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Satisfactory Academic Standing (SAP) Policy

The purpose of SAP standards is to ensure students are progressing toward completing their program in a timely manner. A student’s SAP status affects their ability to enroll in classes and/or receive financial aid. All students will be evaluated for their SAP status at the conclusion of each term. SAP is measured by three federal standards:

  • Minimum Cumulative GPA (cGPA) – All students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. 
  • Minimum Cumulative Credit Completion Pace (cPace) – All students must complete (grades of A, B, C, D or P) at least two-thirds, or 66.67%, of their total attempted RCC credits.
  • Maximum Time Frame – Students may receive financial aid for up to 150% of their program length e.g. An associate degree with a program length of 90 credit hours must be completed within 135 attempted credit hours (90 x 150% = 135). Once an associate’s degree or higher is earned, financial aid cannot pay for any more credits until an appeal has been approved.
     

GOOD ACADEMIC STANDING

Students who have at least a 2.0 cGPA and a 66.67% cPace will be considered in Good Academic Standing. Students who are receiving financial aid must also meet the Maximum Time Frame requirement.

ACADEMIC ALERT I STATUS

Students who fail to meet the cGPA and/or cPace standard will be placed on Academic Alert I status and still qualify for enrollment and financial aid. These students will receive an Academic Alert I notification reminding them of the SAP policy requirements along with a list of academic resources.  At the end of their next term enrolled, students who meet the minimum cGPA and cPace standards advance to Good Standing, and students who are unsuccessful at meeting the minimum standards move to Academic Alert II/Financial Aid Suspension status.

ACADEMIC ALERT II/FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION STATUS

Students who are on Academic Alert I status who do not successfully move toward Good Academic Standing status are immediately placed on Academic Alert II/Financial Aid Suspension status. The student will receive a Registration Hold, preventing enrollment in future terms, until they meet with a Counselor. Students on Academic Alert II/Financial Aid Suspension status will not be eligible for financial aid unless they successfully appeal for financial aid reinstatement.

ACADEMIC SUSPENSION STATUS

Students who are on Academic Alert II/Financial Aid Suspension status who do not successfully move toward Good Academic Standing status are immediately placed on Academic Suspension status, which suspends enrollment at RCC. The student will receive a Registration Hold and must sit out a term before being eligible to submit an Academic Return Appeal to be reinstated for a future term, unless the student has been making progress towards returning to good academic standing by successfully passing 100% of their classes with a C or better in their last three terms. Students who meet this criterion will automatically be placed on a Probation status (not financial aid eligible), immediately after their Academic Suspension status. These students will be eligible to take classes in the upcoming term and do not have to submit an appeal (see Probation Status section).

Students who have not passed all of their classes in the last three terms, but did pass 100% of their classes with a C or better in their most recent term will not be required to sit out one term and will be emailed a Fast Track Reinstatement appeal for immediate reinstatement.

SECOND OR MORE ACADEMIC SUSPENSION

Students academically suspended more than once will receive a Registration Hold and must sit out a term before being eligible to submit an Academic Return Appeal requesting to be reinstated. A student must appeal for reinstatement in-person or via a web conference to the Academic Reinstatement Committee.

MAX TIME FRAME/FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION

Students who cannot complete their program in the maximum 150% allotted credit time frame or have already earned at least an Associate’s degree will be placed on a Max Time Frame Financial Aid Suspension status. Students are not eligible for financial aid in this status unless they successfully appeal for financial aid reinstatement. This status will not appear on student’s transcripts. This is a separate SAP status that may be concurrent to one of the SAP statuses listed above.

REESTABLISHING FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY

Students placed on Academic Alert II/Financial Aid Suspension status may reestablish financial aid eligibility with an approved Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal. The appeal must describe the extenuating circumstances that led to losing their financial aid eligibility, including any supporting documentation, and explain what they will do differently to ensure success in future terms.  Students who successfully submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal and are approved for financial aid reinstatement will be placed on a Probation (Aid Eligible) status. If at the end of the term the student does not meet good academic standing requirements by having at least a 2.0 cGPA and at least a 66.67% cPace, they will be placed on an Academic Suspension status, and they will not be eligible for financial aid.

Students who have already completed an Associate’s degree or higher, or who cannot complete their program within 150% of their program length, will be placed on a Max Time Frame/Financial Aid Suspension status. To be considered for financial aid eligibility, students must submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal requesting further access to aid. If approved, the provisions of the appeal must be met each term. Students must only register in classes required to complete their program and they must successfully complete all classes with a grade of A, B, C or P in order to maintain their financial aid eligibility.

REESTABLISHING ELIGIBILITY FOR ENROLLMENT

After sitting out one or more terms, students placed on Academic Suspension status may reestablish enrollment eligibility by submitting an Academic Return Packet. The appeal must describe the situation that led to losing their enrollment eligibility, including any supporting documentation, and explain what they will do differently to ensure success in future terms.   Note: Students who are making progress towards returning to good academic standing by successfully passing all of their classes with at least a grade of C or higher in their most recent term, will be given an option to immediately appeal for academic reinstatement. Students who qualify for this option will be emailed a Fast Track Academic Reinstatement appeal.

ACADEMIC REINSTATEMENT DECISIONS

The Academic Reinstatement Committee will review appeals and notify the student of the decision. If approved, the student is placed on a Probation status. If denied, the student will remain on Academic Suspension status and will not be eligible to re-enroll and/or receive financial aid for at least one term. After taking a term off, the student has the right to re-appeal, and must describe what they are doing differently to be successful. A student may appeal the decision of the Academic Reinstatement Committee in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs within 7 working days of the date of notification of the decision of the Academic Reinstatement Committee.  Students may appeal based on new information that was not provided to the Reinstatement Committee.

The following information is used to determine a student’s SAP status:

  • Successful grades include A, B, C, and P 
  • Unsuccessful grades include D, F, I, NP, W, and Y
     

Please note the following information when determining your eligibility for enrollment and financial aid:

  • Retaking a Course – While on aid, a course may be retaken ONCE for aid purposes (for example, if you earned a grade lower than a “C”).  Retaken classes are counted as part of your credit completion pace and the maximum credit hour limit. 
  • Incomplete Grades – Incomplete grades are counted as attempted credits when calculating cPace. Once an incomplete grade is updated to a standard grade, the student’s SAP status is evaluated and adjust accordingly.
     

PROBATION STATUS

Students who have successfully passed 100% of their classes with a C or better in their last three terms, but have below a 2.0 cGPA and/or below a 66.67% cPace rate will automatically be placed on a Probation status (not financial aid eligible), immediately after their Academic Suspension status. These students may enroll in classes for the upcoming term, and as long as they successfully pass 100% of their classes with a C or better grade, they will remain in a Probation status until they meet good standing requirements. Students on a probation status who do not meet the good standing requirements and who do not successfully pass 100% of their classes with a C or better will be academically suspended again (see Second or More Academic Suspension section).

All other students who are in an Academic Suspension status who successfully submit an Academic Return Packet or submit a Fast Track Reinstatement appeal and are approved for reinstatement will be placed on a Probation status (not financial aid eligible), and they will have an academic plan designed to bring the student back into good academic standing. Under the academic plan, students will be limited in the number of classes they may take. If a student meets the requirements of their academic plan, they will remain on probation status until they have at least a 66.67% cPace rate and a 2.0 cGPA. Students who do not fulfill the requirements of their academic plan will be academically suspended again (see Second or More Academic Suspension section).

PROBATION (AID ELIGIBLE) STATUS

Students on an Academic Suspension status who successfully submit an Academic Return Packet or a Fast Track Reinstatement appeal and are approved for both academic and financial aid reinstatement will be placed on a Probation (Aid Eligible) status, they will have an academic plan designed to bring the student back into good academic standing. Under the academic plan, students will be limited in the number of classes they may take. Students who are placed on Probation (Aid Eligible) must meet the requirements of their academic plan. If a student meets these requirements, they will be moved to a Probation status (not financial aid eligible) until they have at least a 66.67% cPace rate and a 2.0 cGPA. Students may re-appeal for financial aid reinstatement by completing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form.

Students who do not fulfill the requirements of their academic plan will be academically suspended again (see Second or More Academic Suspension section).