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Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid Recipients

The federal government requires that students who receive Title IV financial aid make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards completing their degree. Satisfactory academic progress is measured in three ways:

  1. Course Completion Rate
  2. Program Time Frame to Complete a Degree (Timeframe Limitation)
  3. Cumulative Grade Point Average

You must satisfy all three of these standards of progress to maintain financial aid eligibility. The College of Lake County evaluates your SAP status after every term. Failing to comply with this policy will result in the denial of your financial aid award.

Veterans: Students receiving state veterans educational benefits (ING, IVG, MIA-POW) must only meet the cumulative grade point average standard. Students receiving any chapter of the federal GI Bill (30, 31, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607) are not subject to SAP standards.

Course Completion Rate Requirement

You must successfully complete at least 67 percent of all course credit hours that you attempt at CLC. A successful completion is defined as earning a grade of 'D' or better. Withdrawals (official or unofficial), incompletes, repeated classes and remedial courses are included in hours attempted.

Program Timeframe to Complete Degree

You may pursue your degree program on a full-or part-time basis. However, the federal government requires that students make progress toward a degree on a timely basis.

How is progress determined? CLC assesses progress by the number of credit hours attempted. Students are cautioned when they reach 100 percent of the credit hours required to complete their program of study. Students become ineligible for financial aid when they have attempted 110 percent of the credit hours required to earn their eligible degree or certificate. Students can work with a counselor on an appeal, and can regain eligibility if they can show they will complete their program within 150 percent of the credit hours required or have valid extenuating circumstances.

Here's an example of how it works: If you are enrolled in a degree program that requires 60 credit hours, you will be placed on warning if you have not completed the degree after attempting 60 credit hours. If you have not completed the degree after attempting 66 credit hours, you will be placed on restricted status and are no longer eligible for financial aid at the college. Degrees and certificates requiring a different number of credit hours have similar, pro-rated completion requirements.

What counts in the calculation: All attempted hours of coursework taken at CLC, transfer credited accepted from other institutions and any Advanced Placement or CLEP credit. Also included are all withdrawal grades, failing grades and incompletes, as well as repeated courses and remedial coursework, are included in the attempted hours count. If a student receives a grade of "F" or "WF" in a course and must repeat the course, financial aid will only pay for a second attempt. Additionally, students can only receive financial aid for up to 30 attempted hours of remedial coursework.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students must have a 2.00 cumulative GPA to graduate from the college, and therefore, must maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA. Students who do not comply with the requirement will be put on a one semester warning, but will still receive financial aid for that semester. If a 2.00 cumulative GPA is not achieved by the end of that semester, they will be restricted and will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Remedial coursework is included in the GPA calculation for SAP.

Financial Aid Warning Status

A student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning Status for one term of enrollment for failing to meet the course completion rate and/or cumulative grade point average requirements as defined by this policy. During the warning period, the student will maintain their eligibility for financial aid.

Financial Aid Restriction Status

A student will be placed on financial aid restriction and will be denied aid for failing to meet the Course Completion Rate Requirement, Grade Point Average Requirement, and/or for exceeding the Program Time Frame to Complete a Degree Requirement as defined by this policy. During the restriction period, the student will not be eligible for financial aid. Eligibility for financial aid will be regained once the student meets the conditions for satisfactory progress.

Appeal Process

Any student placed on restricted status has the right to appeal. All appeals must be complete and provide detailed information about extenuating circumstances that may affect the restriction. Extenuating circumstances include personal illness/accident, serious illness or death within the student's immediate family, auto accident or other situation beyond the reasonable control of the student. Third-party documentation, such as copies of medical records, accident reports, letters from an academic advisor, work supervisor or counselor are required as applicable.

The appeal process requires a student to complete an online SAP Appeal Workshop. The deadline for submitting an appeal is included on the Satisfactory Academic Appeal Form and on the Financial Aid Deadlines page. Note, however, that appeals must be submitted in the term for which the student is seeking financial aid. Appeal forms will not be accepted unless all documentation is included with the form. Appeals must include a statement explaining the reason for not meeting the SAP standards and what changes have been made to ensure future success. All appeal decisions are final.

Students whose appeals are approved will be placed on a probation status for one term of enrollment. At the end of the probation period, students who meet the terms of the probation will remain eligible for aid for the subsequent semester. Students who do not meet the terms of their probation are returned to restricted status.