The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires Peralta Community College District to develop and enforce standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) prior to awarding any federal financial aid funds to students. Standards of satisfactory academic progress were established to encourage students to successfully complete courses for which federal financial aid is received, and to progress satisfactorily toward degree completion. Successful completion of a course for undergraduates is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, B, C, D, CR, and P.

Satisfactory Academic Progress apply to federal and state financial aid programs, not limited to Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Loans, and Cal Grant.

These financial aid standards of academic progress are separate from, and in addition to, academic standards required by the Peralta Community College District for continued enrollment. The criteria used to determine academic progress are cumulative grade point average, semester and cumulative completion rate (or pace), and maximum time frame to complete the degree.

All periods of enrollment are reviewed, including semesters during which no financial aid was received.

Qualitative Requirement – Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

Quantitative Requirement – Completion Rate (Pace)

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 66.67% (two-thirds) of term and cumulative credit hours/units attempted (attempted credit hours/units are credit hours/units for which a tuition charge was incurred). This is measured on a semester and cumulative basis. Transfer credit hours/units are accepted toward the student’s degree requirements are included as credit hours/units attempted/earned but not in the GPA.

Maximum Time Frame for Completion of Educational Objective

Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the published length of their degree program. The following standards of attempted credit hours/units are applied to determine when a student has exceeded the maximum time frame for completion of their degree program.

For example, if a major requires 60 credit hours/units to graduate, a student could not receive financial aid beyond 90 credits attempted (including transfer credit hours/units) whether or not financial aid was received for those credits.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades are calculated similar to an ‘F’ until the incomplete grade is changed to a complete grade.

Multiple Retakes – Repeated courses affect academic progress as follows:

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average – Only the most recent grade counts in the student’s Cumulative GPA.
  • Cumulative Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame – When a course is repeated, each course attempt will be counted as attempted credit hours/units.

Remedial and ESL Coursework

Remedial and ESL courses toward the completion of an academic program are treated the same as other courses for satisfactory academic progress purposes and must meet semester and cumulative completion rate and GPA.  Students will be exempted from 30 credit hours/units of remedial courses from the 150% program time frame and must meet course requirements towards a degree.

Transfer Credit Hours/Units

Transfer credit units that are accepted toward the student’s academic program count in the overall maximum time frame calculation and in the cumulative completion (pace) calculation. Transfer credit hours/units have no effect upon the cumulative grade point average.

Changes of Major/Degree Program

Students who change majors or change programs are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule but only credits hours/units applying to the new major or degree program are evaluated. The 150% maximum limit will be measured based on the number of credits hours/units required for the new major/program. Students pursuing a degree or certificate at a college in the district not offered at their home college may be required to change their home college designation before receiving any funding. 

Second Degrees

Students who enroll in a second degree program are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule. However, only the credit hours/units from the first degree which apply to the second degree will be counted as attempted credit hours/units.

Timing of Reviews

Current active students will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each semester.

New financial aid recipients (i.e., those students who had never previously applied for aid) or students reactivated for enrollment at Peralta Community College District will have their academic progress reviewed when the Financial Aid Office receives the results of their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

At the time of the review students who are not meeting the minimum requirements will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  At the end of the warning semester, students must maintain or achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and have a credit completion rate of 66.7%.  Students who do not meet SAP at the end of the warning period may be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who are placed on financial aid suspension are ineligible for financial aid for subsequent enrollment periods. During suspension students may be permitted to enroll at their own expense to demonstrate and improve academic progress.

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Students who choose to attend Peralta Community College District or another institution while on financial aid suspension at their own expense will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon seeking reinstatement. When seeking reinstatement, students must be meeting the academic progress standards in order to regain eligibility for subsequent enrollment periods.


Appeal is a process by which a student who is not meeting the institution’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards petitions the institution for reconsideration for financial aid. Students on financial aid suspension may appeal the loss of aid if extenuating circumstances prevented the students from making satisfactory progress. Circumstances which are considered extenuating are those which are unusual and/or unforeseen at the beginning of the enrollment period, such as: injury or illness of the student, death of a close relative, or other situations which were unexpected and beyond the student’s control. While having a documented disability does not exempt students from SAP, allowances may be made for students who have a documented disability or other adjustment difficulties on an extenuating case by case basis. The appeal must include what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. Check in with your college Financial Aid Office for the appeal form. Students are notified in writing of the results of their appeal. The possible appeal results are listed below.

Approved Appeals – Probationary Status

Students who appeal may be granted a probationary period. At the end of a probationary period, students must be meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements or must be successfully meeting requirements of an academic plan in order to continue to receive financial assistance.

Denied Appeals – Reinstatement of Eligibility

Students who choose to attend Peralta Community College District while on suspension, at their own expense, will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon seeking reinstatement. Students must be meeting the academic progress standards in order to regain eligibility for subsequent enrollment periods.