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FAFSA Overview

Learn more about the FAFSA Process.

Check out this video to learn how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) gives you access to grants, loans and work-study jobs that can help fund your education.


Visit to learn more.

In order to be eligible for Financial Aid at Atlantic Cape you must:

1. have a high school diploma or GED. Students who first enrolled prior to July 1, 2012 and passed an approved test (Accuplacer) may qualify.
Foreign Diploma or Transcripts must be evaluated. Click the link below for
International Education Credential Evaluation Organizations. Students must contact them and cover the cost for the evaluation.

2. Be admitted and matriculated in a degree or eligible clock hour program at Atlantic Cape.*

3. Be a US Citizen or an eligible non-citizen.

4. Not be in default of a student loan, or owe a refund on any federal grant as stated
in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Check your status with the NSLDS.

5. Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by federal, state and/or Atlantic Cape regulations. (See below)
*Financial Aid will only cover coursework in your degree program. It is your responsibility to ensure that you register for eligible courses within your degree program.

An institution can pay a student for only one retake of any previously passed course or its equivalent. (Passing grades are A, B, C or D) Please note that students that are repeating courses, even if permitted, will eventually have an impact on their overall Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To be eligible for all sources of financial aid, a student must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress towards a degree as defined by Atlantic Cape Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will review your academic progress ONCE per year. There are two components determining your academic progress:

  1. Quantitative: Credits Attempted Vs Credits Earned and Maximum Time frame.
  2. Qualitative: Grade Point Average


The quantitative calculation will count all the credits you “attempted” at Atlantic Cape and compare them the number of credits you “earned.” Federal regulations restrict the amount of time that financial aid will pay for courses to no longer than 150% of the length of the educational program. The qualitative calculation will look at your current GPA. Repeated courses, withdrawals, incomplete grades and amnesty (grades waived by institution) are counted in the calculation of credits attempted. All courses dropped during the drop/add period are excluded from attempted credits. Transfer credits will be applied to attempted and completed credits. Atlantic Cape only accepts passing grades and does not calculate them in the GPA requirement. In this policy, a developmental student is defined as a student who tests into basic skill coursework to achieve college level competencies in core academic skills for literacy and numeracy. Up to 24 Developmental or English as a Second Language (ESL) credits can be deducted from your attempted credits for quantitative standards but will be counted in the qualitative GPA. Note that a student can only be paid up to a total of 30 developmental credits, not including English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain in a status of Satisfactory, you must meet the minimum quantitative & qualitative standards: Attempted vs Earned credits, Maximum Time Frame, and Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average.

Credits Attempted Completion Rate Minimum GPA Required
3-24 50% .59
25-48 60% 1.4
49-72 70% 1.7
73-96 75% 2.0

Example: You have attempted 25 credits at Atlantic Cape without any Developmental or ESL coursework. If you look at the chart, you are required to complete 60% of the number of credits attempted with a minimum of a 1.4 GPA.

Example: You have attempted 25 credits at Atlantic Cape with 6 credits of Developmental or ESL coursework. Since you are required to take 6 credits of Developmental or ESL coursework, you can deduct 6 credits from your “attempted” and “earned” credits, bringing you down to 19 attempted credits. In this example you would have to complete 50% of the attempted credits with a minimum of a .59 GPA.   Note: Developmental and ESL coursework cannot be deducted from the required GPA.

Maximum Time Frame Example: Federal regulations restrict the amount of time that financial aid will pay for courses to no longer than 150% of the length of the educational program. Therefore, if the student is enrolled in a 64 credit hour program, the student will not be eligible for financial aid after 96 credit hours attempted. Using the prior example, if you are required to take 6 credits of Developmental or ESL coursework, the 6 credits will have been deducted from your attempted credits.  Note: the attempted hours include W grades.

  1. If you do not meet the minimum requirements as stated in the tables at the end of the award year you will receive notification, in writing, that you are not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. You will receive a letter to your Atlantic Cape Buccaneer e-mail account indicating that you did not meet the standard and appeal instructions.
  1. You may appeal this status if you have extenuating circumstances that prohibited you from meeting the requirements. Appeals are made by our Counseling and Support Services Office. If denied you will lose eligibility for all aid until your progress meets satisfactory standards again. If approved, your counselor may restrict your enrollment or place conditions on your grades. Students will be reviewed each pay period (semester) to make sure they met the conditions placed on them and that they are following the academic plan prescribed.


In the event that special circumstances prevent a student from meeting the minimum requirements of this policy, such circumstances should be brought to the attention of the Financial Aid & Counseling Appeals Committee.

Mitigating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, death of a family member, prolonged illness, and accidents. A written letter of appeal and supporting documentation, such as a doctor's note, accident report or death certificate, etc. will be required.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee in the Student Support Services' Office will review the extenuating circumstance and supporting documentation. Once reviewed the committee will make a determination of eligibility. If granted an appeal the student will be placed in probationary status. If the student is interested in taking out a student loan they must complete a Loan appeal worksheet and submit it with the Loan Request form, Master Promissory Note and Entrance Interview. Information on how to apply for a student loan.

This MANDATORY worksheet will assist students in understanding their rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It will also help students make the right decision regarding loan amounts at a two-year school. The worksheet will guide students in finding out how much they have already borrowed and how close they are to graduating from Atlantic Cape.

If a student is denied an appeal the student is no longer eligible to receive any financial aid administered by Atlantic Cape Community College, including a student loan.


If a student is granted an appeal, through the Financial Aid & Counseling Appeals Committee, the student is placed on probation. The student will be provided by the Counseling and Support Services Office, an academic plan and requirements (for example: no grade lower than a "C") to move them towards the attainment of their degree. The Counseling and Support Service Office will track the student’s progression each semester to determine if he/she is meeting the standards prescribed.  Students are responsible for contacting their counselor prior to registering for the next semester.

Credits Attempted

Completion Rate

Minimum GPA Required













How Your Awards are Determined

Your awards are based on the information submitted on your FAFSA,your enrollment status (the number of credits for which you enroll each semester), and the availability of Federal and state funds.

What Can Cause a Change to Your Award

Your award amount may be adjusted as the number of credits for which you are enrolled changes. Adjustments are processed nightly so changes will show on your Self Service account the next day. Your award may also change if new information is received that affects your eligibility.

Please check your Self Service account frequently to confirm that your financial aid is posted to your account.

Important: If you drop, withdraw or do not attend any of your classes, your aid will be adjusted accordingly. Please check with the Financial Aid Office before making any adjustments to your schedule.

For additional information, review Refund Procedures at

Atlantic Cape Financial Aid

Federal regulations now limit students to the equivalent of 12 fulltime semesters or 600% Lifetime Eligibility of Pell Grant. Students who are currently receiving a Pell Grant and reached or exceeded their Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) of 600% will no longer be eligible to receive additional Pell Grant funding. The Central Processing System (CPS), the system that processes your FAFSA, will notify you via email only if you have used at least 450% of your LEU. Be sure to check the email account you provided on your FAFSA. It is your responsibility to track your LEU at National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This site will be updated regularly as your Pell Grant awards are reported. Please be aware that your Pell Grant at Atlantic Cape may be reduced or canceled based on future notification of your LEU by CPS. 

The Department of Education allows up to 30 credits of developmental/remedial coursework towards an eligible program. Under federal regulations, any student who exceeds this limit must self-pay for any additional developmental/remedial coursework. Financial aid awards will be automatically adjusted at census date (the tenth business day into the semester), which is after the drop/add period. It is the student's responsibility to determine what courses meet the definition of developmental/remedial and plan accordingly when registering. Withdrawal, Never Attended Grades, or Total F grades can cause a change and affect your eligibility. Student who totally withdraw (Official) from classes or receive all grades of F (Unofficial withdraw) may be subjected to a reduction in their Federal award package.

Students who never attended their classes will be reduced by the credits of each class a grade of NA is received. Any Withdraw grades may affect you State eligibility. TAG and EOF awards may be adjusted down due to a grade of W prior to a disbursement.

The amount of the grant is subject to change based on the annual level of appropriations and other resources available to the student.

The State of New Jersey is not responsible for funding of the grant in the event of fraudulent, inaccurate or misleading information.

If you do not wish to accept any portion of this aid, or have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (609) 343-5082 within 5 days of receiving this notice. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to modify or cancel your award at any time. If you would like a paper copy of your award letter please contact us at (609) 343-5082.