Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Dana Burnett

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Kellie Sorey


Poor academic performance can result in financial aid suspension and can decrease the opportunity or likelihood of students continuing their college education. The objective of this preliminary quantitative study was to investigate an under-researched area of financial aid, and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal interventions, to determine whether any of the three approaches studied influenced student academic outcomes. This study was confined to one large, multi-campus community college institution. The study was conducted ex post facto, using binary logistic regression to analyze data collected over a period of four consecutive semesters.

The interventions were designed to provide an academically struggling population with an opportunity to overturn their financial aid suspension with strategies designed to meet minimum federal academic criteria and to persist to graduation. The financial aid appeal interventions consisted of workshops, academic advising, credit enrollment restrictions and writing appeal letters.

Students were compared according to the intervention type while covariates such as race, gender and developmental education placement were considered. Student outcomes included measures of course completion rates, GPA thresholds, and persistence. The relationship between the treatment (appeal interventions) and student outcomes was determined through the use of logistic regression analysis. Results showed that participation in the three-pronged appeal intervention consisting of workshops, advising and enrollment restrictions was associated with significant positive community college course completion and persistence rates. Correlations between a one-pronged (writing an appeal letter) and two-pronged intervention (advising and workshops), with and without the race, gender and developmental education placement covariates included in the model, were not statistically significant with the course completion rate rule, GPA conditions and persisting the next semester.