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Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

To maintain your eligibility for financial aid, you must adhere to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and Practices requirements.

For semesters before Fall 2017, review the previous SAP policyListen, effective until August 27, 2017. (PDF will open in a new window.)

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and Practices?

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and Practices, also known as SAP, is a set of standards students are required to maintain if they receive financial aid. These standards require students make progress toward a certificate, degree, or transfer program during all periods of enrollment, including periods when a student did not receive financial aid.

What are the requirements?

To remain eligible for financial aid, you must:

  • Maintain a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average(GPA) or higher (a qualitative measure), and
  • Successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative attempted credit hours(a quantitative measure), and
  • Successfully complete at least one credit hour each academic term for which you are enrolled, and
  • Make positive progress toward a program of study within 150 percent of the average published program length.

When is academic progress evaluated?

Your satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each academic term (i.e., fall, spring, and summer terms).

Successful completion of a class is defined as earning a grade of A, B, C, D, or CR. Unsuccessful grades are F, W, NC, or incomplete.

What do the different academic eligibility statuses mean?

Find out how to check your eligibility status in Self-Service Financial Aid through WebAdvisor.

Eligible

You are meeting the minimum academic standards or have no academic history. You are fully eligible for financial aid.

Warning

You did not meet minimum standards in the previous evaluation period. You are still eligible for financial aid, but must reach all minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.

You either:

  • Successfully completed at least one credit hour for the term but did not meet the cumulative GPA and/or completion rate, or
  • Did not successfully complete at least one credit hour, but did meet the cumulative GPA and completion rate.

Ineligible

You either:

  • Had two consecutive evaluation periods below minimum standards, or
  • Did not successfully complete at least one credit hour for the evaluation period and are below the minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or completion rate.

You are ineligible for financial aid.

Timeframe

You exceeded the credit hour limits, and are not making progress toward a degree/certificate within the 150% federal requirement. You are ineligible for financial aid.

Example: An Associate of Arts degree is 60 credit hours, but you've attempted more than 90 credit hours.

What if I'm...

New to financial aid but have a prior academic history?

If you have a prior academic history, you will be evaluated at the time you apply for financial aid. You will receive one of three Financial Aid Eligibility statuses.

Eligible

You are meeting the minimum academic standards or have no academic history. You are fully eligible for financial aid.

Warning

You are below minimum standards in your previous academic history. You are still eligible for financial aid, but must reach the minimum standards at the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.

Timeframe

You have exceeded the credit limit hours and are not making progress toward a degree/certificate within the 150% federal requirement. You are ineligible for financial aid.

A student who transferred to TCC?

If you have transferred to TCC, you are required to have all your prior college transcripts evaluated for transfer credits. All credit hours accepted by the TCC Admissions Office will be used to determine 67% completion rate and maximum timeframe of 150%.

Taking a remedial/developmental class?

All developmental classes will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe. Actual letter grades are not included in the cumulative GPA.

Repeating a class?

You are only allowed to repeat a course once if you received a passing grade (D or better). Any classes being repeated more than once cannot be included in the enrollment level and will not be considered for financial aid.

However, all repeated classes will be counted as attempted hours for determining completion rate and timeframe. Only the highest grade will count for the cumulative GPA and completed hours for completion rate.

Taking classes after an Academic Fresh Start decision?

All enrollment, regardless of an Academic Fresh Start decision, will be used to determine Financial Aid Eligibility. Financial Aid cannot ignore any enrollment, even if an Academic Fresh Start is granted.

How do I re-establish my financial aid eligibility?

You must bring your GPA and completion rate up to the minimum standards of a 2.0 cumulative GPA and 67% completion rate, but you will be ineligible for financial aid and cannot be reimbursed during this time.

If you believe you have re-established eligibility, you must inform TCC Student Financial Aid Services to review your academic history and re-instate your financial aid eligibility.

Mitigating Circumstances

If you have experienced mitigating circumstances (illness, job related, family illness, change of major) during the most recent evaluation period, you may submit an Financial Aid Appeal Request. If the request is not granted, you will remain ineligible for financial aid until you meet all minimum standards.

If the request is granted, you will be placed on one of two academic eligibility statuses:

Probation

You are expected to improve to minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period. You are eligible for financial aid, but you must meet minimum standards by the next evaluation period. You cannot be on probation for two consecutive semesters.

Academic Success Plan

You cannot be expected to improve to minimum standards by the next evaluation period. You and TCC must agree to an academic plan to allow you to meet minimum standards within a fixed number of evaluation periods. You are fully eligible for financial aid as long as you are strictly following the academic plan.

If at any time you stop following the academic plan and you are not meeting minimum standards, you will become ineligible for financial aid.

If you meet minimum standards at any time while on the academic plan, your academic eligibility status will be updated to eligible.

Timeframe Mitigating Circumstances

If you have not completed your program of study within the 150% timeframe and there are mitigating circumstances (illness, job related, family illness, change of major), you may submit an Financial Aid Appeal Request (timeframe). If the request is not granted, you will be ineligible for financial aid. All students are limited to one Timeframe Academic Success Plan without additional mitigating circumstances.

If this application is granted, you will be placed on the following academic eligibility status:

  • Timeframe Academic Success Plan: You and TCC agree to an academic plan. You are fully eligible for financial aid, as long as you are strictly following the academic plan. If at any time you stop following the academic plan, you will become permanently ineligible for financial aid.

If a Financial Aid Appeal Request is denied, you may submit a new Financial Aid Appeal Request with additional information to the campus for review by the District Director of Student Financial Aid Services.

Notice to Applicants

Student Financial Assistance Programs Disclosure of Social Security Account Number Section 7(a) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5U.S.C.552a) requires that when any federal, state, or local government agency requests an individual to disclose his or her Social Security Account Number, that individual must also be advised whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority the number is solicited, and what use will be made of it. Accordingly, applicants are advised that disclosure of the applicant's Social Security Account Number (SSAN) is required as a condition for participation in student financial assistance programs sponsored by the federal government, state of Texas, or the local government, in view of the practical administrative difficulties that would be encountered in maintaining adequate program records without the continued use of the SSAN.

The SSAN will be used to verify the identity of the applicant and as an account number (identifier) throughout the life of the loan or other type of assistance in order to report necessary data accurately. As an identifier, the SSAN is used in such program activities as determining program eligibility, certifying school attendance and student status, determining eligibility for deferment or repayment of student loans, and for tracing and collecting in cases of defaulted loans.

Authority for requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s SSAN is grounded on Section 7(a)(2) of the Privacy Act, which provides that an agency may continue to require disclosure of an individual's SSAN as a condition for the granting of a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law where the agency required this disclosure under statute or regulation prior to Jan. 1, 1975, in order to verify the identity of an individual.

The state of Texas has for several years consistently required the disclosure of the SSAN on application forms and other necessary program documents use pursuant to statutes passed by the Texas Legislature and regulations adopted by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System.

Effective August 28, 2017

Updated December 14, 2017