Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


To maintain eligibility for financial aid, a student must comply with the following standard.  Failure to meet any of the standard requirements may result in denial of federal financial aid at COCC:

Financial aid applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and a cumulative completion rate of 66.67% of their calculated credits at the end of each term.  The term 'calculated credits' is defined as credits for which a student has received a financial aid disbursement and/or attempted hours if the student did not receive financial aid.  It also includes transfer credit hours that are accepted toward a students's educational program.  If a student fails to meet these eligibility standards, an automatic WARNING status (see below) is enforced.  Grades of A, B, C, D and P only will be evidence of successful completion of course work for purposes of calculating institutional percentage completion rates.

Aid eligibility is limited to 150% of a program's credit length (approximately 135 credits for two-year degree and 75 for one-year certificate) even if a degree is not earned.  As soon as it is clear that a student cannot graduate within this period, he/she becomes ineligible for aid.  Change of major or program may not be sufficient reason to extend the credit limit.  Students pursuing more than one program at COCC will need to submit an appeal and documentation of its necessity if the maximum limit is reached.

Note:  Students taking prerequisites toward any program leading to a selected admissions process (e.g. Nursing, Paramedic) will be limited to 90 calculated credits to allow for course work after admission to the program.


The financial aid academic eligibility standard will be evaluated at the end of each term for financial aid applicants.  Eligibility for receipt of financial aid can be denied at any measurement point if either standard is not met.


Financial aid applicants who meet a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and a cumulative completion rate of 66.67% of their calculated hours at the time of evaluation are considered to be in GOOD STANDING and are otherwise eligible for aid.


When a student in GOOD STANDING fails to meet the eligibility standards for either completion rate and/or GPA, an automatic WARNING status is enforced.  The student will be asked to complete a document acknowledging this change in status and the potential impact it may have on aid eligibility.  If a student in WARNING status fails to meet the cumulative minimum standards for another term, he/she becomes ineligible for aid.


A student in WARNING status who has failed to meet the cumulative minimums at the end of the next evaluation period will not be eligible for any federal aid.  This includes grants, work study, institutional scholarships and loans.


A student may apply for a re-determination of eligibility through the APPEAL process.  A student may submit an appeal for reinstatement on the basis of 1) mitigating circumstances or 2) after successfully rehabilitating the cumulative 2.0 GPA or better and completion rate of 66.67%.


Reinstatement of aid is never automatic. A student must apply for re-determination of aid eligibility by completing a COCC Financial Aid Appeal form.   A student may use the appeal process to petition any financial aid action that the law allows.   Appeals are made through the Financial Aid Office, on the official form and will require the following:  an explanation and documentation regarding why the student failed to make SAP and a statement and documentation as to what has changed in the student's situation that would allow the student to meet SAP in future terms.   Appeals are referred to an Appeal Committee.  If an appeal is approved, aid eligibility will be restored beginning with the current term and not retroactively.  Students will typically be allowed one appeal after failing SAP minimums, but additional appeals may be approved on a case by case basis.

Current COCC students will typically be allowed to petition for one program change.  If the appeal is approved, the student's transcript will be re-evaluated for earned/transfer credits that apply to the new program.  Those credits will be excluded from the requirements for the new program and the student will be given 1.5 times the amount of remaining credits to finish the requirements for the new program.

Returning students who are seeking a new certificate or degree or continuing work on the original course of study will be reviewed on a case by case basis, with consideration given to prior academic history.


Successful appeals will allow a student to be placed in PROBATION status.  Students must meet the conditions outlined in the appeal decision.  If a student is unable to meet these conditions, the student will be ineligible for aid until the cumulative GPA is at least 2.0 and the cumulative completion rate is at least 66.67%.


Course work taken at another institution that is accepted and officially transcripted as transfer credit by COCC, will count toward the 150% maximum calculated hours as well as the cumulative completion rate. If the limit is exceeded, the student must submit an appeal to determine aid eligibility. GPAs from other schools are not considered in COCC's financial aid satisfactory progress policy.


Students enrolled in more than one institution under consortium agreements are subject to the home institution's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.


Students will be allowed a maximum of 45 quarter credit hours of developmental course work in addition to the 75/135 credit hour maximum. Developmental course work is broadly defined as Writing 60 through Writing 95, Math 10 through 95, and CIS 010 through 070. However, developmental credits at or above the level required for the certificate or degree the student is currently seeking will not be excluded from attempted credits.


Repeat course work will be allowed for courses designed to be repeated according to institutional academic policy and procedures.  All other course work will be limited to one time payment for retaking previously passed coursework.

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