Financial aid is designed to help you reach your educational goal in a timely manner. To be eligible for financial aid, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. The Financial Aid office at PCC has established guidelines (based on federal regulations) for evaluating your progress. You should read the rules and know what it takes to maintain eligibility for financial aid.
The Office of Financial Aid uses the following three standards to assess academic progress.
Note: The financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are stricter than the college's progress rules.
1. Quantitative or Pace
You are expected to complete your educational goal in a timely manner and at a satisfactory pace even if you did not receive financial aid. All terms that you are enrolled in at PCC and other colleges will be considered in the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation. Repeating a course for a better grade will not satisfy academic progress requirements.
Students are required to complete at least 67% of attempted units each term with acceptable grades - (A, B, C, D, CR, P, and RD). An attempted unit starts counting on the first day of instruction. Unacceptable grades are: W, F, I, NC and NP.
2 - Qualitative
Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) to be Maintained
To complete an educational goal in a timely manner, you must achieve a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) at the end of each term.
Example: a student takes one class in fall 2017. She/he is making progress if she/he has a 2.0 GPA at the end of fall 2017.
3 - Timely Manner
Financial aid is not infinite. This standard looks at how long it will take you to complete your educational goal. The law says that you can receive financial aid for no more than 150% of units attempted in a program.
Example: A 2-year programs 150% rule would give a student 6 full-time semesters or the equivalent to complete their program of study.
Example: A certificate program with a published length of time is 30 units, the 150% time frame mark would be 45 units. This also includes all attempted and transfer units.
- Students with an AA/AS, BA/BS, or higher degree will automatically exceed the time frame.
- Up to 30 units of basic skills (400-level) courses are excluded from the 150%. However, students are expected to matriculate from basic skills to a regular program after one (equivalent) year.
The Office of Financial Aid will determine how long you have been in an undergraduate program or certificate program as well as the time required to complete your goal. Each time a course is repeated, it will count in the time frame calculation.
- Example: At PCC, students will be notified that they have exceeded the time frame at 90 attempted units because normal matriculation time to complete an AA/AS degree goal is two years. However, if there are exceptional circumstances presented a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal may be submitted.
Definitions of the various statuses you can fall into based on your academic status
You are meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards. Great Job! Keep up the good work!
The school assigns this status to a student who is failing to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The school reinstates eligibility for aid for one payment period and may do so without a student appeal. SAP is reviewed at the end of each term. If a student fails to meet SAP standards after the term they are in a warning status the student is "Disqualified" for the following term. You will receive student financial aid funds during the warning period provided your eligibility and enrollment status is unchanged but you are in danger of loosing your financial aid eligibility.
Disqualification occurs when a student who as been placed on "Warning" fails to make SAP. When Disqualified, you lose your financial aid eligibility due to not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.
A student will placed in 150MAX/Prior Degree status if they have:
- Earned a prior degree ( A.A., A.S., or a B.A. or higher degree)
- Completed a Certificate Program or Exceeded the Time Frame of the Certificate Program (Ex. 18 units x 150% = 27 units Attempted)
- Attempted more than 90 units
When in 150MAX/Prior Degree status you are no longer eligible for financial aid.
If you are found to be ineligible for financial aid, you may submit an Appeal to the Office of Financial Aid in order to be reconsidered for Financial Aid.
The Appeal must include the following:
- PCC Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form.
- Documentation to support exceptional/extenuating circumstances that were beyond your control. (See below for examples of exceptional circumstances)
- A statement explaining what exceptional/extenuating circumstances prevented you from reaching your educational goal, how the exceptional/extenuating circumstance has been resolved, and how long it will take you to complete that goal.
- Your most recent Student Educational Plan which documents the length of time remaining in completing your educational goal at PCC.
Examples of Exceptional and Extenuating Circumstances: Medical Issues-Hospitalization, medical conditions, a death in the family (immediate family members only), divorce, military service, loss of job/home.
The Appeal committee will use regulatory guidelines set by the Department of Education and institutional policy to review Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to determine a student’s eligibility for Student Financial Aid (SFA). The decision made by the Appeals Committee will be final and there will be no further appeals.
Appeal Approved on Probation
If your appeal is approved on Probation, you must complete all courses, have a term GPA of 2.0 GPA or higher, and not withdraw and/or receive a grade of an F, W, INC, or NP. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated. If you fail to meet the terms of Probation you will be Disqualified and will no longer receive aid.