Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal Financial Aid Recipients

  • Federal regulations require institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for students receiving financial aid.  Progress is evaluated by both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (completion percentage) measures.  Students are expected to achieve satisfactory grades and progress toward the successful completion of an approved credential in a reasonable period of time and within a reasonable number of credit hours for their program of study.  It is the responsibility each student to be aware of his/her Satisfactory Academic Progress status for financial aid eligibility.  SAP standards require that students meet the following guidelines to maintain eligibility. (Federal financial aid at DCCC includes the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the College Work-Study program and Direct student loans.) 
    (NOTE: THE SAP POLICY published in the 2011-2012/2012-2013 Printed General Catalog & Student Handbook IS NOT ACCURATE due to changes in Federal Regulations the correct policy is detailed below.)
    • Students must maintain a Qualitative standard by maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average(GPA) of 2.0
    • There is also a Quantitative standard requiring successfully completion of 67% (two-thirds) of the cumulative credit hours attempted.  Hours attempted are measured at the 10% (census date) of the term.   Successful completion means the student receives a passing final grade on the DCCC transcript. 
    • There is a Maximum Time Frame that a student has to complete his or her original program of study.  They have 150% of the maximum time frame (measured in credit hours).  This is determined by multiplying the published number of semester hours needed to complete the program by 150% and comparing that to the number of hours you have attempted. When the 150% point is reached, financial aid will cease even if the student is meeting other measures of SAP.
    • It is important to understand how various grades and enrollment decisions impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.
      • Withdrawals – Withdrawals (W), Withdrawal-Failing (WF) and Withdrawal-Passing (WP) will adversely affect a student's SAP by reducing the number of hours successfully completed for a term. 
      • Audits - Audited courses may not be counted towards the total number of hours of enrollment for a term as no credit will be earned. 
      • Transfer Credits - Hours accepted from other institutions and evaluated in the student’s current program are included in the calculation of the maximum time frame.
      • Incompletes - Grades of "I", will not affect a student's GPA at the time of review.  Incompletes are temporary grades and will be replaced with a final grade. Should the grade become final before the review, the actual grade, credits attempted, and credits earned will be used to determine if the student is making SAP.
      • Repeats - Courses may be repeated by students.  When a course is repeated the most recent final grade will be used to determine eligibility.   The prior grade is no longer calculated in to the GPA at DCCC, however, the previous hours attempted will be counted as hours attempted when reviewing SAP completion rate and maximum time frame.  Students may repeat a previously passed course one time and be eligible for aid for the hours.  
      • Summer Courses - Summer Session hours attempted and earned will be included in the calculation of SAP as for any other term.
      • Preparatory (Developmental) Courses - Preparatory courses (courses numbered less than 100) are allowed and calculated in a student’s enrollment status for students needing developmental/skill-building course work.  A maximum of 30 credit hours of preparatory work are allowed and these hours are considered in SAP calculations.  After the maximum has been met, no further federal or state aid may be disbursed for preparatory/developmental hours.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated at the end of each term after final grades have been posted with the Records Office.  Financial Aid student will be notified of their status via their DCCC student
e-mail account.

  • Satisfactory – Students in their first term at DCCC or those who have previously attended and meet or exceed the SAP requirements are considered in satisfactory status for financial aid purposes.
  • Financial Aid Warning - The first term a student fails to meet one or more of these requirements he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  Students placed on financial aid Warning are required to meet with staff from the College’s Advisement Center.  While on financial aid Warning the student may still receive federal financial assistance for the Warning term, but must improve their cumulative academic progress and cumulative GPA to an acceptable level at the end of the term. 
  • Suspension of Financial Aid   - The second or subsequent term a student is not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards he or she will have federal and state financial assistance terminated and no further aid provided.  The cost of attendance will be the responsibility of the student. 
  • SAP Appeals - Students whose financial aid has been terminated due to failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress may submit a written appeal to the Director of Financial Aid if they can document extenuating circumstances impacted their academic performance. 
    • Appeals must be submitted within 30 days of notification of Financial Aid Termination due to SAP.
    • Appeal forms are located here
    • Properly completed and documented SAP Appeals will be reviewed within 15 business days and a response will be sent via the DCCC student e-mail account.
    • Approved Appeals will result in the student being placed in a SAP status of PROBATION on Appeal.  This status holds students to higher term-based standard for SAP evaluation. 
      • Financial Aid Probation students must earn a minimum term-based GPA of 3.0 AND complete 100% of term hours attempted.
      • Those meeting the standard will continue in the Probation on Appeal status and will be evaluated each term until they regain full SATISFACTORY SAP status.
      • Failure to meet the higher standards will result in Suspension of Aid.
    • Appeals denied by the Director of Financial Aid may be subsequently appealed to the Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management, whose decision is final. 
  • Reinstatement After Suspension of Financial Aid – To regain aid after suspension, students seeking reinstatement of financial aid after failing to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards must present evidence of meeting all SAP standards for at least two consecutive terms and include at least 12 total credit hours.
    • Requests for reinstatement of financial aid must be in writing and submitted to the Director of Financial Aid and should include the changing circumstances contributing to the student’s progress.
    • Requests must include an official transcript from a regionally accredited college demonstrating the student meeting all SAP standards since Suspension of Aid and within the last 5 years.
    • Requests for reinstatement will be reviewed within 15 business days of receipt.
    • Students awaiting review of reinstatement requests are responsible for any enrollment charges. Financial aid will not be available, nor students’ school charges held during this time.
    • Students will be notified of the results of the review via the DCCC student e-mail account.
  • Students with questions about their satisfactory academic progress should contact the Financial Aid Office on the second floor of the Mendenhall Building on the main DCCC campus in Lexington.

Financial Aid Office

B.E. Mendenhall Jr. Building

Hours of Operation:
Monday & Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Call Us: 336.249.8186, ext. 6393
Fax Number:

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Financial Aid Priority Date

Fall 2016:

FAFSA Application Priority Date: June 1, 2016
FAFSA File Completion Priority Date: June 15, 2016

Fall 2016 (2nd Session):

FAFSA Application Priority Date: September 1, 2016
FAFSA File Completion Priority Date: September 15, 2016

Spring 2017:

FAFSA Application Priority Date: November 1, 2016
FAFSA File Completion Priority Date: November 15, 2016

Spring 2017 (2nd Session):

FAFSA Application Priority Date: February 1, 2017
FAFSA File Completion Priority Date: February 15, 2017

Summer 2017:

FAFSA Application Priority Date: April 1, 2017
FAFSA File Completion Priority Date: April 15, 2017