Financial Aid Appeals

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals

Any student who is disqualified from receiving financial aid due to not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards will have an opportunity to appeal to have their financial aid eligibility reinstated or extended. The appeal will give the student a chance to explain the reasons why academic progress was not met and what changes is the student making that will improve their record. There are two types of satisfactory academic progress appeals:

SAP Appeal Deadlines
  • Summer 2023: August 6, 2023
  • Fall 2023: November 10, 2023
  • Winter 2024: January 19, 2024
  • Spring 2024: April 26, 2024
  • Summer 2024: TBA

What is a Reinstatement Appeal

Students disqualified due to not meeting the cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 and/or the cumulative minimum unit completion percentage of 66.5% may submit an appeal to reinstate their eligibility for financial aid. Approved reinstatement appeals are subject to academic progress conditions (GPA and completion rate) that must be met to carry the approval to the next semester of enrollment. The terms of these conditions will be stated in the approval notification.A reinstatement appeal is for students disqualified due to not meeting the cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 and/or the cumulative minimum unit completion percentage of 66.5%.

For example, Cubby is pursuing an Associate's degree that requires 60 units. At the end of the Spring 2020 semester, Cubby has attempted 26 units but had a set of unusual circumstances that affected his academic progress, failing to keep his GPA above 2.0 and his completion rate above 66.5%. Cubby will be disqualified in the next semester of enrollment, but he will have a chance to appeal to reinstate his eligibility for financial aid.


How to submit your Reinstatement Appeal
  1. Students who wish to submit a reinstatement appeal must complete the mandatory Online Satisfactory Academic Progress Workshop
    • The workshop requires that you read the material and correctly answer four questions (if you do not answer ALL the questions correctly you will have to review the workshop content again).
    • After successfully completing the workshop, please upload the results as supporting documentation in your appeal
  2. Access the appeal form on the Financial Aid Portal: https://lacitycollege.studentforms.com and click the SAP Appeal task
    • When prompted, explain the circumstances that caused you to fail to meet satisfactory academic progress standards and describe the steps you are taking to ensure you continue to meet satisfactory academic progress in the future.
    • Upload the results of your SAP Workshop and any additional supporting documentation.
    • Submit the online appeal.

What happens after the appeal is submitted
  • Reinstatement appeals are reviewed by the LACC Appeals Committee within 45 days of the receipt of the appeal. The result of the first-level appeal will generally be emailed to your LACCD email. If your first level appeals is denied you will have a second level appeal within 14 calendar days of the notification.
  • When a reinstatement appeal is approved, the email notification will list certain conditions and/or recommendations designed to help you improve your academic progress. The approval will carry to the following term if you meet the conditions during the term where the appeal has been approved. If these conditions are not met, you will have an opportunity to submit a new reinstatement appeal the following term.

What options do I have if my appeal is denied?
  • If the first-level appeal is denied, the student will have a chance to submit a second-level appeal within fourteen (14) calendar days of the notification. The result of the second-level appeal will be emailed to the student's LACCD email.
  • An Administrative District Review may be initiated by the student who reasonably believes that the college, state, and/or federal guidelines were applied incorrectly, and therefore, adversely affected the student's financial aid status, rights and privileges. A request for Administrative Review can only be submitted after denial from the first-level and second-level petitions. An Administrative Review is conducted by a district-appointed administrator. Administrative Reviews must be submitted before the end of the specified semester for which the student is requesting reinstatement or extension of financial aid eligibility. You may submit a completed copy of the form to the financial aid office in person or you may email a scanned copy to aidappeals@lacitycollege.edu from your student email account (the form is not fillable).

What is an Extension Appeal

Students disqualified due to exceeding the 150% unit time-frame of their stated academic program or major may appeal to extend their eligibility for financial aid beyond the 150% unit time-frame. Students approved under an extension appeal will be subject to an SAP contract for the classes approved by the appeals committee - only the approved classes on the contract are counted towards financial aid eligibility. Students may review the approved courses on the Student Portal (Financial Aid & Scholarships > SAP Extension of Appeal> View/Apply SAP Appeal - the approved courses are marked as "Include towards FA Progress Units").

For example, Cubby is pursuing an Associate's degree that requires 60 units. At the end of the Spring 2020 semester, Cubby has attempted 98 units but he still needs 3 more classes to completed his academic program; even though Cubby will be disqualified in the next semester of enrollment, he will have a chance to appeal to extend his eligibility for financial aid for the remaining classes required to complete his degree.


How to submit an Extension Appeal
  • Prior to submitting an appeal, students must develop a new or update their existing educational plan with their LACC Academic Counselor and discuss their academic progress.
  • Once the student has an Educational Plan, they log in to the Student Portal to initiate the extension appeal:

    • Click on the Financial Aid and Scholarships menu and select the current academic year if prompted.

    • Click on the SAP Extension of Appeal from the menu on the left.

    • Follow the instructions and answer all required questions.

    • Submit your appeal.


What happens after the appeal is submitted
  • Extension appeals are reviewed by the LACC Appeals Committee. The result of the appeal will generally be emailed to the student's LACCD email account within 45 calendar days. Students whose first level appeals are denied have a second level appeal within 14 calendar days of the notification.
  • When an extension appeal is approved, the student is placed under an Extension Appeal Contract; the contract will list the approved courses for the academic program associated with the appeal. You may find the list of approved (and denied) courses on your Student Portal > Financial Aid & Scholarships > SAP Extension of Appeal > View/Apply SAP Appeal. The approved courses are marked as "Include towards FA Progress Units".

  • The Financial Aid Office will monitor changes in enrollment throughout the semesters for students under an Extension Appeal Contract. New courses will be evaluated for eligibility by the Appeals Committee and when applicable, the new courses will be included in the Appeal Contract according to the academic program associated with the extension appeal.

  • The Appeal Contract will be valid until the student completes the academic program associated with it or changes to a new program; at that point the contract becomes void and the student will need to submit a new appeal. Contact the financial aid office to initiate a new appeal under the new academic program.


What options do I have if my appeal is denied?
  • If the first-level appeal is denied, the student will have a chance to submit a second-level appeal within fourteen (14) calendar days of the notification. The result of the second-level appeal will be emailed to the student's LACCD email.
  • An Administrative District Review may be initiated by the student who reasonably believes that the college, state, and/or federal guidelines were applied incorrectly, and therefore, adversely affected the student's financial aid status, rights and privileges. A request for Administrative Review can only be submitted after denial from the first-level and second-level petitions. An Administrative Review is conducted by a district-appointed administrator. Administrative Reviews must be submitted before the end of the specified semester for which the student is requesting reinstatement or extension of financial aid eligibility. You may submit a completed copy of the form to the financial aid office in person or you may email a scanned copy to aidappeals@lacitycollege.edu from your student email account (the form is not fillable).

Special and Unusual Circumstances Appeal

Special Circumstance appeals, or income reduction appeals, and Unusual Circumstance appeals, or change of dependency status, refer to the authority of a school's financial aid administrator to adjust income data elements or to override a student's dependency status on the FAFSA or Dream Applications. These determinations are done under the financial aid administrator's professional judgement and done on case-by-case basis with adequate documentation. The decision of the financial aid administrator is final and there is no appeal. By law, neither the school's president nor the US Department of Education can override the financial aid administrator's decision.

Special and Unusual Circumstances Appeal Deadlines

The last day to submit the required documentation for a special or unusual circumstance appeal is the last day of the term of enrollment.

The FAFSA and Dream applications use the prior to prior year as base income to determine student’s eligibility, for example, for the 2023-2024 year, the students' eligibility is based on 2021 income. If you or your parents have experienced a significant decline in income, you may submit a Special Circumstances Appeal.

Types of circumstances that can be considered for a Special Circumstances Appeal:

  • Loss of employment
  • Other loss of income
  • Marital separation or divorce
  • Disability or retirement
  • Death of a parent or spouse
  • One-time payment received

If you feel your current circumstances fit that description, click here to submit a Special Circumstances Appeal.

Appeal Process

After receiving your appeal, your case will be assigned to a Financial Aid Technician who will email you the next steps to process your petition. You should receive this first communication within 10 business days from your petition. Please be aware that during peak processing times (i.e. the weeks leading to or during the first few weeks of the start of a term), the first communication may be sent beyond the 10 business days. The technician, based on your statements, will request documentation to prove your case. All documentation requested is required to make a determination on your appeal. All communications will  be sent to your LACCD student email.

Appeal Outcomes

If your income reduction appeal is granted, the Financial Aid office will update the FAFSA or Dream Application information and submit the necessary changes. Your financial aid awards will be updated by the financial aid technician for the entire academic year.

If your appeal does not result in any changes, the financial aid office will notify you of this decision via email. Should you need further clarification, you may reach out to the financial aid technician assigned to your appeal to review and discuss the types of aid available to you.

The FAFSA considers a student as dependent for financial aid if he or she answers NO to all the dependency questions on the FAFSA or Dream Application. There are times when an otherwise independent student may not meet the criteria established by these questions. If the answers on your application for financial aid determined that you are a dependent but you feel your circumstances warrant a review for independent status, submit this appeal. Please note, that a student is not considered independent solely based on:

  • self-sufficiency
  • a parent's unwillingness to provide information
  • a parent's unwillingness to assist with educational expenses
  • a parent not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes

If you feel you fit in that description, click here to submit an Unusual Circumstances Appeal.

Appeal Process

After receiving your appeal, your case will be assigned to a Financial Aid Technician who will email you the next steps to process your petition. You should receive this first communication within 10 business days from your petition. Please be aware that during peak processing times (i.e. the weeks leading to or during the first few weeks of the start of a term), the first communication may be sent beyond the 10 business days. The technician, based on your statements, will request documentation to prove your case. All documentation requested is required to make a determination on your appeal. All communications are sent to your LACCD student email

Appeal Outcomes

The documentation received will be evaluated by the technician assigned to your case; if your dependency appeal is granted, the Financial Aid office will update the FAFSA or Dream Application information and submit the necessary changes. If applicable, changes to your financial aid awards will be updated.

If your appeal does not result in any changes, the financial aid office will notify you of this decision via email. Should you need further clarification, you may reach out to the financial aid technician assigned to your appeal to review and discuss other types of aid available to you.

Subsequent Years

Beginning with the 2023-24 award year, any student who is approved for a dependency override and granted independent status for financial aid due to unusual circumstances will continue to be independent for each subsequent award year at LACC unless the student informs us that their circumstances have changed, or we have conflicting information about the student’s independence status. Students granted independent status must still submit the FAFSA each year but will not need to take additional action to be considered an independent student each following year.

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