Satisfactory Academic Progress

How to Keep Receiving Financial Aid

To receive financial aid, all new, transfer, continuing and returning students must demonstrate they are successfully working toward completing their degree program in a timely manner.

Every semester (Fall, Spring and Summer), Houston Community College is required by the federal government to evaluate whether you meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to receive financial aid.

  • In order for you to continue receiving financial aid, you must meet the SAP requirements (see below). 

  • SAP Requirements to maintain your financial aid are not the same as Academic requirements. Please visit a Counseling Department near you for those details. 

  • Don't wait until it's too late before you understand what's needed to keep receiving financial aid (see below). 

SAP Requirements to Receive Financial Aid

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Maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).

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Complete and pass a minimum of ALL 67% of the credit hours attempted. For every class hour you attempt, you MUST complete and pass a minimum of 67% of them. Remember, all “attempted” credit hours is every hour you‘re enrolled, including repeat courses, EVEN courses with grades of “F”, “W”, “I”, or “IP”, and all transfer hours that are being used toward a degree at Houston Community College.

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Complete degree or certificate requirements within 150% of the minimum number of hours required to graduate. The percentage is a bit confusing. Here is a simple equation – multiply the minimum number of credit hours to complete your degree or certificate by 1.5. Let’s say your degree program takes 60 credit hours to graduate. 60 multiplied by 1.5 equals 90. This means to remain eligible for financial aid – you must complete your program with no more than 90 attempted and completed hours.

Next Steps and Options After You Don't Meet SAP Requirements

Warning Status

Warning status means you can still receive financial aid, but you are still at great risk of losing aid if you do not improve your academic performance to meet cumulative requirements (above).

Being placed on warning is a one-time, generous grace period and cautionary warning to remind you what you stand to lose if you do not meet the aid eligibility requirements above.

If you are not meeting cumulative requirements by the next semester, your financial aid will be suspended and you will have to pay out of pocket for classes or submit an appeal explaining your mitigating circumstance of why you fell below the requirements.

Please take heed to this warning period and work as hard as you can to not have your financial aid suspended. We’re rooting for you and here to help you succeed.

 

Financial Aid Suspension Status

WHAT SUSPENSION MEANS FOR YOU

  1. Suspension status unfortunately means you are ineligible to receive any federal and state financial aid funds. This means you no longer are eligible for federal and state grants, loans and Work-Study.

  2. Any funds awarded for the upcoming semester will be cancelled and anticipated aid will be reversed from your student account.

  3. Registered classes are at risk of being cancelled if you do not make other payment arrangements.

 

Appeal Financial Aid Suspension

A LITTLE GRACE: OPTIONS AFTER SUSPENSION

We understand that sometimes there are things out of your control that negatively affect your ability to meet SAP requirements. If there were justifiable reasons or extenuating circumstances that made you unable to meet the GPA and completion requirements noted above, you may submit an online appeal (with supporting documentation) to the financial aid office to regain financial aid eligibility.

Examples of extenuating circumstances include (not limited to):

  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Learning or functional disability
  • Loss of family member
  • Change in work schedule or responsibilities
  • Other unusual event disrupting academic performance


APPEAL INFORMATION

  • Financial Aid SAP Appeals must be based on justifiable reasons or extenuating circumstances that prevented student from meeting SAP requirements.

  • Documentation must be submitted to support the circumstances/reasons. 

  • Please note, the submission of an appeal is only a request and does not guarantee that financial aid eligibility will be reinstated.

  • Appeals for FALL 2019 are due September 9, 2019. Any appeals and supporting documentation submitted after September 9, 2019 will be reviewed and decision made will be effective SPRING 2020 semester or your next semester of enrollment. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to visit your nearest Financial Aid office).

  • If you submitted an appeal for a past semester and then took a break from school, please visit a campus financial aid office for current decision/consideration.

 

The online SAP Appeal Form is available by clicking here

 

Appeal Approved | Probation Status

If the appeal is approved, financial aid may be reinstated with a probation status

ON PROBATION, NOW WHAT?

Probation status means you can still receive financial aid, but you are still at risk of losing aid if you do not meet requirements below each semester.

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) – Get a 2.0 grade point average.

  • Percentage of attempted credit hours completed each semester – Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of the credit hours attempted. For every class hour you attempt, you MUST complete and pass a minimum of 67% of them. Remember, all “attempted” credit hours is every hour you‘re enrolled, including repeat courses, EVEN courses with grades of “F”, “W”, “I”, or “IP”, and all transfer hours that are being used toward a degree at Houston Community College.

  • Maximum credit hours needed to complete a degree or certificateComplete degree or certificate requirements within 150% of the minimum number of hours required to graduate. The percentage is a bit confusing. Here is a simple equation – multiply the minimum number of credit hours to complete your degree or certificate by 1.5. Let’s say your degree program takes 60 credit hours to graduate. 60 multiplied by 1.5 equals 90. This means to remain eligible for financial aid – you must complete your program with no more than 90 attempted and completed hours.

 

HOW YOU WILL LOSE FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY

If you do not meet the requirements (above) during a probationary semester, you will be placed back on financial aid suspension and lose financial aid eligibility at Houston Community College.

If you do meet the requirements, you will remain on probation and eligible to receive financial aid for another semester.   

HOW TO GET OFF PROBATION

The goal of the probation status is to give you the chance to still receive aid while progressing toward meeting SAP status. The core difference between probation and meeting SAP status is the cumulative requirement.  To remain on probation, you must meet the SAP requirements each semester. To get off probation and meet SAP, you must meet these cumulative requirements:  

  • Have cumulative 2.0 GPA.

  • Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of ALL the credit hours attempted. Remember, all “attempted” credit hours is every hour you‘re enrolled, including repeat courses, EVEN courses with grades of “F”, “W”, “I”, or “IP”, and all transfer hours that are being used toward a degree at Houston Community College.

  • Complete degree or certificate requirements within 150% of the minimum number of hours required to graduate (explained above). The percentage is a bit confusing. Here is a simple equation – multiply the minimum number of credit hours to complete your degree or certificate by 1.5. Let’s say your degree program takes 60 credit hours to graduate. 60 multiplied by 1.5 equals 90. This means to remain eligible for financial aid – you must complete your program with no more than 90 attempted and completed hours.

 

Denied Appeal Options

ASK THE COMMITTEE
After a denied appeal, you also have the option to resubmit an appeal for committee review. Before submitting an appeal to the committee, we strongly encourage you to obtain details of your denied appeal from your campus financial aid office.

You have 14 days from the date of this notification to submit a committee appeal by contacting your campus financial aid office to get a committee appeal form

All committee decisions are final.  If the committee appeal is denied, no further appeals will be accepted and you will have to pay out-of-pocket until the cumalative requirements below are met

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) – Get a 2.0 grade point average.

  • Percentage of attempted credit hours completed each semester – Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of the credit hours attempted. For every class hour you attempt, you MUST complete and pass a minimum of 67% of them. Remember, all “attempted” credit hours is every hour you‘re enrolled, including repeat courses, EVEN courses with grades of “F”, “W”, “I”, or “IP”, and all transfer hours that are being used toward a degree at Houston Community College.

  • Maximum credit hours needed to complete a degree or certificate – Complete degree or certificate requirements within 150% of the minimum number of hours required to graduate. The percentage is a bit confusing. Here is a simple equation – multiply the minimum number of credit hours to complete your degree or certificate by 1.5. Let’s say your degree program takes 60 credit hours to graduate. 60 multiplied by 1.5 equals 90. This means to remain eligible for financial aid – you must complete your program with no more than 90 attempted and completed hours.

 

Current HCC SAP policy from Houston Community College