Satisfactory Academic Progress
Mandatory minimum requirements for all financial aid recipients

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OFFICIAL POLICY

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, the Financial Aid Office of Long

Beach City College establishes the following Standards of Progress. These standards apply to all students who apply for and receive financial aid from the following programs:

  • Cal‐Grants B and C
  • Full-Time Student Success Grant
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work‐Study (FWS)

NOTE: The Board of Governors’ Waiver (BOGFW) was established in 1984 as an integral part of legislation that first created the community college enrollment fee. Its purpose is to ensure that the enrollment fee does not pose a barrier to the enrollment of low‐income students. This program is omitted from the above list because the provisions which follow do not apply to eligibility for BOGFW. As long as a student is eligible under the college’s satisfactory progress provisions, fee waivers from BOG will be granted irrespective of the student’s status under these provisions.

General Requirements

Students receiving financial aid must be enrolled in a course of study leading to an AA, AAT degree, AS, AST degree, an eligible certificate (at least one year in length), or transfer program to a 4‐year college or university.

High School Diploma or the Equivalent

Federal regulations require financial aid recipients to have either graduated from high school or have completed a recognized equivalent such as the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) or the General Education Development Test (GED). 

As of July 1, 2012, passing an Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) test or passing 6 units of college-level classes is no longer an option. Students enrolled at LBCC or another postsecondary Title IV eligible institution prior to July 1, 2012, can still qualify for this option. A student who took the ATB test or passed 6 units of college-level classes at another postsecondary Title IV eligible institution prior to July 1, 2012, may have those results faxed or mailed to LBCC from that institution in order for us to accept them for financial aid eligibility. We cannot accept ATB results directly from the student.   

The Ability-to-Benefit test is no longer offered at LBCC. Students who previously became qualified for financial aid through one of these options remain eligible. 

California Dream Act students are required to determine eligibility for California student aid for AB540 eligible students. The following is the AB540 criteria:

  • Have attended a California high school for 3 or more, full academic years between grades 9 through 12. They do not need to be consecutive years; 
  • Have graduated or will graduate from a California high school or have attained a GED; or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE). Official Copies of these documents must be submitted to Admission and Records.
  • Register or be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in California;
  • File an AB540 affidavit (also called the California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Form) in the LBCC Admission and Records office. The AB540 affidavit states that he/she will apply for legal residency as soon as possible;
  • Not a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, B, C, D, E, etc.).
Dream Act students do not qualify for federal financial aid.

Review of Academic Progress

For the 2018-2019 academic year, academic progress will be reviewed after the end of the Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 term, respectively, to determine status and eligibility for the Fall 2018 term. Beginning Fall 2018, and going forward, academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each term to determine status and eligibility for the following term.

(Winter intersession classes are considered part of the Spring Term and will be reviewed at the end of the Spring Term. Individual terms are defined as Fall, Spring, and Summer.)

Qualitative and Quantitative Standards

Based on grades at the end of each term all students applying for financial aid will be reviewed against two standards:

  • Qualitative Standards (GPA): The cumulative grade point average (GPA) of the student must be at least 2.0.
  • Quantitative Standards (Pace): The cumulative successful completion ratio of the student must be at least 67%.

The completion ratio is based on the total units passed compared to the total units attempted. Units passed are those classes with grades of A, B, C, D, or P. Total units enrolled are all classes enrolled, irrespective of grade earned or completed (A, B, C, D, F, I, RD, W, P, NP, CR, NC, and IP). These cumulative totals are based on all units at Long Beach City College whether financial aid was received or not.

Maximum Time Length

At Long Beach City College, Associate Degrees and Transfer programs generally require a minimum of 60 units with a 2.0 GPA. Students enrolled in an Associate Degree program should complete their goal by the time they have attempted 90 units (150%).

Long Beach City College offers a number of certificate programs, each requiring a specific number of units for completion. Students enrolled in a certificate program must complete their goals by the time they have attempted 150% of the number of units required for the certificate. For example, a student enrolled in the Human Services Certificate of Achievement Program, which is a 40 unit certificate, must complete that goal by the time they have attempted 60 total units.

Repeating Courses for Financial Aid

Students are allowed to receive financial aid for a class that was previously passed (with a grade of D or better) one time within the guidelines of LBCC policy and California state law. (See college catalog: Guidelines for the Repetition of Courses).

Transfer Credits

Credits for courses taken at other institutions that count toward the student’s current academic program will be counted as both attempted and completed units. This may affect a student’s academic standing.

Academic Renewal

Academic Renewal is not recognized for any Financial Aid purpose. All units attempted will be counted in a student’s maximum time frame calculation. Exceptions may be made for remedial coursework or attempted units over 5 years old.

Other Completed Classes

Units granted by credit by exam, AP credit, CLEP credit, or in some other way that does not involve class enrollment, cannot be counted for financial aid purposes.

Consortium Agreements

LBCC will no longer certify consortium agreements as the primary school. We will certify consortium agreements for students at the secondary school. We will not certify students that have been suspended from financial aid at LBCC. 

Remedial and ESL Courses

Financial aid may be received for remedial (basic skills) courses if the remedial courses are a prerequisite for entrance into a regular college program. Financial Aid cannot be received for more than 30 attempted units of remedial coursework. ESL coursework must be part of an eligible program of study to receive financial aid. ESL coursework is not an approved program in and of itself. A student enrolled in ESL classes, who is not in an eligible program of study, is not eligible for financial aid funds. ESL and remedial coursework will count toward the 2.0 GPA and 67% units completion requirements (GPA/Pace). However, ESL units will not count towards the maximum time frame limit and a maximum of 30 successfully completed remedial units will be subtracted from the total when maximum time frame units are being counted.

Financial Aid Warning

At the end of each semester, students who do not meet the Quantitative and/or Qualitative SAP standards for the first time will receive a Warning Notification. The student will remain eligible for financial aid during the following term but will be placed on SAP Warning Status.

Students will be disqualified after a semester on Warning Status if they still do not meet the Quantitative and/or Qualitative SAP standards by the end of the semester. The student will no longer be eligible for receive Financial Aid, with the exception of the Board of Governors Fee Waiver, if eligible. Students receiving the Board of Governors Fee Waiver must meet LBCC’s Institutional Academic and Progress Standards.

Financial Aid Disqualification

Students who fail to meet either the qualitative (a grade point average of 2.0 or better) or the quantitative (completion ratio of 67% or better) standard or both, will be disqualified from financial aid. Disqualified students are not eligible to receive financial aid from any of the programs listed at the beginning of this policy until they have completed enough units without financial aid to meet both standards or they have successfully appealed their disqualification.

Appeal Procedures

Appeal Workshop

All disqualified students will be required to complete an online workshop through the LBCC Financial Aid Website. This workshop will be available starting the first week of August 2017. At the end of the workshop, students will receive a confirmation page which they will attach to their Appeal Form when submitted to the Financial Aid Office. No Appeal form will be accepted without this confirmation page.

GPA/Pace Appeals

Students who have been disqualified from financial aid may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal by the published deadline. Documentation for the reason stated on the form will be required for all.  Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The Committee is composed of the Dean, Director, Enrollment Services Supervisors and Financial Aid Advisors. The decision is final with no further appeal or recourse. The student will be sent a written response. 

GPA/Pace Appeals are only approved when the reason for the disqualification is documented, outside of the student’s control and the student has taken steps to correct the situation. A student who mathematically cannot obtain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and/or a successful completion rate of 67% by the time he or she has completed 150% of the number of units attempted for his or her program, cannot be approved.

If the GPA/Pace Appeal is approved, the student may be reinstated in Probation Status or Academic Plan. 

Probation is for one semester in all cases. The student must reach the cumulative standard of a 2.0 GPA and a 67% successful completion ratio at the end of the probationary semester. 

If it is not possible to arrive at the cumulative requirement in one semester, the reinstated student will be placed on an Academic Plan. If the student is placed on Academic Plan, he or she must reach the cumulative standard by the time he or she reaches the 150% point of attempted units for his program. For example, a student in a transfer program would be required to reach the mark by the time he has attempted a maximum of 90 units (60 units x 150%). While on an Academic Plan, the student must successfully complete a minimum of 75% of the units he or she attempts every semester with a term GPA of 2.75. 

The academic progress program will run at the end of the semester to evaluate the grades of those students on Probation and an Academic Plan. If the student reaches a cumulative 2.0 GPA with a cumulative successful completion rate of 67%, he or she will be returned to good standing.

If the student fails to meet either of the required standards for the semester, the student will be disqualified again. There will be no further appeals offered and the student will remain disqualified until he or she has achieved the cumulative standards for satisfactory academic progress on their own. 

Maximum Time Frame Appeals

Students with 60 total units attempted will be required to fill out a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal in order to continue receiving financial aid. Appeals will be granted provided there is a legitimate reason for the student to continue to receive financial aid beyond the minimum units required to graduate. If the student has attempted more than 150% of the number of units required for their academic program, appeals will only be considered under the following:

  • Deducting successfully completed remedial (30 units total) and/or coursework from discontinued programs at LBCC and/or units from a previous major bring the units attempted total to less than 150% of the program.

It is the student’s responsibility to request official transcripts from previously attended institutions if the student chooses to apply any of those units toward the current educational objective. Upon the student’s request, transcripts from colleges accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations will be evaluated for use toward the student’s current educational objective. All units applicable toward the student’s current educational objective will be counted when reviewing Maximum Time Frame Appeals. All units attempted at Long Beach, including those taken before the student was receiving financial aid, will be counted toward the maximum time frame. Units attempted includes all units in which students enroll regardless of the grade received (A, B, C, D, F, I, RD, W, P, NP, CR, NC, and IP).

A student must submit a current Student Educational Plan created by an Academic Counselor with their Appeal. Any Appeal submitted without an Educational Plan will be automatically denied.

A student who has reached 60 units attempted may submit a Maximum Time Frame Appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The decision is final with no further appeal or recourse. The student will be mailed a written response. 

If approved for additional financial aid, the student may be approved for a limited number of units. In this case, the student will be “unit capped”. This means the student’s award will be limited to the amount based on enrollment or the amount based on the number of units approved, whichever is less. Similarly, if the student has withdrawn from approved classes for which they received financial aid, they student will not be given financial aid for those classes again.

STUDENT-Friendly Policy

Success Standard

Students are required to make satisfactory academic progress to receive financial aid from all programs, including loans, except for the Fee Waiver (Board of Governors’ Grant). Pending state legislation is expected to establish academic requirements for this program as well.

LBCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requires that you maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a cumulative successful completion rate of 67%. This means that you need a C average for all of the classes you attempt and at least a D grade in 67% of all your classes regardless of whether you receive financial aid for them. An academic progress calculator is available in Tools for Students to help you find your successful completion rate.

Current policy is to review Academic progress once per year at the end of the Spring term. Beginning Fall 2018, Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each Fall and Spring term for the following term.

If you fail to make satisfactory academic progress you’ll be suspended from financial aid. Currently, if you’re eligible, you will remain eligible for the fee waiver that pays your enrollment fees. When you have attained the cumulative standard you must see a Financial Aid Specialist to be reinstated.

If some situation outside of your control such as an illness caused your academic problem, you have the right to submit a written appeal (Petition for Reinstatement) of the suspension. In your appeal, you’ll be required to explain what happened and what you have done to correct the problem or what has changed. The Financial Aid Advisor reviewing your Petition has three options:

  1. He or she can deny your appeal.
  2. The Financial Aid Advisor can approve your appeal and place you on Financial Aid Probation if he/she feels you can reach the cumulative standard in one semester.
  3. The Financial Aid Advisor can approve your appeal but because it will take you longer than one semester to achieve the cumulative standard place you on an Academic Plan.

You must be able to achieve a 2.0 cumulative standard and a 67% successful completion rate by the time you have attempted 150% of your educational goal to have your appeal considered. For instance, if you are in a transfer program requiring 60 units and you have already completed 85 units with a 1.8 GPA, you cannot mathematically reach a 2.0 GPA by the time you have completed 90 units (150% of 60). In that case, the Financial Aid Advisor has no choice but to deny the appeal.

If you are placed on Financial Aid Probation or an Academic Plan your grades will be reviewed at the end of every semester. Probation indicates that you can meet SAP within one semester. On an Academic Plan, you’ll be given until the 150% point for your program to reach the cumulative requirements. You’ll be returned to good standing if you reach it earlier. Every semester you are on an Academic Plan, you must successfully complete at least 75% of your classes and earn a GPA of at least 2.75. If you fail to reach either of these marks in a semester you will be suspended from financial aid.

Credit Limit

The federal limit for units attempted is 150% of your educational goal. For instance, if a student is enrolled in a transfer program requiring 60 units, 150% equals 90 units attempted. The 150% number varies with different programs.

As a result, LBCC’s Academic Progress Policy requires that all students who have attempted 60 units or more by the end of the semester must submit a Petition for Extension the following semester to continue to receive financial aid. We want to ensure that students are taking the right courses to successfully complete their program by the time they reach the 150% mark. We do not want to suddenly deny students financial aid without warning. The Financial Aid Advisor will review your academic progress and course selection and may approve or deny some or all of the classes in your plan based on relevance to your program. You can appeal to the advisor to explain your class selection. In a limited number of cases, students will be allowed to exceed 150% if he or she has taken supporting but not required or extensive prerequisite classes.