Satisfactory Academic Progress

Requirements for Continued Financial Eligibility

Federal regulations require that students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in the program of study they are pursuing in order to receive financial aid.  This means that a student must meet certain academic standards in order to continue to receive financial aid at DMACC. 

The student's academic records are reviewed at the completion of every semester of enrollment to determine compliance with the SAP policy. There are three components to the financial aid SAP policy:

  1. Minimum GPA - Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or higher to remain eligible for financial aid. Academic records are reviewed at the completion of every term of enrollment (Fall, Spring, Summer) to determine financial aid SAP.
  2. Minimum Pace of Completion - Students must complete course work at a minimum cumulative rate of 67%. Completed course work is defined as any course for which the student receives a passing grade. Academic records are reviewed at the completion of every term of enrollment (Fall, Spring, Summer) to determine financial aid SAP.

In order to help you perform this calculation, a Pace Calculator is available here.

  1. Maximum Time Frame (Duration of Eligibility) - Federal regulations limit financial aid eligibility to 150% (96 credits for a two-year program) of the published length of the educational program, as measured in attempted credit hours. Transfer credit hours (if available) are counted in the calculation of duration of eligibility.

The student's total academic history is monitored regardless of whether he/she has previously received financial aid. Programs affected by financial aid SAP are:

  • Federal Pell
  • Federal SEOG
  • Iowa Vocational Technical Grant
  • Iowa Kibbie Grant
  • All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship
  • Federal Stafford Loan
  • Iowa Foster Care Grant
  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • Iowa National Guard Tuition Program
  • Federal Work Study

A printable guide concerning Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress at DMACC is available.

Detailed information concerning SAP can be reviewed by accessing DMACC's Educational Services Procedures ES 4300: Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.

There are two options a student may pursue in order to regain eligibility for financial aid:

  1. Complete the number of credit hours necessary to achieve the 67% requirement and/or minimum cumulative grade point average need for their grade level. This will be at the student's own expense.
  2. If special/extenuating circumstances exist, the student may submit a letter of appeal to the Financial Aid Office stating the reasons the standard requirements noted above were not met. This form is available online. In order to submit an appeal form, a student must also have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable school year (there are noted exceptions in policy). If the appeal is approved by a review committee, eligibility for financial aid will be reinstated on a probationary level. As outlined in DMACC procedure, financial aid recipients are allowed a maximum of two appeal approvals during their enrollment at DMACC (a third may be considered, as outlined in DMACC policy). The student must also submit and agree to the terms of an Academic Improvement Plan. For details on how to appeal, see the college procedure policy ES 4300 for complete details. It's important to note that there is a deadline for submitting appeals as indicated on the appeal form. Late appeals will not be considered until the following term, unless the student is enrolled in late-starting modular coursework.

Note: Students who receive financial aid and completely withdraw or fail all classes during their first term of enrollment will automatically go to Suspension. We encourage students to visit with an academic advisor or counselor and complete an Academic Improvement Plan and submit it along with the written appeal to the Financial Aid Office for financial aid reinstatement consideration.