Return to accessibility navigation at the top of the page.

Definitions

Satisfactory Academic Progress GlossaryIn the context of financial aid policies words are at times defined differently than in normal use. The first time that a word was used above that may be unfamiliar it was followed by an asterisk (*). Definitions for words that are followed by an asterisk can be found in the glossary below.

Academic Plan: An academic plan is a schedule of the courses that are required for the student to complete the approved degree or certificate. The student must meet with an academic advisor/counselor to develop the academic plan. Students who enroll under an approved SAP appeal are required to follow their academic plan without deviation. Students who deviate from their academic plan are ineligible for financial aid. Students who wish to change their academic plan must appeal to do so.

Types of changes that require you to appeal include changes to your program, changes that you initiate and deviations from the college’s course catalog. Modifications that are not considered changes and therefore do not require you to appeal include alterations in the sequence of courses, approved course substitutions, advisor approved adjustments or corrections and schedule updates that are initiated by the college such as to program of study requirements, course numbers, course descriptions and course cancellations.

Students should note that classes that are required in the academic plan may or may not be eligible for Title IV aid. It is possible that a class that is included in the academic plan, such as a prerequisite that is not a program requirement, is not eligible for Title IV financial aid.

Appeal: The process by which a student who is not meeting SAP standards peti­tions the SAP appeal committee for reconsideration of eligibility for financial aid funds based upon documented extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating circumstances: Students who fail to meet all of the SAP standards and experienced extenuating circumstances may submit a SAP appeal. Extenuating circumstances are defined as events that were reasonably unforeseeable at the beginning of the semester, that are beyond the student’s control and sufficiently disruptive so as to have caused the student to fail one or more of the SAP standards. The circumstances that are cited in the appeal must be timely to the semester of enrollment during which the student failed one or more of the SAP standards.

Financial aid good (or satisfactory) academic standing: Students who meet all of the SAP standards based upon a current cumulative evaluation of their grades and credits are considered to be in good (or satisfactory) academic standard.

Financial aid probation semester: The status PCC assigns to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress and who successfully appeals. Eligibility for aid is reinstated for one payment period or semester. During any probationary semester the student must follow the academic plan and must meet the SAP standards based upon a minimum 2.00 term GPA and completion of 100.00% of the credits attempted, or meet the cumulative SAP Standards, in which case the student has achieved Good Standing.

Financial aid warning semester: The status PCC assigns to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of a semester during which he was initially in good academic standing. If the student is otherwise eligible Title IV aid is reinstated for one payment period or semester. If the student fails to meet all of the SAP standards by the end of the warning semester the student is immediately ineligible for Title IV aid for the subsequent semester of enrollment. Students who lose their eligibility for Title IV aid based upon documented extenuating circumstances may submit an appeal.

HEA: Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The HEA is the legislation under which the Title IV (or federal) financial aid programs are authorized and administered.

Maximum timeframe (clock hour programs): For an undergraduate program mea­sured in clock hours, the maximum timeframe is a period no lon­ger than 125.00% of the published length of the program as measured in both hours and calendar time.

Students become ineligible for Title IV aid when they have been enrolled in the program for 125.00% of the length of the program, as measured in calendar time.

Students also become ineligible for Title IV aid when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete the program within 125.00% of the length of the program as measured in clock hours, even when the student has not reached 125.00%.

Maximum timeframe (credit hour programs): For an undergraduate program mea­sured in credit hours, the maximum timeframe is a period no lon­ger than 150.00% of the published length of the program as measured in credits.

Students become ineligible for Title IV aid when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete the program within 150.00% of the length of the program as measured in credits, even when the student has not reached 150.00%.

Payment Period (clock hour programs): The definition of a payment period applies to all FSA programs except FWS. The common definition is integral to requirements for the administration of FSA funds in that FSA program disbursements (except FWS payments) must be made on a payment period basis, and a student’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) evaluation is required to correspond with the end of a payment period. At Pima Community College a payment period for clock hour programs varies by program and is generally equivalent to a 16 - 19 week period of enrollment.

Payment Period (credit hour programs): The definition of a payment period applies to all FSA programs except FWS. The common definition is integral to requirements for the administration of FSA funds in that FSA program disbursements (except FWS payments) must be made on a payment period basis, and a student’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) evaluation is required to correspond with the end of a payment period. At Pima Community College a payment period for credit hour programs is equivalent to a semester (fall, spring and summer are the standard semesters at the College).

Title IV Programs: The federal student financial aid programs authorized and administered under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards apply to all of the College’s Title IV (or federal) financial aid programs. Pima Community participates in the following Title IV (or federal) financial aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant (Pell)
  • Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)
  • Federal Direct Student Loan (Direct Loan)
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Direct PLUS)