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Satisfactory Progress Policy

In order to qualify and receive Federal Student Aid, the U.S. Department of Education requires that students maintain satisfactory academic progress in a program of study that leads to a degree or certificate program.

Federal Student Aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, and Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant (LEAP). Also, other agencies including tribal and scholarship programs may require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for their aid programs.

The entire academic record of all students will be monitored at the end of each term to ensure compliance with the requirements specified below. Therefore, even the academic record of those who have not received Federal Student Aid in the past will impact future eligibility. Failure to meet the following standards will cause financial aid ineligibility for Federal Student Aid for students who may have otherwise qualified for Federal Student Aid.

Satisfactory academic progress has both a qualitative and quantitative measure to monitor a student's progress toward a degree or certificate:

Qualitative Requirement: Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average.

  • Freshman (1-30 attempted credit hours) - 1.50
  • Sophomore (31-60 attempted credit hours) - 2.00
  • Junior (61-90 attempted credit hours) - 2.00
  • Senior (91 or more attempted credit hours) - 2.00

The students must demonstrate their pace of progression through their program of study. The pace is measured at the end of each term. The students must satisfactorily complete 67% of their courses in which the student has attempted overall.


Term 1 Term Pace Cumulative Pace
9 hours completed =75% 9 = 75%
12 hours attempted 12

Term 2
6 hours completed =50% 15 = 62.5%
12 hours attempted 24

Term 3
12 hours completed =100% 27 = 75%
12 hours attempted 36

"Satisfactory Completion" means earning a passing grade of A, B, C, D, or P. Grades of I, W, or F are not considered passing grades.

If a student withdraws during the first two weeks of the term, it is not considered credit hours attempted. All courses withdrawn from the third week of the term to the end will be counted as credit hours attempted.

Incomplete grades are considered credit hours attempted.

* Please see the Credit Hour Maximum Policy for the required completion rate to receive a degree at OLC.

Financial Aid Warning

If a Financial Aid recipient fails to satisfy the Satisfactory Progress Rule in a particular term, the recipient will be given a Financial Aid Warning during the succeeding term of enrollment. Students are still eligible to receive Financial Aid during the warning period, but they must satisfactorily complete 67% of their overall enrollment with a cumulative Grade Point Average of: 1.50 for Freshman and 2.0 for Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

Non-Satisfactory Academic Progress

If a Financial Aid recipient fails to comply during the warning period. The Student will not be eligible for any type of aid.

Appeal of Financial Aid Non-Satisfactory Academic Progress

1. A student may appeal Non-Satisfactory Progress by completing the Financial Aid Appeal Form and attach supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office by mid-term of the term during which the student is not eligible for financial aid

  • Reasons why he/she did not achieve minimum academic requirements which should include any type of unusual circumstances they may have been experiencing at the time. Unusual Circumstances that will be considered but not limited to are: illness, death in the family, injury, casualty losses due to weather (hurricane, tornado, mud slides, ground subsidence and other natural disasters), fire, theft, acts of God, or terrorism.
  • An explanation of what has changed that will allow the student to make Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the next term.
  • The appeal request will include an academic plan showing how the student will make SAP and the student must make academic progress under the plan at the end of the next term.
  • Students may have multiple appeals, but must be for different reasons.

2. An appeal Committee will review the appeal and determine whether the Financial Aid appeal is justified. The student will be advised in writing of the decision of his/her appeal no later than five days after receipt of such appeal.

  • If the student can demonstrate that they can make Satisfactory Academic Progress in one term and the appeal is approved they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one term.
  • If the student cannot demonstrate that they can make Satisfactory Academic Progress in one term and the appeal is approved, they will be required to submit an academic plan. This plan has to show how they are going to get back on track in a reasonable time. The plan will demonstrate the students map to graduation. The academic plan will then replace the SAP standards. At the end of each term, the student's Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured against their plan. The students will have to follow the plan in order to receive financial aid.
  • If the student's appeal is not approved, the student will not be eligible for financial aid.

3. A student wishing to appeal the decision of the Appeal Committee may do so in writing to the Student Service Committee. The student must state exactly what he/she disagrees with and furnish additional pertinent data.

4. The Student Service Committee will consider any proper appeal it receives at the next regularly scheduled meeting and indicate in writing its decision to the student by the end of the term during which the student is not eligible for financial aid.