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Satisfactory Academic Progress

IWCC has established a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy in accordance with federal financial aid regulations.  These regulations require a student to move toward the completion of a degree, diploma or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Federal financial aid regulations state that all periods of enrollment count when assessing progress, regardless of whether or not aid was received.

Timing/Frequency of SAP Calculation

Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid recipients will be calculated after each term of attendance.


As required by federal financial aid regulations, IWCC’s SAP policy has three standards by which a student’s cumulative academic record must be compared.  To be considered in compliance, a student must meet all three standards outlined in the policy.

Standard 1: Pace of Completion (Percentage of attempted credit hours completed)

A student must achieve a minimum pace.  Pace is the percentage of total attempted credit hours that are completed.  Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of completed credits by the cumulative number of attempted credits.  A student must complete at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted.  Grades of A, B, C, D, P and Q are considered completed for purposes of financial aid.  Grades of F, I, and W are not considered completed for purposes of financial aid.

Standard 2: Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

A student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.

Standard 3: Maximum Timeframe

A student must complete a degree within a 150% timeframe (e.g. Associate degree of 64 credits must be completed with 96 credit hours). Hours attempted are the sum of all credit hours recorded at IWCC, all transfer hours accepted for credit toward the applicable program of study, all developmental education credits, all ESL credits, and all courses passed by examination. All periods of the student’s enrollment count, even periods in which the student did not receive financial aid.

SAP Statuses

A student will be assigned one of four statuses each term which determines a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Good Standing –The status given to a student who meets all three SAP standards or who applies for financial aid for his first term of attendance at IWCC.  To remain in Good Standing, a student must meet all three SAP standards each term.  Good Standing is a status which is eligible for financial aid.

Warning –The status assigned to a student after his first term of not meeting the minimum Pace and or minimum cumulative GPA.  Warning is a status which is eligible for financial aid.

Termination –The status assigned when a student has two consecutive terms of not meeting the SAP standards.  A student on Termination is not eligible for further financial aid.

Probation –The status assigned when a financial aid appeal has been approved.  Probation is a status which is eligible for financial aid.

Treatment of the Following Types of Courses for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Audit courses

Audit courses are ineligible for financial aid and do not count toward the number of attempted credits or the number of earned credits.  They do count toward the maximum timeframe.

Repeated courses

A student may use financial aid to repeat a course that was not successfully completed (defined as a passing grade of a D or higher). A student may also use financial aid to repeat a successfully completed course one time.  Repeated courses are considered in the calculation of Pace, GPA, and maximum timeframe.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP courses are ineligible for financial aid funding.  The credits count as attempted and earned credits as well as toward the maximum timeframe but do not affect the Satisfactory Academic Progress cumulative GPA.

Transfer courses

Credits transferred to IWCC from another institution count as attempted and earned credits as well as toward the maximum timeframe but do not affect cumulative GPA.

English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) courses

ESL courses are counted in the calculation of Pace and cumulative GPA as well as toward the maximum timeframe. 

Developmental courses

A student admitted into a financial aid eligible program is eligible to receive federal aid for up to 30 developmental credit hours.  Developmental credit hours count as attempted and earned credits as well as toward the maximum timeframe.  They also affect the Satisfactory Academic Progress cumulative GPA.

Dual Enrollment courses

A high school student enrolled in IWCC courses that will apply toward his high school graduation requirements and earn him credits at IWCC at the same time is not eligible for federal aid.  When a dual enrollment student graduates from high school, enrolls in a financial aid eligible program at IWCC, and applies for financial aid, credits for IWCC courses taken under a dual enrollment program count as attempted and completed credits as well as toward the maximum credit limit.  These credits also affect the cumulative GPA.

Changing Majors or Earning an Additional Degree

Change of Major

IWCC does not limit the number of times a student may change his major. 

Additional Degrees

Once a student has earned an academic credential (certificate, diploma, or associate degree) at the college he may pursue additional academic credentials.  The maximum timeframe standard still applies.  Once a student reaches the maximum timeframe for his declared program of study he will be Terminated and an approved appeal is required to receive further financial aid.

Student Notification

Financial aid recipients will be notified of their status once SAP is calculated after the end of each term by letter via regular U.S. mail and a notice sent to his/her official IWCC email.

Reinstatement of Good Standing

A student can return to Good Standing by raising his cumulative GPA to 2.00 or higher and his cumulative credit completion rate to 67% or higher as long as he has not reached or exceeded the maximum timeframe for his program of study.

Appeal Process

To regain eligibility for financial aid after Termination, a student is required to regain a cumulative 2.00 GPA and/or raise her cumulative completion rate to 67% at her own expense or complete a Termination Appeal Form and Academic Improvement Plan (AIP).

Circumstances for Appeal

A student may submit a written appeal documenting extenuating/mitigating circumstances that prevented her from meeting minimum standards. Extenuating circumstances that may be considered include: personal illness or accident, serious illness or death within immediate family or other circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student.

Filing an Appeal

An appeal form is available on-line at www.iwcc.edu. In addition, appeal forms are available at the Welcome Center. 

An Academic Improvement Plan is required as part of the appeal process.   The student will be directed to meet with an Enrollment Advisor to develop an Academic Improvement Plan that must be submitted with the appeal.

After review by the SAP Committee, a written response of the Committee's decision will be communicated to the student both by letter via regular U.S. mail and a notice sent to her official IWCC email.  If approved, the student will have her financial aid reinstated, though she will remain on Probation for the next term.

A student on Probation must pass all of her classes each term and achieve a 2.00 term GPA or she will be placed on Termination. A student must follow the Academic Improvement Plan until her record meets the minimum SAP standards. If a student fails to follow the Academic Improvement Plan, she will be placed on Termination after the next SAP review.

Appeal of the SAP Committee’s Decision

A student who is denied an appeal may appeal the decision of the SAP Committee to the Director of Financial Aid. The Director will review with a SAP Committee member and respond to the appeal within 72 hours from the date of receiving the appeal. The re-appeal must have documentation that was not part of the original appeal to the SAP Committee. The Director’s decision of this appeal is the final step of the Financial Aid Appeal Process.