About Satisfactory Academic Progress (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 academic suspension.
- You have a minimum completion rate of 67% for your program. This is determined by taking all (cumulative) earned credits and dividing them by attempted credits. This information can be found on your unofficial transcript or in Navigate. A student will not earn the credits for F, FN (F waiver), 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 their education. For example a 60 credit degree program has up to 90 attempted credits to complete it (60 x 1.5 = 90). This rule also applies to certificate programs 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 developmental level ESL courses and non-credit courses. Here is a list of estimated Maximum Credits by Program.
Important factors to consider for SAP:
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.
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. Developmental ESL courses 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 Professional Education Division (Noncredit Courses)
These are courses offered by the Corporate and Professional Education Division. Non-Credit courses are not eligible for financial aid and do not satisfy the requirement of an eligible academic program. And they are not considered in the calculation for SAP.
It's important to know that withdrawing from your courses with W grades affects your financial aid eligibility in the future; they are still counted towards your completion rate. We strongly encourage students to exhaust all support channels before withdrawing with W grade, such as meeting with your professor to develop a plan for success, meeting with your assigned academic advisor, or taking advantage of tutoring services. Please also note that while on an approved appeal, withdrawing with W grade will affect your future aid eligibility.
Fresh Start status does not apply to financial aid. F waivers are still counted towards attempted credits and used in calculation to determine aid eligibility. Financial aid recipients must be making satisfactory progress toward their degree and their complete academic history will be reviewed when determining eligibility for aid.
Once your SAP has been reviewed students will see one of the following status on their myNorthshore 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 with a W grade 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 Cumulative GPA of 2.0 and/or a completion rate of at least 67%. You may be eligible to submit a financial aid appeal to regain financial aid eligibility for the semester.
Maximum Credits - This means you are close to or reached 150% of the total credits to complete a program. You may be eligible to submit a financial appeal to regain financial aid eligibility for the semester. For your reference, here is a list of estimated Maximum Credits by Program.
Financial Aid Suspension - This means you were previously on a financial aid appeal and you either did not meet the terms of your financial aid appeal. To regain financial aid eligibility students will need to continue taking courses until you meet the cumulative GPA and completion rate requirements. You will need to pay for courses out of pocket and can review the payment options available each semester. You may qualify for a subsequent appeal under extenuating circumstances. You can contact the office to have your SAP status reviewed to see when you may regain eligibility.
Maximum Credit Suspension - This means you were previously on a financial aid appeal and did not meet the terms of the appeal or you have an excessive amount of credits and can no longer appeal to receive financial aid. You will need to pay for courses out of pocket and can review the payment options available each semester. You may qualify for a subsequent appeal under extenuating circumstances. You can contact the office to have your SAP status reviewed to see when you may regain eligibility.
Approved Probation Semester - This means your appeal has been approved for the semester. You must complete all the courses you attempt for the semester and not withdraw (W grades), fail (F grades) or receive an IP grade (incomplete grades). These requirements are detailed on the Financial Aid Appeal Form.
What To Do Next?
Appealing your Financial Aid Status
- If you are currently on Academic Suspension Status, you must meet with an Academic Counselor assigned to you via Navigate regarding your academic suspension before your financial aid appeal can be reviewed.
- Submit a FAFSA application.
- Submit a Financial Appeal by the deadline.
Please allow up to 7-10 business days to receive a decision on your appeal application.
Once the appeal decision is made, you will be contacted via your NSCC email. If approved, you will be placed on “Approved Appeal” status and your financial aid eligibility moving forward will be reviewed after the semester grades are finalized. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for important semester dates and deadlines.
Your “Approved Appeal” status can be continued for the next semester if your grades show that you are progressing in your program. If you fail to progress forward during your appeal semester, you will be placed on "Financial Aid Suspension."