Financial Aid Services at College of San Mateo - Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
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Financial Aid Services
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements 2012-2013

Federal and State financial aid regulations require College of San Mateo (CSM), to establish, publish and apply qualitative, quantitative and incremental standards by which CSM can determine whether a student requesting and/or receiving financial aid is maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study. Financial Aid recipients are required to have a declared major and enrollment in a Title IV eligible program.

Qualitative: The quality of a student’s academic progress is measured by the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. Courses completed with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P will be considered acceptable for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Quantitative: The CSM Financial Aid Office measures academic progress by the cumulative number of units a student has attempted and completed.

A. Maximum Time Frame: All financial aid students will be expected to complete their program within 150% of the published length of the program. Students enrolled in 60 unit AA/AS, 4-year transfer, or vocational programs will be expected to complete their program by the time they attempt 90 units. Students enrolled in vocational programs of less than 60 units will be given a maximum time frame (attempted units) that is 150% of their chosen program's length.

B. Pace Rate: It is expected that financial aid students will make continuous and steady progress towards their educational goals, referred to as Pace Rate. To measure whether students are progressing in their course of study within the maximum time frame, SMCCD will evaluate the Pace Rate of financial aid students after each term (Fall, Spring and Summer). At the end of each term, students will be expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted. Classes with grades of A, B, C, D, and P (Pass) are considered to have been completed. Classes with grades of F, NP (No Pass), I (incomplete), and RD (grade delayed) will not be considered as completed. All classes taken at other institutions through a consortium agreement will also be included in the Pace Rate assessment.

Academic Load

Full-time
(100%)

Three quarters-time
(75%)

Half-time
(50%)

Less than half-time

Minimum Unit Requirement

12 units or more

9-11.5 units

6-8.5 units

.5 up to 5.5

 


Associate Degree or Transfer Program maximum time frame is 90 units.

Increments: The academic progress of financial aid students will be evaluated after each payment period. Progress will be evaluated after grades for the previous term are posted.

Financial Aid Warning: When the academic progress of financial aid students is evaluated, students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0 OR whose cumulative Pace Rate is below 67% will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. In addition, students who are either transferring to a SMCCD college or who are continuing SMCCD students, but never previously applied for financial aid, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning if their cumulative GPA is below 2.0 OR if their cumulative Pace Rate is below 67%. Students on Financial Aid Warning will be eligible for financial aid during the term that they are placed on warning. After the warning term, if a student's GPA AND/OR Pace Rate meet the District's minimum standard, the student will no longer be on Financial Aid Warning. Students who do not meet the GPA and Pace Rate standard will be deemed ineligible and required to appeal. If the appeal is approved, they will be placed on Financial aid Probation.

Financial Aid Probation: Students who have two consecutive or three cumulative evaluations where they fail to maintain the minimum GPA OR Pace Rate requirements will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. In addition, students who exceed the maximum time frame will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.

Other Requirements

Repeated courses: Students are allowed to repeat classes for financial aid purposes, provided the classes are allowed under the SMCCD repeat policy as specified in the college catalog. All repeated courses will be included in the maximum time frame assessment, the cumulative GPA assessment, and the cumulative Pace Rate assessment.

Transfer courses: All courses taken at other institutions will be included in the maximum time frame assessment, the cumulative GPA assessment, and the cumulative Pace Rate assessment, provided the courses will apply toward degree or certificate requirements. Courses at proprietary and trade schools will generally not be accepted for credit toward SMCCD degree or certificate requirements. Upper division courses from four-year colleges and universities will be counted when calculating maximum time frame. All students with bachelor degrees will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded. Foreign courses will be counted if they have been professionally evaluated and accepted by the district. Students with a foreign bachelor’s degree will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded.

English as a Second Language (ESL): ESL courses will not be counted when determining the remaining maximum time frame for a student. The academic progress in ESL courses will be considered when assessing both the student's cumulative GPA and Pace Rate.

Remedial courses: The first 30 remedial English and math units attempted will not be counted when determining the remaining maximum time frame for a student. The academic progress in these remedial courses will be considered when assessing both the student's cumulative GPA and cumulative Pace Rate.

Incomplete courses: "I" (incomplete) grades will be considered as "attempted," but will not be considered to have been "completed." If a student's "I" grade changes during a term, it is the student's responsibility to inform the financial aid office of the change. If the change of grade will affect the student's financial aid eligibility, a recalculation to determine eligibility will be conducted during the term. If the change of grade will not impact eligibility the new grade will not be factored into the cumulative Pace Rate until the next incremental assessment.

Special (SAP) Considerations:

Pace Rate calculation is as follows:

Units Completed = Pace Rate
Units Attempted

Withdrawals and Grades of “Incomplete”: Students who withdraw from classes or receive grades of "incomplete" will have those classes included in the "Pace Rate calculation." "Withdrawals" and "incompletes" will be included with all other classes attempted.

Grades of “F” and “NP”: Students who receive grades of "F" or "NPt" do not receive units for the classes attempted, but the units will be counted towards the maximum time frame. Note, “F” grades will be used in calculating the GPA.

Grades of “D” or better and “P”: Students who receive grades of "D" or better and "P" will receive units for the classes attempted. Thus, these classes would be considered to have been completed and will be used on calculating the maximum time frame, Pace Rate and GPA.

Repeated Courses: CSM Financial Aid will follow the SMCCD policy regarding repeated courses.

Progress in Summer Session: A student's progress in summer session will be counted when assessing cumulative Pace Rate and cumulative GPA.

Please Note: Students who have been placed on suspension may appeal SAP requirements to request reinstatement of financial aid.

For details regarding the appeal process and a full copy of the SAP Policy, please click below: SAP Policy (2012-2013)

Questions please contact:

Financial Aid Office, located in Bldg 10- Room 360
Telephone: (650) 574-6146
Fax: (650) 574-6304
Email: csmfinancialaid@smccd.edu