Financial Aid Policies

Academic Requirements for Satisfactory Progress to Maintain Financial Aid Assistance

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. Please review this short video to learn about SAP.


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.

  • All students who have been warned will be encouraged to meet with the FA & Customer Service Rep, or the Student Success Counselor in order to turn in 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.
  • Students wishing to file an appeal will need to meet with the FA & Customer Service Rep before the term deadline in order to receive counseling and to obtain the appeals form. Appeals forms will no longer be available in the financial aid office or on the website.

A. Measurable Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater.
  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%.

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 Progress

  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. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office by emailing pccfa@email.pittcc.edu.

Students will be notified within four business days from the date final grades are due in to the Registrar’s office.

D. 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.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

  • You have the right to privacy
    • All financial aid records and data submitted with your application for financial aid will be treated as confidential information and is subject to disclosure requirements under the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • You have the right to a complete explanation of the financial aid award process
    • If you do not understand how your financial aid award was determined or do not believe your application was fairly evaluated, please contact your Financial Aid Counselor.
  • You have the right to appeal
    • PCC has established an administrative appeal process. Contact your Financial Aid Counselor for more information.
  • You are responsible for reporting changes in your financial status
    • Should you receive additional funds or financial support from any source, you must report this to the Financial Aid Office.
    • The Financial Aid Office is required by law to consider all sources of aid when determining your eligibility for federal student aid funds.
  • You are responsible for reporting any changes in your student status
    • If you change your address, drop below half-time status, or withdraw from school, you must report this to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. We recommend you contact us before considering any action so that your Financial Aid Counselor can properly advise you on what effect, if any, such action may have on your financial aid.
  • You are responsible for using financial aid funds only for educational purposes
    • Education expenses include tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and other living costs.
  • You are responsible for promptly responding to all requests and inquires from us
  • You are responsible for keeping copies of all documents and records you submit to us
  • You are responsible for repaying your loans
    • Acceptance of any loan carries a serious legal and financial obligation. Failure to meet this obligation may adversely affect your credit rating and could prevent other students at Pitt Community College from borrowing to finance their educational needs.
  • You are responsible for registering for courses required for your major.
    • If you or an advisor register for courses not required for your major, financial aid cannot pay for them.  Please use your correct year PCC Catalog or Curriculum Sheet to determine what classes you need in your major.

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