degree objective should they exceed or expect to exceed the maximum credits allowed for their degree or certificate. Students will need to complete a Timeframe Extension Appeal form and include an academic 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 2.0 and successfully complete all courses listed on their academic plan. Failure to meet the requirements of the approved timeframe appeal will result in suspension of financial aid eligibility. Students working on prerequisites for acceptance into a program are restricted to Stafford Loan eligibility at first year status for up to one academic year.

If a timeframe Extension Appeal is denied, a student may submit a written request for review of the appeal to the College Financial Aid Advisory Committee. The committee meets quarterly. If the Committee’s decision is to uphold the denial, the student may not submit any subsequent requests for funding consideration.

Additional SAP Definitions and Information

Grades/Credit Completion
Passing grades include: A, B, C, D and P (pass). The following grades are considered attempted but not completed or passing credits: F, NP (no pass), W (withdraw), I (incomplete), CIP (course in progress). If a student completes zero credits in a term for which financial aid was received, the student may owe a financial aid repayment.
Repeated Courses

A student may receive financial aid for a repeated class under these conditions:

  • Once for a previously passed class
  • Until student receives a passing grade for a non-completed or non-passed class (F, NP)
Transfer Credits
Credits taken at another institution that are officially accepted toward the student’s degree or certificate will not be used in the calculation of SAP standing, but will count toward the 150% maximum timeframe credit limit.
Non-Traditional Credits
Non-traditional credits (this includes AP, CLEP, IB and Military) that are accepted for credit at PCC will not be used in the calculation of SAP standing, but will be counted in the calculation of the 150% maximum timeframe credit limit for financial aid.
Consortium Agreements
Students enrolled in more than one institution under consortium agreements are subject to the home institution’s SAP policy. When PCC is the home institution, credits earned at the host institution will be included in calculation of Financial Aid SAP standing and toward the 150% maximum timeframe credit limit.

What are PCC’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses?

green stoplightFinancial Aid Good Standing
Student has a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, student is completing two-thirds (66.67%) of all attempted credits each term, and student is able to graduate within 150% maximum timeframe limit.
green stoplightFinancial Aid Warning
Student’s cumulative GPA dropped below a 2.0, and/or student did not complete two-thirds (66.67%) of all attempted credits in a term, and student is able to graduate within 150% maximum timeframe limit. A student is able to receive financial aid while on financial aid warning status, but must meet SAP standards during that term of enrollment to remain eligible for subsequent financial aid.
green stoplightFinancial Aid Suspension
Student did not meet SAP standards while in Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation status, or it is determined that the student will not be able to graduate within 150% maximum timeframe limit, or a student in Financial Aid Academic Plan status fails to follow the plan. Student is not eligible to receive financial aid while on Financial Aid Suspension.
green stoplightFinancial Aid Probation
This status is only granted upon the approval of a Financial Aid SAP Appeal. Student may receive financial aid for one term but must meet SAP standards by the end of that term to remain eligible for subsequent financial aid.
green stoplightFinancial Aid Probation with Academic Plan
Student fails to meet SAP standards for the term in which the student is on Financial Aid Probation. This status is only granted upon the approval of a Financial Aid SAP Appeal with the condition the student follows an academic plan. The student is eligible to receive financial aid as long as the student continues to follow that academic plan.