Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

In response to COVID-19, updates have been made to our SAP policy to help alleviate potential impacts to future aid eligibility. Please review these updates under Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process / Appeal Forms and Additional Elements / Treatment of Grades.

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.

Effective 5/22/20, due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the Satisfactory Academic Progress standard that immediately suspends a student from financial aid for a single term with a 0.0 GPA and zero credits earned without a Warning term has been temporarily waived for Summer 2020.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Northcentral Technical College (NTC) monitors all credits for all students, whether or not the student has received financial aid.  To meet the SAP requirements, students must meet the standards indicated below at the end of each semester after the student’s first semester of enrollment and each subsequent semester. Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA (qualitative measure), successfully complete a minimum percentage of credits attempted (quantitative measure), and must be able to graduate within a maximum time frame. Students’ failure to meet the SAP minimum cumulative GPA and completion requirements will result in a Warning term and subsequent loss of eligibility for financial aid if the SAP minimum requirements are not met in the following semester. Students will lose financial aid eligibility if they do not complete all of their program coursework before the maximum time frame allotted. The Financial Aid Office notifies students once they have reached *130% of their allowed credits so that they may develop an Academic Plan for program completion. A single term with a 0.0 GPA and zero credits earned will be subject to immediate suspension and will not receive a Warning term.

*The percentage at which students will be notified will increase from 110% to 130% effective with the December 2019 Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation.

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure of Progress)

Grade Point Average (GPA): Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. A single term GPA must be greater than 0.0.

Completion Rate - 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. An incomplete grade (I grades) will be treated as unsuccessful for the purpose of SAP.

Maximum Time Frame

Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma program within a maximum time frame for financial aid purposes.  Federal regulations stipulate that the maximum time frame 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 time frame 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 time frame are immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility.

Maximum Timeframe and Examples: Program Credits Required for Graduation Maximum Credits (including transfer credits)
Accounting (Assoc. degree) 66 99
Medical Assistant 32 48

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.

Students suspended from financial aid may  submit an appeal to have their financial aid reinstated by completing the appropriate Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and related steps.

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 Warning Suspension
Earn less than 67% cumulative completion rate Warning Suspension
Exceed the allowed number of credits attempted during college career (varies by program) Suspension Suspension


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

The Financial Aid Office will notify students through their student NTC email following the end of a semester they were enrolled, if they have been placed on Financial Aid Warning or Suspension. A student on Suspension may request consideration for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility through a formal appeal process. A student who believes their Financial Aid Suspension is due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control has 30 calendar days from the date of the Financial Aid Suspension email notification to submit an Appeal. If received after 30 days, the appeal will be denied.

The Financial Aid SAP Appeal Committee will review the appeal. If the appeal is submitted before the deadline, the student will receive notification of the decision within 14 business days of receiving all required documentation through his or her student email account. If approved, the student will be placed on "Probation" and is aid eligible. If the appeal is denied, the student will not be eligible for financial aid until he/she is able to meet SAP. The Committee's decision is final. Students whose appeal has been denied must enroll in, pay for and successfully complete a minimum of 6 credits. If a student whose appeal has been denied pays for a minimum of 6 credits and passes all courses with a "C" or better, they may submit an appeal for reinstatement the following semester and receive any financial aid they are eligible for based on the results of their FAFSA application. 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.

Appeal Forms

Appeals must be submitted no later than 30 calendar days of the date of your Satisfactory Academic Progress status email notification from the Financial Aid Office.

Use the forms listed below for submitting appeals. Complete all steps listed on the form and attach required documentation (if required). Students' SAP statuses are reviewed at the end of each term of enrollment, including summer. An email notification will be sent to NTC student email informing students of their SAP status if they failed to meet the SAP standards described above. Students may also check their SAP status in their myNTC account using the Satisfactory Academic Progress link within the View My Financial Aid menu option. Please be sure to choose the correct aid year:  2018, if doing so.

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the Financial Aid Office realizes that it will not always be feasible for students to collect documentation associated with their Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal. Effective 5/22/2020, the requirement for students to include any documentation for Summer 2020 financial aid eligibility will be waived.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form

This form is used for most SAP appeals. Complete and submit with required documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Students completing this appeal are required to 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 email, 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 SAP 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.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal - Short Form [electronic form]

The link to this form will be emailed to students eligible for this electronic form.

This appeal is only for students flagged for SAP Suspension resulting from a shortfall in meeting the cumulative completion and GPA minimum requirements following a successful semester (completed all of their courses with a "C" grade or better and did not withdraw from any courses attempted).

Students may complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal - Short Form only if they meet TWO of the four circumstances listed below:

  • I was on financial aid Warning.
  • I was on financial aid Probation after having appealed their last SAP Suspension and have already created a Student Success Plan (SSP) with their Academic Advisor.
  • I was on financial aid Suspension but paid for and successfully completed a minimum of 6 credits.
  • I successfully completed all attempted classes with grade(s) of "C" or better during my most recent semester:  Summer, Fall, or Spring.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal - Withdrawal From All Classes Form [Electronic Form]

The link to this form will be emailed to students eligible for this electronic form.

This appeal is only for students flagged for SAP Suspension (not already on a Warning status) meeting the following criteria:

  • Student withdrew from all of their courses during the semester.

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. 

Financial Aid Appeal - 150% Maximum Eligibility Timeframe appeal form

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

Spring 2020: Courses dropped after March 13, 2020, as a result of COVID-19 related circumstances do not count as units attempted or completed.

Spring 2020: Courses with a grade of I (Incomplete) as a result of COVID-19 related circumstances are counted as attempted or completed.

  • 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. Treated as an unsuccessful grade for the purpose of SAP.
  • 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 time frame 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.