Student Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Qualitative and Quantitative Measure

Qualitative Measure (Grades)

All students must be in good academic standing with the college. The details regarding the required grade point average (GPA) as it pertains to individual programs of study are available in the college catalog. Financial aid recipients must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Quantitative Measure (Pace of Progression)

The Student's quarterly and cumulative pace of progression/status is determined using the following formula:
Pace of Progression/Completion Ratio = Credits Completed/Credits Attempted

Students must cumulatively be progressing at 67% to be in good standing. In addition at the end of each quarter, eligible students will be expected to have successfully completed the credits they enrolled for and within the range they were paid. This ensures that students are meeting the pace of progression required to complete their program within the maximum timeframe allowed. Credits attempted are credits registered for as of the published census date which is close of business on the 10th day of the quarter. Dropping/adding classes after the census and/or receipt of your check may have consequences including repayment of funds received. Please consult with our office before dropping/adding classes. Status is defined as one of the following:

  1. ELIGIBLE (making satisfactory progress) = quarterly completion and cumulative progression of 100%
  2. WARNING (completion ratio must improve) = quarterly completion and cumulative progression of 50% - 99%
  3. INELIGIBLE (aid canceled/suspended - not making satisfactory progress) = quarterly completion and cumulative progression of 49% or below and/or not meeting the College’s academic standards policy as defined in the college catalog.

Warning/Probation/Suspension Status

Financial Aid recipients who do not meet the standards outlined will be placed either on warning, probation or suspension according to the following:

  1. Warning status will be assigned to those students whose quarterly completion ratio is less than 100% of the credits within the range they were paid but more than 50%. At the end of the warning or probationary quarter, the student must successfully complete 100% of the credits within the range they were paid.
  2. Suspension Status will be assigned when the following occurs:
    • the credit completion percentage is less than 49%
    • the terms of a given warning or probationary quarter are not met
    • the student has had two consecutive warnings (equals a suspension)
    • the student owes a Return of Title IV funds (repayment), owes state aid or tuition/fees
    • the student is academically dismissed from the college
    • the student’s cumulative GPA is less than a 2.0

Satisfactory Progress Maximum Timeframe

  1. Students may attempt only the credits that are required for completion of their program. Students who have attempted up to 150% of the number of credits required for their program of study must develop an education plan with their education planner/advisor and submit an appeal for an extension of time if they have unfulfilled degree requirements. However, extensions will only be granted when allowable within Federal and State guidelines and on a case-by-case basis. Students must enroll in classes required for the program being funded by financial aid.
    • A maximum of forty-five (45) credits may be added to the allowable credits attempted for remedial work (courses below the 100 level) required as identified by a college placement test. Students are ineligible for aid towards remedial work is needed beyond the 45 credit maximum.
    • Completed credits that apply towards the student’s program of study from all colleges will be considered regardless of whether or not financial aid was received. The Financial Aid Office will consider any official transfer credits in the allowed time frame as well as in the completion ratio/pace of progression.
    • Students can change their major two times for a total for a maximum of three programs of study while receiving financial aid, provided all other academic progress criteria have been satisfactorily maintained. Students are advised to consult their advisor or an educational planner prior to making a change in their program of study.
  2. Students are required to be cumulatively be progressing at 67% to be in good standing. The pace of progression formula is determined using the following formula:
    Total Number of Credits Completed
    Total Number of Credits Attempted
  3. Students are no longer eligible for aid at South Puget Sound Community College when one of the following occurs:
    • the maximum number of credits allowed has been attempted
    • cumulative Pace of Progression is below 67%
    • the declared program of study has been completed (whether or not it is officially conferred)
    • three programs of study have been attempted and/or accomplished
    • the student has been academically dismissed from the college
    • the student owes a repayment to the college, state or federal aid programs
    • the student is in default on a loan
    • the student is on suspension
  4. Work Study recipients must enroll for a minimum of (6) six credits per quarter with the exception of summer placements or their last quarter. A notification form and approval from Student Employment is required.
  5. Students receiving a Federal Direct Loan must enroll in and complete a minimum of (6) six credits quarterly to maintain eligibility.

Reinstatement of Aid

Financial Aid recipients who do not meet the standards may petition for reinstatement of aid upon completion of one or more of the following, subject to funds availability:

  1. Students may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee if the suspension/cancellation status is based on extenuating circumstances (something beyond the student's control, such as hospitalization, which can be documented and demonstrated as no longer being a barrier). Terms and conditions of approved appeals will be clearly provided in writing and documented for all parties.
    • Maximum Timeframe appeals must include the request of an educational plan. Maximum timeframe appeal approvals are based on the condition student will follow the submitted educational plan.
  2. Enroll and successfully complete credits sufficient to meet the minimum completion ratio using other resources. This may require multiple quarters of enrollment. Students are encouraged to meet with financial aid office staff to determine the exact requirement for degree pace and progression requirements.
  3. Enroll and successfully complete one quarter on your own and request reinstatement on a conditional probation status. Reinstatement requests will be reviewed to determine if probationary status can be granted, while maintaining compliance with Federal Regulations. Please note that not all requests can be granted due to pace of progression requirements within maximum time frames.

Conditional Probation

Students who are granted an appeal or successfully complete the enrollment requirements will with be placed on Conditional Probation for the following term which requires that a student enroll and successfully complete 100% of all credits attempted on a quarterly basis with a 2.0 cumulative and college level grade point average (GPA). This means no withdrawals, incompletes, schedule changes, failing grades, and vanishes, audit or continuing grades.

Academic Dismissal

Students who are academically dismissed must submit a separate appeal to the Academic Standards Committee (through Enrollment Services.) This is an entirely separate appeal process from the financial aid appeal process. Aid will not be released to students who are academically dismissed. Courses for which A, B, C, S, or I were previously received may not be repeated unless a specific grade is required for that course to progress to the next required course. (For example, a student must have a C or better in Math 98 to progress to Math 99 for most programs of study.) Letter grades of A, B, C, D, P and S will count toward completed credits. Letter grades of Y, F, N, W, V, and U do not count as completed credits. Letter grades of D, F, N, V, W and U may be repeated once. Letter grades of I and Y will count as not completed until the grade change is received, indicating a grade of A, B, C, D or S. Credits not completed will affect your completion ratio. In some instances, individual exceptions for repeat courses will be made based on the written recommendation of the instructor and upon professional judgment review by the Dean of Student Financial Services or the Director of Financial Aid, if permissible within given regulations.