• How Do I Keep My Aid?


  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    Students who receive Federal student aid (Title IV) must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to remain eligible for aid. Federal regulations require that all aid recipients maintain a minimum pace of completion (67%), maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA), and be able to complete their programs within the Maximum Timeframe Allowed (150% of the published program length).

    To ensure students are able to do this, Mt Hood Community College measures student’s cumulative (total) pace of completion and cumulative GPA on a term-by-term basis. If it becomes clear that a student is not maintaining the minimum pace of completion, the minimum GPA, or they are unable to complete their program within the maximum timeframe, aid must be discontinued for that program. Students who have their aid denied may have the option to appeal for aid reinstatement – see below for more information.

    If aid is awarded after a term begins, students must be meeting SAP standards in order to receive that aid. MHCC applies these SAP standards to all of its tuition waiver programs and to state aid recipients. When students accept any award they are indicating they understand and will follow these policies.

    Minimum SAP standards for financial aid recipients:

    • Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher
    • Maintain a cumulative completion rate of 67%. You can calculate this by dividing the total number of credits you have successfully completed by the total number of credits you have attempted.
    • Be on track to complete your declared degree/certificate at MHCC within 150% timeframe of the published program length.
    How do I see my SAP status and what does it mean?

    You can log on to MyMHCC and click on “Financial Aid” under “Frequently Used Links” (right side of screen). Click “View your Financial Aid SAP status” to see your status after each term ends. SAP review is completed within a week of the term ending. Failure to log on to see your SAP status does not relieve you of your responsibilities to maintain or improve your SAP status, so it is important to check this each term.

    Below are the statuses you may see and a brief description of each:

    Good Standing: You are meeting SAP requirements by maintaining a cumulative pace of completion at 67% or higher and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. You are eligible to receive financial aid.

    Warning: You have fallen below a 67% completion pace and/or a 2.0 GPA and now have one term on Warning to regain a Good Standing. Students on Warning are still eligible for aid, however, you must meet SAP standards at the end of the term (i.e. be in Good Standing) to avoid having Aid Denied for the next term.

    Aid Denied: Following a term on Warning or Probation, your cumulative completion rate is less than 67% and/or you do not have a cumulative GPA of 2.0. When on Aid Denied status you are not eligible to receive aid until you meet SAP standards, or have a Financial Aid Appeal approved (see appeal information below).

    Probation: You have appealed your Aid Denied status and been approved to receive aid for one more term. At the end of your term on Probation you must meet SAP standards (i.e. be in Good standing) to avoid having Aid Denied the next term.

    What if I need to repeat a course?

    Any course at MHCC may be repeated ONCE, for aid purposes, if a class was previously passed (grade of A, B, C, D, S). Repeats will be included in the maximum time frame calculation.

    Any course may be repeated for a non-completed or non-passed class (grades of F, K, I, U, W, X); however, these repeats will be included in the maximum time frame calculation.

    What if I need to take IECC/remedial/developmental courses?

    If necessary, you may take up to 45 credits of IECC/remedial/developmental courses (less than 100 level and all IECC courses) funded by financial aid. These credits will be included as attempted credits toward SAP status and also in the maximum time frame calculation. These classes should be taken at the beginning of your program.

    Are all grades looked at for SAP?
    • Passing grades include: A, B, C, D, S
    • Grades that are attempted but not considered passing include: F, K, U, I, W, X
    Do all courses qualify for financial aid?

    Only courses required for eligible MHCC degree/certificates qualify for financial aid.

    A maximum of 12 credits for Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) and 9 credits for PE will be accepted (unless more are required by the professional/technical program).

    Credits taken for personal enrichment or occupational supplementary reasons do not qualify for aid. Also, any credits earned by challenges, Evaluated Work/Life Experience (EWLE), and CLEP are not eligible for aid.

    Classes with an “X” in their reference number (NAX10, EMTX, etc.) are not eligible for aid, unless required for your program.

    Classes that do not earn credits (i.e. audits, community courses) are not eligible for aid.

    Will MHCC look at my previous courses even if I wasn’t receiving financial aid then?

    MHCC’s SAP policy is based on total, cumulative academic progress regardless of whether financial aid has been used previously or not. At the time you would like to begin receiving aid at MHCC, we will evaluate all prior academic history and prior SAP status to determine if you have earned at least 67% of your attempted credits and have a 2.0 cumulative MHCC GPA. If either is less, you may be put on financial aid Warning or, if you have been on Warning before, your status may be Aid Denied (see above for descriptions of these statuses). If your aid is denied, you must appeal that status.

    Regarding transfer credits, MHCC only counts credits that will apply toward a student’s current program at MHCC (both attempted and completed). If a student changes their program, credits and grades that do not count toward the new program will not be included in the SAP determination.

    How do I Appeal if my financial aid was denied?

    Complete and sign a Financial Aid Appeal form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aidalong with any supporting documentation. You will need to explain why the standards were not met and what has changed so you will be successful in the future. Supporting documentation is important – without it your appeal may be denied.

    There is a limit of three (3) financial aid appeals accepted for extenuating circumstances in a student’s MHCC career.

    • Repeat appeals for the same reason(s) will be considered only if there has been a new development in the situation.

    NOTE: If the Office of Financial Aid determines that it is mathematically impossible for you to meet any aspect of SAP standards in one term on Probation, you will be required to submit a long-range academic plan with the goal of meeting proper SAP standards at a specified future point in time. Your progress will be monitored at the end of each term – if at any point you are not following the plan, your aid will be denied again.

    What are the reasons for which I can appeal my financial aid?

    The following reasons can be basis for appealing to reinstate your aid:

    • Death in your immediate family during the term the financial aid or waiver was received (documentation required).
    • Serious personal illness/injury extending over a period of three consecutive weeks or more (as documented by physician’s statement verifying diagnosis, dates/timeframe you were unable to attend school, and your current ability to return to school).
    • You have completed an incomplete (‘I’ grade) graded class, one or more of your grades have changed, an instructor turned in a delayed grade, or some other irregularity in your grade report has improved.
    • You have completed a term or terms at your own expense and are now meeting SAP standards of 67% completion pace and a 2.0 MHCC GPA (subject to confirmation by Office of Financial Aid)
    • Other reasons: You must provide documentation to support your appeal.

    NOTE: Appeals are not typically approved for reasons related to personal choices. For example, beginning or changing jobs during a term, increasing job hours, transportation challenges, non-life threatening or short-term illness(es) of family members, child care challenges, you are new to MHCC, poor time management, or if you don’t understand this SAP policy.

    What are my next steps if my Financial Aid Appeal is approved? What if it is denied?

    If your appeal is approved, you will be put on Probation for the next term and be able to receive aid for that term. At the end of your term on Probation you must meet SAP standards (i.e. be in Good standing) to avoid having Aid Denied the next term.

    If your appeal is denied, it may be because your reasons for appeal were not justified by the supporting documentation you submitted, or it has been determined that it is mathematically impossible for you to meet minimum SAP standards (pace, GPA, or maximum timeframe) in one term on Probation. In the case of mathematical impossibility, you will be asked to submit a long-range academic plan with the goal of meeting proper SAP standards at a specified future point in time. If approved, your progress will be monitored at the end of each term – if at any point you are not following the plan, your aid will be denied.


    Maximum Timeframe Limit & Appeals

    Federal regulations require that students complete their programs within the Maximum Timeframe Allowed, which is 150% of the published program length. For example, if the minimum number of credits to complete an associate degree is 90 credits, you must complete the degree within 135 attempted credits (90 x 150% = 135).

    Once students have attempted the maximum number of credits for their declared certificate or degree, they become ineligible for financial aid but may appeal for an extension. Appeals are approved for students who have a clear education plan to complete their degree within the 150% timeframe and are maintaining SAP standards (as outlined above).

    The information below outlines how credits are evaluated for a student’s maximum timeframe, how and when students are notified about requirements, how the appeal process works, and what is required to keep aid eligibility.

    Evaluation of Credit

    When calculating your maximum timeframe, the Office of Financial Aid includes the following, even if you did not receive financial aid when the classes were taken:

    • all attempted credits, including all courses for which you received passing, non-passing, or audit grades and any courses recorded as withdrawals
    • Credits transferred from other colleges that are accepted by MHCC toward your degree/certificate (MHCC converts semester and clock hours to quarter credit hours)

    When you have attempted 100% of the credits required for your program, your aid will be denied until you complete a Maximum Timeframe Appeal (MTA) to extend your aid eligibility (see below for more details).

    If at any point the Office of Financial Aid determines that it is mathematically impossible for you to complete your program within the 150% timeframe limit, your aid will be suspended for your program.

    Notification Process

    When you are approaching 75% completion of your program, you will be notified by email and in your MyMHCC that you may need to file a Maximum Timeframe Appeal (MTA) soon.

    When you have attempted 100% of the credits required to complete your program, you will be notified that you must complete an MTA to show that you will be able to complete your program within the 150% timeframe limit. Until you submit the MTA, your aid will be denied.

    Maximum Timeframe Appeal (MTA) Process
    1. Make an appointment with your Academic Adviser. Your adviser will help you determine what classes you have left to reach your educational goal, map out a term-by-term education plan to document this, and walk you through how to fill out the Maximum Timeframe Appeal form. You will then turn this information in to Financial Aid for review.
      • If your major is General Studies, schedule an appointment with one of the academic advisers in Room 2253 through Navigate or by calling (503) 491-7315
      • If your major is Undecided, schedule an appointment with one of the career counselors in Room 1152 by calling (503) 491-7432
      • If you have declared a major other than Undecided or General Studies, schedule an appointment with your assigned faculty adviser by emailing them. In order to see who your assigned faculty adviser is, log into MyMHCC, click on “Plan and Register” and then “Plan Ahead”. Your faculty adviser and their email contact will be listed there. 

    IMPORTANT!

    • It could take 1-2 weeks to book an appointment with an academic adviser (depending on availability), so schedule it as soon as you can.
    1. With your Academic Adviser, complete the Maximum Timeframe Appeal form and include the following supporting documentation:
      • an education plan
      • your Degree Audit report (aka DARS)

    2. Submit your MTA and supporting documentation to the Office of Financial Aid
      • It may take Financial Aid 1-3 weeks to review your MTA.
      • Filing an appeal does not guarantee an extension of aid.
      • If your appeal is approved, aid will be reinstated only classes required to complete your certificate, degree or program prerequisites.
      • If it is determined that you cannot complete your degree/certificate within 150% timeframe, you will become ineligible for aid immediately.
    The Approved Education Plan

    It is important that your Education Plan clearly outlines your educational goal and how you plan to achieve it. It is your responsibility to comply with the plan you create with your academic adviser. If you deviate from the education plan by taking courses that are not listed on the plan, by changing your major or degree, or by not successfully passing all classes approved on the plan with at least a “C”, your financial aid will be denied.

    Please see MHCC Eligibility Requirements for more details regarding aid eligibility.