Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Video about SAP

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the process used to determine if a student is making acceptable progress towards a degree or certificate.

Federal and state regulations require that a student has met, and continues to meet, some basic academic progress standards before they can receive financial aid.

Students must be matriculated (enrolled in and working toward a specific degree or certification program) and make satisfactory academic progress to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid. If students lose matriculation (e.g., graduation, academic dismissal, withdrawal) they may not receive financial aid. Further information about matriculation and readmission is available at Student Central or in the College’s Academic Rules.

Federal and New York State SAP policies outline eligibility criteria and academic progress requirements for each aid program. Students are encouraged to speak with the Financial Aid office and their advisor to ensure that requirements for aid are being met.  Federal SAP Policy | State SAP Policy

Failure to Meet SAP Standards

Financial Aid Warning | One semester below standard

A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA or Pace requirements is placed on Financial Aid Warning. There is no action required by the student; federal aid eligibility continues for one payment period/semester. A student's warning semester is always their next semester of enrollment whether or not the student receives federal aid. 

Financial Aid Ineligible | 2 or more consecutive semesters below standard

If a student fails to meet all the SAP standards after the warning semester, their federal aid is terminated until they meet the standards.

SAP Appeal Process | Special Circumstances

If the student is still not making satisfactory academic progress after the Financial Aid Warning semester, he or she is ineligible for federal financial aid until the required standard is achieved.  However, a student has a right to appeal the loss of federal financial aid eligibility if extenuating circumstances (events totally beyond the student’s control) existed. Examples of extenuating circumstances are:

  • Accident or injury requiring hospitalization and recovery
  • Call to military active duty with short response time
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Fire or other catastrophic events
  • Medical issues requiring extensive follow up care
Students who have experienced extenuating circumstances that have hindered their academic progress may submit a SAP Appeal Form
Appeal decisions will be made prior to the start of each semester for appeals submitted by the published deadline. Appeals submitted after the deadline will have decisions made on a rolling basis regardless of if you are financially liable for your registered courses.

Financial Aid Probation | Approved Appeal

A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA and/or meet the Pace rate standard is placed on Financial Aid Probation only if the student has successfully appealed. The student will continue to receive federal financial aid for one payment period/semester. The student must meet SAP at the end of the probationary period or comply with the Academic Plan requirements (a contractual agreement designed to ensure that the student will make SAP by a specified point in time).

If the student is still not making Satisfactory Academic Progress or fails to meet the Academic Plan requirements after the probationary period, they will become ineligible for federal financial aid until all three SAP standards are successfully met.