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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree or certificate program in order to qualify for financial aid. Financial Aid applicants will be reviewed at the end of each payment period to determine if the standards are met. For most programs, a payment period is a semester. For the Nurse Education Evening, Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, and Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic programs, the payment period may encompass more than one traditional semester.  Students in these programs should contact Financial Aid for assistance in determining changes to their status while enrolled in these programs.  

Important Definitions

Attempted Credits:

  • All credits in which you were registered at the end of the add/drop period, including those with grades of F, W, X, I, IR, and WA, including all attempts at repeated courses
  • All earned credits (e.g. transfer credits and credits earned through prior learning)

Earned Credits:

  • Courses that you have completed and have earned credit for
  • Repeated courses where credit has been earned may only be counted once
  • Transfer credits
  • Credits earned through prior learning (e.g. challenge exams, portfolio assessment, or CLEP/Advanced Placement)

Audited (AU) classes are not considered attempted or earned and are not eligible for financial aid.   


Student progress will be measured based on the total number of attempted credits on the transcript at each review.  Student records will be reviewed against all three of the following criteria:

I. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • 1-15 total attempted credits:  1.50 cumulative GPA
  • 16 or more credits:  2.00 cumulative GPA

II. Minimum Earned Credits (Completion Rate) 

Calculate by taking “Total Earned Credits” divided by “Total Attempted Credits”.

  • 1-15 total attempted credits:  50% completion rate
  • 16 or more total attempted credits:  66.67% (two-thirds) completion rate

The current SAP policy considers the completion rate of your entire academic transcript. However, if you had a SAP determination prior to the 15-16 Academic Year, your completion rate may have been reviewed under the former SAP policy, which considered completion rate from the most recent Academic Year on your transcript (Summer, Fall & Spring).  Contact the Financial Aid Office for any questions regarding your completion rate calculation. 

III. Maximum Time Frame

You must complete your certificate or degree program by attempting no more than 150% of the total credits required for that program.  If you are not enrolled in a program at the time the assessment is completed, your determination will be made using the General Studies program degree requirements.  All attempted coursework that has been or could be applied to your current major according to the degree audit will be counted toward the maximum timeframe calculation.  Up to 30 credits of developmental courses (courses numbered below 100) and all English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework will be excluded from this calculation. 

Example: You are in an associate degree program that requires a total of 62 credits.  You have a total of 85 applicable credits attempted at the end of the academic year.  You need 15 more credits to complete your program.  You cannot complete your program within the maximum time frame (62 credits X 150% = 93 credits and you need 85 + 15 = 100 credits).  You are no longer eligible for financial aid funding.  

Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses

Good:You have met all three of the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria.

Warning: If you do not meet the GPA or Completion Rate standards, you will be placed on Warning for one semester. You are still eligible for financial aid, but if you do not meet the standards during your Warning semester, you will be placed on Suspension. If you meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards during your Warning semester, you will return to Good standing.

Suspension: If you do not meet all of the Satisfactory Academic progress criteria following a Warning or Probation semester, you will be placed on Suspension. You will also be suspended if you do not meet the Maximum Time Frame Criteria. While on Suspension, you are not eligible for any form of financial aid, including student loans. If you are academically dismissed from the College, you will be placed on Suspension.

Probation: If you appeal a Suspension and it is approved, you will be placed on Probation for at least one semester during which time you will be considered for financial aid. Your progress will be reviewed at the end of each Probationary semester.  If you meet the standards, you will return to Good standing. If you meet the terms of your academic plan but fail to meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress policy criteria, you may remain on Probation as stated in your academic plan.  If the standards are not met, you will be placed on Suspension.  

Appeal Process

You may appeal your Suspension, in writing, if you have an extenuating circumstance that prevented you from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria.  To appeal, do the following:

  • Complete all applicable steps on the Suspension Appeal Form, and submit to the Financial Aid Office. Your appeal must state why you were unable to meet the standards and what has changed to assure your success in the future.
  • Provide supporting documentation with your appeal such as a doctor’s note explaining medical issues, letter from your employer regarding required changes to your work schedule, etc.

Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid without an Appeal

You may be reconsidered for funding after you have successfully completed at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid.  To return to Good standing, you must again meet all of the criteria described above and notify the Financial Aid Office that you would like to have your eligibility for funds re-evaluated.  If you successfully complete at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid but do not meet the criteria, you may submit a complete appeal for consideration.

You are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office if you receive a grade change that results in you meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.