Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy


A.  Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy*

  • The Federal Government mandates that students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)  toward completion of their degrees/ certificates/ technical diplomas within a reasonable period of time in order to be eligible for Title IV financial aid programs (includes Grants, Work-Study, Stafford, PLUS, and Perkins Loans).

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is defined as:

    • Earning (passing) a required number of hours (67% of *all hours attempted) and

    • Achieving a required grade point average (see Cumulative GPA Chart in Section E)

    • Total attempted hours must not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s degree/ certificate/ technical diploma program

  • Developmental/Remedial and ESL Courses

    Developmental/Remedial courses and English as a Second Language courses will be counted towards a student's qualitative and Pace progression standards for SAP. However, a student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental/Remedial courses as long as: the courses are required as a result of placement testing; the student is in an eligible program of study; and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

* For students who change majors, the Delgado Community College SAP policy does not require the credits and grades that do not count toward the new major to be included in the satisfactory progress determination. Student may in this way “reset” academic progress by changing majors, but are limited to “resetting” the major twice while attending Delgado Community College. A reset is considered an appeal.  After the second approved appeal/reset of major, the student cannot file additional appeals for financial aid eligibility and will be illegible for aid.  You may not appeal this policy (to reset more than two times).

 

B.  Disclosure Statement

Students are expected to monitor their own SAP and consult with the Office of Student Financial Assistance when they have questions or concerns. The Office of Student Financial Assistance provides written or electronic notices to students at the end of semesters where students are on probation, academic plan, Reset or denied status. It is imperative that students keep their mailing and email addresses (preferred) updated with Delgado Community College and check their DCC student email (preferred) on a regular basis.  Failure to monitor SAP or not understand how SAP works is no basis for an appeal.

 

C.  Terminology Guide

 

  • Appeal- The process by which a student who is not meeting satisfactory academic progression standards must petition the committee for reconsideration of his/her eligibility for federal student aid funding.

  • Qualitative-The Qualitative standard is the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA). The Qualitative standard requires that as the number of hours attempted increases, the student’s cumulative GPA increases. DCC students will need to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA relative to the total number of hours attempted as outlined in the “Cumulative GPA Chart” in Section E. 

  • Quantitative/Pace- The Quantitative measure is the measure, i.e., “Pace” at which the student is progressing.  A standard calculation used is to divide the cumulative course hours completed/earned by the cumulative/total course hours attempted.

  •  Maximum Time Frame - Students may receive Federal Financial Aid if they have attempted below 150% of the hours required to complete their program. 

  • To determine the maximum allowable hours for a specific program of study, all students are expected to reach their chosen academic goal by the time the student has attempted 150% of the credit hours required for the student’s degree, certificate or technical diploma.

 

D.  SAP Timeline

When Is SAP Reviewed?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be reviewed and determined:

1. Before aid is initially awarded and

2. After each Spring semester

 

E.  SAP Measures

How Is SAP Reviewed? (Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be measured in three areas- Qualitative, Quantitative/Pace, and Maximum Time Frame)

1.  Qualitative Measure (GPA)

The qualitative standard is the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA). The qualitative standard requires that as the number of hours attempted increases, the student’s cumulative GPA increases. DCC students will need to achieve a cumulative GPA relative to the total number of hours attempted as outlined in the chart below:

QUALITATIVE MEASURE (CUMULATIVE GPA CHART) 

Cumulative Credit Hours Attempted

 

1-15 hours

 

16-30 hours

 

31-45 hours

 

46 hours and above

Minimum Cumulative GPA

 

1.50

 

1.75

 

1.95

 

2.00

All grades attempted (for major) will be considered. These include, but are not limited to, courses passed, courses failed, courses from which the student withdrew (officially or unofficially), repeated courses, transfer courses, and remedial/developmental coursework.

2.  Quantitative Measure – Pace

  • In calculating the quantitative measure, Delgado Community College will measure the “Pace” at which the student is progressing.  In measuring a student’s “Pace,” DCC requires that students complete a minimum of 67% of hours attempted and hours earned with passing grades. This is done by dividing the cumulative (total) number of hours successfully completed divided by the cumulative (total) number of attempted hours.

  • All hours attempted will be considered. These include, but are not limited to, courses passed, courses failed, courses from which the student withdrew (officially or unofficially), repeated courses, transferred courses, non-credit, and remedial/developmental coursework.

  • SAP will be met if the student is achieving the appropriate cumulative GPA (see “Cumulative GPA Chart” in Section E) and the Pace is equal to 67% or higher and the student has not reached 150% maximum time frame allowed for their degree/ certificate/ technical diploma program. (See the following section on “Maximum Hours Allowed.”)

(Example: total attempted hours = 43, total earned hours = 24. The requirements of 43 total attempted x 67% = 29 hours that must be earned. If a student only earned 24 hours, then the student does not meet SAP).

3.  Maximum Hours Allowed

Students may receive federal financial aid if they have attempted below 150% of the hours required to complete their program. To determine the maximum allowable hours for a specific program or study, refer to the DCC catalog at www.dcc.edu. Determine the total number of hours required for the program and multiply that figure by 1.50.

(Example: If the degree program requires 60 hours to complete the program, multiply 60 hours x 1.50 = 90. The maximum allowable attempted hours for the degree program in this example = 90 hours.)

  • Hours attempted includes all hours pursued, earned, withdrawn, and failed. All of these hours are counted as attempted even if the student did not receive aid.

F.  SAP Review and Notification

SAP is reviewed after each Spring semester.  Students will be notified if their academic standing does not comply with DCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy via email. **students who are on an academic plan will have SAP reviewed after each semester to ensure progression, as well as any student who is enrolled in a program less than twelve months or less.

1.  Good - Student has met progress standards and is eligible for aid for the following

semester/session or academic year.

2.  Probation- If it is determined that it is possible for the student to meet SAP standards within one semester, the student will be placed on a probation status. During this probation period, the student will be eligible to receive federal financial aid. If the student fails to meet SAP standards at the end of the probationary period, the student will be ineligible for federal financial aid.

3.  Reset-Students who decide to change their major with the Registrar’s office.  We will only review those credits and grades associated with the new major.

4.  Academic Plan-Students can receive an academic plan from their assigned advisor.  This plan has to be signed by the advisor and outline what courses the student will need to take in the upcoming 2-3 semesters.  This academic plan requires the student to pass all required courses outlined in the plan.

5.  Suspension- Students on financial aid suspension are considered ineligible for federal financial aid (grants, student loans, student employment). However, financial aid eligibility may be reinstated by the student attending at his/her own expense and earning the appropriate cumulative GPA (grade point average) and meeting Pace progression standards for SAP or being granted a successful appeal through the Financial Aid appeals process. 

G.  Appeals Process

Students who do not meet SAP standards and are placed on a financial aid suspension have the right to appeal to the Office of Student Financial Assistance, if the student’s loss of eligibility occurred due to a mitigating circumstance(s).

  • A mitigating circumstance(s) is an unusual, unexpected, or non-reoccurring event beyond the student’s control. An appeal may be submitted but not limited to the following mitigating circumstance(s): personal illness, injury, undue hardship, or death in the student’s immediate family. 
  •  

  • All students appealing their loss of eligibility must complete an appeal form that may be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Assistance or via the College’s website: www.dcc.edu/departments/financialaid/forms/. The student MUST submit supporting documentation along with the appeal form. Lack of supporting documentation and failure to adhere to published deadlines may result in denial of the student’s appeal.

Multiple appeals for the same mitigating circumstance(s) are not allowed. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee that financial aid will be reinstated.

 

1.  Appeal Denied

If the appeal is denied, the student must regain eligibility by attending at his/or her own expense and earning the appropriate cumulative GPA and meeting the Pace progression standards.

2.  Appeal Approved

If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on either Probation or an Academic Plan. 

  • Probation- If it is determined that it is possible for the student to meet SAP standards within two semesters, the student will be placed on a probation status. During this probation period, the student will be eligible to receive federal financial aid. If the student fails to meet SAP standards at the end of the probationary period, the student will be ineligible for federal financial aid.  If this is the student’s first appeal, they may file a second appeal.

  • Academic Plan- If it is determined that it is impossible for the student to meet SAP standards within one semester, the student will be placed on an Academic Plan. Students are given specific requirements to show continual progression in order to stay in good standing with SAP in order to remain eligible to receive Title IV federal aid.  

    • The Academic Plan requires 100% successful completion, no drops or withdrawals, and a specified GPA. Students cannot receive any F grades while on an Academic Plan

    • While on an Academic Plan, the student will continue to receive federal financial aid as long as the student adheres to the Academic Plan. The student’s Academic Plan will be reviewed after each period of enrollment. An Academic Plan varies in length and is determined by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. If the student is not successful in his/her Academic Plan, the student becomes ineligible for federal financial aid and may need to file another appeal if their two attempts have not been exhausted

Students will be allowed a maximum of two (2) appeals while attending Delgado Community College, not including continuing academic plans. All appeals will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee to determine if the stated circumstance(s) justify reinstatement. The committee's decision is final; therefore, a student may not appeal the committee's decision.


H.  Re-Establishing Financial Aid Eligibility

Students must enroll and be actively attending in order to re-establish financial aid eligibility. 

  • Students who do not meet SAP standards have two options to receive Financial Aid in future semesters:

1. Attend at their own expense without the benefit of federal financial aid         

2. Appeal to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee

If a student chooses to “sit out” or attend another school for a period of time, she/he will be required to meet the SAP standards for the semester in which she/he re-enrolls at DCC.  (“Sitting out” has no bearing on regaining eligibility).

I.  Transfer Students

Transfer students are required to meet the minimum academic standards set by DCC in order to receive Federal Financial Aid.  A transfer student must supply the Office of Admissions with transcripts from all previous institutions of attendance.

  • Once all academic grades and credit hours at DCC are reviewed, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will determine eligibility based on Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. 

  • Transfer credits that count toward the student’s current program must also count as both attempted and completed hours.


J. STEP/ Dual Enrollment Students


Dual Enrollment and all other high school students taking college courses during high school will have these courses evaluated when matriculating at Delgado Community College.  If a student’s college level courses fail to meet the appropriate cumulative GPA (see “Cumulative GPA Chart in Section E) and/or 67% completion requirements, he/she will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid. (See “Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility”).

 

K. Program Measured Clock Hour/ Cosmetology Students


Students may receive Federal Financial Aid if they have attempted below 150% of the hours as measured by the cumulative number of clock hours they are required to complete in their programs. (DCC normal SAP Policy regulations apply.) 

  • A student in a clock hour program cannot receive federal student aid for hours beyond those required in the program.  For example, if the program equals 500 clock hours, the student cannot exceed 750 clock hours (500x150%=750).

  • The maximum allowable timeframe applies to the amount of calendar time the student takes to complete those hours.  For example, if it takes 2 calendar years to complete the program, the student cannot exceed 3 calendar years (2 x 150%=3).

 

L.  Scholarship/Grant only Students


Students who are enrolled but not receiving Federal Financial Aid will also have all courses reviewed and counted when assessing academic progression.

 

M.  Students Changing Majors

For students who change majors, the Delgado Community College SAP policy does not require the credits and grades that do not count toward the new major to be included in the satisfactory progress determination. Student may in this way “reset” academic progress by changing majors, but are limited to “resetting” the major twice while attending Delgado Community College. You may not appeal this policy (to reset more than two times).

 

N.   Certificate Programs

 

For students enrolled in certificate programs that are less than a year in completion time, their academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester.

 

O.  Progression Standards

1.         Developmental/Remedial and ESL Courses


Developmental/Remedial courses and English as a Second Language courses will be counted towards a student's qualitative and Pace progression standards for SAP. However, a student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental/Remedial courses as long as: the courses are required as a result of placement testing; the student is in an eligible program of study; and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

 

2.          Repetitive Coursework

Repetitive (repeated) courses will count towards a student’s hours attempted.  Repeated courses that were previously failed are counted in hours pursued and, if successfully completed, hours earned.

  • Students are allowed to retake a previously passed course.  A passed course is any course in which a student earns a grade of “D”, “C”, “B”, or “A.” HOWEVER, financial aid will not cover the cost of re-taking any previously passed course that has received a grade of “D”, “C”, “B” or “A.” 

  • If a student failed an initial course once with a grade of an “F”, financial aid will cover the cost of re-taking the course; HOWEVER, once the student passes the course with a “D”, “C”, “B” or “A”, financial aid will no longer cover the cost of re-taking the course. 

  • If a student withdraws before completing the course, then the federal student aid funding may not be counted as his/her allowed retake course.

 

3.         Withdrawals, Non-Credit Courses, and Incomplete Grades


A grade of “W” will not be used in calculating a student’s grade point average.  However, in measuring a student’s adherence to the SAP standards, all credit hours for courses in which a student receives a “W” will be included in the number of semester hours attempted.  An “I” (incomplete) will be considered an “F” until a letter grade is assigned in its place.  Non-credit courses or audited courses will not be counted in hours attempted. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of grade changes.

 

4.         Academic Amnesty


Academic amnesty does not affect or alter the student’s financial aid records for financial aid eligibility.   All courses, hours attempted, and grades will be counted/ considered for Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students who are granted Academic Amnesty have the right to request a financial aid appeal. (See “Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility.”)  Academic Amnesty does not change or revise a student’s satisfactory academic progress status for financial aid eligibility.  All academic grades as well as credits attempted and earned are reviewed by the Office of Student Financial Assistance’s SAP committee.  Students who are granted academic amnesty have the right to appeal the loss of eligibility for federal financial aid.   

  • If a student is attending Delgado Community College, then the Registrar’s office will review student’s transcript records. 

  • If a student is a transfer student from another College, then the Admissions office will review student’s transcript records.