West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Policies and SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress)


The Department of Education and Student Financial Assistance Programs require schools and colleges to develop and apply a consistent standard of academic progress in determining student eligibility. The Government requires that students who apply for financial aid at West Valley or Mission College adhere to this regulation by meeting Qualitative and Quantitative Standards.

Qualitative Standard:

Students attending West Valley College and/or Mission College must have a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0. Quantitative Standard: Students must complete 67% of the units attempted each term and overall attempted units. This is to ensure students are making progress towards their goal.
Students must complete their educational objective (graduation, transfer, certificate, etc.) by the time they have attempted 90 units or 150% of the declared program of study.

Repeated classes:

Financial aid may be awarded to cover cost of courses previously taken to improve a grade of D, F, W, and NP. However, repeated semester units will count toward the 90 unit maximum allowed. Attempted units will not exclude all ESL courses or remedial courses.

Click the links below to expand sections and show program details, or click here to Show All program details.

What is SAP?

What is an Eligible Program of Study?

A student cannot be offered or paid financial aid if they are not in an eligible program of study at West Valley or Mission College. Student will receive financial aid from the college that offers the valid academic program. Eligible Programs include AA/AS Degree, Transfer Programs, and Certificate Programs. Certificate Programs must be at least 15 weeks long and have a minimum of 16 units of credit. For a listing of approved programs, please view the information at the following link:


What is considered Good Standing?

Students enrolled at West Valley must complete at least 2/3 of the attempted units each semester based on the chart below to maintain good standing.

Units Attempted Must Complete   Units Attempted Must Complete
12 8   6 4
11.5 8   5.5 4
11 7.5   5 3.5
10.5 7   4.5 3
10 7   4 3
9.5 6.5   3.5 2.5
9 6   3 2
8.5 6   2.5 2
8 5.5   2 1.5
7.5 5   1.5 1
7 5   1 1
6.5 4.5   .5 .5

How long may I receive financial aid?

Students are allowed a maximum amount of time to reach their goals in their eligible programs. At West Valley and Mission Colleges, many students achieve their AA/AS or transfer goals within 60 units. Therefore, if students reach a total of 90 attempted semester units of work, they may have reached their maximum time frame and no longer qualify for federal aid. All work performed at other colleges (regardless of student receiving financial aid or not) is included in determining whether students are under or over the 90 semester units. Once applicants reach 90 units and are applying for federal aid, they must submit an appeal that will be reviewed to determine whether this student's time frame should be extended beyond the normal time.

The purpose of the federal aid programs is to provide low-income students with the opportunity to gain higher education. When students have had that opportunity, they may not be assisted all the way through to a series of multiple goals if the time they have spent exceeds 150% of the amount of time normally needed to reach this goal.

What happens if I am placed on "Warning" Status?

If during a semester a student fails to meet the requirements for either the Completed units, Cumulative attempted units OR Cumulative GPA that student may be placed on "Warning" status. Warning will be considered an alert status, but financial aid eligibility for the semester will remain. A notice will be sent via e-mail to the student when an e-mail address is available within our student information system otherwise, the notice will be sent via U.S. Postal Service to the student's mailing address.

Example: Mike, who was in good standing after summer school, does NOT meet the SAP requirements in fall semester. Mike would be on Warning for spring semester OR the next semester that he attends. For the following semester Mike could still be paid financial aid.

What happens if I am placed on Disqualification?

If a student fails to meet the requirements for either the Completed units, Cumulative attempted units OR Cumulative GPA of 2.0 during a semester when the student's SAP status is listed as Probation, that student may be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification (FADQ). FADQ will be considered a status in which financial aid is cancelled and financial aid eligibility for the disqualified semester and future semesters will be cancelled, until SAP has been demonstrated or an appeal approved. An e-mailed notice will be sent to the student when an e-mail address is available within our student information system otherwise, the notice will be sent via U.S. Postal Service to the students mailing address.

Example: Mike was on probation after fall semester and he returns to attend college at least halftime in spring semester. Mike once again does NOT meet the SAP requirements in spring semester. Mike would be disqualified for the next fall semester OR the next semester that he attends. Disqualification does not affect the BOG fee waiver.

Is there an Appeals process?

If the student experienced (documented) extenuating circumstances to explain that student's FADQ status, they have the option to appeal to the Financial Aid office. An appeal will require the student to meet with a counselor, seek tutorial assistance, correct the difficulties that prevent success, and/or other suggested remediation to show possibilities of future SAP success.  If you are a “Distance Learner”, registered in online courses only, then you may schedule a one hour-phone-in counseling appointment with Carol Pavan.

An approved appeal will give the student at least 1, and possibly up to 4, additional semesters of Probation and allow them to receive financial aid, pending availability at the time of approval. A maximum of three appeals will be considered by the appeals committee during a student's attendance at West Valley/Mission College District. Students with a BA/BS degree may be eligible, if approved, for up to a total of one year.

What if my appeal is not granted, how may I be Re-instated for Financial Aid Eligibility?

Denied appeals for students with an SAP issue can be re-instated after having a successful semester(s) without receiving Financial Aid assistance.  A FADQ status does not affect the Board of Governor's Fee Waiver (BOGW).

Denied appeals for students with a BA/BS degree or over 90 units cannot be re-instated Financial Aid.  Denied appeals cannot be appealed.  The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final.

Example: Mike was disqualified after spring semester and he returns to attend college at least halftime in the fall. Mike finally meets the SAP requirements at the end of the fall semester. Mike would be responsible to let the Financial Aid Office staff know that he reinstated himself to good standing. Mike will be eligible for aid the next semester he attends, pending meeting other eligibility requirements and availability of funds at the time of reinstatement.

Units and GPA calculation

The Financial Aid Office staff will depend on Admission and Records (A&R) staff to properly show units completed and calculated GPA for our use in determining SAP. Grades of "F" (Fail), "W"(Withdrew), "NP" (No Pass), "IP" (In Progress), "I" (Incomplete) and "RD" (Report Delayed) are not counted as completed units and thus will be assessed as not completed units when determining SAP. Courses taken as Pass/No Pass may have the GPA manually calculated, if not all classes were passed. Because remedial level courses are often used to get up to college level courses, meaning there is the intention to be in an eligible academic program, those classes will be used in determining SAP.

Return of Title IV Funds

Financial aid recipients who withdraw completely or reduce units before or equal to 60% of the semester is over, may have to return a portion of the aid received which was not earned. Students who withdraw and do not repay funds will have an institutional hold placed on future West Valley or Mission College registration, transcripts and a national hold placed on future aid eligibility at any institution.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office to speak to an advisor before withdrawing from any or all of your classes.

Example: Mary is a full time student and received a Pell disbursement of $1,350 for the semester. She dropped all her classes during the 5th week of the semester. After the calculation of Return of Title IV funds, Mary owes $234 of the Pell amount. Mary must repay these funds in order for her account to be cleared for future attendance.


Financial Aid Office


Fall Office Hours: 

9/8/14 - 12/15/14 

Monday  8:30 AM - 5:00 PM 
Tuesday  8:30 AM - 6:00 PM 
Wednesday  8:30 AM - 5:00 PM 
Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday Closed

Phone: (408) 741-2024
Email: wvfa@westvalley.edu

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Please read the latest and important Federal Updates for financial aid.


last published: 8/29/14 • validate xhtml css 508