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.
Financial Aid SAP standards are separate and distinct from general academic policies, and apply only to financial aid applicants.
For academic policies, please refer to the General Catalog or review this information with your counselor.
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
Grade Point Average (GPA): Qualitative
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.
Pace of Progression: Quantitative
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% or greater
Examples of progression rate of 67% or greater:
Enrollment Status Attempted Units Minimum Completed Units (67%) Full-time 12 8.5 3/4-time 9 6.5 1/2-time 6 4
Maximum Timeframe : Quantitative
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.
Examples of maximum units timeframe:
- The maximum time frame will not be extended for students who change academic programs or have prior degrees or certificates.
- All units of 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.
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. 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.
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 California College Promise Grant (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 an online SAP workshop and then submitting a completed appeal packet to the Financial Aid Office. It must include the following:
- A statement indicating any special circumstances that may have occurred that explains why the student failed to achieve SAP. Special 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 and academic plan.
Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing. 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.
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 California College Promise Grant, FWS, and federal student loans (if qualified).
Deadlines to submit SAP appeals
Summer 2019 Semester
July XX, 2019
Fall 2019 Semester
November XX, 2019
Spring 2020 Semester
April XX, 2020