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Manage Your Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) 

If you are using federal aid, state aid, or aid from MHCC, you will need to meet certain academic standards to keep getting aid. This is called satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The standards below apply to all MHCC students receiving aid.

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SAP Standards at MHCC 

  • Your total GPA at MHCC needs to be 2.0 or higher. 
  • You must pass at least two-thirds (66.67%) of all the classes you take for your program. 
  • You need to be on track to finish your program at MHCC within the 150% timeframe of the published program length. 

The office of financial aid checks these measures at the end of every term. We want to make sure you are still progressing in your program so that you can keep getting your financial aid. If your SAP status impacts your aid eligibility, we will notify you by email and make sure you know your next steps, including how to appeal.  

SAP Statuses 

  • Good Standing: You are meeting SAP standards with a pace of completion of 66.67% or higher and a total GPA of 2.0 or higher. You are eligible to receive financial aid. 
  • Warning: You have fallen below a 66.67% pace of completion or a 2.0 GPA. You will now have one term on Warning to get back in Good Standing. If you are on Warning, you are still eligible for aid, but you need to meet SAP standards at the end of the term or you will have Aid Denied for the next term. 
  • Aid Denied: If after a term on Warning or Probation, you are still not meeting standards for pace of completion and/or GPA. If your status is Aid Denied, you are not eligible for aid until you meet SAP standards or have an approved financial aid appeal. See details about how to appeal below. 
  • Probation: Your SAP appeal has been approved and you are able to receive aid for one more term. At the end of your term on Probation, you must meet the SAP to avoid having Aid Denied again. If it is not possible for you to meet SAP standards in one term on Probation, you will be asked to submit an education plan along with your appeal. As long as you follow the plan, you will stay in Probation until you meet SAP standards again. 

How to Appeal a Financial Aid Denial due to SAP 

If you are denied financial aid due to SAP, you can appeal. Complete a financial aid SAP appeal form and a written statement and supporting documents. Acceptable supporting documents include doctors’ notes, court documents, etc. Submit these to the office of financial aid.  

Make sure your written statement explains why you did not do well and what has changed so you can be successful in the future. Supporting documents are important. Without them, your appeal may be denied. You must resolve the reason for your appeal so you can return to school and do your coursework. If the condition or situation is not resolved, we will not review your appeal.  

What Happens After Your Appeal is Denied? 

If your appeal is denied, the financial aid office will let you know why. It could be your appeal was incomplete, more information is needed, you did not have a good reason for appeal, or it is not possible for you to meet SAP standards in one term on Probation (i.e., more than 12 credits). If the credits you need to get back in Good Standing will take more than one term, you will be asked to submit an education plan to get there. If the education plan is approved, your progress will be monitored at the end of each term. If you do not follow the plan or pass your classes, your aid will be denied again. You can always appeal again. 

Maximum Timeframe Limit and Appeals 

Federal regulations require that students complete their programs within the maximum timeframe allowed, which is 150% of the published program length. For example, if the minimum number of credits to complete an associate degree is 90 credits, you must complete the degree within 135 attempted credits (90 x 150% = 135). 

Once students have attempted the maximum number of credits for their declared certificate or degree, they become ineligible for financial aid but may appeal for an extension. Appeals are approved for students who have a clear education plan to complete their degree within the 150% timeframe and are maintaining SAP standards (as outlined above). 

The information below outlines how credits are evaluated for a student’s maximum timeframe, how and when students are notified about requirements, how the appeal process works, and what is required to keep aid eligibility. 

Evaluation of Credit 

When calculating your maximum timeframe, the office of financial aid includes the following: 

  • All credits attempted and earned at MHCC
  • Credits transferred from other colleges that are accepted by MHCC toward your degree/certificate

When you have attempted 150% of the credits required for your program, or the office of financial aid determines that it is mathematically impossible for you to complete your program within the 150% timeframe limit, your aid will be denied for your program. 

Notification Process 

When you are approaching 120% completion of your program, you will be notified by email and in MyMHCC that you may need to file a maximum timeframe appeal (MTA) soon. 

When you are approaching 150% of the credits required to complete your program, you will be notified that you must complete an MTA to show that you will be able to complete your program within the 150% timeframe limit. Until you submit the MTA, your aid will be denied. 

Maximum Timeframe Appeal (MTA) Process 

  1. If you have credits from other colleges, make sure your official transcripts from all other colleges have been received and evaluated by the admissions, registration, and records office.
  2. Make an appointment with your academic advisor. Your advisor will help you determine what classes you have left to reach your educational goal, map out a term-by-term education plan to document this, and walk you through how to fill out the maximum timeframe appeal form.
  3. With your academic advisor, complete the maximum timeframe appeal form and include your education plan and degree audit.
  4. Submit your MTA and supporting documentation to the office of financial aid.

It may take financial aid one to three weeks to review your MTA. Filing an appeal does not guarantee an extension of aid. If your appeal is approved, aid will be reinstated only for classes required to complete your certificate, degree, or program prerequisites. If it is determined that you cannot complete your degree/certificate within the 150% timeframe, you will become ineligible for aid immediately. 

The Approved Education Plan 

Your education plan must clearly outline your educational goal and how you plan to achieve it. It is your responsibility to comply with the plan you create with your academic advisor. If you deviate from the education plan by taking courses that are not listed on the plan, by changing your major or degree, or by not successfully passing all classes approved on the plan with at least a “C”, your financial aid will be denied. 

Learn more about financial aid options and eligibility. 

Frequently Asked Questions about SAP 

You can log on to MyMHCC and click on “Financial Aid under Frequently Used Links” on the right side of the screen. Click “View your Financial Aid SAP status” to see your status after each term ends. If you are not meeting SAP standards, you will receive an email to check your status within a week after a term ends. It is your responsibility to check your SAP status each term and to maintain or improve it as needed. 

Any course that you have already passed (grades of A, B, C, D, S) may be repeated only ONCE with financial aid. This applies to any course, no matter when or where that course was previously taken. If transfer credit is accepted by MHCC, we will assume that you passed the course, and you can use financial aid to pay for one repeat (if it will apply to your current degree at MHCC). Any more repeats of a passed course will not be eligible for aid. 

Any courses that you did not complete or pass (grades of F, K, I, U, W, X) may be repeated with financial aid.  

If you get a grade of incomplete (I) for a course, you will usually need to complete it by the end of the next term. You will not need to re-register for that course or be able to receive more financial aid for it. Check with your academic advisor for help. 

You can appeal your SAP status for any of the reasons listed below. You must include supporting documents for most, unless it says otherwise. 

  • Personal illness or medical circumstance 
  • Family related illness or medical circumstance 
  • Death of a close relative 
  • Disability related circumstances 
  • You now meet SAP standard, for example, after taking a class at your own expense, you are now meeting SAP standards, no documentation needed
  • Your grade changes and that improves your SAP status, no documentation needed
  • Other unexpected circumstances outside of your control

If your appeal is approved, you will be put on Probation for the next term and be able to receive aid for that term. At the end of your term on Probation you must meet SAP standards and be in Good Standing to avoid having Aid Denied again the next term.  

If you have an approved education plan with your appeal, you must follow your plan. Your progress will be monitored at the end of each term. If you do not follow the plan or pass your classes, your aid will be denied again. You can always appeal again. 

If needed, you may take no more than 45 total credits of IECC, remedial, or developmental courses (less than 100 level and all IECC courses) using financial aid. If possible, these classes should be taken at the start of your program. 

Yes. All grades and credits, including those for repeated, incomplete, and withdrawn coursework, are counted for SAP measures. Passing grades help you improve your pace of completion and GPA, while non-passing grades, incompletes, and withdrawals will hurt your pace and GPA. 

Passing grades: A, B, C, D, S 

Non-passing grades (still counted as attempted): F, K, U, I, W, X 

D grades are counted as passing for financial aid, but it is a low grade and may still hurt your SAP status. Also, a D might not meet the academic requirements of your program and you might need to retake the course. If you earn a D grade, check with your academic advisor to see if you will need to retake it for your program. 

Transfer credits that will apply toward your current program at MHCC are counted for SAP. This includes all passing and non-passing grades, as well as classes for which you did not receive financial aid.  

You may only use financial aid for courses that are required for an aid-eligible degree or certificate at MHCC. You must also be pursuing an aid-eligible major to receive aid for those classes. If you take classes for fun or for your job but are not seeking an aid-eligible degree or certificate, we are not able to give you aid for those classes.  

You can get financial aid for up to 12 credits for Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) and nine credits for PE (unless more are required by your program). 

Courses that are NOT aid eligible: 

  • Courses with an ‘X’ in their reference number (NAX10, EMTX, etc.), unless required for your program. 
  • Credits earned through a challenge, Evaluated Work/Life Experience (EWLE), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP). 
  • Classes that do not earn credits (i.e., audits, community education). 

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