Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards, students must:

Cumulative GPA Requirement

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above for all credits attempted

Cumulative Completion Rate

  • Complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted credit hours: Credits Completed ÷ Credits Attempted × 100 = Completion Rate.
  • Transfer credit hours on the student’s record are included when computing the student’s completion rate.
  • Remedial credit hours are included in the calculation of the cumulative completion rate.
  • Withdrawn courses are calculated in a student’s attempted credit hours.

Maximum Time Frame

  • Complete eligible degree/certificate program within 150% of scheduled program length.
  • Once students have attempted 110% of the number of credits hours required for their degree or eligible certificate program, they will be sent an Alert letter. This letter will explain to the student that they will no longer be eligible for financial aid when the total attempted credits are 150% of their total program credits.
  • Up to 30 remedial credit hours may be excluded from the maximum time frame calculation.
  • Transfer credit hours are included in the calculation of allowable maximum timeframe.
  • Attempted credit hours under all courses of study are included in the calculation of attempted and earned credit hours. This includes previously accumulated hours from prior certificates or degrees.
  • If it is at any point in time determined a student cannot complete their program of study within 150% of the program length, students may lose their financial aid eligibility.
  • All courses a student has ever taken are considered in the Max Time Frame Calculation. A student may choose to retake a course to improve their GPA, but this may cause a problem in their completion rate as well as their overall number of credit hours attempted.

Second Degrees or Certificates 

Under some circumstances students may receive funding for an additional degree or certificate beyond their first one.  Students may be required to submit an appeal along with a Degree Evaluation to determine whether or not additional funding can be approved.

Review of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be done shortly after the stated due date for grades at the end of each academic term. Should a student fail to meet one or more of the above indicated standards, they will be placed on financial aid warning, alert, ineligible for aid, or probation. A written notification will be sent to the student after the review if the student has been placed on warning, alert, ineligible for aid, or probation.

Financial Aid SAP Appeals

Students may appeal if placed on financial aid ineligibility. The financial aid ineligible status means students cannot utilize their federal and/or state financial aid to help pay for the cost of school at NJC, and must pay for the costs out of pocket. This appeal must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office prior to the start of the semester, with a completed Appeal Form located below and supporting documentation. The appeal will be reviewed by a committee which will determine if federal/state aid can be used to assist with college expenses, or if the student will be required to pay out of pocket until the student begins to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards set by the U.S. Department of Education.  

Students are responsible for presenting sufficient information and documentation to substantiate the existence of extenuating circumstances. No action will be taken on incomplete appeals. The appeal will only be reconsidered once all supporting documentation has been received. Please note this appeal process is separate from the Academic Appeal process. Please check with the academic department to determine if an academic appeal is also required.   

Complete Financial Aid Appeal Form

Examples of extenuating circumstances:

Medical problems (family illness)

  • Family emergency (death of a family member)
  • Other documented extenuating circumstances beyond your control

Students may also appeal on the basis of:

  • Maximum allowable credit hours for currently enrolled program, or
  • Funding for an additional degree and/or certificate.

Appeals for maximum allowable timeframe and funding for an additional degree and/or certificate will require meeting with an Academic Advisor or Counselor to discuss the number of attempted credit hours beyond the requirements and/or the educational purpose of a subsequent degree and/or certificate. A Degree Completion Evaluation Form signed by an Academic Advisor or Counselor must be submitted with the completed Appeal Form.

Students are notified of appeal decisions. If an appeal is approved, students will be placed on probation. If granted a successful appeal, financial aid awarding is based upon the availability of funds at the time of reinstatement. Students may, or may not, receive all funds awarded prior to the loss of eligibility.

Grade Changes

Students are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office of all grade changes that might affect current or future financial aid eligibility. A reevaluation of the students’ status will be performed by the Financial Aid Office once the grade change has been communicated to the Financial Aid Office.

*A copy of the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is available upon request from the Financial Aid Office


Students who lose financial aid eligibility because they are not meeting the school’s satisfactory academic progress standards will regain eligibility when they are again meeting the qualitative and quantitative standards as set previously in this policy.  They may also regain eligibility by successfully appealing a determination that they were not making satisfactory progress. 

Upon successful reestablishment of eligibility, the student will be awarded financial aid based on the availability of funds at the time of reestablishment. Students may, or may not, receive all funds awarded prior to the loss of eligibility.