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Policies and Rights

Academic Requirements for Satisfactory Progress to Maintain Financial Aid Assistance (Revised 06/07/2011)

Federal regulations require Pitt Community College to define minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) which students must meet in order to receive the Title IV funds which includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Loan, and funds from other federal or state administered programs.

SAP will be checked for all students receiving federal or state financial aid once per term. If any student is not making progress according to the SAP guidelines established for PCC students, he or she will be warned for ONLY one term. At the end of the warning term if the student is still not making SAP, his or her financial aid will be terminated and the student will need to file an appeal and have it approved in order to have financial aid reinstated.

A. Measurable Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students must earn a cumulative GPA according to the number of semester hours for which they have attempted as indicated in the table below.
  2. Students must pass 67% of the courses for which they register. (For example: A student who registers for 12 hours must pass 8.04 hours, if they register for 6 hours must pass 4.02 hours.) This includes all credit hours on transcript. For purposes of determining  enrollment status, students who at the end of the drop-add period are enrolled for 12 or more credit hours are considered full-time. Students enrolled for 9 to 11 credit hours are three-quarter time students, and students enrolled for 6 to 8 credit hours are 1/2 - half time.
  3. In calculating SAP, all transfer credits that have been accepted by PCC will be included both credits attempted and credits completed for purposes of calculating 67%.


Hours Toward Degree GPA
0 - 10 1.00
11 - 20 1.25
21 - 30 1.50
31 - 40 1.75
41 - 50 1.90
51 and above 2.00


* BLET is currently the only eligible certificate curriculum.

B. Financial Aid Warning - Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

  1. Students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress are placed on FINANCIAL AID WARNING and are considered to be making UNSATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS. Students in this category may continue to receive Financial Aid for one additional term. If the requirements are not met at the end of the term, his/her financial Aid will be terminated until the requirements are met.
  2. All students who have been warned and have extraordinary circumstances will be encouraged to meet with the FA & Customer Service Rep or the Student Success Counselor in order to complete an appeal in the event that they do not make SAP after their warning term. During the warning term, it is the student's responsibility to contact these PCC employees in order to add additional documentation if the student feels the appeal will be necessary.

C. Appeal Process

  1. Students may appeal their suspension/termination of eligibility for Financial Aid only for "extraordinary circumstances" to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Examples of extraordinary circumstances may include illness or an accident.
  2. Appeals must be done on the Appeals form and MUST BE accompanied by appropriate documentation. Appeals will be limited to a total of three (3) per student during their time at PCC. Appeals will be heard once each semester, after final grades for the term have been submitted.
  3. SAP Appeals Course is required for students submitting an financial aid appeal.  The dates and times of when the SAP Appeals Course are located on the financial aid homepage at the start of the semester.  Once the student attends, he/she will be given the SAP Appeals packet at that time.  For more information, contact SAP Appeals Counselor, Ms. Norma Manning.
  4. Students will be notified within four business days from the date final grades are due in to the Registrar's office.

D. Procedures for Reinstatement

  1. Students who have had their Financial Aid eligibility terminated may be reinstated in one of the following ways:
    • By approval from the Financial Aid Appeals Committee
    • By enrolling at the college without the benefit of Financial Assistance until the requirements of A1 and A2 are met.
  2. Retroactive (previous term) payments of Financial Aid for terms when students were ineligible is prohibited.

E. Non-Credit Courses

NON-CREDIT COURSES and Audit courses may NOT be included in a student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes.

F.  Courses Not Required for Major

Financial aid will not pay for courses not required for your major.

G. Maximum Number of Academic Years to Receive Degree

Students are expected to finish their degree or program within 150% times the published amount of time the curriculum would normally require. (Example: Curriculum requires 75 hours to complete. Students would be allowed 112 hours to complete curriculum). For calculating 150%, all courses taken at PCC and those that transfer in from another school that apply to their major will be calculated. If a student has previously graduated from a curriculum the previous credits transferable toward that new curriculum will be counted. All other coursework will be counted except developmental. Students appealing for 150% will also be required to submit an electronic Student Educational Plan developed through the institution's advising module from their Advisor as part of their appeal. Students who attend beyond the allowable time will not be eligible to receive financial aid. Special circumstances may be appealed to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

Example: Student graduates from Associates in General Education; Student is now accepted in Associates in Nursing. There are 32 Credits completed from Associates in General Education that are in the Nursing curriculum. Only 32 credits (the credits that applied toward the Nursing Program) would be counted toward 150%.

Refund & Repayment Policy (for students who withdraw)

When a student recipient of Title IV Financial Aid funds drops classes or is dismissed from Pitt Community College prior to the 60% of an academic period, the institution will determine whether and to what extent such student received overpayment from such funds. This determination will be based upon any discrepancy between the amount of allowable costs (educational cost including room, board, books, supplies, transportation and miscellaneous expenses) incurred by the student up to the last date of class attendance and the amount of Title IV funds received by said student prior to that date.

Overpayment funds reimbursed to the institution by the student shall be credited to the specific Title IV program from which they were originally allocated. Amounts owed back to the Title IV program will be billed to the student. Amounts not paid will be turned over to the US Department of Education for collection. Any amounts that are not turned over will remain the student's responsibility. The student's registration and admission file at PCC will be flagged until the amount owed is repaid to the school.

Rights & Responsibilities

Financial Aid Student Store/Supply Purchase Policy

Students are not required to purchase books at the PCC Student Store. This service is provided by the college as a convenience. Students may purchase required books and supplies (as listed on the course syllabus) at off-campus locations with grant money under the following conditions: 

  1. The student must have finalized their schedule during the priority registration period.
  2. The student must provide the Financial Aid Office with a written statement (on letterhead) from the off-campus vendor one week prior to the first date of class that indicates that the off campus vendor will (1) allow the student to make a charge against the student's grant account, and (2) will bill the College for the charges. The student must also provide a copy of the syllabus for the course for which books and supplies are being purchased.
  3. Schedule changes will not be allowed once the off-campus purchase has been authorized.
  4. Off-campus purchases will not be authorized once refund checks have been disbursed.

The student will be limited to one (1) location each semester to use the grant funds (i.e., the student will not be allowed to purchase books and required supplies at the PCC Student Store and at an off-campus location during a semester).


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