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Satisfactory Academic Progress


Federal regulations require that a student meet basic academic progress standards to receive federal financial aid. This is known as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). These standards are different from Pima Community College's academic requirementsThe financial aid SAP policy may exclude certain coursework from the pace of completion formula such as ESL or remedial. Additionally, certain repeated courses can be counted as completed only once, even if you received passing grades more than once. 

Become familiar with PCC’s Satisfactory Academic Policy. Additional information on SAP policies is in the Student Financial Aid Handbook

For Credit Programs, a student must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) - Qualitative Standard 
    • A GPA of 2.0 or higher must be maintained. The GPA calculation includes all remedial and college level coursework.
  • Completion Rate - Quantitative Standard  
    • 67% completion rate of all attempted college level coursework (100 level or higher) (“attempted” credit hours are every hour you are enrolled in, including repeated courses, including failing or incomplete grades or withdrawals). 
  • Maximum Timeframe
    • Complete your degree within 150% of the total credit requirement for your declared program of study. For example, an associate degree of 60 credit hours must be completed within 90 credit hours. The timeframe includes only college level coursework. 

PCC offers credit hour, and non-standard term classes. The SAP policy for each program is slightly different.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is generally determined at the end of each payment period (semester). Coursework completed at Pima Community College, as well as outside transcripts applied to the student's record, are included when determining a student's satisfactory academic progress, even if the student did not receive financial aid in the past.
  • Students who receive any type of Title IV financial assistance are evaluated for SAP at the end of each semester after the semester grading period even if your courses ended early or if you have ceased attendance early.

  • Transfer students and those who are returning to the College after a hiatus are evaluated upon entry (or reentry), whether or not that point in time is at the end of a semester. SAP status does not reset after any period of time, therefore, your SAP status after a hiatus will likely be the same as when your hiatus began.

  • Financial aid applicants (upon receipt of their FAFSA) and recipients who are not in a satisfactory academic standing, will be notified via email to their Pima student email account.

  • SAP must be recalculated if a grade change has occurred or the student has changed their program.

  • Courses that are transferred in and evaluated for articulation mid-semester will not be evaluated under SAP until the next official SAP evaluation which will likely occur at the end of the semester.

Financial Aid Good Standing Status

A student in good standing is a student that has met all of the requirements of satisfactory academic progress policy and will continue to be eligible for federal and state financial aid grants and loans, as long as all other financial aid requirements are met.

Financial Aid Warning Status

Warning Status means a student did not meet all of the requirements of satisfactory academic progress.   You will continue to receive financial aid but you are at great risk of losing eligibility if you do not improve your academic performance to meet cumulative requirements. A warning status only lasts for one semester. Cumulative SAP requirements must be met at the end of your warning semester in order for you to remain eligible.

If you do not meet cumulative requirements by the official SAP evaluation period, your eligibility for further federal student aid will be suspended and you will have to pay out of pocket for classes. Please see below for SAP appeal information. 

NOTE: Students in violation of Maximum Timeframe rules are not eligible for a Warning status.

Financial Aid Suspension Status

  • Suspension status means you are not eligible to receive any federal and state financial aid funds. This means you are no longer eligible for federal grants, loans and Work Study
  • Any funds awarded for the upcoming semester will be canceled and anticipated aid will be reversed from your student account.
  • Registered classes are at risk of being canceled if you do not make other payment arrangements.

* You must read the content on every section of this page before submitting your appeal *

Sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control that affect your ability to meet SAP standards. If this occurs, you will have the right to an appeal. In an appeal, you must provide a detailed account, in chronological order, of the circumstances that impeded you from achieving good academic standing. You will be required to address adverse grades (D's, F's and I's) or withdrawals in your complete academic history, no matter how long ago it was.

Examples of extenuating circumstances include:

  • Illness or major injury
  • Death of immediate family members
  • Divorce or separation
  • Deployment due to active duty or reserves by the student, students’ spouse or student’s parents
  • Natural disaster affecting the students, student’s spouse or student’s parents
  • Other unusual, disruptive event

Submitting an appeal is a request and it will be reviewed by the PCC financial aid SAP appeals committee or financial aid department designee; it does not guarantee an approval, financial aid eligibility or reinstatement.  Therefore, it is important that you are aware of these guidelines and provide a thorough account of your circumstances.

Appeal Information

  • Documentation must support the circumstances or reasons that you did not meet SAP standards. Documentation includes letters from health professionals, police reports, legal or government documents.
  • You must describe what has changed to allow you to regain good academic standing.
  • You must make an appointment with your Program Advisor to develop a plan for getting back on track.
  • Include your name and student number on all documents.
  • DEADLINES, by 5:00pm on these semester dates: 
    • Spring 2024 - April 19th, 2024
    • Summer 2024 - July 9th, 2024
    • Fall 2024 - November 12th, 2024

Appeal form and submission

Many students, based on other financial aid requirements, have access to complete the form via their financial aid verification portal. If you do not have access, please contact [email protected].  All appeal documentation must be submitted through your portal.

Remember that you must meet with your Program Advisor prior to submitting your appeal. To make an appointment with your Program Advisor go to:

MyPima > Students > Academics > Go to Pima Connect > My Success Network and find the contact information for your Program Advisor or use this link.

You will be notified of the results of your appeal through your PCC email account and/or by text message. The decision is final and may not be appealed to any higher authority including the college's Chancellor or the Department of Education. 

While waiting for your appeal decision, make student account balance payment arrangements to secure your enrollment by the payment deadline.

Submit Appeal

Financial Aid Probation Status

Students who have their appeal approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation Status. If you are on Probation Status:

  • You must pass 100 percent of attempted courses in each semester until you meet cumulative good standing 
  • You must earn semester GPA of 2.0 or better, or
  • You must meet the cumulative SAP standards that lead to a “Good” standing
  • You also must meet all academic standards during your probationary semester

If you do not meet the requirements, above, during your probationary semester, you will be placed back on financial aid suspension and lose financial aid eligibility. Any subsequent appeal must be based on new or worsened circumstances. Chronic, or ongoing circumstances may not be approved in subsequent appeals.

Denied Appeal

Not all circumstances are approvable, each appeal is reviewed on an individual basis. Therefore, your appeal must be thorough and complete. If your appeal is denied, a new appeal cannot be made for the sole reason that you disagree with the original decision. Decisions are final and may not be appealed to the college's Chancellor or the Federal Department of Education.

You may request your appeal to be re-opened ONLY if you omitted information on extenuating circumstances and/or supporting documents that were not included with your initial submission. At their discretion, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will open your appeal for an additional submission as a one-time exception. A re-opening and re-submission does not guarantee an approval. The deadline to submit additional documentation is typically within two weeks from re-opening.

Contact OFAS to request a one-time re-opening.

Reestablishing Eligibility

Students who choose not to appeal or whose appeal is denied might be able to re-establish financial aid eligibility. Students must:

  • Continue to enroll for courses at the College at your own expense
  • Meet all cumulative SAP requirements

NOTE: This may require more than one semester depending on individual situations. In many cases, students may not be able to regain good standing regardless of the number of courses that are subsequently completed due to the gravity of the SAP violations.

Military and Veterans Benefits and Special Programs

If you are a veteran and receiving VA benefits, please contact the Military and Veteran’s Office, or if your program of study has specific requirements, please contact your program/academic advisor.

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