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Students must earn 66.7 percent of the credits they attempt including withdrawn coursework.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

  • 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.

In violation of any Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards?

The first time this occurs you will be notified by email explaining the violation and that you have been placed on Financial Aid Warning” for the next semester.  You will still receive federal financial aid during your Financial Aid Warning” semester, 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” will result in the loss of the federal financial aid, and Institutional scholarship funding listed below unless a Satisfactory 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

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals

Students who have extraordinary circumstances as described below, that prevented them from meeting the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards can submit an appeal by providing the documentation listed below by the deadline provided in the email notification:

  • 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

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.

Review of Appeal

Once all documentation is submitted, the appeal will then be reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Committee, and students will receive a final decision via their Purchase email account. Students who are approved will either be placed on a probationary period or on an academic plan. Placement on a probationary period or 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.

Probationary Period

Federal financial aid is reinstated for one semester only, and the student must meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards by the end of that semester.

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.