Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal Citation: 34 CFR 668.16(e) and 34 CFR 668.34

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Federal regulations require Linn-Benton Community College to establish satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy to ensure all students receiving financial aid are making reasonable progress towards completing their degree. Students who fail to make progress toward the completion of their education will not be able to receive  financial aid.

Satisfactory academic progress is defined as passing a required number of hours (Pace), and achieving a required grade point average (GPA) during a reasonable period of time (Maximum Time Frame). The academic records of all aid recipients are reviewed at the end of each term in which the student is enrolled to determine compliance. Federal regulations require that a student’s entire academic history be considered, even if the student has never received financial aid. State and non-federal programs and scholarships may have different standards for evaluating satisfactory academic progress.

These standards apply only to a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid. Refer to the Academic Information and Regulations section of the LBCC Catalog for academic policies that apply to all students (regardless of whether they are receiving financial aid).

The SAP policy only applies to Title IV recipients, but SAP is run on all students, regardless of aid status. Students who never receive federal aid are held to the Academic Information and Regulations.

Students are notified of their SAP standing after SAP is calculated (end of each payment period). This includes good standing, warning, termination, and probation. Students are sent a “courtesy” notification if they are close to being below GPA and pace. All communications are sent to the school email.

All students have the same SAP metrics to meet, as outlined below. Students are treated the same, regardless of what program of study or enrollment level.

Pace (Completion Rate)

  • Pace is the rate at which a student completes their program. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours completed by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted. 
  • In order to graduate within the maximum time frame allowed, students must maintain a pace equal to 70% of their cumulative hours attempted.
    • Attempted hours are the credit hours that a student is enrolled in after the add/drop deadline. 
      • For example, if you enroll in 15 credit hours prior to the start of the term and drop  a 4-hour course during the first week of the term, you are attempting 11 credit hours. 
    • Pace calculation example; if a student has attempted 15 credit hours and has received credit for 9 hours, the student’s pace would be 60% (9 ÷ 15 = .60) and would not meet the minimum requirement. 
  • Only courses for which the student received credit count towards completed hours. Passing grades are considered "A", "B", "C", "D", and "P" (Pass).
  • Courses in which students receive “F”, “NP” (No Pass), “IN” (Incomplete) “W” (Withdraw), and “AU” (Audit) grades do not count towards completed hours.
  • Historically, LBCC used grades of grades of “R”, “Y” and “Z”. These also  count towards cumulative attempted hours.

Overall Grade Point Average Requirement

  • Students must have an overall GPA (cumulative) of 2.00 at the end of each term.
  • If all institutional courses have a grade of ‘P’ or are not graded, the student may inform the Office of Financial Aid for reevaluation of SAP status.

Maximum Time Frame Requirement

Students may not exceed 150% of the published credit hours it takes to complete their degree and remain eligible for financial aid. Students that can no longer complete their academic program within the maximum time frame are not eligible for aid. The maximum time frame goes into effect at the point when it becomes mathematically impossible to successfully complete the degree before using up 150% of credits. This often occurs before the student actually reaches the maximum time frame. Therefore, a student can fail the maximum time frame requirement prior to reaching the actual maximum time frame hours. 

For example, an Associate of Art Oregon Transfer degree requires 90 credit hours to complete, which means students would have a total of 135 credit hours to complete their degree (90 credit degree x 150% = 135 credits). If the student has attempted 125 credit hours at the beginning of the term and has enrolled in their final 9 hours remaining to complete their degree, the student would be eligible for aid as they will not exceed 150% of the published length of the program. Another example, if the student has attempted 125 credit hours at the beginning of the term and has 20 hours remaining to complete their program. This student is no longer eligible to receive aid as 145 credit hours exceeds the maximum 135 credit hours limit. In this case, the student may request a petition to extend their financial aid eligibility.

To determine credit hours required for a specific program of study, refer to the LBCC catalog Degrees and Certificates.

  • The maximum time frame is not increased for changes in major, double majors, second degrees, or adding a certificate in another subject area.
  • Students who have completed all the courses required for their degree or certificate but have not yet received the degree or certificate are no longer eligible for financial aid for the degree or certificate. 
  • Repeated coursework and preparatory/prerequisite coursework are included.

Drops, Withdrawals, Repeats, and Incomplete Grades

  • Courses must be dropped prior to the add/drop deadline to prevent them from being included in attempted hours.
  • Courses withdrawn from after the add/drop period will count toward attempted hours.
  • Repeat courses for which the student has previously earned credit will not count toward hours completed. However, they will count toward hours attempted even if credit was not previously earned. The grade with the greatest points or if the same grade is received, from the most recent attempt at the course will be the grade that counts in the GPA calculations.
  • Credit hours for courses for which an incomplete or deferred grade is granted will not count as hours completed but will count as hours attempted. Upon completion of the course(s), SAP calculation will be performed at the end of the term that the completion occurred. If the incomplete grade is resolved between terms, the hours will be included with the prior term calculation.

Transfer Hours

The number of transfer hours accepted at LBCC will be used to calculate the students remaining eligibility under the 150% calculation and will be included in the calculation of pace (number attempted credits ÷ number completed credits).

Remedial Coursework

All attempted remedial credits will be included when evaluating SAP. A maximum of 45 remedial credit hours may be funded. Remedial coursework refers to courses that are below 100-level.

Second Degree-Seeking Students

Students who enroll in a second-degree program are still held to the 150% maximum time frame requirement, except in the case of an approved appeal. The maximum time frame requirement is not increased for changes in major, double majors, second degrees, or adding a certificate in another subject area.

Academic Renewal (Academic Amnesty) 

Any consideration allowed for academic renewal or academic amnesty will not be applicable when reviewing Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid eligibility. This includes overall GPA requirements and pace.

Academic Suspension

Students under academic suspension are not eligible to receive financial aid and are not eligible to appeal for financial aid until they have been reinstated to the college. Reinstatement to the college does not guarantee financial aid eligibility or appeal approval.

Financial Aid Warning Period

A financial aid warning period will be granted for students, who, upon review, do not meet pace or GPA requirements and whose prior term status was in good standing. The financial aid warning period will extend through the end of the term for which it is granted. If students are not in compliance with pace and/or the overall GPA requirements at the end of their financial aid warning period, financial aid eligibility will be terminated.

A financial aid warning period is not granted to students who do not meet maximum time frame requirements. Financial aid eligibility for students exceeding 150% of the credits required for the program in which they are currently enrolled will be immediately terminated.

Automatic Termination of Aid Eligibility

Failure to meet approval conditions imposed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee (FAAC), default on a federally funded student loan(s), or failure to repay a federal aid overpayment will result in automatic termination of aid eligibility.

Re-establishing Aid Eligibility

Students can re-establish eligibility by enrolling for and successfully completing courses without the assistance of financial aid funds. Once a student has reached the minimum standards required by this SAP policy, aid eligibility may be reinstated. All aid eligibility requirements must be met.

Appeal Process

If academic deficiencies are the result of extenuating circumstances, a student may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee (FAAC) in accordance with the following guidelines. Appeals are made available to students via their WebRunner,  click on Financial Aid Tab and then Financial Aid Dashboard. All available forms are located within the dashboard.

  • Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, the death of a family member, illness or injury, severe medical complications, or other circumstances beyond the student’s control. Appropriate documentation of the circumstance must be provided to the FAAC.

  • If a student chooses to attend a term without knowing their financial aid eligibility, the student is responsible for all charges on their Student Account, and understands all courses for the term as of the add/drop deadline will be considered in the SAP calculation.
  • Appeals must be accompanied by an educational plan from DegreeWorks.  Educational plans are completed with an academic advisor and are developed to assist the student in achieving academic success. The advisor and the student will develop a plan that ensures that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specified time. Visit the SAP Calculator to assist with the planning of an education plan. Contact your advisor or the Advising Center to schedule an appointment.  

  • The appeal must include a statement as to why the student did not meet SAP and an explanation of what will change to allow the student to meet SAP standards at the end of the next evaluation period.

  • Students who have reached the maximum time frame due to switching majors, second majors, or additional certificates will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis through the appeal process.

  • The outcome of an appeal will depend on the nature of the circumstances, the quality of the documentation provided, and how well the student has displayed the ability to progress toward degree completion within a reasonable time frame.

  • Incomplete appeals will not be reviewed. The committee will automatically deny any appeal that does not have supporting documentation.

  • Students will receive an email with their SAP status at the end of a term. If an appeal is needed, specific directions are included in the email, indicating if the student needs to submit a SAP Appeal. If students click this link and do not see a 2023-2024 SAP Appeal, then no appeal is needed. 
    If an appeal is needed, this is what students see after clicking the SAP Appeal link. Students will need to review and complete the form, attach needed documents, and statements. Once done, Submit! Then wait for the financial aid office to review.

    screenshot of the SAP Appeal screen
  • Students may also check to see if an appeal is needed by logging into WebRunner, click Financial Aid, then Financial Aid Dashboard. On the homepage of the dashboard scroll to the bottom under General Links, click on “Financial Aid Forms and Appeals”. If an appeal is needed the instructions and forms will be available. If you click this link and do not see a 2023-2024 SAP appeal, then no appeal is needed.

    screenshot of the Financial Aid dashboard in Webrunner

Students will receive written notification of the FAAC’s decision.

Financial Aid Appeal Due Dates

If you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) due to an extenuating circumstance and wish to appeal for future aid, please refer to chart below for deadlines. Submission by the posted deadline ensures that you will receive a notification of your appeal status by Friday of Week 1. It is your responsibility to know your eligibility before the Add/Drop Deadline on Monday of Week 2.

Appealing for: Date Financial Aid Appeal Due: Term Begins:  Appeals Committee Meets:
Summer 2023 Monday, June 26, 2023 Monday, June 26, 2023 June 26 - 28, 2023
Fall 2023 Wednesday, September 20, 2023 Monday, September 25, 2023 September 25 - 27, 2023
Winter 2024  Tuesday, December 19, 2023 Monday, January 8, 2024 January 8 - 10, 2024
Spring 2024 Wednesday, March 28, 2024 Monday, April 2, 2024 April 2 - 4, 2024

If your appeal is received after the deadline, you may or may not be reviewed in time for that term’s
disbursement period. It is the student’s responsibility to know if they are eligible for financial aid or not. If you choose to attend a term without knowing your financial aid eligibility, you are still responsible for all charges on your Student Account, which can include tuition, fees, late fees, etc.

Financial Aid is not awarded retroactively for a prior term in which your SAP was “Unsatisfactory.”


SAP Status Definitions

Good - Students who are meeting SAP standards and are eligible to continue receiving aid. 

Warning - Students who were meeting SAP standards in their prior term but are no longer meeting SAP standards in the current term are granted a period of one term of aid eligibility to bring their SAP status into compliance.

Terminated - Students who are no longer eligible for aid for failing to meet SAP standards (Pace, GPA, and/or maximum time frame) or approval conditions. 

Probation - Students who have appealed for their aid and have received approval. 

  • Standard probation may be granted for students that are below minimum standards and are required to complete 100% of the courses enrolled for the term and have a term GPA of 2.0. The academic record will be reviewed at the end of each term in which the student is enrolled to determine compliance. If the student has failed to meet the terms and conditions of their Appeal Approval Agreement, their status will be terminated. If the student has met the approval conditions, the conditions will be renewed for the next term and the student will remain eligible for federal aid. Students that have met SAP requirements (70% Pace and cumulative 2.0 GPA) will have their status reinstated to a Good status. 
  • Non-Standard probation is granted for students that have specific approval conditions. Approval conditions may include but are not limited to: 
    • 100% completion of enrolled courses
    • Term GPA of 2.0 
    • Enrolled only in courses required to complete your degree indicated on the Education Plan
  • The academic record will be reviewed at the end of each term in which the student is enrolled to determine compliance. If the student has failed to meet the terms and conditions, their financial aid status will be terminated. If the student has met the approval conditions, the conditions will be renewed for the next term and the student will remain eligible for federal aid.

Ineligible for aid - Student has exhausted all appeal processes and is no longer eligible for federal student aid.