Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Frequently asked questions about Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress
To be eligible for financial aid, Federal and Massachusetts regulations and official GCC policy require students to be making “Satisfactory Academic Progress.” Each semester the Financial Aid Office monitors students’ GPA, and also reviews the success of financial aid students in earning credits toward their degrees and certificates. Students also need to earn their degrees within a certain number of attempted credits, usually about 90 credits for an associate degree. If you are not making satisfactory academic progress, you may appeal the status and if successful have your eligibility for financial aid reinstated.
Students who stop attending or participating in classes, without formally withdrawing from GCC, are considered to be withdrawn unofficially. If you stop attending your classes, you are no longer eligible to receive your financial aid for the term. Any financial aid awarded to you but not fully earned by you for the semester must be refunded to the Department of Education.
Students must maintain a G.P.A. of 2.0 at all times. Students who walk away from their class are automatically placed on Unsatisfactory Financial Aid Progress and must complete the Appeal Process.
I was a student several years ago. I didn’t do that well and now I’m re-entering GCC under Fresh-Start. How does my previous academic history affect my financial aid status today?
All previous academic history is counted as credits earned toward a degree, even if the student enters under Fresh Start. Fresh start waives the student’s previous academic progress and standing but it does not affect Financial Aid Progress.
I’ve earned 27 credits at GCC and I’ve also withdrawn from three 3-credit courses and two 4-credit lab science course. Do withdrawals count toward satisfactory financial aid progress? My GPA is 3.50.
All credits, attempted and earned, are counted toward degree completion. Attempted credit hours include all withdrawal credits, including medical withdrawals, all failed or incomplete credits, all transferred credits, and all developmental course work.
Even with a G.P.A. of 3.50 this student is not making satisfactory financial aid progress. In this example, the student has attempted a total 44 credit hours and earned only 27. Students must maintain a completion rate of 67% or more in order to maintain their good standing. This student’s completion rate is only 61%.
I’ve been at GCC for three years and I’ve earned 66 credit hours but I haven’t completed a degree program yet. I want to change my major, but my new major requires 45 credit hours that I still have to earn. Can I continue to receive financial aid for my new degree option?
Students must complete a degree or certificate within 150% of the required number of credits for that degree or certificate. Most associate degree programs at GCC require 60 credit hours of course completion. Because this student has already earned 66 credit hours without having earned a degree, he may not have enough financial aid eligibility remaining to cover his new change in major. He can only receive financial aid for 24 remaining credit hours.