Satisfactory Academic Progress | Northcentral Technical College

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy:
Federal regulations require that students receiving federal financial aid must make satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain financial aid eligibility.  This policy applies to ALL periods of enrollment, whether or not the student previously received financial aid.  In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, the Financial Aid Office at NTC has established the following policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards:
Northcentral Technical College (NTC) monitors all credits for all students, whether or not the student has received financial aid.  The standards below are applied after the student’s first semester of enrollment and each subsequent semester.
Qualitative Measure of Progress
Grade Point Average (GPA): Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
Quantitative Measure of Progress (PACE)
Completion Rate: Students are required to maintain an overall completion rate of 67%. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted.  Attempted credits include any transfer credits accepted and all credits taken at NTC regardless of whether the student received financial aid or not.  Successful completion of credits include those earned with an A, B, C, or S.
Maximum Timeframe: Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma program within a maximum timeframe for financial aid purposes.  Federal regulations stipulate that the maximum timeframe is 150% of the published credit requirement of each eligible program.  Students are only eligible to receive financial aid until their cumulative attempted credits plus any transfer credits accepted equals 150% of the required credits for their degree/diploma.  Once a student has reached the maximum timeframe they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid.  Credits are counted starting with the semester the student first enrolled at NTC and include even those semesters for which financial aid was not received.  Students who reach the maximum timeframe are immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility.
Maximum Timeframe
Examples: Program
Credits Required for Graduation
Maximum Credits (including transfer credits)
Accounting (Assoc. degree)
Medical Assistant
Immediate Suspension of Financial Aid
If at any point in time the Financial Aid Office determines that the student cannot complete their program within the 150% timeframe, the student will be immediately suspended from future financial aid for the remainder of their program, even if currently meeting the SAP standards.

Effective for the 2017–2018 aid year: A student who receives all F, NS, U, and/or W grades in a term will be immediately placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not receive a Warning term.

Evaluation Period:
NTC evaluates SAP progress at the end of each semester or term (fall, spring and summer).  Grades entered as of the established grading date for each semester will be used to calculate SAP.  Missing grades will count as unsuccessful completion.  Students must notify the Financial Aid Office of any grade changes; SAP status can be reviewed upon notification.
Students are notified through their NTC email of their warning status or of their suspension status at the end of each semester.  Students who appeal their ineligibility will be notified of the outcome through their NTC email.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Status:
Warning: Students who fail to meet the grade point average and/or the completion percentage standards will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  Students placed on Financial Aid Warning are eligible to receive financial aid for one additional semester, at which time they must be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

Suspension: Students on Warning who do not meet SAP standards are placed on Suspension. Suspended students are not eligible to receive financial aid until an appeal is approved or SAP standards are met.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards NOT MET
1st semester
2nd semester
Earn less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA
Earn less than 67% cumulative completion rate
Exceed the allowed number of credits attempted during college career (varies by program)


Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility and Appeal Process:
Students suspended from financial aid eligibility may regain eligibility for financial aid by enrolling at their own expense and attaining the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.  This may require enrollment in multiple semesters.  Students return to good standing only after achieving a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative completion rate of two-thirds (67%) of all credit hours attempted.  After meeting these standards, the student is no longer on Suspension and is eligible to receive financial aid.
Suspended students may also regain financial aid eligibility if a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal is approved.  Students who have appeals approved will be placed on an Academic Plan and will again lose financial aid eligibility if they have not met terms of their plan as outlined.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process:
A student on Suspension may request consideration for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility through a formal appeal process by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form [PDF] with appropriate documentation.  An appeal must be received within 30 calendar days of the date of the Financial Aid Suspension letter notifying the student that they have not made Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) after having been placed on "Warning" or "Probation."  If received after 30 days, the appeal will be denied.  Aid will not be awarded retroactively for a prior term in which financial aid eligibility was suspended or during which satisfactory progress was not made.
A student may appeal if the reason for failure to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards was the result of extenuating circumstances and if the situation that caused the poor performance has been resolved.  All appeals require third party documentation.  Students who wish to appeal must meet with the Academic Advising Specialist for their program to discuss their appeal and create a Student Success Plan.  If a student is unable to meet with the Academic Advising Specialist for their program within 30 days of the date of the Financial Aid Suspension letter, the appeal form must still be submitted and the Student Success Plan can be submitted separately.  Before an appeal can be approved, students must also enroll in and successfully complete the Financial Aid course:  College Success - Financial Aid Essentials for College Students (course #77862788).  Financial Aid appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee and an appeal decision will be sent to the student's NTC e-mail account within 14 business days of submitting the appeal.
Maximum Timeframe Extension Appeal Process:
Students who do not meet the maximum eligibility timeframe requirement may re-establish financial aid eligibility by appealing for an extension.  Students will need to complete the Financial Aid Appeal - 150% Maximum Eligibility Timeframe appeal form.  If an appeal is approved, coursework will be limited to courses required for the completion of the program.  In addition, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and successfully complete all courses listed on their academic plan.  Failure to meet the requirements of the approved timeframe appeal will result in suspension of financial aid eligibility. 
Appeals may result in any one of the following actions:
  • Reinstatement on Probation
  • Reinstatement on an Academic Plan whereby the student will be held to specific requirements
  • Denial of reinstatement

Additional Elements:

Treatment of Grades:
  • Attempted-Not Earned Credits: Letter grades of D, F, U, NS (No Show), I (incomplete), IP (in progress), or W (withdrawal) are counted as credits attempted but not successfully completed.
  • Attempted-Earned Credits: Letter grades of A, B, C, and S count as completed credits.
  • Incomplete Grades: A grade of I (incomplete) or IP (in progress) may be assigned at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Audited Courses: Audited credits are not financial aid eligible and are excluded from academic progress calculations.
  • Consortium Credits: Consortium credits are included in financial aid academic progress calculations.
  • Remedial Credits: Students may receive financial aid for up to 30 remedial credits.  These credits are included in academic progress calculations.  A maximum of 30 remedial credits can be excluded from the maximum timeframe calculation.
  • Repeated Credits: Students may repeat a class once to review course material or improve a grade.  Repeated credits are included in the completion rate and maximum timeframe calculations.  All grades remain on the transcript.  Only the most recent grade recorded is included in the GPA calculation.
  • Transfer Credits: Transfer credits (earned at another college and accepted by NTC) are excluded from the GPA calculation, but included in the completion rate and maximum time frame calculations.
  • Withdrawals: A W is assigned when a student withdraws from a class after the drop period for the semester has ended.  W grades are considered attempted but not successfully completed credits.  Grades of W do not impact the GPA calculation, but do negatively impact the completion rate and the maximum timeframe calculations.

Program Changes

Change in Program: Students who are in compliance with NTC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy may change their program of study and remain eligible for financial aid.  The maximum timeframe for financial aid will include all credits the student has attempted including those not applicable to the new program.
Additional Program of Study: A student that has completed a degree or diploma program may be eligible for additional financial aid to complete another program of study.  The maximum timeframe will still apply and students may need to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Financial Aid Office.


  • Financial Aid