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.

Standards of Academic Progress

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

All students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 67% of all units attempted including units transferred to PCC, to meet this standard. Completed units are enrolled units for which credit is received and final grades posted. Only grades of A, B, C, D, or P are considered units completed. Classes in which a student receives a grade of F, I, NP, IP, W, EW or other will not be counted as units completed for satisfactory academic progress purposes, but the units will be counted as attempted. Students must successfully complete a cumulative minimum of 67% of the units attempted to meet this standard.

2 - Qualitative

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) to be Maintained

At the time of review, a student’s official cumulative grade point average (GPA) is evaluated to determine whether qualitative standards are being met. Students pursuing a course of study leading to an A.A. degree, an A.S. degree, a certificate, or transfer program to a 4-year college or university must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average.

3 - Timely Manner

Financial Aid is not infinite. This standard looks at how long it will take you to complete your program educational goal. Federal regulations state that you can receive financial aid for no more than 150% attempted units in your program of enrollment.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Your Academic Progress Status

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 status if they have:

  1. Completed a Certificate Program or Exceeded the Time Frame of the Certificate  Program (Ex. 18 units x 150% = 27 units Attempted)
  2. Attempted more than 90 units

When in 150MAX status you are no longer eligible for financial aid.