Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal and state regulations require that students receiving financial aid make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their degree or certificate program.  There are three components, or standards of progress: grade point average (GPA), completion rate or progress towards a degree, and maximum time frame. A student must maintain all three standards to continue receiving financial assistance. These requirements are considered separate from the academic requirements a student must maintain to remain as a degree student at Massasoit.

  1. Completion Rate/Pace

A student’s pace of progression towards a degree or certificate is measured by comparing the number of earned credits with the number of attempted credits.  To be eligible for financial aid, a student must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted credit hours.

Credits attempted include all courses taken by a student whether paid for with financial aid funds or taken within a degree program except as noted below. Credits earned are credits associated with classes successfully completed (received a grade of A, B, C, D, or P).

Credits earned ÷ credits attempted = completion rate percentage. For example, if a student enrolls in or “attempts” twelve credits in the semester and successfully completes, or earns, nine of those credits, the student’s completion rate is 9 ÷ 12 = 75%.  If a student completes six out of nine credits, the student’s completion rate is 6 ÷ 9 = 66.67%.  Standard rounding rules apply, so this result would be rounded up to 67%.

When evaluating a student’s pace of progression:

  • Withdrawals, incompletes, and failures are considered attempted but not earned
  • Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits. Failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
  • Repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours. A student is allowed to repeat a course according to federal course repeat policy. (See the  Repeat Course Policy)
  • Audited courses are not considered credits attempted or earned.
  • Remedial Coursework/Developmental courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
  • Transfer credits, including those received during consortium study, do not count in the calculation of the cumulative GPA, but are included in the calculation of completion rate and maximum time frame to complete a degree (see item 3 below).
  • Gateway to College and Dual Enrollment courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

 A student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA based on the total number of credit hours attempted at Massasoit.  Transfer credits are excluded when determining credit hours attempted.

  • 1.0 for            1 -15 semester hours attempted
  • 1.66 for         16-30 semester hours attempted
  • 1.75 for          31-45 semester hours attempted
  • 2.0 for               46+ semester hours attempted

All courses for which a student receives a letter grade (A-F) are included when measuring GPA, including remedial/developmental courses, ESL courses, Gateway courses, and Dual Enrollment courses.

  1. Maximum Time Frame

 A student must complete his or her educational program within a time frame no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program. At Massasoit Community College we count this time frame in credits rather than in time increments. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received, or the course work was successfully completed.  Remedial courses may be excluded from the number of maximum time frame credits once a student appears to be exceeding their maximum time frame. A student will not be eligible to receive financial aid once he/she has attempted 150% of the credits required for his/her degree or certificate program, or if it appears he/she cannot attain a degree or certificate within this time frame.

For example, a student in a program requiring 60 credit hours for graduation will be eligible for financial aid only during the first 90 attempted credit hours (60cr. x 150%  =  90cr.). For students in programs with different credit hour requirements, the maximum time frame will be adjusted accordingly.

Students must be taking courses that count toward their degree program to be eligible for financial assistance. Care should be taken to register only for courses listed on the appropriate Academic Map for the student’s current degree or certificate program.

SAP Review/Frequency of Evaluation

 Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid will be reviewed after the Spring semester each year for students in degree programs, and after every payment period for students in certificate programs and those on Financial Aid Probation.

Students not meeting the requirements stated above will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible to receive financial assistance, including federal loans.

Reinstatement/Regaining eligibility

A student may be able to raise his/her cumulative GPA and/or satisfy credit deficiencies by taking additional coursework at Massasoit Community College while not receiving financial aid, or by transferring in credits from other institutions. 

SAP Appeal Process

Students that are placed on Financial Aid Suspension have the right to appeal this decision if significant extenuating circumstances (serious personal health issues, death in immediate family, etc.) contributed to their inability to meet SAP standards. Students may also appeal if they have exceeded the maximum time frame due to a change in program, or if they are returning for a second certificate or degree.

To file an appeal, students must submit a completed Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and documentation supporting the circumstances cited in the appeal.  Incomplete appeals and appeals without appropriate documentation (i.e. – letter from doctor, hospital records, police records, unemployment statements, obituaries, etc.) will not be considered.

If a student bases an appeal on a change of program, only the hours from the previous program(s) that count toward the student’s new program requirements, plus any prior attempts of those courses, are included in the calculation of maximum time frame. Two program changes will be considered valid for financial aid SAP purposes.  All courses from the third different program on will be counted toward a student’s maximum time frame.

Students pursuing a second associate degree, or transferring credits into Massasoit will have a maximum of fifteen courses (or up to 75% of the new program) from their prior degree and/or institution used to satisfy their second degree requirements. This is the same as Massasoit’s academic policy for all students pursuing a second associate degree or transferring credits.

The deadline to submit SAP appeals for the Fall semester is November 3rd.   Appeals received after this date will be considered for the Spring semester only.

The deadline to submit SAP appeals for the Spring semester is March 15th.   Appeals received after this date will be considered for the next semester of enrollment, either Summer or Fall.

The deadline to submit SAP appeals for the Summer sessions is May 3rd.  Appeals received after this date will be considered for the Fall semester only.

If a SAP Appeal is granted, one of two things will occur:

  1. The student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and be given the opportunity to raise his or her cumulative GPA and/or completion rate by the end of the semester, without having an academic plan.  This  option will be used sparingly and only for students that are expected to be making SAP by the next payment period.
  2. The student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will be required to follow an “Academic Plan” designed to return them to good standing within an appropriate time period.

While on Financial Aid Probation, a student may continue to receive financial aid, provided that he or she is otherwise eligible.  At the end of each probationary semester the student will be:

  • Removed from Financial Aid Probation if the student is meeting minimum SAP requirements, OR
  • Continued on Financial Aid Probation if the student is not meeting minimum SAP requirements but met all requirements of his or her academic plan, OR
  • Placed on Financial Aid Suspension if the student is not meeting minimum SAP requirements and did not meet all requirements of his or her academic plan.

Academic Forgiveness

The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic forgiveness.  Therefore, Massasoit will consider all of a student’s course grades, even those grades that are not included are removed from their Grade Point Average (GPA) through Academic Forgiveness when evaluating a student’s academic progress for financial aid purposes.

Completion of Degree Requirements

Once a student completes the academic requirements for a program, the student is considered to have completed the program and is no longer eligible for Title IV funds for that program (even if the degree is not yet conferred).

However, students that have completed their degree requirements, but have not received their degree, may still receive aid for an eligible repeat course provided they are still within their maximum timeframe and are otherwise eligible.  Please see the Course Repeat Policy for additional information.

Subsequent Degrees

Satisfactory academic progress for students who matriculate into a second or subsequent degree or eligible certificate programs will be based on their cumulative academic record.  However, for the purposes of measuring maximum timeframe, only those courses that are applicable to the student’s current major will be included.  Credits earned in a prior degree or certificate program, and credits transferred into Massasoit, that are not applicable to the student’s new degree or certificate program will not be included.

Consortium agreements/SACHEM

Courses taken under a written agreement (e.g., a consortium or contractual agreement) will be treated like transfer credits for the purposes of measuring SAP.  Grades received in these classes will be included when measuring a student’s completion rate/pace as well as maximum timeframe, but they will not be included when measuring grade point average.