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Student Guide

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

For Grossmont College, SAP standards are evaluated by measuring the maximum time frame and pace of progression a student takes to complete their degree objective (Quantitative Standard) and a student's GPA (Qualitative Standard). These standards are evaluated at the time of application for federal financial aid funds for new applicants and at the end of each enrollment period (Fall, Spring and/or Summer) for continuing applicants. SAP standards apply to all students regardless of previous financial aid history.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Education provided schools with the ability to apply some regulatory relief for students who may not have met the unit completion standard.  For Grossmont College, this was only applied to the Spring 2020 term and was provided to students who were awarded an Excused Withdrawal (EW) for courses.  For students who were awarded a standard Withdrawal (W) or who earned substandard grades of 'F' or 'D', the regulatory relief mentioned above could not be provided for those courses for the Spring 2020 term.

Financial aid eligibility requires students to declare a major in an eligible program, whether that is for an Associate Degree (AA), Certificate of Achievement (COA), or a Transfer Program. All students are expected to:

  • Meet with an academic counselor to create an educational plan which outlines the courses they have completed and are required to complete to achieve their educational goal at Grossmont College. Students receiving services from EOPS and/or DSPS must obtain their educational plan from an EOPS or DSPS counselor.

  • Use their educational plan, class schedule, college catalog and other college publications to help them complete their declared program of study.

  • Enroll ONLY in courses required for their program of study.

Unit Maximums

Satisfactory progress is defined by the Department of Education as a normal length of time for a student to achieve an educational objective that cannot exceed 150% of the length of the student's academic program. Since most Grossmont College Associate degree programs and GE Transfer programs are approximately 60 units, students will be expected to complete their educational objective by the time they have completed 71 units and/or attempted 90 units, whichever comes first (60 units times 150% equals 90 units attempted maximum). This includes change of majors and degree objectives. Students will be expected to complete their educational objective for a Certificate by the time they have completed 36 units and/or attempted 45 units, whichever comes first.

Students may be funded to a maximum of 35 units of ESL. The maximum number of units to be funded will be determined by the student's CELSA placement score and/or Ed Plan. ESL courses that are degree applicable or transferable are excluded from the ESL unit limit and count as regular units.

Students may be funded to a maximum of 30 units of remediation if documented by assessment scores and/or an academic counselor.

Previous Coursework from Other Institutions

All units transferable to Grossmont College from other institutions will be counted toward the 71 units completed/90 units attempted maximum.

Official academic transcripts from all colleges attended (including foreign institutions where Title IV aid was received) should be submitted to the Admissions Office for calculation of advanced standing.

Students transferring to Grossmont College with at least 12 units attempted and with an overall G.P.A. less than 2.0 will be subject to the Financial Aid Appeal process.

SAP Pace of Progression

Students must meet the SAP standards listed below to make certain their overall completion rate is at least 79% to ensure an acceptable Pace of Progression. Pace of Progression is calculated by dividing the number of units completed by the number of overall units attempted to calculate the student's completion rate. Example: a student has 65 units completed and 80 overall units attempted. By dividing the 65 units completed by 80 units attempted the result is an 81% completion rate.

  • Full-time students must complete 9 units each semester.

  • Three-quarter-time students must complete 7 units each semester.

  • Half-time students must complete 5 units each semester.

  • Less than half-time students must complete .5 units.

In addition to the term Pace of Progression standards listed above, overall a student must not go beyond 19 deficient units or they will have exceeded the 79% Pace of Progression standard.  For example, the Unit Maximums described above inform students that they cannot accumulate more than 71 units completed and/or 90 units attempted or they will need to petition.  The difference between these two unit maximums is 19, so any student who exceeds nineteen units (in any combination) of W's, F's, No Passes or Incomplete's will be required to petition.

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

While receiving financial aid, students must maintain a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 or greater. A student's overall GPA is also evaluated whenever a student applies for Financial Aid and the minimum 2.0 GPA standard must be met. Furthermore, students enrolled in an Associate degree or Transfer program must have an overall 2.0 GPA after two years. The Department of Education has defined two academic years as the equivalent of 4 terms, regardless of enrollment status.

Review Policy - General

Units not completed (F's, Withdrawals, Incomplete's and NP's) are added to the total number of units completed to calculate the overall number of units a student has attempted to ensure that the student does not exceed the 150% unit maximum.

The following will be considered as units completed:

  1. "A" through "D" grades

  2. "P" ('Passed')

The following will be considered as units not completed:

  1. "F" grades

  2. "W" ('withdrawal')

  3. "I" ('incomplete')

  4. "NP" ('Not Passed')

All repeated courses count toward the 150% unit maximum and the minimum 2.0 GPA standard, including semesters for which Academic Renewal may have been applied by Admissions and Records or for which standard course repetition was achieved.

Review Policy - Not on Aid

The units attempted will be compared to the units completed. If the student has attempted at least 12 units, and is deficient by 12 units or more or has an overall GPA below 2.0, the student will be subject to the Financial Aid Appeal process. New applicants who are not meeting SAP standards are not eligible for Financial Aid Warning consideration and will be required to submit a financial aid petition at the time of SAP review for any given term.

Review Policy - On Aid

Following each semester, the GPA and the number of units completed will be evaluated based upon the 'SAP Pace of Progression' standards above.

Financial Aid Warning

  • Students who are paid for a term and do not meet SAP standards can be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester. However, if you are currently on Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation status, you are not eligible to be placed on Warning status again for a consecutive term.  In addition, if you have more than 19 units deficient or have completed four or more terms and have an overall GPA that is below a 2.0, you are not eligible for Financial Aid Warning status.
  • Students placed on Warning status are eligible for financial aid for the Warning term and must make SAP for that term in order to maintain their continued financial aid eligibility.
  • Students will be notified in writing that they have been placed on Warning status and they will not be required to submit a Financial Aid petition or Appeal for the Warning term. A student placed on Financial Aid Warning who does not make SAP again for the Warning term will be disqualified for subsequent terms and will be subject to the Financial Aid Appeal process.

Financial Aid Disqualification

  • All students who do not make SAP (excluding students who meet the Financial Aid Warning standards) will be disqualified from receiving financial aid.
  • Student's who choose not to go through the Financial Aid Appeals process or who do not make SAP while on Financial Aid Probation will be disqualified and will not regain eligibility for Title IV aid at Grossmont College until they meet the reinstatement conditions outlined below.

Financial Aid Probation

  • Students who were disqualified for not meeting Financial Aid SAP standards have the option to submit a petition through the Financial Aid Appeal process. Students who are approved through the Appeals process will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and are eligible for financial aid.
  • Students on Financial Aid Probation must make SAP according to the 'Pace of Progression' standards outlined above and may also need to meet the conditions set by their Financial Aid Advisor or the Appeals Committee to maintain financial aid eligibility.
  • Students who are subject to disqualification going into Summer will be required to submit a petition for reinstatement for the subsequent Fall or Spring term. If a student receives financial aid in the summer session, they will be held to the SAP standards outlined in the 'Pace of Progression' standards above.

Financial Aid Reinstatement

Reinstatement is not an automatic process and is not guaranteed. Students may attempt to regain eligibility for financial aid after disqualification and/or denial of petition for lack of progress by:

  1. Enrolling in a minimum of six (6) units and completing a semester of SAP according to the standards outlined in 'SAP Pace of Progression' above, and

  2. Meeting with an Academic Counselor to complete a semester Educational Plan. Students must submit their Financial Aid Probation Education Plan with their petition form. Students who have been Disqualified as a result of lack of progress while receiving federal aid are required to complete the COUN 095 course, and

  3. Students MUST describe how they have resolved the issues which prevented them from making SAP and/or describe any preventative measures they have enacted to ensure it will not be a factor in their future progress, and

  4. Complying with any other specific conditions that were set in the Appeal decision made by the Financial Aid Advisor or the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

Students may Appeal for reinstatement or continuation of financial aid by submitting a financial aid petition form.

All students with 71 units completed or 90 units attempted must petition for initial or continued eligibility.

Students who must petition for lack of progress are not eligible for retroactive awards for a prior term if the petition is approved. Petitions for lack of progress must be submitted by the last day of the term for which the student is applying. Students who petition only because they have completed more than the unit maximums may be eligible for a retroactive award because they may need additional units to complete their objective and they are not in a lack of progress status for that retroactive term.

Petitions will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Advisor and/or the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

Students will receive written notification of the decision.

Students have the right to Appeal the denial of their Financial Aid Petition.

Last Updated: 06/23/2020
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District