Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress: An Overview

Per Federal Regulations, Tulsa Community College must monitor the academic progress of all students who receive Financial Aid. Students’ progress is measured by an objective set of standards (minimum GPA, Pace, and Maximum Timeframe) at the end of each semester. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress (or SAP) will be suspended from receiving any type of Financial Aid at TCC. While TCC does allow students to appeal their suspension, this should never be counted upon as a guarantee for re-establishing aid eligibility. Transfer credits are used when determining a student's SAP status at TCC

Students who are not meeting minimum GPA and/or pace (completion rate) are allowed one warning semester before being suspended. At the end of the warning semester a student must be meeting all SAP standards or they will be suspended from receiving aid. A student who is violating the maximum timeframe does not get a warning semester. 

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All students receiving financial aid must meet the following standards for each semester they receive financial aid at TCC. TCC uses a student’s entire academic history to evaluate their academic progress. 

  • Minimum GPA
    • Financial aid recipients must meet the following minimum GPA requirement and retain aid eligibility:
    • 1.70 cumulative GPA is required for all students who have attempted less than 31 hours
    • 2.00 cumulative GPA is required for all students who have attempted 31 or more hours
      • NOTE: A 2.00 GPA is required for graduation at TCC.
    • Strictly for SAP purposes, TCC Financial Aid office calculates a GPA that may be different than the one used by the rest of the college. TCC is required to calculate a GPA for all attempted coursework, even courses that may not be counted toward graduation such as developmental coursework. 
  • Pace or completion rate
    • Students must complete 67 percent of all course work they attempt. To calculate pace, TCC divides the hours the student has passed by the hours attempted.
    • Pace is negatively impacted when a student withdraws from or fail to achieve a passing grade in a course. Failing grades and withdrawals count toward attempted hours, but not toward completed hours.
      • EXAMPLE ONE: If a student completed 25 of 30 hours attempted then his completion rate is 83 percent. (25/30 = .83.) This student would not be suspended for of the completion rate. 
      • Example Two: If a student completed 18 of 32 hours attempted then his completion rate is 56%. (18/32 =.56.) This student would be suspended for low completion rate.
    • Pace is negatively impacted when a student retakes a course for the purpose of improving their previously earned grade in that course under TCC's academic forgiveness policies.
  • Maximum Hours
    • A TCC student cannot have attempted more than 95 hours and still be eligible for aid without submitting an appeal.
    • Maximum hours refers to the maximum time frame allowed for a student to pursue a degree and still retain their eligibility. Per federal rules, a student's attempted hours cannot exceed 150% of the hours required for the degree being pursued. The average TCC degree requires 63 credithours. 150% of 63 hours is 95 hours. 


Re-establishing Eligibility

Students may re-establish their financial aid eligibility one of two ways: they may continue with courses, pay for classes without financial aid until the student reaches minimum standards. The second way is for students to appeal their suspension; however there is no guarantee the appeal will be approved. Therefore, students should make alternative plans to pay for their education if they want to continue working on their degree in case the appeal is unsuccessful. Students who are suspended, and have not submitted an appeal, may be dropped for non-payment from any courses for which they are enrolled in unless they make other arrangements to pay for their courses. Once suspended, there is no guaranee a student may receive financial aid until he or she is meeting minimum standards again. 

Students wishing to appeal their suspension must complete the necessary forms. Students must also visit academic advisement in order to complete an academic plan. Additionally, students will need to submit an appeal letter, explaining why they performed poorly in school and what changes they made to correct the cause of their financial aid suspension. Students will need to submit supporting evidence, such as a letter from a doctor or other professional, corroborating their explanation. Students who fail to submit all required paperwork will be denied. Students who have attempted more than 95 hours must obtain a degree plan from academic advisement.

Once a student submits their appeal, a committee will review the paperwork and make a determination as to whether the student's suspension should be reversed. There is no guarantee the committee will approve an appeal, and all decisions made by the committee are final.


Probation and Academic Plans

If the committee approves an appeal, the student will be placed on probation. The committee will set the terms of the probation, which may include:

  • Minimum GPA student must earn for each semester
  • Minimum pace student must maintain for each semester
  • The maximum number of hours a student is allowed to earn while still retaining financial aid eligibility
  • The term in which the student's probation will end, at which point the student must be making satisfactory academic progress

The committee bases the terms of the probation on the academic plan the student completed with an academic advisor. Students who fail the terms of their probation will be suspended again and must submit to the appeal process again in order to reestablish eligibility. An appeal is NOT guaranteed for a second probation. Students who are on probation for maximum hours (more than 95 attempted hours) cannot change their major without being suspended at the end of the term.


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