Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions about Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress and Federal Financial Aid

What is SAP?
SAP is Satisfactory Academic Progress mandated by the United States Department of Education. The Financial Aid Office reviews all students seeking financial aid. We evaluate the number of credits attempted versus earned and cumulative grade point average each semester.
Do I have to keep a 2.0 grade point average at all times?
Our SAP policy uses a graduated scale where as you attempt more credits, the cumulative grade point average increases. Chesapeake College requires a 2.0 cumulative grade point average to graduate, so our policy requires a 2.0 once the student attempts 61 credits. Remember withdrawals and failures count as an attempt.
Is it better to withdraw or fail a course?
Neither action is recommended since failing a course will affect both your completion rate and grade point average and withdrawing affects your completion rate. In both cases, if you fall below the standard you will become ineligible for financial aid.
What if I want to change my major?
Changing your major is permitted, just not recommended. Students who change their major multiple times to programs that have vastly different course requirements can exhaust their financial aid eligibility. It is very important that students declare and stay in their program of study as much as possible.
What if I have to withdraw completely from a term?
Students who withdraw from all courses will have a zero completion rate. It is very difficult to make up those credits and will take multiple semesters to do so. Students should try as much as possible to only register for courses they can realistically complete.
How can I have a high grade point average and suspended from financial aid?
Withdrawing from courses has a negative impact on your completion rate. You may have a 4.0 because you have decided to drop every course that you fear you may fail. However you are not meeting SAP because of the low percentage of credits earned versus attempted.
How do I appeal my status if I have been suspended?
Each semester the Financial Aid Office will post the deadline date to appeal a suspended status. The forms and instructions for an appeal will be posted on our webpage. All appeals MUST include the SAP Appeal Form and the Academic Plan Form.
How do developmental courses affect my financial aid?
Developmental credits earn grades but don't factor into your grade point average or attempted credits versus earned. Students are eligible for federal aid for no more than 30 developmental credits. Repeated courses are included.
What is Maximum Time Frame?
Students must complete their degree or certificate in 150% of the credits required. Suspension from this status is automatic with no warning. Once you have attempted credits beyond your program requirement, you should pay close attention to your A.E.R and ONLY take courses that are part of your major.
What is Academic Warning?
The college has an academic progress policy also that informs students of their academic deficiencies. Students can be on Academic Warning but suspended from Financial Aid. It is important to understand that the two standards are separate. SAP is mandated by the United States Department of Education.
What is Financial Aid Warning?
Students not meeting academic progress will be permitted one semester of warning. During a warning period, students are eligible to receive financial aid. However they are advised not to fail or withdraw from courses; this action will cause financial aid suspension.
What is Financial Aid Probation?
This is a status that only the Director can assign resulting from a SAP appeal request that has been approved. Students will be given three semesters to regain satisfactory status.
What is Financial Aid Suspension?
This is a status that results from a student not improving their status after receiving a semester of Warning (unless Maximum Time Frame where no warning is given).
How many times can I appeal my suspended status?
Students are permitted two appeals. The second appeal will only be approved if the student has a documented issue that prevented them from regaining their eligibility.
What is Financial Aid Dismissal?
If you have been granted two Suspension Appeals and breached the terms of your appeal, you will be permanently dismissed from financial aid eligibility. You may still attend Chesapeake College but without the benefit of federal and state funding.