Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards

To maintain eligibility for federal financial aid students must meet the following three Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards depicted below, at the end of every semester they attend (Fall, Spring and Summer).

Cumulative GPA

Pace Maximum Time Frame
Students must maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average ( GPA) at or above 2.0

Students must earn 66.7 percent of the credits they attempt including withdrawn coursework.

Pace is calculated on a cumulative basis by dividing the number of credits earned by the number of credits attempted times 100.

Example: A student has earned 45 credits but attempted 70.

(45/70) X 100 = 64.29%


Students are no longer eligible to receive federal financial aid once they have attempted 150 percent of the credits required to complete their degree, or it is determined to be impossible for a student to graduate within attempting 150 percent of the credits required to complete their degree.

  • A 120 undergraduate credit program (single major or degree) must be completed prior to a student attempting 180 credits.
  • Dual degree/major students have until 240 credits as they have more degree requirements to graduate.
  • The college does not allow for any appeals of the Maximum Time Frame standard, so students in violation lose federal financial aid.

Definition of attempted credits, earned credits, and GPA:

  • Transferred and accepted credits from another institution toward the student’s educational program will be counted as both attempted and completed hours.
  • 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.

Failure to meet any Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards and Financial Aid Warning Period

The first time this occurs you will be notified by email explaining the failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards and that you have been placed on Financial Aid Warning Period” for the next semester.  You will still receive federal financial aid during your Financial Aid Warning Period”, however this semester should be used to get back on track academically, and meeting with your academic advisor is encouraged.

Failure to meet satisfactory academic progress standards after the student’s Financial Aid Warning Period” will result in the loss of the federal financial aid, and Institutional scholarship funding listed below unless aSatisfactory Academic Process (SAP) Appeal form (PDF)is approved. 

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • 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
  • Institutional Purchase College Out of State Grant

Reestablish Eligibility for Federal Student Aid through a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal

Students who have extraordinary circumstances that prevented them from meeting the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards can submit an appeal by the deadlines provided in their email notifications.

  • Academic issues due to COVID-19 and the transition to distance learning.
  • Unforeseen medical/dental/mental health issues
  • Financial difficulties (loss of income, unemployment, etc.)
  • Death of spouse, parent, or family member


Submit the following items through your secure document upload

1. SAP Appeal Form- Complete the Satisfactory Academic Process Appeal form (PDF) with your advisor.

2. Proof of Circumstance(s) -Provide documentation or proof of your extraordinary circumstances. You can provide this through either having a professional complete the SAP Appeal Supporting Documentation form (PDF), or by providing other documentation you may have that supports what is mentioned in your appeal letter (i.e., doctor’s note, medication, etc.)

3. Academic Support- Provide letter(s) of support from your advisor or professor(s). An email from their Purchase email account sent directly to Student Financial Services is also acceptable.

Once all documentation is submitted, the appeal will then be reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Committee, which is comprised of staff from the Registrar’s office, the Student Financial Services office and the Advising Center office. Students will receive a final decision via their Purchase email account. Students who are approved will either be placed on a “Financial Aid Probationary Period” or on a “Financial Aid Academic plan”.

Placement on a “Financial Aid Probationary Period” or “Financial Aid Academic plan” is determined by whether the committee feels it is possible for the student to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards after one semester, or if the student will need multiple semesters to once again meet the minimum satisfactory academic standards.

Financial Aid Probationary Period

Probation occurs when a student appeals his/her loss of eligibility and has his/her eligibility reinstated. Probation status lasts for one payment period, during which the student may continue to receive FSA funds. Condition(s) may be established (i.e. Educational Plan) that the student must meet by the end of the probationary period. Students who fail to make SAP, or meet the established condition(s), at the end of the probation period lose his/her aid eligibility.

Financial Aid Academic Plan

Federal financial aid is reinstated, and the student must follow his or her academic plan successfully. The student’s progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester by the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Committee to determine if the student is following his or her academic plan successfully and can meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards by graduation. If it is determined that the student is no longer following their academic plan, the student will be notified of the loss of federal financial aid for future semesters.