Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


In order to receive financial aid, a student must be making satisfactory progress toward completion of a diploma, certificate, or degree. Academic progress is reviewed at the time awards are made, and again at the end of each fall, spring and summer semester. The WNCC financial aid requirements outlined below are designed to comply with Federal regulations.


Cumulative GPA: A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

Pace: The student must progress through his/her educational program at a pace of 70% or higher. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of successfully completed credit hours by the cumulative number of attempted credit hours. Attempted credits include any course taken for credit, with the exception of courses dropped during the free drop period (the first week of classes during fall and spring semesters; the first three days for summer sessions and quarter classes) and those taken for Audit. Accepted transfer credits count as both accepted and completed in the pace calculation.

Rate of Program Completion (Maximum Time Frame): Students are expected to complete their program of study within a reasonable time period. A student's maximum time frame is based on total credit hours attempted at WNCC (plus any transfer credits) and the student's degree objective. These limits apply regardless of whether or not the student has changed majors or received federal funding. The student's eligibility will end when the student has attempted 150% of the credits required for his/her specific program of study or if the satisfactory academic progress review determines the student cannot mathematically complete his/her program within the maximum time frame. For example, if a program requires 64 credits, the student may attempt no more than 96 credit hours before completing the degree or losing financial aid eligibility. This status may be appealed.

Official transcripts from all previous institutions attended must be submitted to the WNCC Registrar prior to disbursement of federal aid to determine credits for the maximum time frame calculation.


Warning: A student will be placed on financial aid warning if he/she::

  1. Fails to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, and/or
  2. Fails to meet the 70% pace requirement.

The student may still receive federal financial aid while on warning status. The student's future financial aid eligibility is dependent upon how well the student does during the warning semester. If the student meets the 70% pace requirement and has a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher at the end of the warning semester, the student will be restored to satisfactory status. If, however, the student again fails to meet one or both of these requirements, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. No federal financial aid will be disbursed for the semester following a warning semester until the Financial Aid Office reviews final grades for the warning semester.

NOTE: This may or may not impact your eligibility for scholarships. Check the information you received at the time the scholarship was awarded for specific eligibility criteria. If you fail to meet the necessary scholarship criteria, your scholarship will not be renewed.

Suspension Following Warning: A student will be placed on financial aid suspension if he/she fails to meet the academic progress requirements at the end of a warning semester.

Regaining Eligibility After Suspension

A student whose financial aid eligibility has been suspended has two options for regaining his/her eligibility.

  1. A student may qualify for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility by enrolling at his/her own expense and once again meeting all the necessary academic progress requirements outlined above. This may take one or more semesters, depending on how long it takes the student to be in compliance with this policy. Financial resources other than federal financial aid must be used to pay for educational expenses during these terms.
  2. If circumstances beyond the students control prevented him/her from making the progress required, the student may file an appeal for reconsideration. An appeal must be in writing, and must include supporting documentation of the extenuating circumstances and an Academic Plan developed with the students academic advisor. Appeal forms are available from the Financial Aid Office or online.  Appeals should be submitted as soon as possible following notification of suspension, but no later than mid-term of the semester for which the student is requesting aid. A student whose appeal is approved by the Appeal Committee will be placed on financial aid probation status for the subsequent semester of enrollment. The student will continue to maintain federal financial aid eligibility by meeting all satisfactory academic progress requirements outlined above or by meeting the terms outlined in the students Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress agreement and the Academic Plan submitted with the student's appeal. A student who does not meet the terms of the agreement or Academic Plan loses federal financial aid eligibility. Denied appeals may be re-appealed by the student to the Financial Aid Director.

Other Information

Credits successfully completed: For this policy, successful completion is defined as earning a grade of D- or higher, or a grade of P. Grades of AU, CR, I, F, NP, and W are not considered successful completion under this policy.

There is a limit of appeals allowed; further appeals will be accepted at the discretion of the Appeal Committee and only if the criteria established in the Academic Plan and the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress or MAX Continuation of Funding agreement conditions are met.

Incompletes: A student who is placed on warning or suspension solely because of Incomplete credits may request that the Financial Aid Office review his/her status once the course has been completed and a passing grade issued. This review will not take place until the revised grade has been changed in the WNCC computer system.

Remedial Work: Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 credits of remedial courses. All remedial courses, including English as a Second Language courses, are included in students GPA, Pace, and maximum time frame calculations.

Repeats: All repeated courses are included in the student's cumulative attempted credit hours. A repeated course counts only once toward completed credits. Federal financial aid may not cover repeated courses.

Academic Amnesty: Please note that Academic Amnesty does not affect a student's financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress status. Students who apply for and receive Academic Amnesty to have credits attempted and grades earned in previous semesters excluded from the calculation of the students GPA are not automatically returned to satisfactory standing. Federal aid program regulations make no provisions for the concept of academic amnesty or academic renewal. Therefore, a school must always include all attempted courses in evaluating a student's Satisfactory Academic Progress.