Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that all financial aid recipients progress at a reasonable rate (make satisfactory academic progress) toward achieving a certificate or degree.  Progress is measured by: (1) the student’s cumulative grade point average, (2) pace of progression (the number of credits earned in relation to those attempted), and (3) the maximum time frame allowed to complete the academic program.  These requirements apply to all semesters regardless of whether or not the student received financial aid. Progress is reviewed at the end of each semester.

1.  CUMULATIVE GRADE POINT AVERAGE.   Students who drop below the following minimum cumulative GPA will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  (The cumulative GPA includes credits and GPA transferred from other institutions.)

Number of Credits Attempted   Minimum Cumulative GPA 
                      0-29*                           1.6
                      30-59*                         1.8
                      60 & above                   2.0

*Students in a One Year Certificate program must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.  Progress will be checked after the first semester.  Students in an Associate Degree program must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA after earning 30 or more credits.

2.  PACE OF PROGRESSION.   Students who fail to complete the required 67% of credits attempted will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.

3.  MAXIMUM TIME FRAME.  Maximum time frame for a degree program is 150% of the published number of credits required for that degree program. A students is ineligible for federal and state financial aid when it is determined at an official evaluation that is is mathematically impossible to complete the program within 150% of the length of the program. See the chart below for attempted credit limits.

Degree Attempted   Credit Limit
One-Year Certificate     47
Associate Degree         93
Bachelor’s Degree       186

Note:  Students in the Elementary Education Degree with a Middle School Emphasis and students in the Secondary Education Vocal Music program have a higher attempted credit limit.  See course catalog for published program length.

Students who do not meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of a semester will automatically be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester. Notification of Financial Aid Warning status will be communicated to the student.  Financial aid may still be received during the warning period. At the end of the warning period the student must have achieved satisfactory academic progress as outlined above or financial aid will be terminated. Students will be removed from Financial Aid Warning if they have achieved satisfactory academic progress.

Repeated Courses:  Courses in which the student received a grade of “F” may be repeated and may be eligible for financial aid.  Other courses in which the student received a passing grade may be repeated once and may be eligible for financial aid.  When a course with a passing grade has been repeated, subsequent repeats of the course will not be included in the total number of credits for the semester when determining financial aid eligibility.  Credits attempted in repeated courses will be included in the cumulative credits attempted.

Withdrawn Courses:  Withdrawn courses count towards the cumulative credits attempted.  However, if a student drops a course during the first four weeks in a semester, it does not count towards the cumulative credits attempted unless the student completely withdraws from school.  Students may retake courses from which they have withdrawn.   When retaken, these courses will be included in the total number of credits for the semester when determining financial aid eligibility.

 Incomplete Courses:  Incomplete courses do not earn credit but influence grade point average after they become an Incomplete Fail (“IF”).  Any course listed as Incomplete 30 days after grades are due will be changed to “IF”. Incomplete courses either become an “F” grade if not completed by the last day of classes of the subsequent semester or change to a different letter grade if completed within that time. These credits count in the credits attempted for the semester in which the student was registered for the course.

 Audit Courses:  Audit courses receive no credit and do not influence grade point average.  They are not counted in credits attempted and are not eligible for financial aid.

 Remedial Courses:  Remedial courses will be included in the total number of credits for the semester when determining financial aid eligibility.

 Pass/Fail Courses:  Pass/Fail courses are not calculated in the cumulative GPA but will be included in credits attempted.

 Transfer Students: Transfer credits are calculated into the credits attempted, but are not factored into the cumulative GPA.  If a transfer student does not meet the minimum GPA requirement when progress is evaluated, transfer credits will be calculated into the cumulative GPA.  GPA of transferred credits will continue to be used in the GPA calculation from that point.

 Summer School:  Students attending in the summer semester will have SAP evaluated again at the end of the semester.

 Financial Aid Warning: Students may receive financial aid for the semester they are on warning.  If they fail to meet the necessary SAP requirements at the end of their warning semester, their financial aid will be terminated until they have regained satisfactory progress status.  When a student has been placed on financial aid warning for a semester and has regained SAP at the completion of that semester, that student will be removed from financial aid warning and will be eligible to receive financial aid.

 Financial Aid Termination: Financial aid termination will result in the loss of all federal, state and institutional aid, including grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.  If a student successfully completes a semester without receiving financial aid and meets the SAP requirements, the student will then regain financial aid eligibility. 

 Financial Aid Probation: If a student completes their warning semester and is not meeting the SAP requirements, that student may appeal their status.  If their appeal is approved they would be eligible to receive financial aid during the following semester.  The student would be on financial aid probation status during this semester.

 Academic Plan:  If it is not possible for a student to meet the SAP standards in one semester, a student who appeals may be given an academic plan as an alternative to probation.  This plan would specify a point in time at which the student will be able to meet North Central’s SAP standards.

 Readmitted Students:  If a student is placed on financial aid warning or termination status and does not return the following semester, they will be given the same status if they return at a later date.  When a student withdraws or is dismissed from North Central and is later readmitted, the semester in which they withdrew or were dismissed is included when the student’s satisfactory academic progress status is evaluated.

 Amendments to Policy:  This policy will be amended whenever applicable federal or state laws or regulations are changed. Upon approval of the President and the Financial Advisory Committee, the Financial Aid Director is authorized to incorporate and implement changes required in this policy by federal or state laws or regulations. The Financial Advisory Committee is to be appraised of these changes. Other amendments to the policy, not required by changes in laws or regulations, will be considered through the revision procedures of the Financial Advisory Committee.