Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)


In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at a pace that ensures they complete their degree within the maximum time frame allowed (as measured by credit completion rates). The second requirement is to maintain good academic standing (as measured by cumulative GPA). Students’ records will be reviewed on an annual basis after the completion of the spring semester to assess compliance with this policy. All semesters of enrollment, including summer and periods in which the student did not receive federal student aid funds will be considered in the determination of SAP.

Students not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (either the pace and/or GPA requirement) will have their financial aid eligibility suspended for all aid types. Students whose aid eligibility has been suspended have the option to appeal to the Financial Aid Review Board for reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility. Students who are academically dismissed from the college are automatically recognized as failing to meet SAP standards.

Pace: Students must successfully complete at least 67% of the total credits they enroll in. Successful completion of credit hours for undergraduate students means earning passing grades (D- and above, and P). For graduate students passing grades (A, B, B- and P) are calculated as successful. Unsuccessful completion of credit hours is grades of F, NP, W and I. Remedial courses are not counted in the SAP calculation. Transfer credits must be counted as both attempted and completed credits for the calculation of pace and maximum time-frame, but do not affect GPA.

Undergraduate and graduate students may repeat previously passed courses just once and may repeat failed courses until receiving a passing grade and be allowed to receive financial aid for the repeat. All repeat attempts are however included in the pace and maximum time frame calculations.

Example: Calculation of Pace requirement.

If you attempt/enroll in a total of 30 credits during the fall and spring semesters, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits.  Calculate using 30 credits x 67% = 20 credits. This is the minimum that must be completed.

Grade Point Average (GPA): Undergraduate students with fewer than 30 attempted credits must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 1.75. Students with 30 or more attempted credits must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Cumulative GPA includes all terms of your enrollment at JSC. (The GPA requirement is mandated by Financial Aid Regulations and is not the same as the college's Academic Standing Policy.)

Maximum Time Frame: To receive aid students must complete their degree within a time frame of no longer than 150% of the credits required. This includes credits attempted at JSC and transfer credits. See below for differences between Associates, Bachelors and Master degrees.

AA or AS degrees require 60 credits to meet graduation requirements; the maximum number of credits allowed for financial aid eligibility is 90. (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits)

BA, BFA and BS degrees require 120 credits to meet graduation requirements; the maximum number for financial aid eligibility is 180 credits. (120 credits x 150% = 180 credits)

MA degree time frames are determined by program.

Notification of Aid Suspension: Students whose aid has been suspended will receive notification mailed to their home address and by email. The notification will explain which SAP requirement(s) have not been met as well as instructions for the appeal process. Students do not have to appeal if they no longer want financial aid.

Types of Aid Suspended: All federal aid; Pell Grants, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Work-study, Perkins, Direct subsidized or unsubsidized student loans, Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS Loans, State Incentive Grants, JSC Institutional Grants, JSC Scholarships, as well as Private Educational Loans. This may also apply to scholarships/loans from an outside resource. JSC scholarships that have specific requirements in order to maintain eligibility (GPA for example) will not be reinstated even with an appeal approval.

Appeal Process:  Students who elect to submit an appeal must explain why they failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make Satisfactory Academic Progress going forward.  Include the reason(s) your academic performance was affected; such as extenuating circumstances you feel had an impact; some examples may be illness, death of a family member etc. A typed one page explanation with your name and Student ID# is required. Third party documentation that can substantiate the circumstances is strongly recommended. In most cases no more than two appeals will be considered and only if the student has new information to provide.

Appeals will be reviewed by the JSC Financial Aid Review Board; please note that submission of an appeal does not mean it is approved. Items considered will be the student’s ability to meet the required Pace and/or GPA after a one semester probationary period, the ability of the student to complete his/her degree within the maximum timeframe, and/or the student’s ability and willingness to adhere to specific stipulations of an academic plan created with an advisor.

If a student’s appeal is approved, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be reinstated on a probationary basis; aid will be awarded per payment period. Progress will be checked at the end of each payment period/semester to see if SAP standards are now met or an academic plan is being adhered to; this includes summer terms.

Notification of Decision: Students will only be notified via their JSC email account.

it is the student’s responsibility to monitor their JSC email account. Students are encouraged to observe all routine application procedures and deadlines for financial aid while waiting for notification of a decision. If an appeal is not granted a student may re-establish eligibility to be considered for federal aid in the future by attending JSC without financial aid assistance until the SAP policy requirements are meet. The decision of the JSC Financial Aid Review Board is final and may not be appealed.

How to avoid Satisfactory Academic Progress problems from the start of your enrollment:

  • Plan your class schedule and workload carefully so you do not need to withdraw from courses.

  • If you need to withdraw from a course check with your advisor and the financial aid office first.

  • Your grades are important, take your education seriously and get assistance if you are struggling in a class.

  • Remember loans must be repaid; do not go into debt and have nothing to show for it.