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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic ProgressIn accordance with Federal and State regulations, these guidelines apply to all students requesting Title IV funds regardless of whether the student has previously received Title lV aid. SAP provides qualitative, quantitative and incremental standards by which the college can determine that students receiving federal financial aid funds are maintaining the satisfactory academic progress required for their program of study. Failure to maintain SAP will result in loss of financial assistance other than the California College Promise Grant (a.k.a. the BOG Fee Waiver).

Financial aid recipients are required to meet Mt. San Antonio College's Satisfactory Academic Progress policies in order to remain eligible for financial aid.

If you need additional assistance in meeting SAP requirements, Mt. SAC has numerous academic resources that support Mt. SAC students in various subjects, including in the evenings and weekend. To learn more about the different tutoring services on campus, please visit: Mt. SAC Tutoring Centers.

  • Complete 67% of attempted units, maintain a cumulative GPA to at least 2.0, and be under the maximum time frame for their program of study.

Mt. SAC Satisfactory Academic Progress Process


Repeat Courses:

We will pay for failed courses and count the units in SAP, up to the maximum allowed by the College. Once a student passes a course, however, we will only pay for one subsequent attempt. Both attempts, even if aid was not received, will count in the SAP calculation.

If a student transfers in course work from other institutions, we will count all attempted units accepted in SAP calculation, for both progress and maximum time frame. Any student who contests units as not degree applicable, will need to follow the maximum time frame appeal process as outlined below.

Warning Status:

When a student is not meeting SAP, Mt. SAC College will offer 1 semester (maximum) of financial aid warning before aid is disqualified for progress. There is no financial aid warning for maximum time frame.

Students who fail to complete SAP standards for progress (indicated above) will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. This is a warning to students and will not affect their financial aid. If, while on Financial Aid Warning, students fail to meet the SAP standards for the second time they will be placed on Disqualified status and all aid for the term will be cancelled, with the exception of the California College Promise Grant (a.k.a. the BOG Fee Waiver).

Maximum Time Frame:

Attempted Maximum Time Frame: (generally 90 Units or more for most AA/AS programs, but maybe less): Students who have attempted the maximum time frame limit of 150% or more, have the option to appeal each semester/school year to receive financial aid. Individual certificate programs have their own maximum time frame. To identify the maximum time frame, 100% of units required are taken plus an additional 50%. For example, a 30 unit certificate program has a maximum time frame of 45 units. It is critical that students take the correct classes required for their degree, as even passing one's classes with a high GPA, does not ensure the student will be able to graduate within the 150% maximum time frame. Taking courses not required for one's degree, may result in the student being cut off from receiving future financial aid (see below.)

Important Information: If at any point in time it is determined that the Student cannot complete their course of study within the 150% time frame (90 units for AA/AS, other certificate programs will vary), they will be immediately disqualified from future financial aid, with the exception of the California College Promise Grant (a.k.a. the BOG Fee Waiver), for the remainder of their program, even if currently meeting the SAP standards.

Basic Skills Courses:

Financial aid may be received for basic skills (remedial) courses if these courses are a prerequisite for entrance into a regular college program. Aid cannot be received for more than 30 attempted units of remedial coursework. ESL coursework must be part of an eligible program of study to receive financial aid. ESL coursework is not an approved program in itself. A student enrolled in ESL classes, who is not in an eligible program of study, is not eligible for financial aid funds.

ESL and basic skills coursework will count toward the 2.0 GPA and 67% of units completion requirements (SAP Standard). However, ESL units will not count towards the maximum time frame limit and a maximum of 30 attempted remedial units will be subtracted from the total; when maximum time frame units are being counted.

Regaining Eligibility:

Students who are DISQUALIFIED from receiving aid can regain their eligibility by meeting the SAP standards which would be to complete the required 67% of the attempted units and raise the cumulative GPA to at least 2.0, and be under the maximum time frame for their program.

Pace of Progression:

Student must complete an appropriate number of units each semester into complete their program within the maximum time frame, or 150%. A guideline to assist you is as follows:

Units Attempted Must Complete Units Attempted Must Complete
1 1 14 10
2 1 15 11
3 2 16 11
4 3 17 12
5 4 18 13
6 4 19 13
7 5 20 14
8 6 21 15
9 6 22 15
10 7 23 16
11 8 24 17
12 8 25 18
13 9 26 18

PLEASE NOTE: Attempted units are all units/classes in which the student was enrolled thru census week (check Class Schedule for details).  Therefore some W's may be included in the "attempted unit" total.


Financial Aid Disqualification:

Students who do not meet the SAP standards listed above will be subject to disqualification from receiving further financial aid (other than the California College Promise Grant (a.k.a. the BOG Fee Waiver). SAP standards are checked and verified each semester. Generally, a student who is disqualified from financial aid must meet SAP standards by completing at least a successful semester without financial aid, and meet all SAP eligibility criteria to regain eligibility.

Appeal Process:

Once the student reaches their maximum time frame, and/or does not meet the SAP Policy after one semester of financial aid warning, they will be disqualified from receiving additional assistance other than the California College Promise Grant (a.k.a. the BOG Fee Waiver).

Under certain conditions, a student may be eligible to appeal for reinstatement of aid, without meeting the SAP Policy. Each institution has the option of allowing or not allowing appeals and if allowed, must explain what options are available and who is eligible for an appeal. At Mt. SAC, appeals are offered in the fall and spring semesters only, during a specified period of time (see Appeal form for specific deadlines). Students who are disqualified will receive notification of their option to appeal via their Mt. SAC portal; and will include the time period that appeals will be accepted during a given semester.

Such reasons a student may be eligible to appeal include:

  • BA/BS Degree completed. Not eligible for grants, loans only. Student must document that they have changed a major and provide documentation as to why they cannot seek employment in their prior field of study. All prior coursework must be evaluated first, to determine what units are applicable to the new course of study. Those applicable units must be below the maximum time frame for the current program in order for the appeal to be approved.
  • Disqualified student extenuating circumstances (beyond the student's control) that prevented him/her from meeting SAP standards (documentation substantiating statements must be submitted.)
  • Change in major or program of study. In order for an appeal to be approved, the new unit count (once all non-degree applicable attempted units are backed out) must be under the new maximum time frame.  A formal change of major with Counseling must be submitted prior to completing the appeal process.
  • Student has reached the maximum time frame of attempted units, but a portion of the unit total is comprised of remedial coursework, which would reduce the unit attempted total.
  • Student has reached 90 units, completed their program, and is working on transfer units. (Note: Only students completing a program at Mt. SAC, and completing transfer requirements in order to transfer to a 4 year institution will be considered for reinstatement. A student coming to Mt. SAC from a university, taking classes, and then returning to a university would not be eligible for Title IV funds at Mt. SAC. An Educational Plan would be required with the submission of the appeal. The student must indicate remedial/ESL coursework on their appeal.
  • Currently, we will only allow for a maximum of two program changes in order to receive aid, with certain caveats.

Extenuating circumstances must ALWAYS be documented or the appeal will not be reviewed. Extenuating circumstances are considered to be (but not limited to):

  1. Serious illness, injury or medical condition requiring doctor's care.
  2. Death of an immediate family member or
  3. Extenuating circumstances that were beyond the student's control.

Submit a thorough and clearly written explanation, indicating the extenuating circumstance that prevented the student from making SAP. Supporting documentation must be submitted to the financial aid office in order for the appeal to be reviewed. This must be documentation of extenuating circumstances for the semesters where there was a lack of progress, and must match up with the written explanation, OR Educational Plan for a change of major. Students should be aware of why they are appealing and state that on the appeal.

Incorrect or contradictory appeals will be denied, and the student will not be able to resubmit their appeal during that semester. On the appeal, students must provide the following information for consideration:

  1. Why the student failed to meet SAP.
  2. What has changed to allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation.

Each appeal will be reviewed by the Board of Appeals and recommended for approval or denial based upon the student's individual circumstances.

All decisions are final and there is no higher appeal.

Appeals approved will be placed on financial aid probation and receive payment for one semester.

Appeals considered for approval must pass the litmus test of determining that the student will be able to meet the SAP Policy at the end of the financial aid probation period. If a student's progress is such that there is no way they will be able to meet the SAP Policy at the end of the financial aid probation, their appeal will be denied.

It is important to remember that generally, students become eligible for financial assistance again when they are once again meeting the SAP policy. The appeal process is designed to be the exception to the rule when extenuating circumstances exist outside the student's control and/or a change of major occurred where the student is now under the maximum time frame for the new program. Students should identify why they were disqualified and what their reasons are before they consider submitting a formal appeal.

All appeal decisions from the Board of Appeals are FINAL.

Access to Appeal Form:

Students who are disqualified from financial aid and have met the requirements to appeal will find the appeal form online at their Mt. SAC portal. Student must ensure that submission of the Appeal form to the Financial Aid Office also includes all required supporting documentation. The appeal will NOT be reviewed without sufficient documentation. The student will receive no additional request to submit supporting documentation if they fail to do so. Complete appeals, with supporting documentation, are reviewed within six to eight weeks of submission. Students can log back into their Mt. SAC portal and click on the "Messages" tab in order to follow their status.

 Required Items to File an Appeal:

  1. Appeal Form: This includes a written statement which explains the circumstance that prevented the student from making academic progress and which will support a reinstatement.
  2. Educational Plan: Required for all students. This document will need to be prepared by a Counselor or Advisor. All plans must be current and all the courses outlined to complete the student’s educational goal. The form must be signed and dated by the Counselor or Advisor. All Evaluated Academic Transcripts of other collegiate work must be provided to the Counselor or Advisor at the meeting to have a complete plan.
  3. Evaluated Academic Transcripts: from all other previously attended colleges. (See the Admission Office for details)
  4. Supporting Verification: Proof of Unusual and Mitigating Circumstances

Legislation and governmental regulations are continually changing the face of student financial aid. The information contained in this brochure is correct as of the time of publication. However, information is subject to change without notice.

Note: For additional information on what SAP is, please click on the video below:

Revised: Feb 6, 2013