Federal Title IV Eligibility
To maintain Federal Financial Aid eligibility at North Country Community College, the student must maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) that correlates to the number of credits attempted, and the number of credits earned. When a student meets these minimum requirements, they are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress may lead to financial aid warning, financial aid probation, and/or loss of Federal financial aid eligibility at North Country Community College.
Regulations Regarding Title IV Financial Aid 
Federal regulations mandates that a recipient of Federal Title IV aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Work Study, and Federal Direct Loans) make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a degree to maintain eligibly for funding.  Progress will be reviewed every semester.  
Student’s performance is measured using three components:  Qualitative, Quantitative and Maximum Time Frame.
  • Qualitative Standards (Cumulative GPA) – Qualitative standard refers to a student’s cumulative grade point average.  A student is considered to be in good academic standing if he/she maintains a minimum GPA at the conclusion of each semester.  Grades for remedial courses are not calculated in the student’s GPA, but will be included in the qualitative assessment of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Quantitative Standard (Pace of Progress) – Quantitative standard refers to the successful completion of credits towards the student’s degree or certificate.  Pace is determined by comparing the number of attempted credits hours successfully completed (earned).
Attempted credit hours include: 
• Earned hours- Grade of A-D and courses with a grade of S; 
• Repeated courses- both attempts; 
• Remedial coursework; 
• Withdrawal - W grades; 
• Failures - F grades; 
• Incomplete grades; 
• All accepted transfer credits and consortium agreement credits that count towards the degree program. 
Completed credit hours include: 
• Earned hours- Grade of A-D and courses with a grade of S; 
• Repeated courses- one attempt; 
• Remedial coursework; 
• Failures- F grades; 
• All accepted transfer credits and consortium agreement credits that count towards the degree program. 
The tables below display the minimum requirements that students must meet to stay within the SAP requirements:

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) For Federal (Title IV) Financial Aid 


Total Attempted Credit Hours Minimum G.P.A % of Total Completed Credit Hours
0-15 1.00 50%
16-30 1/25 60%
31-45 1.50 60%
46-60 1.75 60%
62-75 2.0 65%
76-98 2.0 70%



Total Attempted Credit Hours

Minimum G.P.A % of Total Completed Credit Hours
0-15 1.50 50%
16-30 1.75 60%
31-45 2.0 60%
46-54 2.0 60%


See additional information on Federal Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) in the SAP Standards Chart.

  • Maximum Time Frame - Undergraduate students may receive aid for a maximum of 150% of the degree program requirements.
  • Certificate Program – The average length of a Certificate Program at NCCC is 31 credits.  The maximum time frame for most NCCC student to receive aid while enrolled in a certificate program is 47 attempted credit hours.
  • Associate Degree Program – The average length of an Associate Degree Program at NCCC is 64 credits.  The maximum time frame for most NCCC student to receive aid while enrolled in a certificate program is 96 attempted credit hours

Please review the program requirements in the college catalog for the exact number of credits within your program.

When a student fails to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, his or her status for the subsequent semester will be one of the following:  Warning, Probation, or Dismissal.

The following describes how each of these will impact a student’s ability to receive Federal Financial Aid at NCCC.

Student fails to meet SAP at the end of a semester.  Student will receive an SAP Warning Letter.  No appeal is required when placed on Warning.  Student is eligible for aid for the subsequent semester (Warning Period).  At the end of the Warning Period, student must be making SAP or the student will be placed on a Financial Aid Suspension and will have the option to appeal for re-instatement and placed on a Probation Status.

1st Loss of Financial Aid
Student fails to meet SAP at the end of the Warning Period.  A financial aid ineligibility letter will be sent to the student.  Student must successfully appeal.  If appeal is approved, the student will be placed on a Financial Aid Probation and eligible for federal financial aid.  

Student fails to make SAP at the end of a Warning Period and has been granted an appeal.  Eligibility for aid has been reinstated for that semester only.  Student must successfully appeal ineligibility for federal aid and be placed on probation.  The student will meet specific goals (Academic Plan) during the probationary semester. At the end of the probation period, student must be meeting SAP and/or be successfully following the establish Academic Plan to continue to be eligible for aid.  

Final Loss of Financial Aid - Dismissal
Student has failed to meet conditions of Academic Plan and/or make SAP during probation period.  A final Financial Aid Suspension Ineligibility letter will be sent to the student.  Student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid at North Country Community College.  

Multiple Programs of Study for Federal Aid Eligibility 
If a student earns an associate degree, they can apply and be accepted to a second degree program and still be eligible for federal Financial Aid. A student enrolled in a second degree program will only receive aid for the credits required to earn a degree within the specified program with the 150% still applied. 

If a student has earned two degrees from the College and would like to enroll for a third degree, if the student is accepted to the College, they have one academic year to earn their degree. All coursework taken during this one academic year must also count towards their degree. If after the one academic year the student fails to earn the third degree, they will no longer be eligible for any Title IV aid at North Country. 

Academic Forgiveness – Fresh Start and Federal Aid Eligibility
Students who are readmitted or students who have been granted Academic Forgiveness or a Fresh Start for previous coursework are subject to the standards defined in this policy for federal aid eligibility. Academic progress will be reviewed upon readmission and receipt of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All previous coursework at North Country must be included in each review of academic progress for federal aid; therefore, even coursework “forgiven” academically must be considered in the review. 

Transfer students that are enrolling for the first time are considered in good academic standing. Transfer credits are counted towards a student’s SAP only within the attempted hour’s criteria. The transfer credits that are counted towards a student’s SAP will be those transfer credits accepted from the Transfer Evaluation and used towards credits earned for a certificate or degree program.

Appeal Process

Under provisions pertaining to the Standards of Academic Progress students are allowed to appeal the loss of their eligibility to receive Title IV Financial Aid at North Country.  Appeals may be granted only where it is determined that exceptional or extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control resulted in failure to satisfy the requirements and where there is a reasonable expectation that the student will meet these requirements in the future. 
Submitting an Appeal
Appeals will be considered on the basis of mitigating circumstances, such as personal illness or injury, or the death of an immediate family member. Students may appeal more than once, but must provide new documentation of a mitigating circumstance to justify the request. A written statement from the student must accompany the appeal and must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. 
Acceptable Documentation 
Acceptable forms of documentation include but are not limited to: physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or accident, newspaper obituaries or death certificates to substantiate deaths, written statement from clergy, family member, or other third party familiar with the student’s situation, and written statement from academic advisor or professor. Students who have lost federal aid and have an appeal approved are placed on “Financial Aid Probation” for the subsequent term and may receive federal aid for that term. 

Appeal Procedures 
Students wishing to appeal the loss of their Financial Aid eligibility must complete and submit an SAP Appeal form within 10 days of the date of the SAP Loss of Financial Aid letter. 

Appeal forms along with supporting documentation should be addressed to: 
North Country Community College 
Financial Aid 
P.O. Box 89 
23 Santanoni Avenue 
Saranac Lake, NY 12983 

Appeals are sent to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee for review. Decisions of the committee will be forwarded to each student in writing and are final. If the student’s appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Probation. All students granted an appeal will also be provided with an “Academic Plan” that specifies the requirements to which the student must adhere in order to regain federal aid eligibility. Any student on probation who does not meet the requirements of the Academic Plan at the end of any term within the Academic Plan will lose federal aid eligibility.

Reinstatement of Federal Financial Aid 
Students who choose to remain at North Country Community College without receipt of Title IV federal student assistance, may request a review of their academic records after the completion of additional credit hours to determine whether the courses taken have brought them up to the appropriate standards.  If the SAP standards are met, eligibility for receipt of Title IV federal student assistance may be restored for subsequent terms in that year.   
Complete Withdrawal or Non-Attendance Regulations 
Any student who withdraws or stops attending all of his or her courses prior to the end of a semester or term, without proof of mitigating circumstances, will automatically lose his or her Title IV Financial Aid eligibility for the next semester or term. Should a student re-matriculate for the following semester, they must request a financial aid review.