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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

About SAP

After each semester a student’s academic record is reviewed to make sure they are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). A student must be in good academic standing in order to continue to receive financial aid while attending NSCC. The Department of Education requires each school to have a policy to ensure all students receiving financial aid are making SAP and completing courses towards their program of study. The following criteria is reviewed after the grades are finalized each semester:

  • You are currently meeting the academic standards of the school. This means you are not on "Academic Suspension" with the Department of Academic Affairs. Students will be notified by the department if they are currently on suspension.
  • You have a minimum completion rate of 67% for your program. This is determined by taking all earned credits and dividing them by attempted credits. This information can be found on your unofficial transcript. A student will not earn the credits for F, FN (F wavier), W or IP, but they are counted in the attempted credits. And repeated course work* is also included in the attempted credits.
  • You must maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0. This is a C grade. The student handbook has detailed information about the grading policies.
  • You have up to 150% of a program to receive financial aid. This is a federal regulation to ensure students are completing a program in a timely fashion then proceed on to further education. For example a 60 credit degree program has up to 90 attempted credits to complete it (60 x 1.5 = 90). This applies to certificate programs too and can have an impact on your financial aid if you decide to change from an Associate's Degree to a Certificate. And if you have reached the 150% point you have reached your Maximum Credits. The only courses that are excluded from the maximum credit time frame are ESL courses and non-credit courses. Here is a list of estimated Maximum Credits by Program.

Important factors to consider for SAP:

*Repeated Courses
When repeating or retaking a course students may receive financial aid for a course that they previously failed until they pass the course. Also, students may receive financial aid for repeating a course that they received a passing grade (this is a D or higher grade) only once. The repeated course work can impact a student’s completion rate and maximum credits.

Developmental Courses
These courses have a course number starting with zero such as COM010. A student can receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 attempted developmental credits. Courses that are considered ESL do not count towards your degree and are excluded from the maximum credit review. These courses are still counted in the completion rate and CGPA.

Corporate and Community Education Division (Noncredit Courses)
These are courses offered by the Corporate and Community Education Division. Non-Credit courses are not eligible for financial aid and do not satisfy the requirement of eligible academic program. And they are not considered in the calculation for SAP.

SAP Statuses

Once your SAP has been reviewed students will see one of the following status on their Pipeline account:

Making Satisfactory Progress - This means you are meeting the criteria listed above and there is no further action.

Financial Aid Warning - This means you are not meeting the criteria above, but last semester you were making SAP. You may continue to receive financial aid while on warning. You will want to successfully complete your courses for the semester and earn at least a C or better. Withdrawing from a course will impact aid for the future.

Financial Aid Denial - This means you had your warning semester and did not meet the criteria above after the grades were finalized. You either do not have a CGPA of 2.0 and/or a completion rate of 67%. You may be eligible to submit a one-time appeal to regain financial aid eligibility for the semester.

Reached Maximum Credits - This means you are close to or at 150% of the total credits to complete a program. You may be eligible to submit a one-time appeal to regain financial aid eligibility for the semester.

Financial Aid Suspension - This means you had your one-time appeal and you either did not meet the terms of the appeal and/or you did not meet the criteria above. To regain financial aid eligibility students will need to continue taking courses until you meet the CGPA and completion rate. There are payment options available each semester. You can contact the office to have your SAP status reviewed to see when you may regain eligibility.

Max Credit Suspension - This means you had your one-time appeal and you did not meet the terms of the appeal. Or this can mean you have an excessive amount of credits and can no longer appeal to receive financial aid. You will need to pay for courses and can review the payment options available each semester.

Approved Probation Semester - This means your appeal has been approved for the semester. You must maintain a C or better in all courses for the semester and not withdraw, fail or receive an IP grade. These requirements are detailed on the Financial Appeal Form.

Financial Aid Appeal

A student may appeal the decision of their financial aid denial or if they reached maximum credits. Students are allowed a one-time SAP appeal while attending at NSCC. The deadlines are published on the Financial Appeal Form. Appeals will not be processed after the first day of classes. You will also need to clear your academic suspension, and submit a FAFSA for the year you will be attending. The form lists all information needed to review your appeal and any missing information will delay the decision.

Once the appeal is reviewed a decision will be posted on your Pipeline account. If the appeal has been approved you will see the status of "approved probation semester". After the semester grades are finalized your record will be reviewed to make sure you met the requirements of the appeal. The courses will be reviewed to make sure you completed 100% of all credits attempted and you earned a GPA of a 2.0 for each class during the probation semester. If you fail to meet the requirements of the appeal you will be placed on "financial aid suspension".  Your probation period may be extended for the next semester if you meet the requirements of the appeal.  A new appeal form will need to be submitted for a new academic year. 

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