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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

PLEASE READ BEFORE COMPLETING APPEAL FORM

The Higher Education Act of 1965 is a federal law that requires Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) to establish standards of academic progress for students to achieve and maintain in order to qualify for federal financial aid. Students enrolled full-time or part-time in undergraduate programs measured in credit hours will therefore have Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculated at the conclusion of each semester. Students enrolled full-time or part-time in undergraduate programs measured in clock-hours will have SAP calculated at the point when scheduled clock-hours for each payment period have elapsed, regardless of whether the student attended all the clock-hours scheduled in the payment period. Transfer students will also have SAP calculated prior to their first semester/first payment period with GCSC. Students must meet qualitative, quantitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards in order to be eligible for federal financial aid awarding and disbursement.

SAP Standards

  • Students enrolled full-time or part-time in undergraduate programs measured in CREDIT  hours

    PLEASE NOTE: ALL post-secondary coursework will be evaluated - including remedial/developmental and transfer credits accepted by Enrollment Services.

    • Qualitative Standard, i.e. Grade Point Average (GPA):
      • Students with 0.0 to 14.9 attempted credit hours must achieve a 1.50 GPA.
      • Students with 15.0 to 29.9 attempted credit hours must achieve a 1.75 GPA.
      • Students with 30.0 or more attempted credit hours must achieve a 2.00 GPA.
    • Quantitative Standard, i.e. Completion Rate:
      • Students must achieve an unrounded cumulative completion percentage of at least 67%.
    • Maximum Timeframe Standard, i.e. Overall Credit Hours Attempted:
      • Students become ineligible when they cannot complete their program within 150% of its published length in credit hours.
  • Students enrolled full-time or part-time in undergraduate programs measured in CLOCK  hours

    PLEASE NOTE: Only clock-hour coursework applicable to the specific clock-hour program a student is enrolled in will be evaluated.

    • Qualitative Standard, i.e. Grade Point Average (GPA):
      • Students must achieve a 2.00 cumulative GPA
    • Quantitative Standard, i.e. Completion Rate:
      • Students must achieve an unrounded cumulative completion percentage of at least 67%. This is calculated by dividing completed clock-hours and weeks by scheduled clock-hours and weeks.
    • Maximum Timeframe Standard, i.e. Overall Credit Hours Attempted:
      • Students become ineligible when they cannot complete their program within 150% of its published length in scheduled clock-hours and/or weeks.
  • Students enrolled full-time or part-time in the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI)

    PLEASE NOTE: Only EPI coursework will be evaluated.

    • Qualitative Standard, i.e. Grade Point Average (GPA):
      • Students must achieve a 2.00 cumulative GPA
    • Quantitative Standard, i.e. Completion Rate:
      • Students must achieve an unrounded cumulative completion percentage of at least 67%.
    • Maximum Timeframe Standard, i.e. Overall Credit Hours Attempted:
      • Students become ineligible when they cannot complete the EPI program within 150% of its published length in credit hours.

SAP Statuses

Students may view their SAP status at any time by logging into Lighthouse. Students will be notified via GCSC email each time their SAP status downgrades due to a new calculation. GCSC utilizes the following SAP statuses:

  • SAP Not Yet Reviewed
    When a student has not attempted any post-secondary coursework and therefore cannot have SAP calculated. Students in "SAP Not Yet Reviewed" status ARE eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid.
  • Good FA Standing
    When a student achieves qualitative, quantitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards. Students in "Good FA Standing" status ARE eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid.
  • FA Warning
    When a student in "Good FA Standing" status fails to achieve one or more SAP standards. Students in "FA Warning" status ARE eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid.
  • Financial Aid Suspension
     When a student in "FA Warning", "FA Appeal Approved", "Meeting Academic Plan" or "Financial Aid Suspension" status fails to achieve one or more SAP standards. Please note that students failing to achieve the maximum timeframe SAP standard will be placed into "Financial Aid Suspension" status without being given a warning status. Students in "Financial Aid Suspension" status are NOT eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid.
  • FA Appeal Approved
     When a student in "Needs to be Reviewed" or "Financial Aid Suspension" status submits a SAP appeal and that SAP appeal is approved. Please note that a student in "FA Appeal Approved" status is considered to be "on Probation", and may only be in "FA Appeal Approved" status for one semester/payment period. Students in "FA Appeal Approved" status are still eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid.
  • Meeting Academic Plan
     When a student in "FA Appeal Approved" or "Meeting Academic Plan" status achieves the progress outlined in their approved SAP appeal and academic plan. Students in "Meeting Academic Plan" status ARE eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid.
  • FA Appeal Denied
    When a student submits a SAP appeal and that SAP appeal is denied. Students in "FA Appeal Denied" status are NOT eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid.
  • Needs to be Reviewed
     When a student does not have SAP calculated. Please note that students with missing transcripts will be placed into "Needs to be Reviewed" status. Students in "Needs to be Reviewed" status are NOT eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid and are advised to contact the Financial Aid Office.

sap appeals

A student in ‘Financial Aid Suspension’ status may submit a SAP appeal to the financial aid office. SAP appeals must be approved before the last day of class in the semester/ payment period a student is attempting to reestablish federal aid eligibility for. SAP appeals must include:

  1. Gulf Coast State College’s “Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form
  2. An academic plan worksheet, signed by an academic advisor and the student
  3. A signed/dated letter from the student that –
    1. details the basis for the SAP appeal
    2. describes the unusual circumstances that affected the student’s academic performance and occurred during the periods of time when SAP standards weren't achieved
    3. explains what has changed in the student’s situation d. details the student’s educational goals
  4. Supporting documentation

 SAP appeals will be decided upon by an appeal committee. Students do not have discretion over who participates on their appeal committee. Students must make personal arrangements to pay tuition & fees while awaiting a SAP appeal decision. Students should not assume that their SAP appeal will be approved or that their financial aid is reinstated simply because a SAP appeal was submitted. Additional conditions may be required as part of the appeal committee’s decision.

The appeal committee will attempt to make a decision within fifteen business days of submission of all necessary documentation, unless a student is currently enrolled. Appeals for currently enrolled students will not be reviewed until after their grades post. Students may view their SAP status anytime by logging into Lighthouse and they will be notified by mail of the committee’s decision. The decision of the SAP appeal committee is final and cannot be contested/appealed.

Please note that it is rare for a student to receive more than two SAP appeal approvals at GCSC.

Reestablishing SAP Eligibility without Appealing

Students who are not achieving SAP qualitative and/or quantitative standards may reestablish federal financial aid eligibility without appealing by completing the coursework necessary to achieve SAP standards. Students who are not achieving the SAP maximum timeframe standard for a particular major/degree may not reestablish federal financial aid eligibility for that particular major/degree without appealing.

SAP Financial Aid Holds

Students in danger of going into "Financial Aid Suspension" status may receive a hold that prevents financial aid authorization and disbursement. Such holds will remain in effect until a student’s next SAP calculation. Students will be notified, via email, if they are placed on a SAP financial aid hold. A student with a SAP financial aid hold may request a tuition and fee deferment by contacting the financial aid office and proving that they will reasonably achieve the SAP standards necessary for federal aid awarding/ disbursement at the next SAP calculation.

additional SAP information

  1. Transient courses affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards. Please note that students who fail to submit transient transcripts may be placed directly into "Needs to be Reviewed status.
  2. Study-abroad courses affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards. Please note that students who fail to submit study-abroad transcripts may be placed directly into "Needs to be Reviewed" status.
  3. Accelerated mechanism courses (e.g. Dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, Advanced International Certificate of Education, College-Level Examination Program, DSST, Excelsior, or International Baccalaureate coursework) affect quantitative and maximum timeframe SAP standards.  Those that award specific letter grades will also affect qualitative SAP standards.
  4. Remedial/developmental courses affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  5. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  6. Grades for test-based credits that are counted in a student’s program (e.g. language proficiency tests) affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  7. Repeated courses affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards. Each time a course is repeated counts as an attempt and each time a passing grade is received counts as a completion. Only the latest grade received is used in the grade point average calculation.
  8. Audit courses do not affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  9. No-show grades affect quantitative and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  10. Incomplete grades affect quantitative and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  11. Pass/fail grades affect quantitative, qualitative & maximum timeframe SAP standards.
    1. Pass grades will count as 3.0 quality points for SAP purposes.
    2. Fail grades will count as 0.0 quality points for SAP purposes.

  12. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards. 
    1. Satisfactory grades will count as 3.0 quality points for SAP purposes.
    2. Unsatisfactory grades will count as 0.0 quality points for SAP purposes.

  13. Withdrawals affect quantitative and maximum timeframe SAP standards
  14. Transfer credits affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  15. Courses that are dropped during Drop/Add periods do not affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  16. Courses that are attended and administratively dropped after Drop/Add periods end affect quantitative and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  17. Courses that are not attended and administratively dropped after Drop/Add periods end do not affect quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe SAP standards.
  18. Students with incomplete grade updates must contact the financial aid office to request a SAP recalculation.
  19. Students with grade corrections must contact the financial aid office to request a SAP recalculation.
  20. Students who change majors must contact the financial aid office to request a SAP recalculation.
  21. Students who enroll into a new educational program must contact the financial aid office to request a SAP recalculation.
  22. Students will not receive federal financial aid while retaking an educational program they have previously completed.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Request Form

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