Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal and state laws require that recipients of federal or state financial aid, which includes grants (such as Pell), loans (such as federal student loans), and work-study employment meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress measures to remain eligible for all financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) also applies to institutional aid (such as WCCC Scholarships and tuition waivers) awarded to students.

The following two SAP standards are required of all students who have been awarded federal/state/institutional financial aid:

SAP Qualitative Measure of Progress

Students must meet the following GPA standard:

Total Number of Attempted Credits Required Cumulative GPA

6-23 .70-1.74
24-35 1.75-1.90
36 or more 1.91-1.99

Example: Jane attempted 12 credits with a .75 GPA. She has met the SAP standard. John attempted 20 credits with a 1.60 GPA. He has not met the SAP standard.

SAP Quantitative Measure of Progress

  1. Credits Attempted to Credits Earned

A quantitative measurement is required to assess a student’s successful completion of his or her program, since having a high GPA does not mean progress toward completion. A student who withdraws from half of his/her courses and gets “A’s” in the rest may have a high GPA but is not advancing toward graduation.

WCCC students must meet the following quantitative standard:

A student must earn a cumulative total of 66% of credits attempted.

  • Credits attempted are those for which the student has enrolled (not including “drops.”)
  • Credits earned are those which the student successfully completed by earning a passing grade. Courses in which the student receives grades of “W (withdraw), “I” (incomplete), “F” or “AF” are not successfully completed.
  • Transfer credits applied to the student’s program are counted as credits attempted and credits earned.

For example, Sally attempted a total of 30 credits and successfully completed 15 for a ratio of 50%. Sally has not met the SAP standard. Sam has attempted 45 credits and successfully completed 30 for a ratio of 67%. Sam has met the SAP standard.

  1. Maximum Time Frame (150%)

Financial aid recipients are expected to complete their degree or certificate within 150% of the published credit length of the student’s program.

  • A student in a 60-credit degree program is allowed financial aid for 150% of those 60 credits (90 credits). A student in a 70-credit program has financial aid for 105 credits.

For example, Matt is in a 60-credit degree, and he has attempted 55 credits but only successfully completed 25. He needs 35 more to graduate, and adding the 35 he needs to the 55 he has attempted equals 90. He has met the standard.

Mary is in a 69-credit degree, (150% of that equals 104) and has attempted 56 credits but only successfully completed 20. She needs 49 more credits to graduate, but adding the 49 to her 56 attempted credits equals 105. She has not met the standard.

As soon as it is determined that it is mathematically impossible for a student to finish within the 150% measurement, aid is suspended.

  • WCCC cannot allow the student to continue taking courses until he/she reaches 150%—aid is suspended when this measurement is not met.
  • Changing degree programs will not automatically extend the maximum time frame. Extensions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis

The SAP Evaluation Period

The Financial Aid Office evaluates SAP at the beginning and end of the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Financial Aid Warning

  • The first time a student fails to meet either the qualitative or quantitative measure of SAP, the student may have one additional semester of aid while on financial aid warning status.
  • It is possible for a student to be on academic probation and financial aid warning in the same semester. It is also possible for a student to be in good standing academically and on financial aid warning at the same time.

Financial Aid Suspension of Students on Warning

  • If a student on financial aid warning has not met SAP standards by the end of the term of warning, he/she will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not be eligible for financial aid for subsequent terms.

Financial Aid Probation of Students on Suspension

  • If a student is placed on financial aid suspension status and is successfully granted an appeal (see appeals process on the next panel), he/she may be placed on financial aid probation for that subsequent term.

Regaining Eligibility (Academic Plan)

  • In the student’s probation semester, he/she will be placed on an academic plan, which is that he/she must pass all courses in that semester with a C or better and no W’s, I’s, F’s, or AF’s.
  • Even if the student is not at SAP standards by the end of the semester, a student who has met the plan can continue on probation for subsequent semesters, as long as he/she continues to meet the plan, until the student has met SAP standards.
  • If the student doesn’t meet the conditions of the academic plan, he/she will be placed on financial aid suspension and lose financial aid eligibility until he/she meets SAP standards.
  • Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid, so long as other acceptable payment arrangements are made with WCCC.


  • The College will notify students in writing any time they are placed on warning, on probationary status, or on financial aid suspension.

Appealing Financial Aid Suspension

A student who is financially suspended has the right to appeal. Appeals are based on unusual or extenuating circumstances such as:

  • Personal illness or accident,
  • Serious illness or death to an immediate family member or close associate,
  • Other circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student.

All appeals must be submitted with documentation.

The appeal must not only include the circumstances that caused the student to fail to meet the standards; it must also include information on what has changed to enable him/her to meet standards in the next semester.

The student can write a letter to the Financial Aid Office as per the requirements above or may submit an appeal form (available in the Financial Aid Office).

Appeals (with documentation attached) must be filed with the Financial Aid Office within ten (10) days of receiving the notification of suspended aid.

Returning to WCCC after Not Making Satisfactory Academic Progress

If a student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, is placed on Warning or Probation/Academic Plan at the end of a semester and does not continue to attend WCCC, the student has one year to return with the Warning or Probation remaining valid. If the student returns more than one year later, his/her aid will be suspended and he/she will have to take courses without financial aid until he/she achieves the standards for SAP. The student has the right to appeal (see above).