Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

What is Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Federal regulations require that all students who receive financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress and work towards an eligible degree or certificate.  Please note, due to additional federal requirements for students receiving financial aid, there are differences between OCCC’s Academic SAP and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to describe OCCC’s process for determining a student’s eligibility for continued receipt of Title IV federal funds in accordance with federal requirements for financial aid satisfactory academic progress in compliance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (34 CFR 668.34).

This policy applies to all students enrolled in credit-bearing courses and, as required by federal regulations, is at least as strict as its academic progress standards for students enrolled in the same academic program who are not receiving federal Title IV financial aid.

To be eligible for financial aid, a student must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward their degree or certificate. At the end of every term, Oregon Coast Community College will measure a student’s financial aid SAP using the following criteria:

• Grade Point Average: Maintaining a minimum 2.0 every term
• Grade Point Average: Maintaining a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA)
• Pace: Earning credit for at least 66.67 percent of the cumulative attempted credits attempted 

If a student does not meet SAP standards, a notification will be sent to their OCCC email address.

Elements of SAP

Grade Point Average (GPA)
A student’s GPA will be evaluated at the end of each term to ensure the 2.0 per term and cumulative requirements have been met. If a student’s GPA (term or cumulative) is below 2.0, they have not met the requirement and will be notified of their financial aid SAP status by college email.

All graded courses, including repeated courses, taken at OCCC are included in GPA. The grades I, W, and NP are not included in GPA calculations. Additionally, transfer credits are not included in GPA and do not count towards meeting this criterion.

A student can reestablish their eligibility by raising their GPA to the required value. If a student has been placed on SAP suspension but experienced mitigating circumstances, they can submit an appeal to the OCCC financial aid office.

Pace
A student’s pace of completion is the number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted. A student attempts credit when they take a college-level course and earns credit when they pass the course.

A student earns credit for grades of A, B, C, D, and P, and they do not earn credit for grades of W, I, NP, and F. Attempted credits include classes taken at OCCC for a grade as well as accepted transfer credits. Courses attempted, but assigned a W, I, NP, or F grades count as attempted, but not earned when pace is calculated.

If a student repeats a course, each repetition counts toward their attempted credits. For each course repetition, a student earns credit for grades A, B, C, D, and P, but not for W, I, NP, or F. Credit-bearing remedial coursework counts toward both attempted and earned credits. Non-credit remedial course work including ESOL courses will not be included in the financial aid SAP calculation.
A student’s Pace is evaluated at the end of each term. If their pace is below 66.67 percent, they have not met the requirement and will be notified of their SAP status by college email. If a student has been placed on SAP suspension but experienced mitigating circumstances, they can submit an appeal to the OCCC financial aid office.

Financial Aid SAP Statuses

Financial Aid Warning
If a student is in good standing and subsequently fails to meet either the GPA or Pace requirements, that student will be placed in Financial Aid Warning status for one term. Students on financial aid warning are eligible to receive Title IV funds.

A student in Financial Aid Warning status must meet both the GPA and Pace requirements at the conclusion of that warning term to move back to good standing. If one or both requirements are not met, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will experience a loss of eligibility.

A first-time financial aid student who has prior academic history and has not completed at least 66.67 percent of total attempted credits with a minimum of 2.0 GPA will have a beginning financial aid SAP status of Warning.

A student may have more than one warning term over the course of their program if they have returned to financial aid good standing in between.

If a student does not meet financial aid SAP standards, a notification will be sent to their OCCC email address.

Financial Aid Suspension

If a student on warning does not meet financial aid SAP standards by the end of the term, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Regaining Eligibility

There are two ways to regain eligibility for federal student aid:
• Improve academic performance until financial aid SAP requirements are met.
• Submit an appeal (see Appeal Process below).

.Financial Aid Probation with an Academic Planner

A student may be placed on probation for one term if they successfully appeal a financial aid suspension status. The Financial Aid Probation status is based on a professional judgment decision where it is determined the student is likely to meet SAP standards by the end of the next term. A student is placed on financial aid probation when financial aid SAP has not been met due to a one-time or short-term event and the student has resolved the problem that caused the financial aid SAP failure. All suspension appeals must be submitted with an academic planner detailing courses required for the student to complete their program of study.

While on financial aid probation, a student is eligible to receive Title IV aid. While on financial aid probation, a student must complete 66.67 percent of attempted credits for the term with a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the term to meet the probationary status requirements. A student on probation who meets financial aid SAP standards at the end of the term will move to good standing.

If a student on probation does not meet financial aid SAP standards at the end of the term, a financial aid staff member will evaluate the student’s academic progress for improvement of pace and cumulative GPA and to determine if the student has followed their academic planner. As a result of this evaluation if the student has improved their pace, cumulative GPA, and followed their academic planner, the student may continue with the status of academic probation.

If the student has not significantly improved their pace, cumulative GPA, and/or followed their academic planner the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students in Financial Aid Suspension are not eligible to receive financial aid. Students who have their financial aid suspended have the right to file a financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal with the financial aid office.

Appeal Process

In order to complete a financial aid SAP appeal, a student must first meet with their academic advisor. When meeting with their academic advisor and preparing their appeal, a student must make sure to address the element(s) of financial aid SAP that are not being met and develop an academic plan. A student must submit their financial aid appeal by the Thursday of week one of the term for which they are attempting to regain eligibility to receive Title IV funds. Financial aid appeals will be adjudicated by the Financial Aid Manager and/or Financial Aid Specialist.

A student will be notified via their college email account of the outcome of their appeal, specifying approval or denial along with any additional conditions/requirements for this status (i.e. mandatory tutoring, mandatory advising check ins, or other activities that support a student’s academic success). A student’s appeal may be denied based on insufficient detail, documentation, or lack of evidence of any academic or personal difficulties being addressed or resolved.