Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible for federal financial aid, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Modesto Junior College has adopted the following satisfactory academic progress policy, which contains elements specified in federal regulations.


Grade Point Average (GPA):  All financial aid students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.

Pace Rate: To measure whether students are progressing on pace for completion of their course of study within the maximum time frame, Modesto Junior College evaluates the pace rate of financial aid students at the end of each semester. At each semester’s end, students are expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted. Classes with grades of A, B, C, D, and P (passed) are considered to have been completed. Classes with grades of W, F, I (incomplete) and NP (no pass) are not considered completed. All classes taken at other institutions through a consortium agreement are also included in the pace rate assessment.

Maximum Time Frame: All financial aid students are expected to complete their program of study within 150% of the published length of the program. Students enrolled in 60-unit AA/AS degree, 4-year transfer, or vocational programs are expected to complete their programs by the time they attempt 90 units. Students enrolled in vocational programs of less than 60 units are allowed a maximum time frame (attempted units) that is 150% of their program’s length.

Degree and Transfer Programs:  60 units or more are needed to graduate; therefore, the maximum time frame to complete a degree or transfer program would be 90 attempted units (60 x 150% = 90).

Certificate Programs:  Most certificate programs require 30 units; therefore, the maximum time frame to complete a certificate program is 45 attempted units (30 x 150% = 45).

In addition, students who have already earned an AA / AS degree or beyond will be considered to have reached Maximum Time Frame.


The academic progress of financial aid students is evaluated after grades are posted at the end of each semester, including summer.


When academic progress is evaluated, students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0 and/or whose cumulative pace rate is below 67% are placed on Financial Aid Warning. In addition, students who are either transferring to Modesto Junior College or who are continuing Modesto Junior College students, but never previously applied for financial aid, are placed on Financial Aid Warning if their cumulative GPA is below 2.0 and/or if their cumulative pace rate is below 67% at the time they enter the Financial Aid program. Students on Financial Aid Warning will continue to be considered for financial aid during the Warning semester. Students will be removed from Financial Aid Warning after the Warning semester if their GPA and pace rate meet the Federal guidelines minimum standard. Students who do not meet the GPA and pace rate standards will be placed on Disqualification status.


Students who do not meet all cumulative academic requirements at the end of the Warning semester will be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification.  Students who are Disqualified from financial aid may reestablish financial aid eligibility by meeting all cumulative SAP criteria outlined in the Qualitative & Quantitative requirements sections of this document.

Students placed on Disqualification status are not eligible to receive financial aid except for a California College Promise Grant (Fee Waiver), if eligible. Students who complete a semester on Disqualification must have their academic progress reviewed before financial aid eligibility is determined for the following semester. Due to the short time period between semesters, there will be at least a three-week delay in the notification of eligibility. If eligible, any disbursements of student aid will also be delayed.


Under certain conditions, students placed on Disqualification may file an appeal for consideration of reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.  Circumstance must have occurred during the deficient semester(s).  Students who are disqualified and are not meeting GPA and/or Pace Rete requirements are not eligible for Federal Work Study.

The following are examples of reasons a student may file an appeal:

  • Change in academic major
  • Documented serious injury, illness or medical condition requiring a doctor’s care
  • Death of an immediate family member (documentation required)
  • Documented extenuating circumstance beyond student’s control

The following are NOT considered extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control:

  • Personal problems not requiring professional intervention
  • Poor time management
  • Unaware of academic progress policies or other college requirements
  • Not following placement test and/or Academic Counselor’s recommendations
  • Transportation problems
  • Child care problems

To file an appeal, students are required to submit a complete appeal packet which includes:

  1. An Appeal form and Appeal Contract
  2. Current Student Educational Plan OR Degree Audit (available on Pirates Net)
  3. Supporting documentation for allowable special circumstance

Once appeal documents are reviewed, students are notified of the decision by email.

Approved Appeals - Financial Aid Probation:

Students on an approved appeal will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.  To maintain Financial Aid eligibility, students must meet ALL requirements of an Appeal Contract each semester.


Denied Appeals

Students whose appeal is denied have the option to have their appeal reviewed by the Appeal Committee.  An additional request is required.  Decisions made by the committee are final.  The Appeal Committee is not available for the summer semester. 


Modesto Junior College, Student Financial Services will follow the Yosemite Community College District policy regarding repeated courses.

Students are allowed to repeat classes for financial aid purposes, provided the classes are allowed under the district’s repeat policy as specified in the college catalog. All repeated courses will be included in the maximum time frame assessment, cumulative GPA assessment, and cumulative pace rate assessment.


All courses taken at other institutions will be included in the maximum time frame assessment, cumulative GPA assessment, and cumulative pace rate assessment, provided the transcripts have been submitted, evaluated, and posted to the student’s academic record. Students with bachelor degrees are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. Foreign courses will be accepted and counted by the district if they have been professionally evaluated by a credible foreign degree evaluation organization.


ESL units will not be counted toward Maximum Time Frame; however, they will be considered when assessing both the student’s cumulative GPA and pace rate. To ensure that students are making progress towards their educational goal, it is expected that after four (4) semesters of ESL instruction, students will begin incorporating coursework that is related to their educational goal/major.


Any remedial units in excess of 30 will be counted toward attempted units.


“I” (incomplete) grades will be considered “attempted”, but will not be considered to have been “completed”. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Student Financial Services Office if an “I” grade changes during a semester. If the change of grade will affect the student’s financial aid eligibility, the Student Financial Services Office will perform a recalculation of aid eligibility during the semester. Otherwise, the change of grade will not be factored into the cumulative pace rate until the next SAP evaluation.


Units Completed ÷ Units Attempted = Pace Rate


Students who receive a grade of A, B, C, D or P (pass) will receive credit for the class and are considered to have completed the class.


Students who withdraw from classes or receive grades of “incomplete” will have those classes included in the pace rate calculation. “Withdrawals” and “Incompletes” will be included with all other classes attempted.


Students who receive a grade of “F”, "FW" or “No Pass” do not receive credit for the class attempted and are not considered to have completed that class.

MODESTO JUNIOR COLLEGE (MJC) NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT: MJC complies with all federal and state rules and regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender or disability. This holds true for all students who are interested in participating in educational programs and/or extracurricular school activities. Harassment of any employee/student with regard to race, color, national origin, gender or disability is strictly prohibited. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the college’s Title IX Officer and/or the Section 504/ADA Coordinator.