Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid

* changes effective 7/1/2013 per federal requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements


The Education Amendments of 1987 require that a student must be making “satisfactory progress” in his/her course of study to be eligible for aid. In order to satisfy this requirement and prevent abuse of the intentions of the federal aid programs, satisfactory progress guidelines must be adhered to by students who receive any type of Title IV federal aid (Pell, FSEOG, FWS, Direct Stafford Loan, Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan, IASG).

To be eligible for federally funded financial aid programs and most institutional awards at NMC, all students must meet the following qualitative and quantitative requirements for satisfactory academic progress (SAP).

These standards are for all students applying for assistance for any federal financial aid program administered by the NMC Student Financial Services office. Academic progress requirements for scholarships are defined by the respective donors and maintained in the NMC Student Financial Services or NMC Resource Development office.

Frequency and Interval of Review

Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed prior to the awarding of any federal financial aid. It will also be reviewed and monitored at the end of fall, spring and summer semesters, and prior to the disbursement of aid for the following semester.

Establishing Initial Eligibility

A student’s past academic transcripts will be reviewed according to the following guidelines:

  1. Students who have never attended NMC will be considered in good standing with regard to minimum semester credits completed and minimum GPA requirements.
  2. Students who have previously attended NMC will have their past academic transcripts reviewed regardless of whether financial aid was received for previous attendance.
  3. Transfer credits from other institutions that apply to your current degree program will be considered in determining eligibility under the maximum time frame criteria.

Maintaining Qualitative and Quantitative Eligibility

  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements (Qualitative): All financial aid students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average.
  • Minimum completion factor required (Quantitative): All financial aid students must complete a minimum of 67% of the credits for which they registered. When calculating completion the following designations will be considered as non-completion of the class: Incompletes, audits, withdrawals, failures-to-attend, unsatisfactory, not-qualified, in-progress, zeros (0.0) and repeats

Maximum Quantitative Measure

Once a student is close to the total hours required for their program, and prior to reaching the 150% maximum of credit hours, students will be reviewed based on their My Academic Plan (MAP). If the student has graduated or exceeded the number of credits left to complete their current degree program, the student can complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee regarding a change in major or reason for exceeding credits.

Credit hours accumulated under a previous major(s) at NMC or other postsecondary institution(s) shall be counted in the maximum number of hours allowed for aid eligibility if they apply to the currently sought degree or certificate. All of these credit hours are counted regardless if the student did or did not receive financial aid.

Extension of financial aid eligibility may be approved if the student submits a NMC Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee regarding a change in major.

If a student has already received a degree or certificate, or is changing majors, she/he will need to file a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal for Federal Financial Aid. Only those courses that apply to the new program will be considered in the quantitative measure. View or download the appeal request form (PDF) here.

Maximum Total Credit Attempted Hours Allowed for Aid Program Type Required Eligibility:

Program Type

Total Credit Hours Required

Maximum Attempted Hours Allowed for Aid Eligibility

Certificate of Achievement Programs



Associate in Applied Science (AAS)



Associate in General Studies (AGS)



Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)



Associate in Science and Arts (ASA)



Bachelor of Science in Maritime Technology



Other Factors

  • Audit
    Classes registered for audit at the start of a semester will not be considered when determining semester award amounts or minimum credits completed. Classes taken for audit will not be considered as attempted credits toward the maximum time frame for completion. If a student changes their registration status after the start of a semester, it will have an adverse effect on Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Remedial/Developmental Courses
    After a student has attempted 30 hours of remedial/developmental credit hours, he/she cannot receive financial aid for remedial/ developmental credit hours. From that point on, remedial/developmental credit hours will count in his/her attempted hours but not in enrollment status or cost of attendance for financial aid purposes.

Warning and Suspension

Financial aid warning and suspension apply only to a student’s status for purposes of financial aid eligibility at NMC. This does not become part of the student’s permanent record and is not transferable to other institutions. Please be aware, your financial aid status may differ from your academic status.

  • Warning
    Students who fall below the qualitative or quantitative requirements, will be placed on a warning status for their next semester of enrollment. A student remains eligible to receive financial aid while on a warning status. If the minimum cumulative qualitative and quantitative requirements are met at the end of the warning period, the student will be removed from warning status and placed in good standing.
  • Suspension
    If a student does not meet the requirements for maintaining eligibility at the end of the warning semester, eligibility for financial aid programs will most likely be suspended. Students who have reached or exceed the maximum time frame for completion will be placed on immediate financial aid suspension.

Reinstating aid eligibility

An appeals process is available to students who lose financial aid eligibility based on failure to meet cumulative qualitative or quantitative requirements or exceeding the 150 percent time frame. View or download the appeal request form (PDF) here. Along with the appeal request the student will need to review and provide information regarding their academic plan for financial aid. If the appeal is approved the student will be notified and reinstated on probationary status. A student is eligible to receive financial aid on probation. The student will need to meet the requirements of the academic plan for financial aid at the end of each payment period. If the student continues to meet the requirements of their academic plan for financial aid, they will have a plan status. If at the end of a payment period, the student fails to meet the requirements of the academic plan for financial aid, they will be suspended. If a student meets the cumulative qualitative (2.0 GPA) and quantitative (67% completion) requirements, they will be placed back in good standing.

* revised 05/29/15* subject to revision at any time based on changes to federal, state, or institutional regulations/policies
Section Navigation Academic Programs
up arrowscroll bardown arrow