Federal Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements For Financial Aid Eligibility

This policy applies to any student entering or returning to NCC.  A student’s entire academic record is reviewed even when a student was not a financial aid recipient during prior enrollment. College approved academic restarts are not considered when computing financial aid satisfactory academic progress.  The following requirements must be met for eligibility for federal financial aid (grants, loans, and work-study).

Only courses required for your current major are eligible for financial aid consideration.

I. Completion Rate

A student must successfully complete sixty-seven percent (67%) of all credits attempted at NCC plus any credits accepted as transfer credits and credits by exam.

Financial aid can be applied only once to repeat any course where the student received a passing grade, including a “D”.  Although students may receive financial aid for repeated courses, credit for a course is given only once.

II. Grade Point Average

A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average based on the total number of credits attempted including transfer credits. Total credits attempted include all courses plus transfer credits and credits by exam. 

Total Credits Attempted Including Transfer Credits Minimum Cumulative GPA Required
9-25 1.50
26-40 1.75
41+ 2.00

III. Maximum Time Frame

For federal financial aid eligibility students must complete their program within a maximum time frame not to exceed 150% of the length of the current educational program.  This includes all semesters of enrollment even if no aid was received.  Once a student attempts more than 150% of the credits that it normally takes to complete his/her program of study, he/she is no longer eligible for financial aid. Exceptions may be made for students who have changed their major.   

Example: Length of Program Maximum Time Frame
60-credit program 90 credits attempted
30-credit program 45 credits attempted

Appeal Process
Students who do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements have the right to appeal.  All appeals must be in writing and must be submitted within 45 days of the date of the notice of denial.  Appeal forms should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020. 
An appeal should include an explanation of the extenuating circumstances which resulted in the student’s inability to meet the requirements along with third party documentation to support the appeal.  Information about the student’s plan to make up any deficiencies should also be included. 


Note: State grant eligibility is based on standards set by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).  Institutional appeals do not cover State grants.  Loss of State grant eligibility may be appealed directly to PHEAA in cases of illness or death in the family. 



An evaluation of academic progress will be done after the end of the spring semester or when students reapply for financial aid.  Students who do not meet the requirements will be notified within ten days of the completion of the evaluation. 


Note: An evaluation will be done at the halfway point of the program for students enrolled in one-year programs.