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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal and State financial aid regulations require Cañada College (Cañada), to establish and apply qualitative, quantitative and incremental standards to determine if you are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in your course of study. Financial Aid recipients are required to have a declared educational goal and be enrolled in a program leading to a certificate or degree, or be completing transfer requirements.

Qualitative: Maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA

Quantitative: A. Complete at least 67% of the units attempted each semester.

                       B. Maximum Time Frame: 150% of the published length of the program.

** Students enrolled in 60 unit AA/AS, 4-year transfer, or vocational programs will be expected to complete their program within a 90 unit time frame. Students enrolled in vocational programs of less than 60 units will be given a maximum time frame (attempted units) that is 150% of their chosen program's length.

Pace Rate = Units Completed / Units Attempted

  • The first time you don’t meet one of the above standards, you will placed on “Warning Status”, but will continue to receive aid
  • The second time you will be “Disqualified” from Financial Aid – this means you are cutoff
  • At that point you can appeal - you only get two appeals in the SMCCCD
  • If your Appeal is approved, you will be on “Financial Aid Probation” and will  be eligible to receive aid
  • Your progress will be monitored each semester including summer
  • You must meet the provisions of the approved appeal to maintain eligibility
  1.   Complete the online SAP Counseling Sessions through our Financial Aid TV website and print out the certificates of completion.
  2.   Meet with a Counselor and create an SEP (Student Educational Plan)
  3.   Submit a Student Appeal Letter

** If you have attended any of the SMCCCD colleges, and did not receive financial aid, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning if your cumulative GPA is below 2.0 OR if your cumulative Pace Rate is below 67%.

Repeated Courses: You are permitted to repeat classes for financial aid purposes, provided the classes are allowed under the SMCCCD repeat policy as specified in the college catalog. All repeated courses will be included in the maximum time frame assessment, the cumulative GPA assessment, and the cumulative Pace Rate assessment.

Transfer courses: If transcripts are submitted, all courses that apply toward your degree or certificate program will be included in the maximum time frame and the cumulative Pace Rate assessments. Transfer coursework GPA is not included. Upper division courses from four-year colleges and universities will be counted when calculating maximum time frame.

Prior Bachelor’s and Associate Degrees: All students with prior Bachelor and/or Associate Degrees will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded. Foreign courses will be counted if they have been professionally evaluated and accepted by SMCCCD. Students with a foreign Bachelor’s Degree will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded. Students with prior Bachelor’s Degrees, foreign or domestic, are ineligible for both federal and state grant assistance.

English as a Second Language (ESL): ESL courses will not be counted when determining the remaining maximum time frame for a student. The academic progress in ESL courses will be considered when assessing both the student's cumulative GPA and Pace Rate.

Remedial courses: The first 30 remedial English and math units attempted will not be counted when determining the remaining maximum time frame for a student. The academic progress in these remedial courses will be considered when assessing both the student's cumulative GPA and cumulative Pace Rate.

Incomplete courses: "I" (incomplete) grades will be considered as "attempted," but will not be considered to have been "completed." If a student's "I" grade changes during a term, it is the student's responsibility to inform the financial aid office of the change. A recalculation to determine eligibility will be conducted once grades are posted during the term.

Withdrawals and Grades of "Incomplete": Students who withdraw from classes or receive grades of "incomplete" will have those classes included in the "Pace Rate" calculation. "Withdrawals" and "incompletes" will be included with all other classes attempted. 

Grades of "F" and "NP": Students who receive grades of "F" on "NP" do not receive units for the classes attempted, but the units will be counted towards the maximum time frame. Note, "F" grades will be used in calculating the GPA.

Grades of “D” or better and “P”: Students who receive grades of "D" or better and "P" will receive units for the classes attempted. These classes will be considered to have been completed and will be used in calculating the maximum time frame, Pace Rate and GPA.

Progress in Summer Session: A student's progress in summer session will be counted when assessing cumulative Pace Rate and cumulative GPA.

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