File a Financial Aid Appeal

Q. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

A. All students receiving federal Title IV aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Loan, and funds from other federal or state-administered programs) are required by federal law to be achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to be eligible to receive financial aid.  Schools are allowed to establish their own SAP policies, but once established, all students must be held to this standard.

Q.  What is PCC’s SAP policy?

A. PCC’s SAP policy has 3 components:

1.  Students must pass 67% of all credits attempted (For example, A student who has attempted 24 credit hours must have passed at least 16.08 credits: 24 X 67% = 16.08.) This includes all credit hours on the PCC transcript, whether or not the student received financial aid while attempting those credits.  It also includes all transfer credits accepted by PCC (transfer work is included in both the credits attempted and credits completed calculation).

2.  Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

3.  Students may only receive aid for up to 150% of the attempted credit hours for their academic program.  For example, if your program requires 60 credit hours to complete, you may receive financial aid for up to 90 attempted hours (60 X 150% = 90).

Q.  When is SAP measured?

A.  New first-time freshmen and transfer students (those who have never attended PCC before) are awarded financial aid their 1st term if they are eligible without SAP being checked.  All students who apply for financial aid at PCC and have ever attended PCC previously are checked to be sure they are achieving SAP before they are awarded.  This may mean that students who took classes while in high school or were here many years ago and have not been successful in the past may not be eligible to receive financial aid unless they file an appeal and have it approved.   In addition, SAP is checked after each semester to ensure that students already receiving aid are maintaining financial aid eligibility.

Q. What happens if a student fails to achieve SAP at the end of a term?

A.  All students are allowed one Warning term when financial aid may continue to be awarded even though the student is not currently achieving SAP.  At the end of the Warning term, if the student has regained SAP, aid will continue.  However, if the student is still not making SAP, all future financial aid is terminated.

Q. Is there a way for a student not achieving SAP to regain financial aid eligibility?

A.  After the Warning term, the only way for a student not achieving SAP to regain eligibility is to file a Financial Aid Appeal and have it approved by the Appeals Committee.

Q.  When should students file an appeal?

A. All students are strongly urged to file an appeal during the term they are on Warning.  Think of the appeal as your “Insurance Policy”.  If the student regains SAP after the Warning term, then the appeal will not be filed.  However, if the student waits until final grades for the Warning term have been posted, and is not achieving SAP, they will be placed on unsatisfactory academic progress and will need to file an appeal to regain financial aid.

Q.  What is the process for filing an appeal?

A. The appeal can be downloaded from the Financial Aid “Forms” page.

Q.  How often may students file an appeal?

A.  Students are limited to 3 appeals during their time at PCC.  If you submit an appeal and its determined that you have already met this limit, an email will be sent to your myPittCC student email address informing you of this.

Q.  Is there a guarantee that my appeal will be approved?

A. No, there is not a guarantee that an appeal will be approved.  Even with documentation, an appeal may be denied.  A student must be able to bring their GPA or pass rate up to 2.0 or 67%, or graduate within a reasonable time frame.  If it is impossible for a student to regain a satisfactory academic status within a reasonable time frame, their appeal will be denied.

Q.  Can I fax or email my appeal?

A.  Students must submit appeals in person, or mail through postal service with the postmark dated on or before the deadline date.