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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by the federal government and the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC). Application of these requirements includes all terms of enrollment, whether or not aid was awarded or received.

The CJC Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress each term after the Registrar has completed processing grades, and before aid is disbursed for the following term. To meet SAP:

  1. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of units attempted each semester and cumulatively, with a minimum 2.00 semester and cumulative GPA.
  2. Students are allowed a maximum time frame of 150% of program length, measured in attempted units, in which to be considered for financial aid.

Students who fail to meet SAP requirements of GPA or 67% Completion Rate for the first time will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) semester. They are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that semester, or will be placed on financial aid suspension.

A student receiving financial aid is always expected to be making progress toward completion of a declared program of study at CJC.



Evaluation of SAP will be made after grades are posted at the end of each semester and prior to aid being disbursed for a subsequent semester for which a student is enrolled.

Grade symbols and their effect on measuring progress:

  • Credits with satisfactory grades at CJC are those for which a grade of A, B and C is earned.
  • Courses completed with an D, F, I, W, WP or WF are not considered acceptable for satisfactory academic progress.
  • Grade symbols of A, B, C, D or F will be used in grade point average calculation.
  • Courses completed with a I, W, WP or WF will not be used in grade point average calculation. However, please note that non-passing grades which are not used to determine grade point average still must be used to determine minimum unit requirements. Additionally, even though a “D” is considered a passing grade, the total GPA must not fall below 2.00 for each semester.

Ineligibility for financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling in classes if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment. Unless extenuating circumstances exist and an appeal is approved (see “IV. Appeals” for additional information), a student on financial aid suspension or disqualification should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until all satisfactory academic progress requirements are again met.

     A. Qualitative Standards

Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule): In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum semester and cumulative grade point average requirements of 2.00. If the cumulative GPA is below 2.00 after two consecutive semesters, the student is disqualified until the cumulative GPA is raised to 2.0. Transfer credits are excluded from GPA evaluation.

     B. Quantitative Standards or Pace of Completion

Completion Rate (67% Rule): Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67% of credits attempted each term, and maintain a 67% cumulative completion rate. This calculation is performed by dividing the total number of successfully completed credits by the total number of credits attempted, each term and cumulatively. All credits attempted at CJC are included. All credits included from prior colleges count as both attempted and successfully completed credits.

Maximum Time Frame Allowed (150% Rule): A student is considered for federal financial aid funding for a period of time no longer than 150% of the school’s published program length. CJC measures the progress of all students in attempted semester units. An attempted unit is defined as any unit the student remains enrolled in AFTER the add/drop period.

A student enrolled in the four year Bachelor Degree in Music, Jazz Studies may be eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 6 years to complete his/her program. Once this limit has been reached, a student is ineligible for further financial aid. The maximum time frame includes units attempted within CJC during all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether a student applied for or received financial aid. The maximum time frame also includes units earned at other colleges or universities that could be applied toward a program of study at CJC. If the student’s total attempted units equal or exceed the maximum time frame of 150%, the student is disqualified, or no longer eligible for financial aid at CJC. The table below lists the percentages of completion during the 150% maximum time frame.

% of Total Required Credits Required for Completion

Instrumentalists & Vocalists Pianists
Credits After
136 134
Year 1 17% 23 22
Year 2 33% 45 45
Year 3 50% 68 67
Year 4 67% 91 89
Year 5 83% 113 112
Year 6 100% 136 134


Credit from Prior Colleges:   All transcripts will be reviewed for credits that may be applied toward your degree program at CJC, and included in the calculation of maximum time frame (150%) and completion rate.

Additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards

  • Loan borrowers must remain enrolled in at least 6 units during every term they request a student loan. Students who drop below 6 units in a term will not receive any undisbursed loans. In addition to meeting all SAP requirements, all loan students must successfully complete a minimum of 6 units every term. If they are not successful, their situation will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if they will be eligible to receive any subsequent loans or other financial aid.
  • Withdrawals (W grades) that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid.
  • Incomplete Grades: Courses that are assigned an incomplete grade are included in cumulative credits attempted and maximum timeframe but not in calculation of GPA. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned. Students previously on Warning, Probation, or Disqualified must complete any course work needed to receive a letter grade BEFORE they can be considered for additional aid. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Financial Aid Office of any official grade changes that occur after grades have been evaluated by our office for recalculation of SAP status.
  • Academic Dismissal or Progress Dismissal: Academic requirements for avoiding warning status and staying in school differ from financial aid requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Academic status will be noted on your transcript; student will be notified of financial aid status by the Financial Aid Office. Any student suspended from CJC for academic or behavioral reasons is automatically ineligible for financial aid. Any student whose last status on their transcript is Academic Dismissal or Academic Suspension is not eligible to receive financial aid, even if their petition to register is approved.
  • Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative grade point average. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed, but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for a successfully completed class that is repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt.
  • Academic Renewal: When a student has previously recorded college work that is substandard and does not reflect the student’s current demonstrated ability, a student may petition to have the substandard college work disregarded. If that is granted, the units and grades no longer reflect in the cumulative totals on the academic transcript, BUT for purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress, the units and grades are still included in the calculation.




A.   Financial Aid Progress (PROG) – Students who are meeting all aspects of the SAP policy and are making progress toward completion of their primary program of study.

B. Financial Aid Warning Status (WARN) – Students who fail to meet SAP requirements of GPA or 67% Completion Rate for the first time will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) semester. They are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that semester, or will be placed on financial aid suspension.

C. Disqualified Status (DISQ) – Students who fail to meet SAP requirements of GPA or 67% Completion Rate following the Warning term will automatically be disqualified and ineligible to receive financial aid. A student who withdraws or receives an “F”, “I”, “IP”, “NC”, OR “NGR” in all his/her classes will automatically be disqualified if s/he received any financial aid, regardless of whether or not the withdrawal occurred during the “Grade of No Record” period of the semester, or shows up on an academic transcript. Repayment of funds may be required. Students are expected to successfully meet SAP requirements on their own prior to being considered again for financial aid.

Students who reach 150% of the published units for degree program are no longer eligible to receive federal aid and are disqualified. Such students have the right to submit an Excessive Units petition to request an extension of financial aid. An Excessive Units Petition will not be granted if the student does not have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and cumulative 67% completion rate at the time of appeal.

Probation students who do not meet the semester CUMULATIVE 67% unit completion rate and/or the semester CUMULATIVE grade point average standards, or who fail to meet any other requirements of an approved appeal will be disqualified. Students who are disqualified are not eligible to receive financial aid. Appeals will only be accepted in verifiable extraordinary circumstances such as a lengthy hospital stay or documented death of a family member.

D. Financial Aid Probation Status – Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed in Probation Status. Students in Probation Status are eligible to receive financial aid for one (1) semester, after which they must meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Students who do not meet SAP at the end of their Probation Status term will be disqualified from receiving financial aid until their semester CUMULATIVE completion rate is above 67% and semester CUMULATIVE GPA is above 2.00. (See IV. Appeals)




 A. Students who do not meet GPA and/or 67% completion rate requirements while on WARNING status or students who earn 0 units with a 0 GPA for the term are placed on Disqualified Status and will be immediately ineligible for financial aid. Students are expected to successfully meet SAP requirements on their own prior to being considered again for financial aid, by raising their term and cumulative completion rate to 67% and/or raising their term and cumulative GPA to the minimum 2.00 required.

B. A student who has exceeded the 150% rule cannot regain eligibility on their own for financial aid.

C. If there are extenuating circumstances, student may appeal. (see IV. Appeals)



A. Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid may appeal the financial aid suspension or disqualification. An appeal process is not required by the Department of Education and is at the discretion of CJC. Students must clearly state what caused the problem and must also clearly indicate what has changed that will now allow the student to succeed. Appeals may be considered if:

  • A disqualified student has documented and verifiable extenuating circumstances that have now been addressed so the student may successfully complete his or her program of study
  • A disqualified student has documented and verifiable extraordinary extenuating circumstances (e.g., student’s serious illness or accident; death, accident or serious illness in the immediate family; other mitigating circumstances)
  • The student who is disqualified and may not yet have met cumulative SAP requirements, but has, while disqualified, enrolled in and successfully completed at least six (6) academic semester credits at CJC with a minimum semester GPA of 2.00 and a minimum completion rate of 67%. A Student Education Plan must be submitted with the appeal in this situation.
  • Student withdrew in the past due to Military Service.

All appeal decisions are final.

B. Students appealing a suspension or disqualification must:

  • Complete the appropriate satisfactory progress appeal form in entirety,
  • Attach documentation in support of the appeal, which may include a plan developed with the Registrar or Dean of Instruction outlining what the student will do to improve their academic progress.
  • Submit all items to the Financial Aid Office.
  • Appeals for Excessive Units will not be considered unless the student demonstrates the required minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and cumulative 67% completion rate at the time of appeal.

C. Only completed appeal submissions with documentation will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office. The decision is final. Depending on the circumstances, the student could be required to complete additional requirements (i.e., meet with a counselor to develop an Educational Plan for completion, limit enrollment, take an assessment test, etc.) before an appeal is granted. The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation. The reasonableness of the student’s ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student’s program of study will be carefully considered. Appeals will be approved or denied or may be conditional. Students who have appeals approved will be in probationary status for the coming semester.

D. Miscellaneous Requirements

  • All students must have proof of high school completion, a satisfactory academic record and have earned an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher to be admitted to the CJC.
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