Student Services

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations, HEA Sec. 484(c), §668.16, 668.34, require all schools participating in Title IV Federal Financial Aid programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy that conforms to the requirements detailed below.  These requirements apply to all students as one determinant of eligibility for financial aid.

  1. Your SAP status is based on your entire academic record, at all schools attended (includes all transferable hours), regardless of whether you received financial aid.
  2. SAP is calculated each semester after grades have been posted to academic history by the Registrar’s Office.
  3. If after the first term of attendance you are not making SAP, you will be put on a Warning status and allowed to keep aid for one term.  Your continued eligibility will be determined after the next term check point. 
  4. If your SAP status is Failure after the check is performed, you will not qualify for financial aid for the following term. 
  5. If your SAP status is Failure and you cannot mathematically attain SAP requirements following the next term, an appeal will not be permissible.  Documented mitigating circumstances may allow continued eligibility on a case-by-case basis and will require an academic plan. 
  6. A student may appeal their SAP Failure status only twice during their academic career at CCC.

Quantitative and Qualitative Requirements
Quantitative Requirement
– The quantitative requirement has two parts:

  1. A maximum time frame 
  2. A required completion ratio
Maximum time frame (maximum attempted credit hours) – You must earn your degree before reaching 96 attempted credit hours, which includes transferable credits attempted at any school prior to and while enrolled at Calhoun Community College (CCC).  A maximum of 20 semester credit hours of remedial courses will be excluded from the 96 semester credit hour determination.  Students who are seeking a second degree different from their first degree may be granted additional hours to complete the second degree requirements. 

Once you reach the maximum attempted credit hours, you are no longer eligible for financial aid.  Federal regulations stipulate that the maximum time frame for a student cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the academic program. 

Completion Ratio – Measure of Progress

Hours Attempted  % of Hours to be  Completed Cumulative GPA







 33 and above



Courses attempted include any course in which grades of A, B, C, D, F, W, I, S, U or IP are given, only courses with grades of A, B, C, or D count as earned credits.  Transfer grades only count towards hours attempted and completed. 

Policy Details 

When is SAP determined?

  1. Initial Review – You are considered to be meeting SAP during your first CCC term. 
  2. End of Every Semester Review - Your SAP status is calculated at the end of each semester, after grades are posted to your academic history by the Registrar’s Office.

What happens when you do not meet the requirements? 

  1. You are no longer eligible for financial aid – including work-study, loans, grants or scholarships.  If on a Warning Status – eligibility may continue (note below). 
  2. Because you do not qualify for financial aid, you must pay your tuition and fees by the payment deadline or your registration will be cancelled by the Business Office.

Maximum Time Frame (maximum attempted credit hours) – When you have attempted the maximum credit hours, you are no longer eligible to receive financial aid.

Is there extended eligibility for a 2nd degree? – Yes, you may attempt a total of 150% of the hours needed to complete your first degree plus 33 additional hours.  The standard is 64 x 150% = 96 + 33 = 129 attempted hours.  

Completion Ratio
– There are three statuses for low completion ratio before your eligibility for financial aid is cancelled. 

  1. Warning Status – The first time you fall short of meeting the required completion ratio, your status is Warning.  You remain eligible to receive financial aid while in warning status
  2. Failure Status – After attending one semester on Warning status, if you do not meet the required completion ratio, your status becomes Failure Status.  You are no longer eligible to receive financial aid until the required standards are met.  You must successfully appeal to regain eligibility.
  3. Probation Status – After being placed on a Failure Status, AND a student has successfully appealed and financial aid has been reinstated, the student is eligible to receive financial aid.  This status is only for one term and quite often will carry conditions and/or stipulations for continued eligibility.

How do you regain eligibility? 

  1. SAP Appeal – If extenuating circumstances during a specific term of enrollment prevented you from meeting the requirements, you may file a SAP Appeal.  

Appeal Requirements: 

  1. A typewritten explanation of extenuating circumstances associated with Failure Status.  Indicate how these circumstances have changed so that you can comply with regulations in the future.  Attach supporting documents to support the extenuating circumstances mentioned in the letter. 
  2. Include a “student plan of action” for academic improvement.  This requires that you meet with an Academic Advisor and get an Academic Evaluation Report. 
  3. Attach at least one letter of support from someone that can substantiate the extenuating circumstances.  This individual should not be a family member.  Examples would include a medical doctor, clergy, professional, etc. 
  4. Attach the completed  SAP Appeal form. 
  5. The appeals forms must be provided to the Office of the Student Financial Services within 30 days prior to the Tuition Deadline for the upcoming semester .  Failure to provide these within the prescribed dates will result in a delayed determination. 
  6. An objective committee, composed of selected individuals outside the Office of Student Financial Services, determines whether the appeal is approved.  The decision of the Appeals Committee is final and cannot be appealed further. 
  7. Appeal Denials or Non-appeals – If you are denied an appeal or you decide not to appeal, you must complete the necessary hours and earn the appropriate grades.  Once you have reached the required standards you become eligible to receive financial aid.

Academic Circumstances that Affect Your Status:

  1. Changes in majors – may cause you to reach your maximum attempted hours and lose your eligibility before earning a degree. 
  2. Incomplete grades, missing grades, failing grades, course withdrawals – all reduce your completion ratio, because they are counted as attempted, but not earned credits.  They also count against your maximum attempted hours. 
  3. Repeated courses – count as attempted credit hours each time you register for them.  They also count against the allowed maximum.  This can also reduce your completion ratio because repeated credits count as earned credits only once.  NOTE: The U. S. Dept. of Education allows only one retake for Title IV credit. 
  4. Academic Bankruptcy – counts against your maximum attempted credits, and also lower your completion ratio because the credits count as attempted but not earned. 
  5. Transfer credits – count toward your maximum attempted credits and your completion ratio. NOTE: Credits count as attempted, but not earned, until your official transcript is reviewed and processed by the CCC Registrar’s Office.  This could cause you to be in a Failure Status. 
  6. Remedial courses – do not count as either attempted or earned credits. 
  7. Late posted grades or grade changes- will require that you submit a written request to have your SAP recalculated after you have confirmed with the Registrar’s Office that the grade change has been posted to your academic record. 
  8. Dismissal and Return – students who are suspended academically or choose not to attend because of SAP Failure will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon their return.  Student must meet both qualitative and quantitative standards of SAP.  If below standards, a student must appeal or use means (cash, private loan or credit card) other than financial aid for educational expenses.  Absence does not restore eligibility for financial aid.  It is the responsibility of the student to be knowledgeable of their SAP standard when returning to school after dismissal or choosing not to return because of SAP Failure. 
  9. Summer Term Courses – all hours attempted and completed in the summer terms are treated as any other semester hours in determining SAP status.  SAP will be checked following the summer term as well. 
  10. Audit Courses – students are not eligible to receive financial aid for audit courses.  Audited courses are not included in hours attempted or earned for SAP determination.

Determining Maximum Time Frame: Student’s maximum time frame is 150% times the total number of hours required to complete their degree program.  Ex., if a student is a Chemistry major, and the requirements listing in the catalog require 64 credit hours to complete this program, then a total of 64 hours is required for the degree x 150% = 96 attempted credit hours.  The maximum number of hours is therefore 96 attempted hours for this student.  No Progress (receiving all Fs or all Ws) In addition, any student that fails to make progress by receiving all Fs in any given semester will be placed on SAP Failure and will immediately lose eligibility for financial aid beginning the next semester.  Students receiving all Ws will be placed on SAP Warning beginning the following semester regardless of the students' cumulative GPA, and their continued financial aid eligibility will be checked consistent with policy (the following term).