Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


To maintain eligibility for financial aid, a student must comply with the following standards.  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 2.0 and a cumulative completion rate of 66.67 percent 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 submitted for evaluation.  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 coursework for purposes of calculating institutional percentage completion rates.

Aid eligibility is limited to 150 percent of a student's program credit length (approximately 135 credits for two-year degree and 75 for one-year certificate) even if a certificate/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) may be asked to appeal at 90 calculated credits to allow for coursework 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 the standard is not met.


Financial aid applicants who meet a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative completion rate of 66.67 percent of their calculated credits 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, loans, and institutional awards.


A student may apply for a redetermination of eligibility through the APPEAL process.  A student may submit an appeal for reinstatement on the basis of mitigating circumstances or after successfully rehabilitating the cumulative 2.0 GPA or better and completion rate of 66.67 percent.


Reinstatement of aid is never automatic. A student must apply for redetermination of aid eligibility by completing a COCC Financial Aid Appeal form.   Appeals are made through the Financial Aid Office, on the official appeal form and will require the following:  an explanation and documentation regarding why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress 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 requirements, 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 approved, 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 percent.


Coursework taken at another institution will count toward the 150 percent maximum calculated credits 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.  Only credits that apply toward the program will count toward maximum calculated credits in the appeal process.


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


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


Students will be allowed an additional 45 calculated credits of developmental coursework.  Developmental coursework is defined as WR 60 through WR 95, MTH 10 through MTH 95, CIS 10, and CIS 70. 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.

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