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Satisfactory Academic Progress

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

The Satisfactory Academic Progress standards measures a student's progress toward degree completion using both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (units completed compared to units attempted) methods. To be eligible for federal and state aid, students must be maintaining progress toward a degree, certificate or transfer. The standards apply to all college coursework taken, regardless of whether financial aid was received or not, including coursework transferred from another institution. Academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester when grades are available. Students who fail to meet the Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress will have their financial aid eligibility suspended.

Regulations require College of the Desert to establish standards for evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). These standards measure qualitative and quantitative requirements and maximum timeframe for student's progress toward degree completion. To be eligible for financial aid, students must meet these standards. Failure to maintain these standards will result in suspension of the student's financial aid eligibility. For more information, please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.pdfSatisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.pdf

The SAP Requirements for College of the Desert are defined as follows:

  1. Students must complete at least 67% of the units attempted (pace calculation) if students have 12 units or more. Students that have less than 12 units, must complete at least 50% of their units attempted (pace calculation).

  2. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher if they have 12 units or more. Students that have under 12 units must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.5 or higher.

  3. Students cannot exceed the 150% maximum timeframe of their program of study. For example, a student must complete his or her program by 90 units for a 60 unit program.

Earned grades of A, B, C, D, P and CR are considered completed credits and are calculated in a student's cumulative grade point average (GPA). The grades I, IP, NC, NP, RD, W, or MW are not considered completed units but count toward a student's attempted credits for financial aid completion. The grades F and FW are not considered completed credits but count in a student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) and the student's attempted credits for financial aid completion. Audit units or any zero unit courses are not included in either the attempted or completed figures as these units are ineligible for financial aid. EW grades are not included in the satisfactory academic progress calculation as these are considered excused withdrawals.

Is the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy the same as COD’s academic policy as written in the catalog or class schedules?

No, the financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy follows federal laws tied to student eligibility to receive federal and state financial aid. Although some similarities may exist between the two policies, students must meet the financial aid SAP criteria to receive aid.

What happens if I do not meet the pace or GPA requirements?

If you are not meeting the pace or GPA requirements as outlined above at the end of the semester, you will be automatically placed on a financial aid 'Warning' status for the following semester. Students will be notified they have been placed on warning via email to their MyCOD email account by the Financial Aid Office. In addition, students may check their student self-service portal to review their current status at any time. A student may only be on 'Warning' status for one term and will move to 'Suspension' if they do not improve their pace or GPA requirements. Sap Appeal Instructions.pdfSap Appeal Instructions will be sent to their MyCOD email account or the student can click on the Sap Appeal link to get started. No aid will be disbursed for a student on suspension unless the student has made an appeal and the appeal is granted. If the appeal is granted, the student is placed on Financial Aid probation for the next semester and their status will be reviewed at the end of the semester to ensure the student is meeting the contract outlined in the SAP Appeal Process. The student may also reinstate themselves to satisfactory if they are meeting all of the SAP requirements for College of the Desert.

 

What happens if I have hit 150% of my program?

Students will be notified that they have hit their maximum time frame when they have hit 150% of their program. Students will be notified that they have been placed on suspension for hitting maximum timeframe for their program via email to their MyCOD email account. Financial Aid SAP Appeal instructions will be sent to their MyCOD email account or the student can follow the Sap Appeal InstructionsSap Appeal Instructions and click on the SAP Appeal link to get started. No aid will be disbursed for a student on suspension unless the student made an appeal and the appeal is granted. If the appeal is granted, the student is placed on Financial Aid probation for the next semester and their status will be reviewed at the end of each semester to ensure the student is meeting the contract outlined in the SAP Appeal Process.

Please note, some students may be automatically suspended based on previous academic history.

Is there a limit on how many times I can appeal?

Yes. Students can complete a SAP appeal once per academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer) and twice during their lifetime at College of the Desert.

May I receive financial aid for non-degree applicable and repeated courses?

Yes, students can receive up to 30 units of non-degree/remedial courses qualify for federal financial aid. You may also be paid for any repeated class (one time) if you previously passed ('D' or better). To review an example on repeated coursework, please watch the video below:

May I receive financial aid for classes not needed for my program of study?

No. Financial aid is intended to fund your program of study, including any preparatory courses needed. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​