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the Office of Student Financial Services

Satisfactory Academic Progress (Guide)

To be eligible for federal financial aid, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completing a degree. Purchase College reviews students for Title IV satisfactory academic progress twice per academic year after the end of the fall and spring semesters. Students are notified electronically through their official Purchase College email account of financial aid probation or the loss of federal aid. Satisfactory academic progress requirements apply to the following types of federal financial aid:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Work-Study Program
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Satisfactory Progress standards for federal aid are enforced by the following three:

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average: SAP will be evaluated for a student once they have attempted and/or transferred 30 or more credits and must maintain a GPA at or above 2.0.
  • Pace: Students must earn 66.7% of the credits they attempt. This is monitored on a cumulative basis. The completion rate is calculated at the end of each semester by dividing the number of credits earned by the number of credits attempted.
  • Maximum Time Frame: Students are no longer eligible to receive federal financial aid once they have attempted 150% of the credits required to complete their degree. A 120 credit program must be completed by the time a student has attempted 180 credits.

Please use the chart below as an example:


Cumulative GPA

1 (15 credits)


2 (15 credits)


3 (15 credits)


4 (15 credits)


5 (15 credits)


6 (15 credits)


7 (15 credits)


8 (15 credits)


9 (15 credits)


10 (15 credits)


Please select from the links below to review all that applies to you:


Students are only eligible for federal financial aid when BOTH of the minimum standards described above are met. A student’s eligibility can vary throughout the academic year if GPA is not maintained (regardless of the federal financial aid received during prior semesters). Students who fall below the minimum standards will be ineligible for federal aid within that semester, and any subsequent semester(s) until they reach the minimum standards. Once the minimum standards described above are met, a student will again be eligible for federal aid. In certain circumstances, students may appeal their unsatisfactory academic progress. You can find the Satisfactory Academic Process (SAP) Appeal formhere.

The 150% Rule: The number of attempted credit hours an undergraduate student takes cannot exceed 150% of their overall credits completed to date (attempted/completed credits are reviewed at the end of each Spring semester of the academic year). Additionally, if a student exceeds 150% of their overall required credits to graduate, they are no longer eligible for federal aid.* Example: Students gaining a bachelor’s degree requiring 120 overall credits cannot exceed 180 attempted credit hours. Once a student exceeds 180 attempted credits (150%), he/she will no longer be eligible for federal aid. For information on attempted credits, please review the definitions below.

*Overall credits required to graduate may change based on program and/or major of student. Dual Degree/Major students may be given extension based upon the Office of Enrollment Services' review and decision.


  • All credits a student is registered for at the end of the add/drop period are considered attempted.
  • Transfers credits will be included in attempted hours and hours earned.
  • Progress will be reviewed once the temporary grade of I (Incomplete) has been replaced with an official grade.
  • Repeated classes will count as credits attempted. The higher grade will be used to calculate the GPA.
  • A grade of P counts as attempted credits and earned credits but is not calculated in the GPA.
  • Grades of NC (no Credit) or W (Withdrawal) count as attempted credits but not earned and are not calculated in the GPA.
  • A grade of WF (withdrawal with a grade of F) counts as credits attempted and will count as an F in the GPA.
  • If students change their major, all credits attempted, including those taken towards the prior major will be counted when calculating the cumulative GPA. These credits will also be counted in credits attempted versus credits earned.

Undergraduate Program Pursuit (NY State)
In addition to meeting the criteria outlined in the following links below, the State Education Department regulations require students who receive New York state awards to complete a minimum number of credits toward the degree each semester as follows:

  • In each semester of the first year of New York state awards, studednts must complete a minimum of six credits of course work with grades of A, B, C, D, F, Pass or Incomplete.
  • In each semester of the second year of New York state awards, studednts must complete a minimum of nine credits of course work with grades of A, B, C, D, F, Pass or Incomplete.
  • In each semester of the third and fourth years of New York state awards, studednts must complete a minimum of 12 credits of course work with grades of A, B, C, D, F, Pass or Incomplete.