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MSJC > Student Services > Financial Aid > Federal Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (FASAP) Frequently Asked Questions

Federal Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (FASAP) Frequently Asked Questions

Download the SAP Policy (PDF)


What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

·    To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, you must be maintaining progress toward a degree, certificate or transfer.  Maintaining academic progress at Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) means you must maintain:
o   A cumulative completion rate of at least 67% of the units you attempt
o   Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
o   Complete your education program within the maximum unit timeframe allowed.

How many units must I enroll in and complete to maintain eligibility for aid?

·    The Financial Aid office does not impose a minimum number of units each semester, although most financial aid programs require at least 6 units per semester (half-time status) to receive funds.  Therefore, you may decide each semester how many units you will attempt.  In deciding, consider such factors as employment, course difficulty, family responsibility, academic probation, etc.

What is MSJC's definition of “completed” and “attempted” units?

·    You complete a course when you earn credit by receiving a passing grade of A, B, C, D, P, or CR.
·    Attempted units are any units for which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, RD, P, NP, CR, NC, I, IP, or W is received after the last date to drop a class without receiving a “W” grade.
o    Attempted units include all coursework at MSJC as well as all other transferable course-work at other institutions.

Do non-degree applicable and repeated courses count for financial aid?

·    Up to 30 units of non-degree applicable/remedial qualify for federal financial aid.  You may be paid for any repeated class if you previously failed that class and/or for any one class that you previously passed but want to retake.  Note:  The financial aid policy differs from the academic policy governing repeated courses.

What happens if I complete less than 67% of my attempted units or fall below a 2.0?

·    If you completed less than 67% of your attempted units or your GPA falls below 2.0, you are automatically placed on Financial Aid “WARNING” status for the following semester.  A warning status is eligible for financial aid.  Some students will be automatically terminated based on previous academic history and/or the inability to bring your cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or higher.

How do I re-qualify if my eligibility is terminated?

·    At the end of each semester MSJC will re-evaluate your SAP status.  If you successfully increase your cumulative completion rate to at least 67% of your attempted units and have a cumulative 2.0 GPA, the Financial Aid Office will automatically reinstate your financial aid eligibility.

How can I monitor my own SAP status?

·    It's easy!  Calculate your percentage of earned units using this formula:
(Earned Units)
Divided by
(Attempted Units)
8 Earned Units
Divided by
12 Attempted Units

Completion Rate Calculator


How does MSJC define the maximum unit timeframe?

·    Federal regulations require that you complete your academic programs within 150% of the standard timeframe for your program.  At MSJC, 72 units is used as the standard, with 90 attempted units as the maximum units for an AA/AS degree.  All units are counted even if you did not receive financial aid and even if the units do not count for unit credit toward graduation and/or transfer.  Once you reach the maximum units for your program, you are ineligible to receive financial aid.
o   Please note: Students enrolled in an eligible Certificate program will be allowed to attempt up to 150% of the published number of units required to earn the certificate.

May I appeal if I lose my eligibility because I completed less than 67% of my attempted units, have a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 and/or exceed the maximum units allowed?

·    You have a right to appeal your financial aid SAP status by presenting a written petition with a personal statement, current Educational Plan and documentation of mitigating circumstances.  The Financial Aid SAP Petition request forms are available online at
o   Please follow the instructions on the appeal form to document your special circumstances.  The SAP Appeals Committee evaluates all SAP appeals considering such factors as your personal statement, your academic history, your documented extenuating circumstances and your ability to achieve academic progress in the future.
o   Extenuating circumstances do not include the following:
o  Applying for an additional degree or certificate
o  Changed your mind about current degree plan
o  Did not like the instructor; had conflicts with the instructor, did not like the course
o  Death of anyone other than immediate family member
o  Illness of anyone other than you or your immediate family member
o  You were young and unaware of the importance of an education and/or financial aid policies
·       At MSJC, a student may have one approved SAP petition.
o   If a petition is approved a student will be required to follow the courses outlined in an Education Plan and will only receive financial aid for the courses listed. Failure to follow the Education Plan and/or ceasing attendance for an academic year will result in the petition being revoked and no further petitions will be allowed.
o   If a petition is denied, the student may petition again the following semester.
o   Once a student has an approved petition, they may not be eligible to petition again.
·    Students must attach verification that they have completed SAP Counseling.
o   The SAP Counseling session is located on the MSJC Financial Aid Counseling Center.
·    Please allow 4-6 weeks for the committee to evaluate and respond to your petition.
·    Petitions must be received by the 10th week of the term
o   Thursday, July 18, 2019 for Summer 2019
o   Wednesday, October 30, 2019 for Fall 2019 
o   Friday, March 27, 2020 for Spring 2020