Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Financial Aid Office to monitor the progress of each student toward certificate/degree completion. Students who fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal and state aid, and institutional aid administered by the Financial Aid Office.

SAP Requirements

To be eligible for financial aid, students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of their eligible certificate or associate degree program. The following standards apply to all students receiving assistance from any financial aid program requiring a determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress as criteria for eligibility. Private funded programs may require different progress standards. Refer to appropriate program guidelines or consult with Financial Aid Office staff. The Financial Aid Office will monitor your academic progress at the end of each semester.

All prior course work must be reviewed. This includes all classes attempted at GOCC and all transfer credits. This also includes course work attempted when no financial aid was received.

To maintain eligibility for financial aid, there are three distinct criteria that are monitored and must be met.

Quantitative Standard:

 Pace: Students must pass a minimum of 67% of all attempted credits at GOCC (including transfer credits). The chart below is an example of how the credit hours attempted each semester are measured to determine completion rate (Pace of Progression: attempted credits x 67% = required credits to complete each semester). Grades of 0.0, I, W and NC are considered non-completions.

The following chart shows how many credits need to be completed, based on attempted credit hours to keep pace towards the completion of your degree.

Total Attempted Credit Hours* Completed Credit Hours required to keep pace
3 2
4 3
5 3
6 4
7 5
8 5
9 6
10 7
11 7
12 8
13 9
14 9
15 10
16 11
17 11
18 12
19 13
20 13
21 14
22 15
23 15
24 16
25 17
26 17
27 18
28 19
29 19
30 20
31 21
32 21
33 22
34 23
35 23
36 24
37 25
38 25
39 26
40 27
41 27
42 28
43 29
44 29
45 30
46 31
47 31
48 32
Total Attempted Credit Hours* Completed Credit Hours required to keep pace
49 33
50 34
51 34
52 35
53 36
54 36
55 37
56 38
57 38
58 39
59 40
60 40
61 41
62 42
63 42
64 43
65 44
66 44
67 45
68 46
69 46
70 47
71 48
72 48
73 49
74 50
75 50
76 51
77 52
78 52
79 53
80 54
81 54
82 55
83 56
84 56
85 57
86 58
87 58
88 59
89 60
90 60
91 61
92 62
93 62

* Overall attempted credit hours at GOCC as well as transfer credits (even if no financial aid was received)

  1. Qualitative Standard: Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  2. Maximum Time Frame Standard: The number of attempted credits in which a student is expected to finish a program cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program, i.e. an Associate degree requiring 62 credit hours x 150% = 93 credit hours maximum. Students exceeding these attempted credit hour maximums will not be eligible for additional semesters of financial aid. This maximum time-frame standard is intended to be long enough to allow for changes in a major, loss of credit due to transfer, withdrawn coursework, etc.

If a student changes his/her program or pursues a second degree or certificate, the maximum number of credits will be calculated based on the student’s entire enrollment transcript.

The following credits are included in the maximum time frame calculation:

  • All attempted credits, even if the student withdrew or did not receive a passing grade
  • All attempted credits, even if the student was not receiving financial aid
  • All credits transferred in from another college

Additional Standards of Academic Progress Requirements and Information:

  • Students must be enrolled in an eligible academic degree or certificate program.
  • Attempted credit hours include all courses for which a student is registered at the end of the posted semester drop/add period.
  • The following grades are used to calculate the cumulative GPA: 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.5, 1.0, 0.0, CR, and NC.
  • The following grades do not affect the cumulative GPA, but will be counted as attempted credit hours in the maximum time frame calculation: W – withdrawal, I – incomplete.
  • Remedial and Repeat courses are eligible for financial aid as long as the courses are required by the student’s academic program plan, or are approved by an academic counselor and do not exceed the maximum number of credits allowed, and the student is otherwise maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress, including the maximum time-frame measure standard.
  • Repeating a course – A student may only repeat a previously passed course once and receive financial aid. Student may repeat a failed course until it is passed. Repeated credits count as attempted and toward maximum time frame.
  • Remedial coursework – Federal regulation allows a student to attempt 30 credit hours of remedial coursework.
  • Students wishing to change their academic program may be allowed additional credits to complete a new academic program upon appeal by the student. Credits attempted and grades earned that do not count toward the new program may not be counted towards the maximum time-frame. Changing of an academic program more than once may not be considered as the basis for an appeal.
  • Only courses applicable to the student’s academic program are considered to be financial aid eligible.
  • Financial aid applicants who have completed an Associate Degree or Certificate from GOCC will not be considered for additional semesters of financial aid unless they complete an appeal form.
  • When an incomplete grade is changed to a grade of 0.0 or above, the student must request a re-evaluation of their SAP status by contacting the GOCC Financial Aid Office.
  • SAP will be calculated every semester (Fall, Winter, Summer) on all students receiving financial aid.
  • GOCC offers programs in credit hours by semester. The academic year is defined as 30 weeks of instruction and 24 credit hours. Payment periods are semesters (terms).

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Definitions

Federal regulations require institutions to monitor the academic progress of financial aid recipients. Glen Oaks policy is to provide financial aid to students capable of remaining in good academic standing and who make adequate progress toward a degree. SAP policy terms to know are defined below.

Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) are federally regulated requirements which specify the minimum cumulative GPA and completion rate a student must maintain to qualify for federal financial aid funds. At the end of each semester students will be reviewed to ensure that they are maintaining eligibility to receive financial aid.

1. SAP Warning Status–

    A student that is not meeting SAP requirements will be place on financial aid warning for one semester. Students are only given a warning status after having been in a SAP eligible status. When on warning, students may be eligible for grants, scholarships, and loan funds. After the warning semester, the student’s progress is again measured. If the student meets cumulative minimum SAP requirements after the warning semester, they will be in SAP satisfactory status. If a student is unable to regain eligibility by meeting the minimum SAP requirements after one semester (while on warning status), they have the option of completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. All appeals forms should be turned in to the Financial Aid Office in a timely fashion to allow the committee time to review their request prior to the end of the add/drop period of the semester which the appeal is being requested. The SAP Appeal form is available in the GOCC Financial Aid Office and will require a student to provide an Course Completion Plan as part of their appeal.

2. SAP Denial Status–

    1. Students that are unable to meet and maintain the minimum overall SAP standards are ineligible for financial aid. This status also applies to students unable to meet the terms of their SAP Probation or Course Completion Plan status. Students may continue to attend GOCC, provided they pay for all charges at the time of registration. A student may appeal financial aid denial in writing to the SAP Appeals Committee. appeals may be granted if the student’s failure to make progress is shown to have been effected by illness or other extenuating circumstances.
      The Committee may deny the appeal. If the appeal is denied, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid at GOCC. The student will be responsible for his/her charges. If the denied student successfully completes credits in the future, he/she may submit another appeal to the Committee.

Re-establish Financial Aid Eligibility–

To regain eligibility, a student on SAP Denial must do ALL of the following:

  1. meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.0; and
  2. meet the minimum cumulative completion rate requirement of 67%; and
  3. make a request, in writing, for a re-evaluation of his/her SAP status.


3. SAP Probation Status–

Students that were placed on a SAP warning status that were unable to meet the minimum requirements will be given the option of appealing to the SAP Appeals Committee to request an exception to receive financial aid for one additional semester. While on probation a student must meet the following requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility. This status only applies after an appeal is approved by committee.

-Earn a 2.0 semester GPA or a 2.0 cumulative GPA

-Complete all enrolled credits (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester).

-Meet with a Student Success Coach if requested by the SAP Appeal Committee.

4. Course Completion Plan Status–

Students unable to regain and meet overall SAP standards after having been in Warning and Probation status may be placed in a Course Completion Plan status. Course Completion Plan is intended to support and encourage students to successfully progress toward earning their degree, and student must meet the following requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility. This status only applies after an appeal is approved by committee.

-Earn a 2.0 semester GPA or a 2.0 cumulative GPA
-Complete all enrolled credits (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester).
-Meet with Student Success Coach if requested by the SAP Appeal Committee.

Based upon the discretion of the SAP Appeals Committee, students who have had continuous struggles with regaining and maintaining the minimum overall SAP standards may have an individualized Course Completion Plan created which outlines additional requirements that must also be met. Individual Academic Plans will be documented and agreed upon by the student and a financial aid administrator. Students placed in a Course Completion Plan status will be reviewed each semester to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their Course Completion Plan. If a student is unable to meet the minimum requirements of their Course Completion Plan they will be placed on Denial and will be ineligible for Financial Aid.

5. Withdrawal–

Any student who fails to complete minimum SAP requirements because of withdrawal from classes will be placed on SAP Warning or if on Warning or Probation, will be placed on SAP Denial.



Appeals for re-establishing eligibility may be based on extenuating circumstances that prohibited the student from meeting SAP standards during the warning period. In the appeal, the student will explain why he/she failed to make SAP and what has changed that will allow him/her to make SAP the next semester. Extenuating circumstances should be supported by official documents whenever possible.

Examples of extenuating circumstances include:

  • Death of an immediate family member (must contain the relationship of family member to the student)
  • Documented hospitalization or illness (must contain dates and health care provider’s opinion as to readiness to return to school)
  • Major accident or illness (self, spouse, child, parent)
  • Victim of a crime or unexpected disaster

Students should submit a SAP Appeal using the SAP Appeal Form available in the GOCC Financial Aid Office or at the following link:


2017-2018 Financial Aid SAP Appeal Form (PDF)

Submit all required documentation to the GOCC Financial Aid Office.

In all instance, the SAP Financial Aid Committee’s decision is final.