Satisfactory Academic Progress
What Is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
To be eligible for federal and state financial aid programs, students are required by the U.S. Department of Education and the State of California to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as they work toward completing their educational objective – certificate, AA or AS degree, or transfer program. The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) has established guidelines to promote timely completion of its educational programs, which are applied to all classes taken in the LACCD.
What Are the SAP Policy Requirements?
- Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher (a "C" average).
- Complete a minimum of 67% of all units attempted (all attempted courses). Withdrawals (W), Incompletes (INC), Fails (F), and No Credit (NCR) are considered non-grades and must be less than 33% of all units attempted.
- Have attempted less than 150% of the units needed to complete the program pursued.
- Have not earned an AA, AS, or higher degree outside of the LACCD.
Who Is Affected by the SAP Policy?
All students who apply for, receive, and/or wish to receive financial aid are affected by the SAP policy and requirements.
All students are monitored for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each semester/session (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring). Federal guidelines require that we count all classes, even if a student was not receiving financial aid at the time they were enrolled. Units from all semesters and terms are counted and evaluated. Also, units from non-LACCD colleges noted on transcripts received by Admissions & Records Offices in the LACCD will be counted and evaluated. Official transcripts from non-LACCD colleges should be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office.
Classes taken at any of the colleges in our District count toward your enrollment status when determining how much you will be disbursed. We therefore hold you accountable for all of the classes that you take within the District.
Which Financial Aid Programs Are Affected by the SAP Requirements?
Programs governed by the LACCD SAP policy include:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Work-Study (FWS)
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Nursing Loan
- Federal Direct Stafford (student) and PLUS Loans (parent)
- Cal Grants (B & C)
- Child Development Grant
- California Chafee Grant
- California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program
The Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver is exempt from these SAP requirements.
Why Is There a 90 Attempted-Units Limit?
Community Colleges are two-year institutions, but some students may take longer. Students are allowed to complete up to 90 units or 150% of the units required for their academic program. Most of our Associates degrees and transfer programs require approximately 60 degree-applicable units to complete. Many certificates require less than 60 units. For example, if a certificate requires 30 units, it must be completed in 45 units or 150%.
The additional units are allowed by the LACCD SAP policy and federal guidelines to provide for unforeseen circumstances. For example, a change of major, prerequisite coursework, or unexpected medical issue may result in a student attempting more than the number of units required to complete his/her academic program.
Program Limits/Educational Goals
Financial Aid will pay for the completion of up to TWO educational goals done within 90 attempted units. This means any combination of certificates, Associates degrees, or transfer program. For example, a student may pursue one Associates degree and a transfer program, but not three educational goals.
Note: Students must be strategic with their units as combining some Associates degrees and transfer programs may exceed 90 units, putting the student into disqualification. Talk to an academic counselor for advice on completing your program(s) of study within 90 units.
Changing Majors/Adding Majors
Students are discouraged from changing their majors and educational goals more than once (certificate, Associates degree, transfer), particularly when the student has accumulated more than 60 units. In most cases, students with over 90 attempted units cumulatively may not be allowed to change majors or add new educational goals and continue getting financial aid.
Students are required to submit all official transcripts from colleges and universities attended outside of the LACCD to the Admissions Office. In some cases, financial aid may request unofficial transcripts from other institutions in order to evaluate financial aid appeals.
All matriculating students (with a goal of earning an Associate's degree or transfer) are required by the state of California to take their Math and English Assessments. Failure to complete your assessments may result in your appeal being denied. Take your Math and English every semester until you are finished to ensure your success and progress in college.
What Happens When a Financial Aid Recipient Does Not Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Minimum Requirements?
Warning Status letters are sent to students who were initially in good standing but now have a cumulative GPA less than 2.0 and/or their cumulative non-grades are greater than 33%. Students who receive Warning letters should see an academic counselor as soon as possible. Students should work with their counselor to determine the steps they can take to improve their GPA and/or percentage of successfully completed classes. A warning letter is exactly what it says: it is a WARNING. Students remain eligible for financial aid for that semester, but they may jeopardize future eligibility if their progress does not improve and meet the SAP standards by the end of that semester.
Advisory letters are sent to students after the end of the semester when the number of units attempted reaches or exceeds forty-five (45). Again, you should see an academic counselor to make sure you are taking the classes you need to reach your educational goal before you reach the 90 attempted-unit maximum.
Disqualification letters are sent to students if they continue to not meet the first or second SAP policy requirements (as noted under the "What Are the SAP Policy Requirements?" section above) after a semester for which they received a Warning Letter. Disqualification letters are also sent to students after they exceed 89 attempted units or they have earned an AA, AS or higher degree outside of the LACCD.
What Is the Procedure If A Student Wants to Appeal a Disqualification from Financial Aid?
Petition for Reinstatement: Students disqualified due to a cumulative substandard GPA (below 2.0) and/or substandard cumulative non-grades (above 33%) must attend a one-time SAP Workshop before submitting their appeal.
Petition for Extension: Students disqualified due to exceeding 89 attempted units and/or having earned an AA/AS degree or higher outside of the LACCD must submit their appeal with an Educational Plan from a LACC counselor.
Students may submit a written appeal petition to the Financial Aid Office explaining why they were unable to meet SAP policy requirements.
There are two (2) levels in the petition process at the college for each type of petition (reinstatement or extension):
- The first-level petition will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee. The result of the petition will generally be provided to the student in writing to the student's LACCD email within 45 calendar days.
- If the first-level petition is denied, the student may submit a second-level petition. During peak periods, which are July through September and January through February, the review process may take up to eight (8) weeks due to the number of petitions received. The second-level petition is reviewed by the Financial Aid Director or his designee. Students will be notified in writing to the student's LACCD email of the result of the petition generally within 14 calendar days.