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Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who receive financial aid at Grays Harbor College must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements in an eligible degree or certificate program offered by the college. Federal and state regulations require a review of students’ Grays Harbor College academic records, including quarters that were not funded by financial aid, to determine if satisfactory progress is being made.

The following criteria define satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients at Grays Harbor College:

Grade Point Average (GPA)
Students must achieve a quarterly GPA of 2.0 or higher and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of their sixth quarter of attendance.

Credits Earned
Students must earn 100% of the minimum credits required for the enrollment level they were funded for. See the enrollment chart below for details.

For financial aid purposes a student’s quarterly enrollment level is locked in as of the published census date and cannot be adjusted after that date. Enrollment changes made prior to the financial aid census date may require a student to repay all or a portion of the financial aid funding they received.

Student received aid for: Standards met if completes: Student placed on warning status if completes: Student placed on suspension status if completes:
Full-Time 12+ credits 12 credits 6-11 credits less than 6 credits
3/4 Time 9-11 credits 9 credits 5-8 credits less than 5 credits
1/2 Time 6-8 credits 6 credits 3-5 credits less than 3 credits
Less than ½ Time 1-5 credits all attempted credits no warning status available less than all attempted credits

Degree Completion/Maximum Timeframe
Students must earn their degree/certificate within 125% of the program credit requirements. This includes all attempted college-level credits at GHC and transfer credits from other colleges. Attempted credits are those for which you received letter grades of A, B, C, D, F, as well as P, U, I, V and W.

As an example, the Associate in Arts (AA) degree requires 93 credits to graduate. 125% of 93 credits is 116 credits (93 X 1.25 = 116). This means a student doing an AA degree may only attempt up to 116 credits to remain eligible for financial aid.

Students who complete their degree/certificate within maximum number of credits allowed (125% of program credit requirement) may be eligible for funding to pursue a second degree/certificate, but will be limited to only required classes. A maximum timeframe appeal may be required.

Students who do not complete their degree/certificate within the maximum number of credits allowed (125% of program credit requirement) will be required to complete a maximum timeframe appeal to determine possible aid eligibility for an additional degree/certificate.

Pace of Progression
Students must complete at least 67% of their cumulative credits attempted at Grays Harbor College. Pace of progression is evaluated annually. As an example, after three quarters a student has attempted a total of 45 credits, but has only completed (earned with a passing grade) 35 credits. This student’s pace of progression is equal to 78% (35 / 45 = 78%), which is acceptable because it is not below 67%.

Warning Status

Students placed in a warning status are eligible to receive financial aid for their next quarter of attendance. A warning is assigned in the following situations:

  • A student earns a quarterly GPA of less than 2.0.

  • A student earns less than 100%, but more than 50%, of the minimum credits required for their enrollment level.

  • A student’s cumulative pace of progression is less than 67% but more than 50%.

If, during his/her next quarter of attendance, the student meets satisfactory academic progress requirements the warning is removed and the student is in good-standing. 

Suspension Status

Students whose financial aid has been suspended are not eligible for future financial aid. A suspension is assigned in the following circumstances:

  • A student in a “warning status” earns less than a 2.0 GPA and/or completes less than 100% of the minimum credits required for their enrollment level.

  • A student earns less than 50% of the minimum credits required for their enrollment level (or 100% if less than half-time). This applies to any quarter in which a student receives financial aid funding.

  • A student’s cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 after the end of his/her sixth quarter.

  • A student’s cumulative pace of progression is less than 50%.

  • The review of a student’s transcript and degree audit shows that his/her degree cannot be completed within 125% (maximum timeframe) of the number of credits allowed for the program.

Financial Aid Suspension Appeal
If extraordinary circumstances prevented a student from meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements, resulting in a suspension, s/he may submit an appeal to request a reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. Appeal forms are available online. The appeal form must include a statement explaining the circumstances that prevented the student from completing the quarter successfully, documentation of the circumstances, how those circumstances have been resolved and the student’s plan for success in future quarters. Additionally, the student must submit an academic plan, signed by a counselor/advisor, identifying required courses needed to complete their degree/certificate. Written notification will be sent to the student regarding the outcome of the appeal. Students are normally limited to two suspension appeals at Grays Harbor College.

Probation Status
If a student’s financial aid appeal is approved, his/her financial aid will be reinstated in a probation status. As part of the probation status the student will be required to meet certain conditions. If the student does not meet the conditions stated in the appeal approval letter his/her financial aid will be suspended.


Financial Aid Reinstatement
Students whose financial aid has been suspended may be considered for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility by taking action that corrects the reason(s) for the suspension. Students may submit a request for reinstatement upon completion of the following requirements:

  • If a suspension is the result of failing to meet the pace of progression requirement, the student must complete, without financial aid funding, the number of credits needed to raise their pace of progression up to 67%.

  • If a suspension is the result of having a cumulative GPA below 2.0 after six quarters of attendance, the student must complete, without financial aid funding, the number of credits/quarters needed to raise the cumulative GPA up to 2.0.

  • If a suspension is the result of the quarterly GPA falling below 2.0 or due to failing to complete the required quarterly credits, the student must complete a quarter without financial aid funding at the enrollment level they wish to have their aid reinstated at. During this quarter they must pass all of their classes and earn at least a 2.0 GPA. The classes taken must apply towards their declared degree or certificate program.

Once the above requirements have been completed, the student submits an appeal form to the Financial Aid Office (which can be found online at requesting a review of his/her financial aid eligibility. Written notification will be sent to the student regarding the outcome of the request.

If the student’s appeal is approved but s/he cannot mathematically achieve the pace of progression requirement in the next consecutive quarter, s/he may be placed on an academic plan and will remain on probation until the pace of progression requirement is met. If the student fails to meet conditions of the academic plan, his/her financial aid will be suspended.

Additional Information
Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed for all financial aid recipients at the end of each quarter and at the beginning of each new academic year.

Students may repeat courses with failing grades (F, V, W and U) up to two times for an improved grade. Students may repeat courses passed with a C (2.0) or less only once. In each case, the repeated classes are considered attempted credits towards a student’s degree completion.

Only grades of A, B, C, D and “Pass” count as earned credits. Grades of U, F, I, V and W do not count as credits earned, but will be considered as credits attempted. Students who earn zero (0) credits for a quarter may be required to repay all or a portion of the financial aid funds they received.

Adult Basic Education (ABE), G.E.D. preparation, personal enrichment courses and high school completion do not apply toward financial aid eligibility and do not count as attempted credits.

Students may receive financial aid to take up to 45 credits of required developmental work. Once this limit is reached, students must take college-level courses that apply to their degree to be eligible for future financial aid.

Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at Grays Harbor College to receive financial aid.

Eligible students who apply for financial aid late in the academic year may receive some types of financial aid for quarters already completed, if satisfactory academic progress was made during those quarters.

If a student is in a warning or suspension status due to incomplete (I) grades, the status may be removed when documentation of passing grades is submitted by the student to the Financial Aid Office. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Financial Aid Office when a grade is changed.

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Financial Aid Office
1620 Edward P. Smith Drive
Aberdeen, WA 98520

(360) 538-4081
or toll-free (in WA state) (800) 562-4830
Fax: (360) 538-4293

Community Education Centers

Riverview Education Center, Raymond: 360-538-4023, Fax: 360-875-9467
Columbia Education Center, Ilwaco: 360-538-2539, Fax: 360-642-9434

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