Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


2014-2015 Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require that Washington State Community College establish policies to monitor the academic progress of students who apply for and /or receive federal financial aid. These standards are designed to ensure that students are making progress toward completion of their program of study. The Washington State Community College Policy applies to the following financial aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Work Study Program
  • Federal Stafford Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan Program

The review of the student's Satisfactory Academic Progress is based on the entire academic record, including course work taken under the Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO), the Early Enrollment Program (EEP), all transfer credit and developmental coursework. The federal government requires institutions to monitor the academic progress of non-recipients, also. Be aware that your academic progress during any term in which you do not receive financial aid will be a factor in determining your eligibility for aid in subsequent terms. Students applying for financial aid must be making satisfactory academic progress as outlined in this policy prior to the initial awarding or certification of financial aid. In addition, all transfer credit hours being accepted by Washington State Community College are included in this evaluation for the purposes of calculating the maximum time frame and completion rates. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be monitored after each term once grades are posted. Being eligible to enroll in classes does not mean the student is maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are measured using the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average
  2. Completion of Attempted Credit Hours
  3. Maximum Time Frame (MTF) for completion of degree or certificate

It is the responsibility of the student to understand and adhere to these standards to receive and continue receiving federal student aid at Washington State Community College.

SAP Measurement

1. Cumulative Grade Point Average Requirement

Cumulative Grade Point Average is based on the total completed credit hours at Washington State Community College at the time of evaluation. In order to be considered to have maintained Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student must meet, obtain and maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. 

2. Completion of Attempted Credit Hours

Students must complete a minimum of 66.67% of their attempted credit hours. The Completion Ratio will be monitored by dividing the total number of credit hours successfully completed by the total number of credit hours attempted. Hours attempted include hours for which there are grades of A, B, C, D, F, S, I, K, L, T, N, W, U or "forgiven" hours. This review is based on the entire enrollment history of the student at Washington State Community College and transfer credits from other institutions. If the student has passed less than 66.67% of the cumulative attempted credit hours, progress is unsatisfactory. 

Successful completion of course work is defined as a letter grade/notation of A, B, C, D, K, L, T, N, S and are considered satisfactory completion of a course for financial aid purposes. Unsuccessful completion of course work is defined as a letter grade /notation of F, I, P, W, U, NG and are NOT considered satisfactory completion of a course for financial aid purposes. Withdrawals, incompletes, and repeated courses count towards credit hours attempted for SAP purposes.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when an Incomplete Course (I, NG, or P) has been completed successfully for reevaluation purposes.

3. Maximum Time Frame (MTF) Measurement Requirements

Students must complete their academic program within 150% of the published length, expressed as credit hours, needed to graduate. (This is the definition of maximum time frame.) All classes attempted at Washington State Community College and transferred in from another institution are included in the MTF calculation, as well as proficiency credits and credits "forgiven" by the Fresh Start Program. NOTE: Classes taken that are not on the published audit sheet of your academic major will be counted in SAP. It is very important that the student follow the program audit sheet. Taking additional classes not on the official program audit sheet will cause you to reach MTF faster and is unlikely to be appealable. If your SAP review makes it clear that you cannot mathematically finish your program within your MTF, you will become ineligible for federal financial aid at the time of that review.

Consequences of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress:
Financial Aid Warning Status

Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined in this policy will be evaluated at the time of initial awarding and at the conclusion of each term. A student who has failed to meet one or more of the standards outlined above will be placed on financial aid Warning Status for one term. During the first thirty days of the warning status term, the student is required to meet the following two stipulations: 1) meet with his or her academic advisor and 2) complete 8 out of 10 SALT modules at If the student fails to meet the standards of Satifsfactory Academic Progress and/or fails to meet the stipulations at the end of the warning term, the student will lose eligibility for aid and be placed on Cancellation Status. Students who exceed their maximum timeframe are not eligible for the warning period. 

Financial Aid Cancellation Status

A student who had failed to meet one or more of the standards of satisfactory academic progress outline above after using his Warning Status term will be placed on financial aid Cancellation Status and all federal student aid will be terminated. A written notice will be sent to the student detailing the Cancellation Status and explaining the steps necessary to have financial aid reinstated or to appeal the decision. 


Reinstatement of Eligibility

Once a student has been placed on financial aid Cancellation Status, the student can re-establish eligibility in one of two ways:

  1. Students can attend Washington State Community College in a self pay status until all minimum SAP standards are met. When the deficiencies in successful completion rate and/or cumulative GPA have been made up, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office in order for the cancellation to be reviewed. Please note, credit hours transferred from another college cannot be used to make up a cumulative GPA deficiency.

  2. Students that have a documentable extenuating circumstance (i.e. illness/injury of student, death of a close relative) may appeal their financial aid Cancellation Status. If the appeal is approved, a student will be placed on Probationary Status until meeting all minimum SAP standards. An individual academic plan will be developed for the student and will be monitored each term to determine continued eligibility until the student meets the required SAP standards. Failure to follow the academic plan will result in cancellation status until the student meets all SAP requirements. During Probation Status, a student must successfully complete all course work attempted.


SAP Grandfather Clause- The first warning period starts with the spring of 2015 term. All current students will still be subject to appealing to reinstate aid for GPA, Completion, and MTF for summer 2014 and fall 2014.

Appeal Process

Appeal Process

You May Access a Downloadable PDF of the Appeal Form Here icon pdf


Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office along with documentation of the reasons for failing to comply with the SAP standards. The completed paperwork must be received by the deadline listed on the appeal form for the term in which the student wants the aid reinstated. Forms received after the deadline will not be processed until the following term.


The Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review your appeal and render a decision.


The written decision of the Committee will be sent by the Financial Aid Office to the student within ten business days of the committee meeting. The decision of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee is FINAL.

The deadline to file an appeal is the thrid (3rd) Friday of the semester in which the student wants to have aid reinstated. The committee will meet and review all completed appeal packets on Fridays.

Summer Semester 2014 June 20, 2014
Fall Semester 2014 September 5, 2014
Spring Semester 2015 January 25, 2015
Summer Semester 2015 June 21, 2015

A student cannot have more then two approved Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals during their entire academic career at Washington State Community College.

Additional Policies

Additional Institutional SAP Policies

  1. Program Changes: If a student changes their major during their enrollment at WSCC, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the MTF according to the hours of the current major. All previous course work taken and transferred in to WSCC will be used in this calculation. Changing programs may cause the student to go directly into cancellation status. Per Federal Regulation, a student cannot change their major to avoid the Maximum Time Frame standard once the MTF has been reached. All credits attempted at WSCC and those transferred in from another institution must be included in the total number of credits attempted at WSCC when determining the denominator portion of the credit hour completion ratio. The cumulative GPA will include all courses taken at WSCC, no exclusions!

  2. Remedial/Developmental Courses: WSCC does not offer a remedial/developmental program; therefore a student may receive aid for remedial coursework if enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student. Remedial courses will be included in all SAP measurements.

  3. Second Degrees at WSCC: WSCC Office of Financial Aid policy statesthatastudentmaypursueno more then two degrees and receive federal student aid.All credits attempted at WSCC and those transferred in from another institution must be included in the total number of credits attempted at WSCC when determining the denominator portion of the credit hour completion ratio and the MTF calculation. The cumulative GPA will include ALL courses taken at WSCC, no exclusions! Seeking a second degree may cause the student to go directly into cancellation status.

    1. Students who have completed two associates degrees while participating in the PSEO program at Washington State Community College, must seek approval for a third associates degree or certificate by completing the PSEO Third Degree Form. The form will be reviewed and a decision will be rendered in writing. If approved, the student will be given an academic plan which the student will be required to follow. If the student deviates from the plan, financial aid will be terminated.

  4. Dual Degrees/Dual Majors: A student may choose to seek two simultaneous degrees or majors from WSCC. Seeking two degrees/majors may cause the student to reach MTF hours and go into cancellation status more quickly.

    1. Dual Degree: a student seeking a degree from two different programs at the same time i.e. Associate Degree Nursing and Criminal Justice Technology.

    2. Dual Major: a student seeking two degrees within the same program i.e. instrumentation and control and electronics are both majors under the Electrical Engineering Technology.

Effective Summer Semester 2013


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