Academic Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Standards

At Central Piedmont Community College, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards also apply to non-federal aid, including state funds, institutional funds and foundation scholarships. Progress is measured throughout the academic program by the student’s cumulative grade point average (qualitative) and by credits earned as a percentage of those attempted (quantitative or pace of completion).

The College’s Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress before aid is awarded and again after most grades are posted for every term, starting with the first term of enrollment. Some career studies certificate programs are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward all SAP requirements (GPA, Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe and Developmental Maximum) if the student enrolls later in an eligible program.

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Evaluating Progress

To be eligible for financial aid, students must meet the following minimum guidelines:

Quantitative Standards or Pace Completion

Completion Rate (67% Rule): Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67% of cumulative credits attempted. This calculation is made by dividing the cumulative total number of successfully completed credits by the cumulative total number of credits attempted. All credits attempted at CPCC (except audits, which must be entered as such by the class census date) are included. All credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. This evaluation will be made prior to aid being awarded and after grades are posted at the end of each semester a student is enrolled at the College. Credits with satisfactory grades at the College are those for which a grade of A, B, C, D, or P is earned.

Maximum Hours (150% Rule): In order to continue receiving financial aid, a student must complete his/her program of study before attempting 150% of the credits required for that program. Developmental and ESL course work are excluded in this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all applicable transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence.

Transfer Students: In order to properly calculate satisfactory academic progress, transfer students who apply for financial aid must request official transcripts from all other colleges attended. Official transcripts must be submitted directly to one of the campus Student Records Office. Credits officially accepted in transfer will be counted in the 67% rule and in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility. The College has the option on an individual student basis to put a transfer student in Financial Aid Warning status or Suspension status immediately upon evaluation for financial aid if academic history at previous colleges indicates a pattern of unsuccessful academic work.

Second Degree Students: Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted.

Developmental Studies: Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of developmental studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met.

Qualitative Standards

 

Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule): In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D and F are included in this calculation.  Transfer credits are excluded from GPA evaluation. In order to graduate, a program grade point average of 2.0 is required.

Monitoring

The Financial Aid office will monitor satisfactory academic progress for all students receiving or applying for federal or state aid to ensure that they are making progress towards program completion. All programs will be reviewed for satisfactory academic progress at the end of each semester.

In order to measure a student's satisfactory progress toward a degree, diploma, or certificate requirements, the student's total academic record at Central Piedmont Community College will be evaluated whether or not the student received financial aid for the entire time of enrollment.

Additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards:

Cumulative Credit Hours Attempted: Cumulative credit hours attempted are defined as all credit hours attempted at CPCC, and all credit hours transferred from other institutions. Attempted credits include courses with grades of "A" through "F", “P”, “R”, "W", "I/A", "I/B", "I/C", "I/D", "I/F" or "I".

Cumulative Credit Hours Completed: Cumulative credit hours successfully completed are defined as grades "A" through "D", “P”, "I/A", "I/B", "I/C", "I/D", "I/F". Credit hours not successfully completed are defined as “I”, “I/F”, "F", “R”, "W."

Repeated Courses: Repeated courses will be counted as hours attempted and also toward maximum credits allowable for each type of program for financial aid.  Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative grade point average. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed, but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt. For example, for courses in which a grade of “D” or higher is received, federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat.  All attempts will count toward the student’s financial aid cumulative grade point average and cumulative completion rate.

Audited Courses: Credit hours taken for a grade of "audit" do not apply toward an associate degree, diploma, or certificate program. Therefore, credit hours with this designation are not included in determining enrollment status for financial aid or satisfactory academic progress.

Students with changes grade type of an "audit" (AU) after the disbursement of financial aid will be reviewed for an enrollment status change. This change may result in a reduction of financial aid eligibility and a balance owed to the college.

Incomplete Grades: Courses with grades of "I" (Incomplete) will be considered as credit hours attempted and not completed. Student who have made arrangements with the instructor to complete required course work are not required to re-register for the same class during a subsequent semester to complete the work. Any course carried forward to the next semester for completion will not be counted as part of the new semester enrollment status. If the "incomplete" grade resulted in a student being placed on financial aid probation or suspension, once completed, the student may appeal for a re-evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress by submitting the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal form to the Financial Aid office at CPCC. Should the grade become final before the review, the actual grade, credits attempted, and credits earned will be used to determine if the student is making satisfactory progress.

Cumulative Grade Point Average: A student's cumulative grade point average must meet the minimum standards of the institution according to their degree intentions. The minimum cumulative grade point average for graduation at CPCC is 2.0.

Course Withdrawals: Students who withdraw from classes officially or unofficially should understand how withdraws affect their eligibility for financial aid as determined by this Satisfactory Academic Progress procedure. A “Withdrawal” will count as attempted, not completed, and will not count in the GPA calculation. Financial Aid recipients should discuss their possibility of withdrawing with a Financial Aid Officer before doing so.

Reducing enrollment during any semester can create serious consequences for financial aid recipients:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress may be affected;
  • In cases of complete withdrawals, students may be required to repay a percentage of financial aid received for that semester. (See Return of Title IV Funds).

Developmental Studies Standards of Progress: Financial aid recipients may take a maximum of 30 credit hours in developmental coursework. Developmental courses (designated by course numbers below 100, or beginning with DMA or DRE) are included in the calculation of satisfactory academic progress. Students enrolled in developmental courses must receive grades of A, B, C, or P to remain in good standing. Developmental hours in excess of total semester credit hours cannot be counted towards enrollment status for federal and state grants or for the cost of attendance for any campus-based programs.

ESL Studies: ESL credits are limited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

Transfer students: All transfer students will be considered to be making satisfactory progress based on the number of credit hours accepted toward their current program of study.

Dual Enrollment: A student may not receive federal aid from more than one institution at the same time. A student transferring to Central Piedmont Community College from another institution must have their aid canceled at the former institution.

Change of Major: Students who change their major (program of study) are still responsible for maintaining satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the procedures as outlined. A review of satisfactory academic progress will be based on the student's current program of study. A student changing from an associate program into a diploma or certificate program may lose federal and state eligibility immediately upon making the change.

Summer Session: Credit hours attempted and earned during the summer session are included in the calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress. Full-time status is the same for summer session as it is for the fall and spring semesters (12 credit hours).

IT IS ALWAYS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE STUDENT TO CONTACT THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE BEFORE CHANGING PROGRAMS AND/OR WITHDRAWING FROM ANY COURSES

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Financial Aid Statuses

Satisfactory (S): Students who are meeting all aspects of the satisfactory academic policy and will continue receiving financial aid.

Warning: If the student was previously under a “Satisfactory” status and fails to meet Financial Aid’s satisfactory academic progress standards the student’s status will be moved to a “Warning” status for one semester.  The warning status means that the student has one semester to correct his/her eligibility before being placed on financial aid suspension.  During this semester, the student will continue to be able to receive financial aid.  A "Warning” status cannot be appealed since students are eligible for financial aid.

Warning/GPA (WG): Students are placed on a “WG” or probation status and are not      meeting the 2.0 GPA average satisfactory academic progress requirement.

Warning/Pass Rate (WP ): Students are placed on “WB” or probation status and             are not meeting the 67% pass rate satisfactory academic progress requirement.

Warning/GPA & Pass Rate (WB): Students are placed on “WB” or probation status       and are not meeting the 2.0 GPA and the 67% pass rate satisfactory academic progress requirement.

Suspension: If the student was previously under a “Warning” status and fails to me Financial Aid’s satisfactory academic progress standards during the next semester, the student’s status will be moved to a “Suspension” status. On suspension he/she will not be able to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid during the next semester he/she attends.  Students who are placed on financial aid suspension may appeal this decision by completing the satisfactory academic appeal process (see below).

Suspension/GPA (SG): Students were on warning and now placed on “SG” or     suspension status are not meeting the 2.0 GPA satisfactory academic progress            requirement.

Suspension/Pass Rate (SP): Students were on warning and placed on “SP” or      suspension status are not meeting the 67% pass rate satisfactory academic progress     requirement.

Suspension/GPA & Pass Rate (SB): Students were on warning and placed on “SB” or    suspension status are not meeting the 2.0 GPA and 67% pass rate satisfactory academic          progress status.

Academic Suspension (AS) – Academic requirements for avoiding warning status and staying in school differ from financial aid requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Academic status will be noted on registration records; financial aid status will be noted on financial aid screens in the Student Information System. Any student suspended from Central Piedmont Community College for academic or behavioral reasons is automatically ineligible for financial aid.

After Suspension

Other than when an appeal is granted for unusual or mitigating circumstances, a student can reestablish eligibility only by taking action that brings the student in compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards including the maximum timeframe.

Each student is notified in writing when placed on warning or suspension. If the student takes the necessary action that brings the student in compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, the Federal Pell Grant and other types of financial assistance (depending on availability of funds) are reinstated at the beginning of the next term of attendance, if otherwise eligible. Whether approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee or approved after one semester of satisfactory progress, the student’s status upon reinstatement will be “Satisfactory.”

Appeals

A student who has been placed on financial aid suspension for not meeting the required satisfactory academic progress (SAP) guidelines may appeal his/her suspension if there were unusual or extenuating circumstances that contributed to the student’s failure to meet these guidelines.  If the appeal is granted, the student will be placed on a SAP Continued Probation status and will be allowed to receive financial aid for the next semester only.

A student may appeal the termination of financial aid by completing an appeal form obtained from the Financial Aid/VA Office and indicating in writing: a) reasons why he or she did not achieve minimum standards, b) reasons why his or her eligibility should not be terminated, but reinstated. Appeals must be submitted in writing with supporting documentation explaining any unusual circumstances that caused the student’s academic progress to be less than required. Federal law gives some examples where allowances might be made for mitigating circumstances: for instance, if a student becomes very ill or is severely injured, or if a student’s relative dies. An appeal may not be based upon a student's need for financial aid or on the student's lack of knowledge that the assistance was in jeopardy.

Other than when an appeal is granted for unusual or mitigating circumstances, a student can reestablish eligibility only by taking action that brings the student in compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards including the maximum timeframe.

Students who successfully appeal the 150% rule, are required to complete successfully 100% of everything attempted from that point forward to complete their degree (no withdrawals, no incompletes no grades lower than a C).

**ONLY ONE APPEAL PER ACADEMIC YEAR WILL BE CONSIDERED**

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines if justifiable evidence or extenuating circumstances exist and if the student may receive financial aid for a specified probationary term. Satisfactory progress must be demonstrated by the end of the specified probationary term before further aid can be awarded.

A student suspended for exceeding the maximum hours allowed for degree completion should have an academic advisor submit in writing the remaining hours required for degree completion if extenuating circumstances require the student to exceed the maximum hours limit.

Any student who is reinstated with a “stipulation” is required to meet all reinstatement stipulations in order to have continued eligibility for federal and state financial aid.

To initiate a financial aid appeal, the student must complete a Financial Aid Appeals packet and an appeals letter, and submit it along with required supporting documentation. This information will need to be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at least ten working days prior to the appeal committee meeting. Appeals after this date will be processed at the next month’s scheduled appeals meeting. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee, comprised of staff, faculty, and student members, will not review incomplete appeals. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee normally meets the second Wednesday of each month. The student will be informed of the committee's decision with eight business days of the meeting. The FA Appeals Committee's and/or the Associate Dean of Financial Aid/Veteran's Affairs decision will be final. All appeals along with supporting documentation must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office, Central Piedmont Community College, P.O. Box 35009, Charlotte, NC 28235.

Note: Students participating in the Federal Work-Study program and are suspended from financial aid, cannot continue working until satisfactory academic progress is re-established. In addition, students on approved financial aid appeal are not eligible for Federal Work-Study for the term of the approval. During this period the student must re-establish progress.


Click here to learn more about appeals

Financial Aid Academic Plan

If a student is placed on suspension, and successfully appeals the decision, but the student’s academic situation is such that it would be mathematically impossible to regain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) eligibility during the next semester as required by federal SAP guidelines, the Financial Aid Office may, at its sole discretion, place the student on a financial aid academic plan.  This plan will be designed to outline steps of progress that, if followed by the student each semester, will lead to SAP eligibility being regained at a specific time in the future. If a student does not meet these progressive steps each semester, he/she will immediately be placed on financial aid termination.  A student can reestablish eligibility only by taking action that brings the student in compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards including the maximum timeframe.

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