Academic Progress

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.

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 courses in which a student receives a passing grade or F, W, WP, WF, N, or I.

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.

Example:Length of ProgramMaximum 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.

PHEAA State Grant Academic Progress Policy

A student is required to successfully complete a minimum of 6 credits per semester for each part-time State grant received and a minimum of 12 credits per semester for each full-time State grant received. Credits earned for repeat courses which were previously counted when State grant progress was verified cannot be counted again. Failures to meet the minimum credit requirements means that a student is not eligible for further State grant aid until that student has successfully completed the required number of credits.

GrantMinimum required credits earned per semester
Example: Part-time Grant 6
Full-time Grant 12

A student is eligible for 4 semesters of full-time grants (or the equivalent) at a two-year institution.
Full-time students progressing at the rate of only 24 credits per year (or the equivalent), while meeting the minimum State grant progress standard, will utilize all of their State grant eligibility before completing their program.

NOTE: PHEAA (PA State Grant) - Students taking more than 50% of their semester credits on-line may not qualify or may be eligible for a reduced PA state grant award.  PHEAA also has a Remedial Course Exception Policy which limits the number of developmental courses considered for State grant eligibility.  For further information please check the NCC Web site under Financial Aid / Types of Aid / Grants and Scholarships / Grants / Pennsylvania State Grants.  You can also contact PHEAA at 1-800-692-7392 or

Questions should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at 610.861.5510.