Satisfactory Academic Progress (S.A.P.)

To remain eligible for financial aid at Piedmont Technical College, a student must make reasonable academic progress towards a degree, diploma, or certificate.  Piedmont Technical College (PTC) has adopted the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy adhering to federal and state mandates. 

To remain eligible for financial aid at Piedmont Technical College, a student must make reasonable academic progress toward a degree, diploma, or certificate.

As a recipient of Federal or State financial aid, you have certain rights and responsibilities.  Failure to fulfill your part of the agreement, as described, may result in the cancellation of your award and you may have to repay any funds already received. 

Financial Aid Programs under the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

  • Federal Pell Grant (PELL)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)  
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Work Study Program (FWS)
  • South Carolina Need-Based Grant (SCNB)

Requirements of the SAP Policy

The Financial Aid Office monitors the satisfactory academic progress of all financial aid recipients by reviewing a student’s total academic record after grades are posted at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer). Failure to meet any one of these standards may result in the cancellation of future financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress is a federal government requirement and is measured by the following:

  1. Cumulative Completion Rate (Pace)

  • ​​A student must successfully pass 67% of the cumulative hours attempted including Developmental and transfer hours.
  • Hours earned are those for which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, or D. 
  • Hours attempted are hours for which a student registers at the beginning of the semester. 
  • Courses with grades of F, W, NC, CF and I are counted in the hours attempted.
  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average
    All Piedmont Technical College students must maintain the following cumulative GPA requirements in order to be considered to be meeting SAP:

  • 1 – 12 credit hours earned: minimum 1.50 GPA
  • 13 – 24 credit hours earned: minimum 1.75 GPA
  • 25+ credit hours earned: minimum 2.00 GPA
  1. Length of Eligibility (Maximum Timeframe)
    Financial aid recipients may be eligible for assistance until they have attempted up to 150 percent of the semester hours required for the program of study in which they are enrolled. 


Academic Issues that will affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

  1. Repeated Courses, Withdrawals, Incomplete Courses, Carry-forwards, NC and F
    Students who receive federal or state financial aid must be aware that repeated courses and courses with grades of W, I, CF, NC and F will be considered in assessing their progress toward completion. Courses with these grades are considered not completed. When a ‘CF’ or ‘I’ is changed to a grade, the student will need to notify the Financial Aid Office for re-evaluation of their status if the student is on probation or suspension.

  2. Developmental Studies
    Financial Aid recipients may take a maximum of 30 credit hours in developmental (remedial) course work, which consists of English, Math and Reading courses of 100 level or lower. These courses count towards hours attempted and will be considered in determining SAP.

  3. Prior College Coursework - Transfer Credits
    The U.S. Department of Education requires the Financial Aid Office to track students' academic progress from the first date of enrollment, whether or not financial aid was received. All prior courses will be counted in cumulative attempted hours, cumulative earned hours, and cumulative GPA.  Any student not meeting a standard will be subject to suspension of all financial aid.

    All transfer credits accepted will be counted in cumulative attempted and cumulative earned hours.

  4. Fresh Start Program
    Students approved for the Fresh Start Program are not exempted from the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.  Students should be aware that financial aid requirements regarding prior attendance and cumulative eligibility must be considered from the first date of enrollment (all prior grades will be included in the SAP Calculation).

  5. Change of Major(s)
    A student who changes his or her major is still responsible for maintaining satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the procedure as outlined. A review of satisfactory academic progress will be based on the student's current program of study. A student changing from an associate program to a diploma or certificate program may lose federal and state eligibility immediately upon making the change based on the cumulative academic history review for the 150% maximum time frame requirement.

  6. Maximum Timeframe for Subsequent Degrees
    Students seeking a subsequent degree at the same level as first degree must complete the subsequent degree within the maximum time frame (150%) of the current program. If unable to do so, the student may appeal for continued eligibility.  In the appeal the student may need to explain the rationale for the pursuit of an additional degree. 

    For students who have reached the maximum timeframe (150%) of their current program, financial aid eligibility is limited to no more than two associate degrees. Students who wish to pursue additional degrees beyond this limit may do so, but without federal financial assistance.


Results from NOT  Meeting SAP

Students who do not meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be sanctioned according to Federal mandate and may lose all or part of their financial aid award.

  1. Financial Aid Warning
    Students are evaluated on satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of each term (fall, spring and summer). Students who are not maintaining satisfactory academic progress for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students under Financial Aid Warning can receive student financial aid for one term, without submitting an appeal. At the end of the term, the student must meet the criteria for satisfactory academic progress.

  2. Financial Aid Suspension 
    Students who have failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards after a term of Financial Aid Warning are placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Financial Aid awards will be canceled when a student is placed on suspension. Returning students who did not meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in their previous enrollment with Piedmont may be placed on suspension upon their return to the college.

    Students on Financial Aid suspension are ineligible for student financial aid unless they submit an appeal, along with an academic plan created by an advisor, and the appeal is granted. Approval of all appeals is at the discretion of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. 

  3. Financial Aid Probation
    Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who fails to meet SAP (following Financial Aid Warning status) and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for financial aid reinstated.


Appeal of Financial Aid Ineligibility

  1. A student on financial aid suspension may appeal by submitting a Financial Aid Appeal Form, an academic plan and all requested documents to the Financial Aid Office. The student must indicate reasons why he or she did not achieve minimum academic standards. Acceptable reasons for an appeal are: personal injury or illness, death or serious illness of an immediate family member, employment changes, or divorce/ separation in the student’s immediate family.  Students may only appeal the same situation once. Previous medical history cannot be used as an acceptable reason for ongoing semesters. The student must provide supporting documentation for the appeal.   
  2. If the student has reached or is approaching the 150 percent maximum, he/she is ineligible to receive additional semesters of aid without an appeal.  In this appeal, the student must explain why they have not completed their degree along with an academic plan created with an advisor.  The determination of whether an appeal is accepted and the student can receive financial aid is at the discretion of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. 
  3. If it is not mathematically possible for a student who is appealing to reach satisfactory academic progress by the end of the next term, the student can be placed on an Academic Plan for a specific number of terms. The Academic Plan, which must be signed by the student and an advisor, will be used to evaluate the student’s satisfactory academic progress until it expires. Continuing to meet the stipulations of the Academic Plan will eventually result in the student meeting the SAP policy overall or completing their program of study.
  4. Students who have failed to meet any of the stipulations of the Academic Plan will be placed on Repeat Suspension status where any federal financial aid will be suspended.  A second appeal will only be allowed for new documented extenuating circumstances that occur during the probationary period such as a prolonged hospitalization, death in the family, or a change in work hours that conflict with the class schedule.  Extenuating circumstances do not include being a single parent or working full-time while attending school.  A maximum of 2 appeals will be accepted during a student’s time at Piedmont Technical College.
  5. All appeals received must be submitted by the published deadline for each semester located in the PTC Student Calendar and on the PTC Home Page. Appeals received after that date will not be reviewed until the next semester. 
  6. Upon review by the Financial Aid Committee, the student will be advised by Pathway notification of the committee’s decision.   

Simply submitting an appeal and an academic plan does not automatically guarantee approval and appeals without supporting documentation will be denied. 


Re-establishing Eligibility

Other than having eligibility restored through filing a successful appeal, a student on financial aid suspension may regain eligibility only by taking action that brings him or her into compliance with the appropriate progress standard. Students who choose to remain enrolled without receiving Title IV aid may request a review of their academic record after any term in which they were on financial aid suspension to determine if they are now meeting the appropriate standards.


Financial aid suspension does not hinder you from attending Piedmont Technical College. To learn of other payment options, please visit the Payment Plan page.