Southwestern College




Online WorkshopThe SAP Workshop is now ONLINE! No need to schedule an appointment or come to campus for an in-person workshop. Just create an account and get started! Click here to access the webpage.


Have you been disqualified and want to appeal?

Please follow these steps:

1.   Complete the online workshop (click on link "Online Workshop" graphic above).
2.   When you complete the online workshop successfully, you will see a confirmation page. You must this out and submit it with your appeal packet. A copy of the confirmation page will also be emailed to you.
3.   Next, download and complete the 
2018-19 SAP Appeal form completely - with all required documentation - and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. Unfortunately, we cannot accept incomplete appeal packets.
4.   Allow 2-3 weeks for processing. You will be notified of the SAP Committee's decision as soon as the process is complete. If approved, we will automatically continue to process your application for aid.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a federal regulation that requires financial aid applicants to be evaluated on a qualitative standard (cumulative GPA) and quantitative standards (completion rate/pace and maximum time frame) every year.   

 All periods of enrollment at Southwestern College and transferable units from other colleges (determined from official transcripts on file at SWC) will be included as part of the SAP review. Click here to read SWC's complete SAP policy.

SAP standards apply to all the following federal and state funded programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)
  • State Cal Grant Program (B & C)
  • Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG) 
  • State Chafee Grant Program

Eligible Program of Study

Recipients of financial aid must be enrolled in a program of study, which leads to a Certificate of Achievement, Associate Degree, or a transferable program that leads to a Bachelor’s Degree. It is the student's responsibility to have an eligible academic program of study declared at Southwestern College. Students without an approved program of study cannot be evaluated for SAP and will have their file placed on HOLD. To resolve this matter, the student must update his/her major on WebAdvisor and notify the Financial Aid Office of the change by submitting the FA Major Update form online at . The student’s SAP status will be reevaluated after the major change is confirmed. 

Students should also meet with an academic counselor to create an updated Student Education Plan (SEP), which outlines the required courses to be taken to complete their new academic program.

Qualitative Standard: Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 or better to achieve satisfactory SAP status.  This cumulative GPA includes any evaluated, transferable work from other colleges or universities.

Quantitative Standard: Completion Rate (Pace)

Students must maintain a satisfactory completion rate of all course work attempted. Students must complete a minimum of 67% of the units attempted to maintain a satisfactory SAP completion rate.  The completion rate – or pace - is measured by dividing the cumulative number of units the student has successfully completed by the number of units the student has attempted. 

Examples of Completion Rate of 67%

Enrollment Status

Attempted Units

Minimum Completed Units (67%)




¾ Time



½ Time




Quantitative Standard: Maximum Time Limit

The maximum timeframe allowed for a student to maintain satisfactory academic progress is 150% of the minimum required units to complete his/her academic program.

For example, 60 units is the standard length of completion for an Associate’s Degree at Southwestern College. Therefore, 60 units x 150% = 90 units, which is the maximum units that student is allowed to attempt and still be eligible for financial aid.  However, not all academic programs are 60 units in length, such as Certificates of Achievements and specialized technical programs. The maximum time limit is calculated specifically for each individual academic program.

Maximum Units Time Frame - Examples


Units Required to Complete Program

Maximum Units for
FA eligibility



90 units (60 units x 150%)

Certificate of Achievement – Biotechnology (example)


45 units (30 units x 150%)

Specialized Program - Dental Hygiene (example)


105 units (70 units x 150%)

  •  Repeated courses will count toward the 150% maximum units allowed.
  • The maximum time frame will not be extended for students who change academic programs or have prior degrees or certificates.
  • All ESL (English as a Second Language) course units will be excluded from the maximum unit limit
  • Up to a maximum of 30 units of Basic Skills/Remedial courses will be excluded from the maximum unit limit.
  • Students who are at between 75% and 99% of their maximum timeframe will receive a code of “SAM” and an email, advising them to meet with an academic counselor to ensure they will be able to complete their program within the maximum time frame.

Students with a Bachelor’s degree or higher

Students who have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher from an accredited domestic or foreign school will receive a SAP code of “SBA” and are not eligible for financial aid, with the exception of the Board of Governors Fee Waiver, FWS and federal student loans (if qualified).


Any student who fails to meet any of the above listed SAP standards will be disqualified. Students that do not meet SAP standards will be notified via email of their disqualification status and will not be eligible to receive Federal or State aid, with the exception of a Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver (which is exempt from SAP regulations but subject to income eligibility requirements set by the state legislature). Students will also be notified by email of their ability to appeal the disqualification.


Students may appeal their SAP disqualification by first completing a SAP Orientation Workshop and then submitting a completed appeal packet to the Financial Aid Office. It must include the following:

  • A statement indicating any extenuating circumstances that may have occurred that explains why the student failed to achieve SAP. Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, personal illness or injury, serious illness or death of a family member, auto accident or other situation beyond the control of the student, and;
  • A statement of what has changed in the student’s situation and;
  • An explanation of  how this change will ensure future academic success and;
  • A current Student Education Plan (SEP), dated the within one year, with fewer than three updates  and;
  • Supporting documents (i.e. medical records, legal documents, death certificate) that may assist in justifying the student’s situation/case.

Complete appeal packets are forwarded to a SAP Appeals Committee which consists of Financial Aid Specialists. If the Committee approves the appeal, the student will be reinstated for financial aid and placed on “Probation” or on an Academic Plan. In order to remain eligible for financial aid, the student must comply with the conditions of the approved appeal.

If the appeal is denied, the student will remain disqualified and ineligible for financial aid. All decisions made by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee are final. 

Deadlines to submit SAP appeals are as follows:
Fall term - December 7th , Spring term -    May 17th , Summer term - August 2nd


In order to be considered eligible for additional financial aid funds, students must meet all SAP standards at the end of the probation semester and/or meet any specific appeal requirements to regain SAP standing. 

SAP will be evaluated at the end of the probation semester after grades have been recorded to determine future eligibility for financial aid. The awarding and disbursement of subsequent financial aid may be delayed until an updated SAP status can be determined.

Last updated: 11/25/2018 6:29:11 PM