Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


Federal regulations, which govern the administration of Title IV Student Aid Programs, require that a student maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of an academic goal in order to maintain eligibility for student financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (SAP)

To receive Title IV student aid at Coalinga College, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program for the purpose of completing an AA/AS Degree, a Certificate Program or transfer requirements.
  • Meet the quantitative standard: Complete at least 67% of the units attempted for each term (Fall/Spring/Summer).

Units Attempted (UA)

Must Complete

13 or more

67% of UA


8.04 units


7.37 units


7.0 units


6.3 units


5.36 units


4.69 units


4.02 units

Less than 6

All units


  • Meet the qualitative standard: Maintain a minimum semester and cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0.

Academic Progress calculations will be performed at the end of each term for students who have applied for financial aid. All students who receive financial aid at Coalinga College will be subject to these standards.

Credit and clock hours completed at other institutions and included in Coalinga College's academic records will be counted as hours attempted and completed in the student’s SAP calculation.

Repeated credit hours will be counted in both attempted and completed hours of the student’s SAP calculation. Incomplete hours will be counted as attempted hours but not as completed hours in the student’s SAP calculation.

Maximum Time Frame

Completion of an undergraduate program of study must be no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program. An Associate Degree Program at WHC is achieved at sixty (60) semester units; therefore, 150% is ninety (90) units. Students who have exceeded 90 attempted units will be considered to have reached the Maximum Time Frame and will be placed on Maximum Time Frame status and denied from receiving financial aid.

Students who decide to change majors or return for purposes of retraining may file a Financial Aid Appeal; consideration will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A student will also be placed on Maximum Time Frame and denied from receiving financial aid once he/she has received a Bachelor’s degree. However, the student has the option to file a Financial Aid Appeal. Federal Regulations do not allow students with a Bachelor’s degree to be considered Pell Eligible and will only therefore only be able to request loans if eligible.

MAX Time Appeals
Students who have been placed on MAX Time Denial may file a MAX Time Appeal form and attach a current Student Educational Plan. Documentation is not necessary for MAX Time Appeals unless the student is also not making SAP. In this case, they should be filing a SAP Appeal instead.

 Consequences of Failing to Meet SAP Standards

If satisfactory academic progress standards were not met, the student will be placed on a Financial Aid Warning status. Those in a Financial Aid Warning status who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards during that term will be denied financial aid for the subsequent term.

The Appeal Process

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Denial or Maximum Time Frame status may file a Financial Aid Appeal Form. Separate forms exist for these two types of appeals. The deadline to submit a Financial Aid Appeal is the end of the 12th week of Fall and Spring. The last day to submit an appeal during summer is June 30.

SAP Appeals
Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Denial because of failure to meet academic progress may file a SAP Appeal only if there were extenuating circumstances that explain their lack of progress and those circumstances have now been resolved. Students may file an appeal only for the following reasons:

Qualifying Circumstances

  • an unanticipated serious personal medical or psychological issue (excluding chronic conditions – students are responsible for properly balancing school with known chronic conditions)
  • death of an immediate family member (spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent, in-laws)
  • personal/family emergency (accident or serious illness)

NOT Qualifying Circumstances

  • difficulty adjusting to college
  • the difficulty of a course; dropping a course to avoid a bad grade
  • the teaching method or dislike of an instructor
  • Not receiving financial aid or getting a later disbursement than you expected

Requirements for submitting a Financial Aid Appeal:

  1. Complete a Financial Aid Appeal Packet
  2. Complete and attach a counselor-approved Student Educational Plan
  3. Attach documentation that supports the extenuating circumstances explained in your appeal

All Financial Aid SAP Appeals must be accompanied by documentation to support the extenuating circumstances specified by the student.  Your statement, transcripts and Ed Plan are NOT documentation.

If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for the subsequent semester and must still meet SAP standards. If the student chooses not to file an appeal, or the appeal is denied, he/she must complete at least six (6) semester units, meet all qualitative and quantitative standards, and submit a Request for Review of Transcripts to regain eligibility.

Ineligible Status

Students who had an appeal approved for Maximum Time Frame and failed to make progress during any term while they are on an extension will be placed on an ineligible status the subsequent term.  Students who fail to meet the standards for SAP during an extended term are not eligible to submit any further appeals.

Appeal Decision Terminology

Probation:  Financial Aid Probation means the student has submitted a Financial Aid Appeal; the appeal was approved.  The student must meet the standards for SAP while on probation or the student will be placed on Financial Aid Denial the subsequent term.

Extended: Extended means the student has submitted a MAX Time Appeal; the appeal was continuously approved through the last term listed on their Student Educational Plan. The student must continue to meet the standards for SAP while on Extended or the student will be placed on Financial Aid Ineligible status the subsequent term.

Ineligible: Ineligible means the student submitted an appeal for Maximum Time Frame that was approved and the student did not meet the standards for satisfactory academic progress during the Extended term(s).