Satisfactory Academic Progress


College of the Siskiyous complies with Federal requirements to monitor student aid recipients’ satisfactory academic progress toward a declared, approved educational objective of an Associate Degree, Certificate, or Transfer to a baccalaureate, degree-granting institution.  It is the student’s responsibility to choose an approved educational objective and to know the academic progress requirements that must be met to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid.  It is the college’s responsibility to track, measure, and assess the student’s progress toward their stated objective.   The College has established a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy that measures progress in three ways:

Grade Point Average (GPA):  Students must maintain a cumulative (overall) GPA of 2.0 or higher each semester.

PACE (Unit Completion Rate): A student must successfully complete 67% of all units attempted.  All semesters, including summer, will be included in the calculation of SAP, even if the student did not receive financial aid.

Maximum Timeframe:  The student completes his/her program within a maximum period of time:  150% of a 60 unit degree program or 90 units maximum.

College of the Siskiyous reviews Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each semester.  Students are responsible for knowing their academic progress status.  This is viewable on the secure COS website through their personal Navigator account.

Students may petition the progress policy when special, mitigating circumstances prevented the student from meeting minimum requirements. The Director of Financial Aid reviews reinstatement requests and a decision is made to grant or deny the request.  The student is notified in writing of the outcome.  Students may appeal a denied petition with the Financial Aid Appeals Committee (FAAC).  Decisions of the FAAC are final.

Reinstatement of cancelled eligibility is accomplished either through making up deficient units in the summer session following the academic year, the granting of an appeal to waive requirements, successfully meeting the terms of a contract or by meeting minimum requirements in a subsequent semester without the receipt of Federal aid.  Students who have made up deficiencies are responsible for reporting their renewed eligibility status to the Financial Aid Office.


Federal Regulations require that all students receiving Title IV aid meet or exceed the academic requirements of the institution.  In order to comply, determination of satisfactory progress begins once a student enrolls at COS and all elements of satisfactory progress, including adherence to an educational plan and remaining semesters of eligibility, will be evaluated term by term for all students receiving Federal financial aid.

Ability to Benefit
In order to receive Federal financial aid, a student must first:

  • Have a high-school diploma (including foreign diplomas) or General Education Development (GED) certificate, OR
  • Pass the High-School Proficiency Exam.

Academic Requirements
In addition, a student must also:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program for the purpose of completing an AA/AS Degree, Transfer Requirements or Certificate Program
  • Maintain a minimum semester and cumulative 2.00 grade point average (GPA).  (Credit only grades of “CR” or “P” will be combined with letter grades when calculating completion rates but will have no effect on grade point average).
  • Have a cumulative completion rate of at least 67% of the units attempted each semester enrolled.  A student who takes all classes on a “CR/NC” or “P/NP” basis and receives all “CR” grades or all “P” grades will be considered meeting Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress standards.

Grade Interpretation
Grades of A, B, C, D, CR or P are considered units completed.  Grades of IP, F, FW, NC or NP, W, or I are considered units not completed.  If the units completed total less than 67% of the units attempted, the student is placed on a warning status.  Consequently, satisfactory academic progress cannot be reviewed for a student until all I, IP grades have been completed and are reported on the student’s academic transcript.

Repeat Coursework
For financial aid payment purposes, courses in which a student previously received a grade of F, NC, NP or W may be repeated and may be financial aid eligible.  You may only repeat a previously passed course once, a total of two attempts.  A course is considered passed if the student receives a grade of D or better.

Eligibility Requirements

Summer Classes
Units attempted during summer sessions will count toward the GPA requirement and the 90-unit maximum. 

Transfer Students
The academic transcripts from previous colleges attended will be reviewed for determining the 90-unit maximum and PACE standard.

Duration of Eligibility
Students who have attempted a total of 72 units must submit an appeal for extension of aid to the Director of Financial Aid.  The appeal must include an updated education plan and a copy of all transcripts (unofficial will be accepted).  This must be reviewed and signed by a counselor. It will then be given to the Director of Financial Aid to determine the student’s remaining eligibility. Maximum timeframe allowed by Federal regulation (150% of program length) is typically 90 units (60 x 150% = 90). Students requesting aid beyond this maximum must also request an extension through the appeal procedure.

Federal Student Aid Progress:  Warning, Disqualification, and Probation
Financial Aid Progress Warning and Disqualification for students not meeting academic requirements will be determined as follows:

  • A student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning if he/she falls below:
    • A 2.00 GPA for a term grade point average, AND/OR
    • The completed number of units is less than those attempted and do not meet the 67% completion rate.
  • After being placed on Financial Aid Warning, the student must meet satisfactory progress standards during the next period of enrollment or he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification status and Federal aid, including student loans, will be terminated.

Reinstatement of Federal Student Aid
Once Federal financial aid has been denied for lack of satisfactory academic progress, a student may be regain “Good Standing” status by:

Completing a semester in which the following conditions are met:

  • A minimum of six (6.0) units of academic work are completed (and 67% of all units if more than 6.0 are attempted);
  • With a cumulative 2.00 GPA.

It is the student’s responsibility to submit a new Appeal for Reinstatement.
(NOTE:  Students who are disqualified from receiving Federal aid are not eligible for funding for the semester used to reestablish eligibility.)

Financial Aid Appeal Procedure
Both Financial Aid Maximum Timeframe and Financial Aid Disqualification may be appealed to the Director of Financial Aid for the following circumstances:

  • Transcript Error:  If there has been an error on the student’s transcript that resulted in the warning or disqualification, then the student should notify the Financial Aid Office.  Warning/Disqualification will only be removed when the student’s transcript is changed by the Admissions & Records office to reflect the correction.
  • Unusual or mitigating circumstances:  Students may appeal if there were unusual or mitigating circumstances that affected the student’s ability to make progress.  All circumstances must be supported with appropriate documentation.  Medical records, copies of death certificates or obituaries, letters showing loss of employment or other official paperwork that will establish both the timeframe and circumstances that caused the lack of academic progress are acceptable.  Appeals will NOT be considered without supporting documentation.
  • Allowable considerations to reinstate Federal student aid eligibility on appeal may include:
  • Death in immediate family (spouse, son daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, registered domestic partner).
  • Onset of physical or mental disability
  • Loss of student’s primary source of income.

In addition to the supporting documentation described above, in order for an appeal to be considered, the student must provide the following:

  • A Financial Aid Appeal form which includes:
  • A written statement from the student to the Director of Financial Aid explaining why satisfactory progress was not maintained
  • What changes have been made to ensure academic success AND
  • An updated Education Plan


Revised:  02/13/15

Need help? Contact Financial Aid

Phone: (530) 938-5209(530) 938-5209
Fax: (530) 938-5367