Standards of Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid

The U.S. Department of Education Student Financial Aid regulations require that MCC establish and maintain a policy to measure whether students applying for financial aid are making satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. MCC has implemented the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards necessary to evaluate a financial aid recipient's continued eligibility for funds.

Minimum Academic Standard Requirements:

The following standards apply to students receiving federal or state financial assistance, including grants, loans and federal work-study.

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA)*

    You must achieve and maintain at least a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all credit courses attempted throughout your entire enrollment at MCC, whether or not financial aid was received.

  2. Cumulative Completion Rate

    You must complete at least 67% of the credit courses attempted throughout your entire enrollment at MCC, whether or not financial aid was received. The percentage is found by dividing the successfully completed credit hours by the number of credit hours you attempted.

  3. Maximum Time Frame

    You must complete your program of study within 150 percent of attempted credit hours relative to credit hours required to complete the program. For example, if you are enrolled in an educational program that requires 60 credit hours, you cannot receive financial assistance after 90 attempted credit hours. If during the SAP review it becomes clear you cannot mathematically complete your program within the maximum time frame, you will become ineligible for financial assistance.


For the purposes of financial aid SAP only, the following grades count as ATTEMPTED but NOT COMPLETED: F, I, IP, NC,W and WD.

All attempted credit hours at McHenry County College will be counted toward Cumulative Completion Rate and the Maximum Time Frame requirement including:

A grade of Incomplete (I) and courses still in session (i.e. late starting Self-Paced Online Courses) will require instructor confirmation, in writing, that you are making successful progress and are on schedule for course completion.

You can only receive financial assistance for up to 30 credit hours of developmental courses.

You may be paid one time only for retaking previously passed coursework (i.e. repeating a course because you need to meet an academic standard for that particular course, such as a minimum grade). If a course is repeated, only the higher grade is used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.

*The Illinois Veterans Grant, Illinois National Guard grant and all GI Bill programs are subject to GPA standards only.

Review of Academic Progress Standards

The Office of Financial Aid determines compliance with the academic standards for financial aid recipients by reviewing your cumulative academic record at the conclusion of every semester: fall, spring and summer. Students who have an academic record (including accepted transfer credits) at the College will be evaluated according to the Minimum Academic Standard Requirements and placed in the appropriate status.

Passing Rate and GPA Appeal Procedures

Submit the following three items as part of the appeal process:

  1. A Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form
  2. A signed and dated typed Letter of Explanation to include an explanation of:
    • Why you failed to meet Minimum Academic Standard Requirements
    • What has changed or what changes are you making to allow you to reach Minimum Academic Standard Requirements
    • What your educational objectives are and your schedule to achieve these objectives
  3. Submit third party documentation supporting the reason(s) why Minimum Academic Standard Requirements were not met, e.g., a letter from an official familiar with your situation, a police officer, medical or legal documentation, death certificate, etc.

Maximum Time Frame Appeal Procedure

If you are in Maximum Time Frame Status, you may not add an academic program and you may only change your current academic program under special circumstances. You must complete the program you were pursuing at the time you entered this status. Submit the following items as part of the appeal process:

  1. A Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form
  2. Advising and Transfer Center’s Financial Aid SAP Max Time Frame (90+) form
    • This must include an Academic Evaluation/Degree Audit that indicates all the classes you plan to or are already enrolled.
    • Note: You may be required to complete an Academic Plan at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid.

Notification of Status

The Office of Financial Aid will notify you when you are placed in Warning, Suspension, Maximum Time Frame and Probation statuses as well as when your appeal has been approved or denied. However, it is your responsibility to know your academic progress status and how it affects financial aid eligibility.

Important Note

Students in Suspension or Maximum Time Frame status who have not returned an appeal or required documentation by the tuition due date of the subsequent semester will have all your federal aid removed! If you fail to appeal or you've had your appeal denied, you may regain eligibility for future semesters by meeting MCC's Minimum Academic Standard Requirements set forth in this policy.


The MCC Adult Reentry Grade Forgiveness Policy does not impact the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress Policy. The College's SAP policy is subject to change without notice to comply with federal or state regulations, or MCC Board of Trustees policy or action.