Satisfactory Academic Progress

The policies governing academic progress at Surry Community College are intended to assist students in successfully completing their programs of study and to prevent prolonged failure for all students. Procedures are designed to identify students experiencing academic difficulty and to ensure effective corrective action. These procedures are supported by both the staff and faculty, who are committed to

  1. informing all students of minimum academic standards and grading procedures,
  2. identifying and alerting students displaying signs of academic difficulty as early in the semester as possible,
  3. providing opportunities for corrective action to such students,
  4. notifying all students of their grade point averages immediately following the end of the semester.

Students enrolled in degree, diploma, or certificate programs are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of the requirements for their programs. Since a 2.0 minimum grade point average is required for graduation from all programs, students are expected to regularly maintain upward progress toward this average in order to be considered in good academic standing.

For purposes of determining academic progress, final grades on all coursework will be considered. Because a period of adjustment to college life is often necessary for new students, the following scales are used to determine satisfactory academic progress. (Students who are receiving financial aid should also read and consider the Standards of Academic Progress for all Financial Aid Recipients, since specific conditions apply for the continuation of their financial assistance.)

Satisfactory Progress in Associate Degree Programs

Credit Hours Attempted Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average
0-20 1.00
21-35 1.50
36 - 50 1.75
51 to program end 2.00

Satisfactory Progress in Diploma Programs

All College Transfer and AAS Degrees

Credit Hours Attempted Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average
0-15 1.50
16-26 1.75
27 to program end 2.00

Satisfactory Progress in Certificate Programs

Credit Hours Attempted Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average
0-8 1.5
9 to program end 2.0

In addition to the above GPA requirements, a student must also complete at least 67% of the credit hours attempted each semester.

Academic Warning

Transcripts are reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who do not achieve the appropriate minimum grade point average will be placed on academic warning. These students will be notified by letter of their warning status and will be required to consult with an assigned Student Success Advisor. The student and advisor will create an individualized academic plan by cooperatively assessing the problems impeding success and identifying possible corrective actions. Topics of discussion may include the student’s course load, chosen program of study, dialogue with their instructors, and the use of academic support services such as tutoring. By adhering to their academic plan, students must demonstrate progress toward removing the warning status.

Lack of progress in attaining the minimum GPA or completing 67% of the attempted credit hours will result in a continuation of academic warning status and if necessary, a revised academic plan.

In addition, students who do not demonstrate progress toward removing themselves from academic warning status could encounter one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Loss of financial aid and/or scholarship
  • Loss of athletic eligibility
  • Loss of veterans’ educational benefits
  • Inability to graduate in a timely manner
  • Reduced employment or college transfer opportunities

On occasion, a student’s best interests may be served through a short-term break from school to promote increased focus and/or responsibility. Surry Community College exists to provide opportunities for learning, not to deny them. Therefore, students will not be dismissed permanently for lack of satisfactory academic progress.

For information on readmissions after an absence of 12 months or longer, please see “General Readmission Procedures” in the Admissions Information section.

Additional Academic Requirements for Nursing Students

Nursing students must meet general academic progress policies. Additionally, some nursing (NUR) courses have prerequisites. These prerequisites are listed in the catalog under the description of the courses. A student must make a grade of “C” or better in both theory and clinical practice in the prerequisite nursing (NUR) courses before registering for the next nursing (NUR) course.

In accordance with the North Carolina State Board of Nursing rules, a student will be dismissed from the nursing program for problems which conflict with safety essential to nursing practice. These problems include physical or emotional health problems which conflict with safe nursing practice and do not respond to appropriate treatment and counseling within a reasonable period of time.

A student must make a “C” or better in both nursing (NUR) and related prerequisite courses in order to register for the next nursing course. Students transferring into the nursing program will be given no credit for a grade less than a “C.”

Standards of Academic Progress for All Aid Recipients at SCC

To receive financial aid, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a recognized program of study. This includes any student receiving grants, scholarships, work study, or any other type of financial assistance through Surry Community College. Such progress, according to the Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs, is defined by two standards.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Standard

A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. This requirement applies to all degree, diploma and certificate programs.

Pace of Progression Standard

This standard involves two requirements:

  1. Completion Rate Requirement - To meet the minimum requirement, a student must successfully complete 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted. Example: if a student attempts 12 credit hours in a semester, he/she must complete 8 credit hours (12 hours attempted x 67% = 8 hours). Successful completion is defined as earning a grade of "A," "B," "C," or "D." In some programs (e.g., Nursing), a "D" does not satisfy the course completion requirement.
  2. Maximum Timeframe - The maximum timeframe for a student to complete a program is 150% of the published length of the program as outlined in the College catalog. Example: if a degree requires 75 credit hours, the student may attempt a maximum of 113 credit hours before exceeding eligibility for financial aid (75 credit hour program x 150% = 113). The equivalent of one academic year of credit (30 hours) is allowed for required remedial coursework. If a student elects to pursue additional programs at Surry Community College (SCC), the Financial Aid Office will deduct the credit hours for the completed program from their total attempted hours. This calculation prevents them from exceeding 150% on subsequent programs.


Transcripts of all aid recipients will be reviewed at the end of each term by the Financial Aid Office. From this review, a determination will be made as to the satisfactory progress of each financial aid recipient. This review will include the student’s total academic history at Surry Community College, including remedial or developmental classes . In order to receive aid, a student must be making satisfactory progress regardless of whether he or she has previously received aid.

The “Fresh Start/In-House Transfer” exclusion policy does not apply to the grade point calculation used to qualify students for federal aid.

Treatment of Selected Grades


Credit hours for which a student receives a grade of “W” are counted as "attempted" but not "completed" hours. A withdrawal therefore hinders academic progress.

Incompletes and Failing Grades

Credit hours for which a student receives a grade of “I” or “F” are counted as "attempted" but not "completed" hours. In addition, grades of “F” negatively affect GPA. “Incompletes” may also hinder academic progress.

Transfer Credit

Upon enrollment at SCC, transfer students are considered to be making satisfactory progress. Transfer credits factor into both the completion rate calculation and financial aid eligibility.

Audit and No Show

Grades for auditing (“AU”) or "No Show" (“NS”) do not denote "attempted" coursework. Consequently, neither designation is factored into the grade point average or completion rate. Moreover, a course showing either designation does not meet financial aid requirements.

Proficiency (Credit by Exam)

Since "Credit by Exam" (“CR”) involves no enrollment hours; it is not factored in an application for financial aid. However, proficiency credits are counted in each component of the Pace of Progression standard.

Repeat Courses

For financial aid purposes, all hours attempted, including hours for repeated courses, will factor into each component of a student’s academic progress.

Developmental Courses

Grades for courses numbered less than 100 (e.g., ENG 080, DMA 010, RED 090, etc.) are included in GPA and Completion Rate calculations. In calculating the 150% Maximum Timeframe, the equivalent of one academic year of credit (30 credit hours) is allowed for required developmental coursework.

Summer Session

Credit hours attempted during a summer session, as in the fall or winter semester, will be included in the calculation of satisfactory academic progress. Students must still enroll in 12 credit hours during the summer to be considered full-time.

Complete Academic Record

Progress toward a degree, diploma, or certificate must take into account a student’s complete academic record at SCC, whether or not that student has received financial aid for the entire time of enrollment. Such a record includes courses taken through Career and College Promise (CCP), dual enrollment, the Huskins program, and the Early College High Schools. To be eligible for financial aid, a student completing course work in more than one program must meet college and financial aid academic progress standards for each.

Appeal Process

Students who have been suspended from receiving financial aid will be allowed one appeal process. To appeal a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) decision, a student must explain in writing to the Financial Aid Office the reason why he/she did not meet satisfactory progress requirements and what has changed about their situation that will allow for successful completion. In addressing an appeal, SAP may take into consideration special circumstances such as accident, extreme hardship, illness, or death. Documentation to support the appeal is required.

The Director of Financial Aid will review the appeal and will communicate his/her decision to the student in by email. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation for one term and be placed on an academic plan to help the student achieve satisfactory academic progress. The term(s) of that probation will require the student complete 75% of the classes in which he/she is enrolled and that the student maintains a 2.5 GPA for the probationary term. The advisor will continue to monitor the student’s progress each term until the student returns to satisfactory academic standing or graduates from the active program. If the student fails to meet the requirements of probation or if the appeal is denied, the student must pay to attend until they are in satisfactory standing. The student may request a review at the end of each term to evaluate their progress toward satisfactory standing.