Q: Many of the students I work with lose their financial aid because of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. Are there any forms of financial aid that are not subject to SAP?
A: While all forms of state and federal financial aid have some form of academic progress standards, some have more flexibility than others. A new law (SB 150) that will take effect on January 1, 2020 will allow students to continue to receive a Chafee ETV grant for two years before they lose eligibility because of SAP. If a student does lose eligibility there are specific criteria that qualify the student for reinstatement that are broader than those used for other forms of aid. To read more about this new law, click HERE.
In addition, the Promise Grant, which covers tuition costs at community colleges, is subject to different standards than sources such as the federal Pell grant and state CalGrant. While this varies by campus, typically the requirements are less stringent, and students can often maintain the fee waiver even when they no longer qualify for other forms of aid.
Finally, if a student does lose financial aid, they should be encouraged to appeal to have aid reinstated. This process can be cumbersome, and they may need support to navigate their college’s SAP appeal process.