Academic Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Procedures

In order to be eligible for financial aid, you must meet the following minimum guidelines:

Qualitative Standard - Must not be suspended according to the College’s academic suspension procedure. In addition, a student must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0.

Quantitative Standard - Must earn 67% of the total cumulative credit hours attempted (e.g., if the student has attempted 50 credit hours, the student must have earned credit for at least 34 hours). The number of hours attempted is defined as the total cumulative number of credit hours for which you were enrolled at the 10% point of each term. The total number of hours earned is defined as the total cumulative number of credit hours for which the student received a passing grade as noted on the student’s academic transcript.

Maximum Time Frame - Must complete program of study in a time frame not to exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program, excluding the first 30 attempted credit hours of developmental education. This will be measured in credit hours (e.g., if the academic program length requires 60 credit hours, maximum time frame cannot exceed 90 credit hours attempted. Once students have earned an associate degree from CPCC, they may not be eligible for additional financial aid.

.back to top

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 toward 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.

Evaluation Period -Student compliance with Financial Academic Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requirements will be monitored at the end of each semester.

Summer Session - Credit hours attempted and earned during a summer session will be included in the calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress, just as for any other term of study.  Full-time status is the same for the summer semester as it is for the fall and spring semesters (12 credit hours).

Program of Study – According to the U.S. Department of Education, if a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his/her degree they cannot be used to determine enrollment status unless they are courses that a student is required to take based on placement testing.  In other words, courses taken that do not fulfill a requirement on the program evaluation will not be covered by Title IV funding.

Change of Majors—Students who change their major 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 active and primary 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. Academic progress is calculated on the student’s active programs.

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", "W", "I/A", "I/B", "I/C", "I/D", "I/F", "I", “P”, or “R”.

Repeated Courses— Federal regulations limit the amount of federal aid that can be used when repeating a course that has previously been passed with any grade higher than an “F”. If a student earns a ‘W’ or ‘F’ in a course, the student can continue to repeat the course paid with federal aid so long as they are meeting minimum Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Once a grade of ‘D’ or higher is earned for a course, students can only repeat the course one more time and use federal aid to pay for the course. If the student passes the course the first time and repeats, but fails the course, they cannot retake the course again and use Title IV aid to pay for another repeat.  Repeated courses will count as hours attempted and hours completed.  For GPA calculation, previous grades are zeroed out in accordance with the procedure for repeating a course. However, the previous hours attempted and earned will continue to be counted in the total hours attempted and earned.

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

Pass – A grade of “P” (Pass) is used for successful completion of DMA or DRE courses.  A grade of “P” is included in a student’s SAP calculation as attempted and completed credit hours with an assigned GPA of 4.0.

Fail - A grade of “R” (Fail) is used for unsuccessful completion of DMA or DRE courses.  A grade of “R” is included in a student’s SAP calculation as attempted and not completed credit hours with an assigned GPA of 0.0.

Audited Courses—Credit hours taken for a grade of "audit" (AU) 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 who change their grade/course type to "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.

Withdrawal – An excessive number of withdrawals (either official or unofficial) will affect your ability to meet the qualitative standard as described above. We encourage you to discuss any plans to withdraw from one or more courses with a Financial Aid Advisor before you do so to see how this will affect your future financial aid eligibility.

A grade of “W” (Withdrawal) is the grade given when a student registers for a class and attends through the census date and then withdraws from the class officially prior to the 35% point.  A grade of “W” may also be an assigned grade if a student stops attending or has special circumstances approved by the instructor.  Students who withdraw from classes officially or unofficially should understand how withdrawals affect their eligibility for financial aid as determined by Financial Aid’s Satisfactory Academic Progress procedure. A “W” will count as attempted, not completed, and will not count in the academic GPA calculation, but will count in the Financial Aid GPA calculation with an assigned GPA of 0.0.

Withdrawn Never Attended – A grade of “WN” is an assigned grade given when a student registers for a class and does not ever attend the course prior to the census date.  “WN” grades are not included in the SAP calculation as attempted credit hours or assigned any type of GPA.

Grades of Incomplete - 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 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. 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.

Click here to learn more about appeals

Developmental (Non-Credit) Coursework – Developmental Education or remedial courses (designated by course numbers below 100, ex., DMA and DRE courses) beyond the first 30 credit hours attempted are included in the calculation of satisfactory academic progress. However, there is a limit on the amount of non-credit remedial coursework that can be included in your enrollment status. Developmental credit hours attempted in excess of 30 total semester credit hours cannot be counted towards enrollment status.

Transfer Credit – Transfer credit hours accepted from other institutions are included in the calculation of SAP. Credits taken at other institutions under a consortium agreement will also be considered as transfer credits. Transfer credits will be included as attempted and completed hours.

Forgiveness of Grades – There is no provision in the federal regulations for the concept of forgiveness of grades. Therefore, CPCC must always include all courses when evaluating satisfactory academic progress.

Warning Status and Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

To determine your academic progress status and eligibility for financial aid, your academic record will be evaluated at the end of each term. Following the first term of failure to maintain cumulative satisfactory academic progress, you will be granted one term to regain satisfactory academic progress. This term is known as your “Warning” term. During your Warning term, you may continue to receive financial aid provided you are otherwise eligible.

If you are able to regain satisfactory academic progress with the courses completed successfully during your Warning term, the Warning status is lifted. If you have not regained satisfactory academic progress, you are placed in “unsatisfactory academic status” and you are no longer eligible for financial aid at CPCC until your cumulative progress is again satisfactory. You can only regain satisfactory academic progress by earning or transferring in enough credit hours and grades to bring up your cumulative average. Paying for a semester or sitting out a semester does NOT permit you to regain satisfactory academic progress.

Return of Title IV Funds

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 changed the formula for calculating the amount of aid a student and school can retain when the student totally withdraws from all classes. Students who withdraw from all classes prior to completing 60% of the semester will have their eligibility for aid recalculated based on the percent of the semester completed. For example, a student who withdraws completing only 30% of the term will have "earned" only 30% of any Title IV aid received. The remaining 70% must be returned by the school and/or the student. The Financial Aid Office encourages you to read a complete copy of this policy carefully. If you are thinking about withdrawing from all classes PRIOR to completing 60% of the semester, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to see how your withdrawal will affect your financial aid. For more information on the Return to Title IV policy, visit http://www.cpcc.edu/financial_aid/fyi/return-of-title-iv-funds-policy.

back to top

Financial Aid Statuses

Satisfactory
Satisfactory is the status assigned to new students or returning students who meet the cumulative and semester 2.0 GPA and the 67% completion rate requirements based on calculations at the end of the term.

Warning
Students who do not meet the cumulative 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate minimum each term will be placed on financial aid WARNING. Students who do not meet the minimum requirements their next term of attendance, will not be eligible for financial aid.  .  A student will be granted only one term to regain satisfactory academic progress. The term is known as the "Warning" term. Financial aid may be received during this Warning term.

WG –Warning due to grade point average

WP - Warning due to pass rate

WB - Warning due to grade point average and pass rate

Suspension
If you are not meeting SAP requirements for a second consecutive term, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. If the student is able to regain satisfactory academic progress with the courses completed successfully during his/her probationary term, the probation is lifted. If the student does not regain satisfactory academic progress, the student is placed on "SUSPENSION" and is no longer eligible for financial aid at CPCC until their cumulative progress is again satisfactory. You can file an appeal if extenuating circumstances beyond your control kept you from meeting SAP requirements.

Click here to learn more about appeals

Maximum Time Frame
Students are required to complete their program of study in a time frame not to exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program.  This will be measured in credit hours.  Transfer credit hours accepted from other institutions and evaluated in the student’s current program of study are included in the calculation of maximum time frame.

If a student begins their academic career in a longer program (i.e. an associate or diploma program) and then changes to a shorter program (i.e. certificate program), s/he may automatically be put on Maximum Time Frame.  For example, a student completes 35 credit hours under an associate’s program that requires 60 credit hours to complete.  The student changes to an 18 credit hour certificate program.  Under the associate program, 150% is 90 credit hours, but 150% for an 18 hour certificate is 27 credit hours (18 x 150%).  Because the student has already completed 35 credit hours and the maximum time frame for the certificate program is only 27, the student has exceeded the 150% time frame.   Once a student reaches the 150% limit, his/her SAP status will update to Maximum Time Frame and the student will no longer be eligible for state or federal financial aid.

Termination
Students are required to
adhere to the Academic Plan he/she was given when their appeal was approved.  If the student does not, s/he will be placed on Financial Aid Termination. The student will lose financial aid eligibility and no other appeal will be accepted until the minimum SAP requirements are met.

Probation on an Appeal
When a student has been reinstated by an approved appeal by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, the student will be placed on Probation on Appeal and assigned an Academic Plan. The student can receive financial aid for the term he/she is on probation. If the student does not adhere to the Academic Plan he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Termination. The student will lose financial aid eligibility and no other appeal will be accepted until the minimum SAP requirements are met.

back to top