Satisfactory Academic Progress

Policy Guidelines

To be eligible for financial aid, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward an eligible degree or certificate program, based on Federal, State, and College requirements. Four different measures are used to determine whether students are making satisfactory progress in their academic programs.

In order to begin or continue receiving financial aid, students must meet all four minimum requirements. Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed when a student applies for financial aid each year. All prior enrollment, completion, and GPA history at Shoreline will be considered, whether or not aid was received. Pace of progression is reviewed based on a specific program of study. Qualitative and quantitative measures are reviewed quarterly for all attempted courses.

You are responsible for knowing and understanding all the information in this policy. You must contact the financial aid office if you have any questions about the policy or your eligibility for aid.

Qualitative - Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students on financial aid must earn at least a 2.0 GPA each quarter and maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA by their second quarter. A quarterly GPA below 2.0 will cause you to be placed in warning status for the next quarter. A cumulative GPA below 2.0 by the second quarter results in cancellation of financial aid.

Quantitative - Minimum Quarterly Credit Completion

Students on financial aid are expected to complete all of the credits they register for or attempt each quarter. However, there is a required minimum completion percentage each quarter to meet academic progress standards and a cumulative completion percentage to finish a program on time. Completing credits means successfully finishing or passing the class. Grades of: 0.0 (Fail), H (in progress), W (withdrawal), I (incomplete), N (audit), NC (no credit), V (fail), Z (hardship withdrawal) do not count as completed credits. However, such grades will be counted as part of attempted credits for aid eligibility determination.

See credit completion chart below to determine how your enrollment level affects the minimum number of credits you must complete each quarter to keep your financial aid eligibility.

If you received aid
for an enrollment
level of:
You are expected
to complete at
You will be placed on
you complete only:
Eligibility will be
complete fewer than
Full-time (12+ credits) 12 credits 6 - 11.5 credits 6 credits
3/4-time (9-11 credits) 9 credits 5 - 8.5 credits 5 credits
1/2-time (6-8 credits) 6 credits 3 - 5.5 credits 3 credits
Less that 1/2-time
(5 or fewer credits)
All credits No warning status
available; must
complete all credits
All credits


Pace of Progression - Minimum Cumulative Credit Completion

Students must maintain a minimum credit completion rate of 67% also known as pace of progression. Pace of progression is calculated by dividing the total number of completed credits by the total number of attempted credits for a specific program of study.

Maximum Time Frame - Ability to Complete Degree or Certificate

Students on financial aid are required to complete their program within a maximum time frame allowed for the program. Students may receive financial aid to take up to 125% of the required credits for their program of study. All attempted courses are counted, including incompletes, withdrawals, audits, repeated courses, courses for which you received no credit, and credits transferred from other institutions. When we check your progress, if you cannot mathematically complete your program within its maximum credit limit, you are no longer eligible for aid. To complete your program within its credit limit, you are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with an academic advisor and focus on completing required classes.

You may attempt up to 45 credits of remedial classes without the credits counting against your maximum timeframe. Transitional courses (ESLAB, ABE, and CEO), and Parenting Education classes are not eligible for aid and are not counted in the maximum credit limit.

If you had unusual circumstances that prevented you from completing a program within the allowed time frame, you may appeal for additional quarters of aid by submitting the Maximum Credit Limit appeal form. The appeal must explain the circumstance (s) that prevented you from completing the program. You must consult with your academic advisor and list all the remaining courses required to complete your program. The appeal must be verified and signed by your academic advisor. Appeals will be considered only for required classes as verified by your academic advisor.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Status

Warning Status

Students will be placed on warning status when:

  • Quarterly GPA falls below 2.0 at the end of each quarter
  • Not all credits attempted are completed (see credit completion chart)
  • Pace of progression is less than 67%

When you are placed on warning status you are still eligible for aid the next quarter, but you must complete all of the credits you register for with at least a 2.0 GPA the next quarter. You will be removed from warning status once all conditions are met.

Cancellation Status

Students will be placed on cancellation status when:

  • Cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 by the 2nd quarter
  • All attempted credits are not completed (see credit completion chart)
  • Requirements of aid reinstatement (warning status, probation status, education plan) are not met
  • You exceed 125% of credits required for program (Maximum Time Frame)
  • Financial aid funds are owed due to withdrawing from all classes, dropping classes during census period, or withdrawing from classes before the 60% point in the quarter

When you are placed on cancellation status you are not eligible for financial aid including work study and student loans. You do have the option to appeal for reinstatement of aid. All financial aid funds owed must be paid back in full or repayment requirements are satisfactorily resolved before reinstatement.

Probation Status

Students will be placed on probation status when aid has been reinstated after an appeal. Students are required to meet specific academic conditions including academic plans to meet SAP requirement. Failure to meet the conditions of your reinstatement will result in the cancellation of your aid. During a probation status students must complete 100% of the credits attempted and earn at least a 2.0 GPA.

You will be notified of your financial aid status (warning, cancellation, and probation) by e-mail or U.S. mail.

Reinstatement limitations

Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Office and/or a committee. When an appeal is approved financial aid funding is reactivated on a funds available basis. It is possible that you might not receive your aid as originally awarded. In some situations, aid might be reinstated with conditions such as limitations to your enrollment level or approved courses.

If you owe repayment of financial aid funds you cannot receive additional aid until the repayment requirements are satisfactorily resolved.

Financial Aid Limitations

Students must declare an eligible program of study to qualify for financial aid. Financial aid may be received at one school at a time. If you transfer to another college you must cancel your aid at your current school before accepting aid at your new school.

Graduation Credit Limits

Per Shoreline Community College Graduation Policy, to receive a degree or certificate from Shoreline a student must earn at least 25 credits or 25% (whichever is lower) of the credits being applied toward the degree or certificate from Shoreline.

Students who have their academic transcripts evaluated from prior colleges or universities and need less that 25 credits or 25% of credits (whichever is lower) to fulfill degree/certificate requirements from Shoreline will not be eligible to receive financial aid for their selected program.

Program Changes:

The expectation is for students to complete the program of study they start. If for any reason students need to change their program, they can do so unless they are within 80% of required credits to complete their initial program. Other funding limitations could apply. Multiple Certificates of Proficiency programs that are eligible for financial aid may be pursued as long as they lead to a degree program (AA, AFA, AM, AS, AAS-T, AAAS). Forstudents working on two programs concurrently, financial aid eligibility will be determined based on the longer of the two programs. Students must complete both programs within the maximum timeframe for the longer program of the two.

Students must update their program of study with the Enrollment & Financial Aid Services office and consult with their academic advisor.

Students pursuing a second program will need to notify the financial aid office in writing by submitting the Appeal for Program Change form. Students must work with their academic advisor to complete this appeal.

Funding Limits:

Please see the chart below for funding limitations if you have completed a program at Shoreline or any other institution, foreign or domestic:

If you have
comlpeted a:
Transfer Degree
(AA, AS, AM,
or Prof/Tech
Degree (AAAS)
Certificate of
Bachelor's degree
(or higher)
Transfer degree
degree (AAAS)
One or more

There are limits on the number of quarters or the total dollars you may receive over the course of your education. To preserve aid eligibility you are strongly encouraged to complete your program of study in a timely manner and avoid taking unnecessary courses, dropping classes, failing classes or repeating classes. This is even more important if you are planning to transfer to a bachelor’s program, or further your education somewhere else.

Students who have reached their Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility and/or State Need Grant maximum eligibility will have limited funding options.

Other Funding Limitations

Lifetime limits on Federal Pell Grant (Pell LEU):

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. If your LEU equals or exceeds 600%, you may no longer receive Pell Grant funding.

Maximum Limits on Direct Student Loans:

The Direct Loan program’s undergraduate maximum limit for independent students for Subsidized Loan is $23,000 and a maximum of $57,500 combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. For dependent students the maximum limit is $23,000 in Subsidized and a maximum of $31,000 in combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

If you borrowed a Direct Subsidized Loan for the first time after July 1, 2013, and then take longer than 150% of the normal published length of your program to finish, you lose your interest subsidy. You will be responsible for paying the interest on your loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) that accrues after you exceed the maximum number of credits, while you’re still in school and during your grace period.

Limits on Washington State Aid:

(State Need Grant (SNG), College Bound, and Passport to College)
A SNG recipient may receive the grant for a maximum of five years. A student pursuing a second associate degree is only eligible for additional SNG if five years have elapsed since the date the first associate degree was conferred.

Washington state aid has a maximum program length timeframe of 125%.

Repayment Obligations:

Typically, if a student’s financial aid package has been determined prior to the start of the quarter, aid will be disbursed 3-5 days prior to the start of the quarter. In some cases the student will owe a financial aid overpayment or repayment.

I. Overpayments

The Financial Aid Office reviews enrollment on the census date, which is the fifth day of the quarter (Summer quarter it is the fourth day of the quarter). Students will be required to repay part of their grant aid if credits have been dropped by the census date.

2. Repayments

Students that officially withdraw or stop attending all classes will be billed for the amount of aid they were not eligible to receive. Students that receive funds and withdraw from all credits prior to the start of the quarter, must repay all aid received for that quarter. Students who have received a student loan disbursement and failed to begin attendance will be referred to the designated Department of Education loan servicer. A 30 day collection notice will be issued if satisfactory payment arrangements are not made with the Department of Education Loan servicer. Students must respond to this notice to avoid defaulting on their loan.

Students are not eligible for future aid if they owe a Federal, State or institutional overpayment or repayment. All financial aid debts must be repaid or satisfactorily resolved for financial aid eligibility at Shoreline Community College. Debts will be referred to collection agencies by the Department of Education, Washington Student Achievement Council and Shoreline Community College.

SAP Requirements
at a glance:

Qualitative Measures:

Minimum GPA requirement, quarterly and cumulative, of 2.0

Quantitative Measures:

Minimum quarterly credit completion percentage for enrollment level. Complete at least 50% of credits attempted each quarter.

Pace of Progression:

Minimum cumulative credit completion percentage, or “pace of progression,” of at least 67% of all credits attempted overall for a specific program.

Maximum Time Frame:

Ability to complete a degree or certificate program within a maximum timeframe allowed, 125% of required credits, for program.

Awarding Level:

Students are initially awarded at fulltime enrollment level (12 or more credits). Students must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing if their enrollment level is less than fulltime.


Shoreline Community Standard

Shoreline Community College is a place for students, employees, and the community to pursue excellence in education in an environment dedicated to equity, inclusiveness, and self-reflection. We value respectful, dynamic interactions and lively discussion. We strive to create an environment where everyone is supported and valued. Shoreline Community College does not tolerate hateful, violent, or discriminatory actions that target any person or group based on their beliefs, customs, identity, or affiliations. When one of us is diminished, all of us are diminished.

Financial Aid Resources

Student Loan Information

Loan History


Ready Set Grad

Reinstatement of Aid Eligibility

 Students can regain their eligibility for aid after being cancelled in two ways:

1. By submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal.

If you experienced an unexpected circumstance beyond your control, such as illness, injury or a death in the family that prevented you from making satisfactory progress, you may appeal:

  • Supporting documentation will strengthen the appeal
  • If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on probation status for one quarter
  • If your appeal is denied you have the right to appeal again with additional supporting documentation or to complete a quarter on your own and notify the financial aid office when all SAP requirements are met

2. By meeting standards on their own without financial aid.

To meet standards on their own students will need to:

  • Complete at least 5 required credits for their program to improve GPA to 2.0 or higher
  • Improve overall completion rate to 67%
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete their program within 125% of required credits
  • Notify the financial aid office in writing when all attempted credits are completed.

All previous coursework will be considered when determining financial aid eligibility whether financial aid was received or not.

Repeated Classes:

Students may repeat a course to improve their grade. The repeated course will be counted as part of their credit load for that quarter for financial aid awarding purposes. It will also be counted in the 125% maximum timeframe calculation and pace of progression.

Not all programs offered at Shoreline Community College are eligible for financial aid. Please check with the Financial Aid Office to find out if your program of study is aid eligible.

Other Sources of Funding:


Workforce Education


Student Conduct Policy


This SAP policy is subject to change at any time due to federal and state regulations and/or requirements established by the Financial Aid Office.

Awarding & Enrollment Level:

Financial aid calculates grants and loan funding based on a student’s enrollment level at the time of disbursement. The following enrollment levels are used:

Full time 12 or more credits
3/4 time 9 - 11.5 credits
1/2 time 6 - 8.5 credits
Less than
1/2 time
1 - 5.5 credits

Enrollment Change After Aid Disbursement (Census Dates)

Repayment required if enrollment is changed by 5th day of quarter (4th day of summer quarter)

Summer 19 July 5, 2019
Fall 19 Oct 1, 2019
Winter 20 Jan 14, 2020
Spring 20 April 10, 2020

Repayment not required if you withdraw on or after these dates (60% aid earned)

Summer 19 08/02/19
Fall 19 11/11/19
Winter 20 02/24/20
Spring 20


Transfer Students:

If you owe a repayment to any Federal and State financial aid program at any other institution you might not be eligible for aid at Shoreline. Eligibility may be regained by making full repayment or satisfactory repayment arrangements.

Credits transferred from prior schools towards a program at Shoreline will be counted in the total maximum credit limits of eligibility for aid.