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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students receiving Federal Student Aid are expected to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their enrolled degree according to Federal Regulations governing the federal student aid programs. This standard applies to all students receiving financial aid at Dodge City Community College (DCCC). Satisfactory Academic Progress of students will be verified at the close of each term according to requirements of the U.S. Department of Education and DCCC policies.

Determination of Enrollment Status

Twelve or more enrolled credit hours per term constitutes full time enrollment. Nine to eleven credit hours per term is considered three-quarter time enrollment. Six to eight credit hours enrolled per term equals one-half time enrollment, and fewer than six credit hours per term is less-than-one-half-time enrollment. Enrollment classifications for summer terms are the same as standard Fall and Spring terms.

Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student must meet two different standards as defined by federal regulation to be considered making Satisfactory Academic Progress:

  1. A Qualitative Standard and
  2. A Quantitative Standard.

The qualitative standard means the quality of the students’ academic results must meet specific quality minimums. Quality is measured using the Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) received by the student as s/he progresses toward a degree. This standard is cumulative; meaning every period of enrollment is included in the calculation of the “cumulative” G.P.A., regardless of receipt of financial aid for the period. In order to satisfy the Qualitative Standard at DCCC, the student’s cumulative Grade Point Average must be no lower than 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

The quantitative standard is measured using a maximum time frame concept. In practice, this means that the student must be successfully completing a minimum number of attempted classes to ensure that the degree program enrolled can be attained within 150% of the time frame of the degree program as outlined in the DCCC college catalog. As an example, a full time student has a maximum of 93 attempted credits to obtain an associate degree of 62 credits. In order to meet this standard, a student must successfully complete a minimum of a cumulative 67% of all attempted classes.

A student is ineligible (via the maximum timeframe element) when it becomes mathematically impossible for him/her to complete their degree within 150% of the published program length. Exceptions may be considered on extreme mitigating circumstances on a case-by-case basis if the student provides a detailed, professionally written appeal letter explaining why an exception should be considered. Additional documentation to support the appeal may be required. An appeal does not guarantee an exception will be made. Under the maximum time frame element of Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student is permitted to change their degree program 2 times and remain in consideration for Federal Student Aid. Once a student has been enrolled in a total of three (3) different degree programs, they are no longer eligible for federal aid.

Grades of I, W, and F are not considered as successful completion and thus are not counted as such in that calculation. They are, of course, considered courses attempted in the formula. Transfer credits that are counted toward the degree enrolled are counted in both the GPA and % of completion calculation. Remedial coursework and repeat courses are also counted toward both quantitative and qualitative elements of satisfactory academic progress. A student may change degree programs one time and continue to be eligible for financial aid if all other components are met. Financial aid is no longer available if the degree sought is changed a second time.

In order for a student to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress, s/he must have both a cumulative 2.0 G.P.A. AND have successfully completed a minimum of 67% of all courses attempted. Term G.P.A. or completion rates are not a factor in these calculations.

Exceptions may be considered on extreme mitigating circumstances on a case-by-case basis if the student provides a detailed, professionally written appeal letter explaining why an exception should be considered. Additional documentation to support the appeal may be required. An appeal does not guarantee an exception will be made. (See Appeals below.)

Consequences of failure to meet the DCCC Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of every semester. If a student fails the SAP standard for the first time, s/he will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning status for the next semester or term. Student Financial Aid Warning is a formal final warning that a student’s academic progress is not meeting the mandatory standard at Dodge City Community College. A student on Financial Aid Warning will be eligible to receive federal Title IV student aid in the following semester. A student will receive only one warning period during their academic tenure at DCCC.

Financial Aid Suspension

A student who has already received a semester under Financial Aid Warning and fails the DCCC Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress another time will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. A student on Financial Aid Suspension is not eligible to receive Federal Student Aid and most DCCC financial aid awards.

In addition, a student who receives any combination of all F’s, W’s, and/or I’s at the end of a term will automatically be placed on Financial Aid Suspension with no prior warning period.

A student placed on Financial Aid Suspension must complete credit hours at their own expense until they meet both the minimum 67% successful completion rate AND the minimum cumulative G.P.A. requirement of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. All periods of enrollment are included in the SAP calculations regardless of receipt of financial aid.

Right to Appeal

Students who have been placed on student financial aid suspension have a right to appeal due to extreme extenuating circumstances associated with the academic failure. The appeal must be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid and must be a detailed, professionally written letter explaining clearly how these extreme circumstances prohibited the student from attaining academic success. The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and what has changed in his/her situation that will all him/her to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. Additional documentation concerning such circumstances may be required. All appeals must be received in the Financial Aid Office by the deadline date published in each suspension notification for a term. Each appeal will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if an exception will be made.

Submission of an appeal does not guarantee an approval. If an appeal is approved, there will be specific stipulations as to actions required of the student during the next term of enrollment. Failure to fully comply with any stipulation in the approval letter will result in immediate suspension. Any federal aid not yet disbursed at the time of that failure will not be disbursed for the term and all charges will become the student’s responsibility.

Probation Status

If an appeal of Financial Aid suspension is successful, the student will be placed on probation. Probation reinstates eligibility for only one semester. If it is readily apparent that the student can regain full eligibility under the Standard for Satisfactory Academic Progress within one semester, no Academic Plan is required. If it is determined that the student will require more than one payment period (semester) to meet progress standards, an Academic Plan must be developed. Student success in meeting the requirements of the Academic Plan is reviewed at the end of each term until the student is once again in full compliance with the satisfactory academic progress standard. At any time the student deviates from or does not fully comply with the requirements of the Academic Plan, s/he is suspended from financial aid until fully in compliance with the Standard.

Student Financial Aid Refunds and Repayments

Student financial aid refunds and repayments when a student completely withdraws from Dodge City Community College will be made in accordance with federal rules for Return to Title IV fund calculations.


Appeal – A process by which a student who is not meeting SAP standards petitions the school for reconsideration of eligibility for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds.

Financial Aid Probation – A status a school assigns to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress and who successfully appeals. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one payment period.

Maximum Timeframe

  • A period no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the degree program, if measured in credit hours
  • A period no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the program as measured by the cumulative number of clock hours the student is required to complete and expressed in calendar time, if measured in clock hours. (Note: a student in a clock hour program cannot receive aid for hours beyond those in the program; the maximum timeframe applies to the amount of calendar time the student takes to complete those hours.)