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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy as of 7/1/2011

Effective July 1, 2011, the Federal Department of Education revised its policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  Massasoit Community College has rewritten the college’s financial aid SAP policies accordingly. Beginning June 1, 2011, the College is moving to an annual, rather than a semester review of a student’s SAP.  Students on SAP Probation or Warning who are enrolled during the 2011 summer sessions may be reviewed on a semester basis. As of July 1, 2011 students who are on SAP Warning or Probation after Appeal will be reviewed on a semester basis to ensure their compliance with federal and institutional policies. Students in certificate programs may also be reviewed on a semester basis to comply with federal regulations.


There are three components, or standards of progress; GPA, completion rate or progress towards a degree, and maximum time frame. A student must be maintaining all three standards to continue receiving financial assistance. These requirements are considered separate from the academic requirements a student must maintain to remain as a degree student at Massasoit.

1.  Completion Rate

A student’s academic progress towards a degree or certificate is measured by comparing the number of earned credits with attempted credits. Credits attempted include all courses taken by a student whether paid for with financial aid funds or taken within a degree program except as noted below. Credits earned are credits associated with classes successfully completed (received a grade of A, B, C, D, or P).

Credits earned ÷ credits attempted = completion rate %. For example, a student enrolls in or “attempts” 12cr. in the semester and then withdraws from one 3 credit course and passes the remaining three courses. That student’s completion rate is 9 cr ÷ 12cr. = 75%.

A student must successfully complete at least 67% of those credits.

The following are considered when evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress:
  Withdrawals, incompletes, and failures are considered attempted but not earned hours. Students with Incomplete classes may be able to continue on probation for 1 semester while completing the course requirements.
  Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
  Repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours. A student is allowed to repeat a course according to federal course repeat policy. (See the Repeat Course Policy)
  Audited courses are not considered credits attempted or earned.
  English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are included in the calculation of both attempted
and earned hours.
  Transfer credits, including those received during consortium study, do not count in the calculation of the cumulative GPA, but are included in the calculation of completion rate and maximum time frame to complete a degree (see item 3 below).

2.  Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

A student must attain a minimum cumulative GPA based on the total number of credit hours attempted.
1.00 for 1 -15 semester hours attempted
1.60 for 16-30 semester hours attempted
1.75 for 31-45 semester hours attempted
2.00 for 46+ semester hours attempted

3.  Maximum Time Frame

A student must complete his or her educational program within a time frame no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program. At Massasoit Community College we count this time frame in credits rather than in time increments. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received or the course work was successfully completed. Remedial courses may be excluded from the number of maximum time frame credits once a student appears to be exceeding their maximum time frame. A student will not be eligible to receive financial aid once he/she has attempted 150% of the credits required for his/her degree or certificate program, or if it appears he/she cannot attain a degree or certificate within this time frame.

For example, a student in a program requiring 60 credit hours for graduation will be eligible for financial aid only during the first 90 attempted credit hours (60cr. x 150% = 90cr.). For students in programs with different credit hour requirements, the maximum time frame will be adjusted accordingly.

Students must be taking courses which count toward their degree program to be eligible for financial assistance. Care should be taken to register only for courses listed on the appropriate degree requirements sheet for the student’s current degree or certificate program.

SAP Reviews

Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid will be reviewed after the spring semester each year. Students not meeting the requirements stated above will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and be ineligible to receive financial assistance. There is no “warning” period as of July 1, 2011.

Financial Aid Suspension - If a student does not meet all of the above standards, he/she is no longer eligible for financial aid. If a student reaches the maximum time frame or it is determined to be mathematically impossible for the student to obtain their degree or certificate within the maximum time frame, he/she is no longer eligible to receive state or federal financial aid.

Regaining Eligibility - A student may regain eligibility by taking and paying for his/her classes, and raising his/her cumulative GPA and completion rate to meet the above standards.

Appeal Procedure

To appeal the Financial Aid Suspension, a student should submit a signed and dated SAP Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office within ten days of being notified of his/her suspended status. Valid reasons for an appeal include extenuating circumstances such as a medical emergency, severe health issues, severe personal or family problems, financial or personal catastrophe, etc., change of major, or return for a second degree or certificate.

If a student bases an appeal on a change of program, only the hours from the previous program(s) that count toward the student’s new program requirements, plus any prior attempts of those courses, are included in the calculation of maximum time frame. Two program changes will be considered valid for financial aid SAP purposes. All courses from the third different program on will be counted toward a student’s maximum time frame. Students pursuing a second associate’s degree, or transferring credits into Massasoit will have a maximum of ten courses from their prior degree and/or institution used to satisfy their second degree requirements. This is the same as Massasoit’s academic policy for all students pursuing a second associate degree or transferring credits.

Documentation verifying the situation should be attached to the SAP Appeal Form (e.g., doctor’s letter, hospital records, police records, unemployment statements, etc.) SAP Appeals will not be considered if they are incomplete. Appeals will be reviewed by the SAP Appeal Committee along with the Director of Financial Aid. All attempts will be made to review the appeal within thirty days of receipt.

If a student’s SAP Appeal is granted, one of two things will occur:

  1. The student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation after Appeal and be given the opportunity to raise their cum gpa and/or completion rate to Good SAP Standing standards. This opportunity will only be given to students who can, through hard work, return to Good SAP Progress within one semester.

  2. The student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation After Appeal and will develop with an academic advisor an Academic Plan to return them to Good SAP Progress standing within an appropriate time period.

  3. While on Financial Aid Probation After Appeal, a student may continue to receive financial aid. At the end of each probationary semester the student will be:

    • Removed from Financial Aid Probation After Appeal if the cumulative GPA is raised to or above that required to be in good standing, and a minimum completion rate of 67% is reached, or

    • Continued on Financial Aid Probation After Appeal if all the requirements of the Academic Plan are satisfactorily met, or

    • Placed on Financial Aid Suspension if all the requirements of the Academic Plan are not met.
A student may be able to raise his/her cum gpa and/or satisfy credit deficiencies by taking additional coursework at Massasoit Community College while not receiving financial aid. Students may also consider whether a change in degree program is appropriate.
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