Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
In accordance with federal financial aid regulations, CCCCD has developed the following SAP Policy which outlines the minimum academic and progress requirements that a student must maintain in order to remain eligible to receive student financial assistance. This policy also applies to state aid that requires federal SAP, but does not apply to California College Promise Grants (CCPG), formerly known as Board of Governors Fee Waiver.
SAP will be reviewed for all students after each term (including summer), regardless of whether financial assistance was received. SAP is evaluated based on all units and grades received at Los Medanos College, Diablo Valley College, Contra Costa College, any other CCCCD site, and at institutions outside of CCCCD (including foreign schools), if those transcripts have been received and evaluated at any campus or center within CCCCD*. All coursework approved for Academic Renewal will be included in SAP evaluations
Students meeting all of the following requirements are considered to be making “satisfactory” progress and are therefore eligible for financial assistance or reinstatement for financial assistance:
I. Minimum Academic and Progress Requirements
A. Qualitative Measure: Maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. This includes all prior coursework (including all repeat, remedial and ESL units) that appears on your official transcript.
B. Quantitative Measure: Maintain a minimum pace of progression of at least 67 percent cumulatively. This means that students must receive credit for at least 67 percent of all units attempted (including all repeat, and excluding up to 30 units of remedial and/or ESL coursework). Withdrawal (W), Excused Withdrawal (EW), Military Withdrawal (MW), Incomplete (I), No Pass (NP), In Progress (IP), Report Delay (RD) and Failing (F) grades are all considered units attempted with no credit received. The pace of progression percentage is calculated as follows: Total Units Completed with Credit / Total Units Attempted.
a. A student enrolls in their first term for 12 units but receives ‘W’ grades in 6 units and receives credit for the other 6 units. Total Units Completed with Credit = 6 / 12 Total Units Attempted = 50%. So, this student would not meet the 67 percent minimum.
C. Maximum Timeframe: Must not have attempted more than 150 percent of the maximum units required for completion of the student’s active academic program, as published by the institution. This includes all prior coursework (including all repeat and excluding up to 30 units of remedial and/or ESL coursework) that appears on your official CCCCD transcript, plus all degree-applicable units from coursework completed at all prior institutions of higher education, if the transcript has been received and evaluated at any campus or center within CCCCD. All prior coursework is included regardless of whether a degree/certificate has been earned. Withdrawal (W), Excused Withdrawal (EW), Incomplete (I), No Pass (NP), In Progress (IP), Report Delay (RD), and Failing (F) grades are all considered units attempted.
a. Certificate Program of 30 units; the maximum timeframe to complete the program would be 45 attempted units.
b. Associate Degree or Transfer Program of 60 units; the maximum timeframe to complete the program would be 90 attempted units.
c. High Unit Major Associate Degree of 72 Units; the maximum timeframe to complete the program would be 108 attempted units.
II. Warning Status
Any student not meeting the minimum requirements outlined in Section IA or IB at the end of any term will be placed on “warning” status for the next term. Students on “warning” remain eligible to receive financial assistance during the one term warning period, after which they must meet the requirements outlined in Section I in order to be considered on “satisfactory” status once again.
Students who complete a term on “warning” will have their SAP reviewed before their financial aid eligibility for the following term can be determined. Due to the short time period between terms, and if the student is determined to be back on “satisfactory” status, disbursements for the following term may be delayed.
III. Suspension Status
Any student not meeting all of the academic requirements outlined in Section IA or IB after the one term “warning” period, and/or not meeting the maximum timeframe requirement outlined in Section IC after any term, will be placed on “suspension” status. Students on “suspension” are no longer eligible to receive financial assistance (except for the CCPG, if otherwise eligible)
Students who complete any term(s) on “suspension” will have their SAP reviewed before their financial aid eligibility for the following term can be determined. Due to the short time period between terms, and if the student is determined to be back on “satisfactory” status, disbursements for the following term may be delayed.
Students on “suspension” have two options to have their eligibility for financial assistance reinstated:
- Complete coursework (without receiving financial assistance) until all academic requirements outlined in Section I have been met again, or
- Complete and submit an Appeal that is approved by the Appeal Committee.
Based on extenuating circumstances that were beyond the student’s control, students on “suspension” may complete and submit an Appeal to be considered for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. Examples of what is considered an extenuating circumstance for Appeal include but are not limited to:
- Unable to complete your academic program within the maximum timeframe due to: a change of academic major, enrollment in a high-unit academic major or a major with a large number of pre-requisite courses, or completion of ESL or remedial (Basic Skills) coursework.
- Injury, illness or medical condition requiring a doctor’s care (supporting documentation required) which greatly affected your ability to meet SAP.
- Death of a family member, such as parents, brother/sister, grandparents, spouse, or child (supporting documentation required).
- Other extenuating circumstances that were beyond the student’s control (supporting documentation required) which greatly affected your ability to meet SAP.
The following circumstances are NOT considered to be extenuating and beyond the student’s control:
- Undocumented personal problems/issues that do not require professional intervention.
- Poor time management, poor study habits, or lack of motivation.
- Being unaware of institutional policies, guidelines, and/or procedures.
- Not following your Educational Plan.
- Other circumstances that were not extenuating and beyond your control, or did not greatly affect your ability to meet SAP.
Students are required to submit copies of supporting documentation with their Appeal. Examples of appropriate supporting documentation include:
- Documentation of your academic major change (copy of the major change form) for maximum timeframe appeals.
- Letter from a doctor/treatment center stating the date(s) of treatment and estimated recovery time.
- Death certificate, obituary, or funeral program verifying the death of an immediate family member.
- Police report, court documents, or other legal paperwork verifying an incident occurred.
- Other documents/paperwork that you feel demonstrates a circumstance that was beyond your control.
Submitting the Appeal and Deadlines:
To file the Appeal, students can obtain the Appeal form from the financial aid department web site to complete and submit along with all necessary attachments. To submit an Appeal, the student can submit in person at the financial aid department during normal business hours, by fax, or by mail. If mailed, the Appeal must reach the office by the predetermined deadline; therefore, it is recommended that the student submit in person to ensure that the deadline is met.
It is the student’s responsibility to read and follow all instructions on the Appeal form completely and accurately and to meet the predetermined Appeal submission deadline. The submission deadline to be considered for a particular term is printed on the Appeal form itself. Incomplete, incorrect, or late Appeals will be denied for review for that term and the student will have to wait to resubmit a new Appeal for the next term. As noted above, supporting documentation is required. Lack of supporting documentation constitutes an incomplete Appeal and will be denied for review.
Students will be limited to submitting one (1) Appeal per term. All decisions made by the Appeal Committee are final and there is no higher Appeal process outside of the financial aid department.
Students can expect to receive an Appeal decision by email to the student’s District-assigned email account via InSite within a 4-8 week processing time, depending on the volume of Appeals.
VI. Probation Status
Appeals are reviewed by the Appeal Committee. Students whose Appeals are approved will be reinstated for financial aid eligibility and placed on “probation” status. Students on “probation” will be placed on an academic plan which they must adhere to in order to qualify for automatic continuance of their “probation” status for the following term. Students on “probation” will have their progress reviewed at the end of each term. The academic plan to be reviewed at the end of each term is defined as follows:
a. For students placed on “probation” due to GPA or pace of progression (sections IA and IB): must achieve the minimum quantitative and qualitative measures on a term basis during the probation term.
b. For students placed on “probation” due to maximum timeframe (section IC): must achieve the minimum quantitative and qualitative measures on a term basis during the probation term AND follow the comprehensive Educational Plan through program completion.
c. The academic plan may require additional action steps recommended by the Appeal Committee.
Students who complete a term on “probation” and do not meet the standards of the academic plan defined above will be placed back on “suspension” for the following term.
Students who complete a term on “probation” must have their SAP reviewed before their financial aid eligibility for the following term can be determined. Due to the short time period between terms, and if the student is determined to be back on “satisfactory” status or approved for a continuance of the “probation” status, disbursements for the following term may be delayed
All notifications regarding a student’s SAP status and Appeal status will be sent by email only to the student’s District-assigned email account via InSite. Students will be notified of any change to their SAP status within 2-4 weeks from the end of the term which caused the change of status. Students can expect to receive a decision on their Appeal within 4-8 weeks of submission of the Appeal. If a student’s Appeal is approved, the student will also receive an Award Notification email within 2-4 weeks of the date of the decision notification. This notification email does not provide disbursement dates – students must refer to the Disbursement Calendar for more information on disbursements.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy CARES Act Addendum
Section 3509 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act allows for regulatory flexibilities related to SAP when withdrawals are a result of a qualified emergency due to Coronavirus. The colleges of CCCCD (Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, and Los Medanos College) will exclude from the quantitative component and maximum timeframe any units a student was unable to complete as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency, according to the following policy addendum:
I. Spring 2020 Term
If an institution temporarily ceases operations during a period of enrollment (term), attempted credits for all affected students may be excluded, specific to that term. Because CCCCD campuses closed during the spring 2020 term, all withdrawals for that term are considered a result of a COVID-19 related emergency and will be excluded from the quantitative measure and maximum timeframe.
II. Summer 2020 Term
CARES Act regulatory flexibilities related to SAP will only apply to primary terms. Therefore, all withdrawals during summer 2020 term will be evaluated according to the SAP Policy.
III. Fall 2020 Term
To exclude attempted credits for a term in which the institution did not undergo changes in operations, the student must provide a written attestation explaining why the withdrawal was a result of a COVID-19 related emergency, which includes but is not limited to:
- Illness of the student or family member
- Need to become caregiver or first responder
- Loss of childcare
- Economic hardship
- Inability to access WiFi due to closed facilities
- Increased work hours as a result of COVID-19
Because CCCCD campuses did not change operations during the fall 2020 term, students must complete and submit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Withdrawal Attestation in order to be considered for the exclusion of the withdrawals from the quantitative measure and maximum timeframe.
IV. Covered Period
Institutions are allowed to apply the CARES Act flexibilities to terms that include March 13, 2020, or terms that begin between March 13, 2020, and December 31, 2020, or the last date that the national emergency is in effect. Because this may include terms beyond fall 2020, this addendum may be updated as additional guidance is provided by the U.S. Department of Education