Satisfactory Progress


Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

According to federal and state regulations, students receiving financial aid must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The Financial Aid Office at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College monitors a student’s academic progress as a condition of eligibility when the student applies for financial aid and at the end of each enrollment period (semester). These requirements are applied to a student’s entire academic history at A-B Tech, including transfer hours from other schools and including periods when financial aid was not received (e.g. courses taken through A-B Tech in high school). A student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress when the following three requirements are satisfied:

1. Qualitative Standard (Cumulative Grade Point Average) – A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

2. Quantitative Standard (Completion Rate) – A student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67%.

3. Quantitative Standard (Maximum Timeframe) – A student must successfully complete the program of study within its timeframe. Federal regulations specify that the timeframe may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program. When students exceed the timeframe for their programs of study, they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. However, students can submit an appeal to the Appeals Committee to have their eligibility extended if there are extenuating circumstances.


Monitoring Satisfactory Progress.

A-B Tech will monitor satisfactory progress using the chart below.

Credit Hours Attempted*

Minimum Cumulative Completion Rate**

Minimum Cumulative GPA Required***

1 or more



*Credit hours attempted will be cumulative and will include all hours for which the student was enrolled as of the census date of each academic term, or for which the student received a grade. The census date is defined as the day following the last day for registration and payment as outlined in the College catalog.

**Credit hours completed with grades of A, B, C, D, T, CR, P, or AP only will fulfill this requirement. Grades of F, I, NS, U, W, X, and Y will not fulfill this requirement.

***Cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total credit hours attempted for which the student received grades of A, B, C, D, F, and U.

The second quantitative standard referred to as the maximum timeframe will be measured independently of the monitoring chart. For each program of study, a maximum timeframe will be calculated by taking the total credit hours required for the program as outlined in the College catalog and multiplying the total by 150%. Timeframes will vary from program to program.


Key points to remember regarding the maximum timeframe:

1. Since the timeframe sets the limit for the number of credit hours a student may attempt and remain eligible to receive financial assistance, it is very important that the student plan class schedules carefully with his or her academic advisor and/ or the Student Services advising staff. It is the responsibility of the student to register only for classes listed in his or her chosen Academic Program in the College catalog and for scheduling only the number of hours he or she is capable of completing. SOME STUDENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO TAKE DEVELOPMENTAL COURSES, WHICH WILL ALSO BE COUNTED AS HOURS ATTEMPTED. Students are responsible for knowing the policy concerning the limitation on hours attempted for financial aid purposes. Registering for more courses than a student is capable of completing, having to withdraw from classes, registering for courses for which the student has already received credit, taking courses in error, etc. all impact the timeframe and could result in losing financial aid eligibility before completing a program of study.

2. The timeframe is cumulative; therefore, by switching programs without completing the initial program, the student runs the risk of losing financial aid eligibility.

3. The timeframe begins when the student first attends the College and continues until that student successfully completes a program of study regardless of the number of years that may elapse between enrollment periods.

4. Only students who successfully complete a program of study will have attempted and completed credit hours from earning a degree, diploma, or certificate deducted from the maximum timeframe calculation for the next program of study.

5. Students who take course work and are unclassified will have those hours attempted added to their timeframe if and when they enter a specific program of study.

6. Students accepted into a program of study who are required to take developmental course work, as determined by placement testing results and the professional judgment of Student Services, will have the credit hours attempted for such course work count toward their maximum timeframe. (Financial aid can only pay for 30 credit hours of developmental course work).

7. The credit hours for course incompletes, withdrawals, and repetitions will be counted as hours attempted toward the timeframe.

8. Students switching from a degree program to a vocational program who have exceeded the maximum timeframe may submit an appeal to the Appeals Committee for a timeframe extension.

9. Credit hours transferred in from other academic institutions will be counted toward the maximum timeframe of eligibility. Prior degrees earned will be taken into consideration when determining transfer hours.


SAP Status: Satisfactory Academic Progress statuses will be calculated based on the definitions listed below:

Students will be notified of their status at the end of each payment period (semester) or when they first apply for financial aid. This notification will be sent to their student email account.

Satisfactory: Satisfactory status is achieved when the cumulative GPA, completion rate, and timeframe are met.

Warning: Students who fail to meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or fail to maintain a minimum completion rate are given a warning. Students in the status of warning remain eligible for financial aid for one payment period (semester). Participation in the following success strategy while in warning status may positively impact a student’s performance as well as positively impact any appeal of loss of financial aid if it becomes necessary. It is recommended that students meet with their academic advisor to review academic success strategies during the semester on warning.

Suspension: Students who fail to meet the conditions of a warning, which are to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67%, or exceeds the 150% maximum time frame of their program of study are placed on suspension. Students who are placed on suspension forfeit their financial aid. A student may either appeal to have their financial aid eligibility reinstated, or may notify the Financial Aid Office when the student is meeting the satisfactory academic progress policy for students receiving financial aid so that their financial aid eligibility can be reconsidered. If an appeal is approved, the suspended student is placed on probation.  If the appeal is denied, and the student is appealing due to GPA or low completion rate, the student must pay for the next semester of enrollment out of pocket and complete at least six (6) credit hours before submitting another appeal. All credit hours attempted must be completed with a semester GPA of 2.5 or higher. This also applies to students who have never received financial aid at A-B Tech.

Probation: Probation occurs when students on suspension have their eligibility for financial aid reinstated by an approved Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal. Students in the status of probation will have their financial aid eligibility reinstated for one semester. A student on probation may not receive aid for the subsequent semester unless:

1. The student is now meeting the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy at the end of the probation period (semester); or

2. The student adheres to the financial aid Student Academic Plan. The plan may include one or more of the following stipulations:

• Limit the number of credit hours attempted

• Cannot withdraw from any courses

• Repeat failed courses

Continued Probation: Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, but have met the requirements of the financial aid student academic plan will be placed on continued probation at the end of each semester. It is possible for students in the status of continued probation to remain eligible for financial aid until they complete their program of study. After the student has completed the program of study, the financial aid student academic plan is no longer applicable for receiving additional financial aid.

Appeal Process: Students who are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. All appeals will be reviewed, approved, and/or denied by the Financial Aid Ad Hoc Appeals Committee. An appeal can only be submitted if a student’s failure to make satisfactory academic progress is based upon events beyond their control. Applicable circumstances would include medical issues, death/illnesses, and any other uncontrollable events. Students will need to submit the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form and all supporting documentas to the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified by email of the committee’s decision within 30 days. Students whose appeals are denied must pay out-of-pocket to complete at least six (6) credit hours with no withdrawals, failing grades, or unofficial withdrawals and a 2.5 or higher semester GPA in order to be eligible to appeal again. It is important for students to remember that Pell Life-Time Eligibility Used cannot be waived through the submission of an appeal to the Appeals Committee.

Submission of an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of eligibility for financial aid.  Each appeal is reviewed on a case by case basis.

Paying out of pocket for classes or sitting out a semester is not grounds for reinstatement of aid.  Students must bring their academic progress back into compliance or have an appeal approved to have aid reinstated.


Updated 5.16.14


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