Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

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Federal regulations require that all students who receive financial assistance demonstrate that they are moving through their academic program at a reasonable rate and are making progress toward their degree. SPC believes that a Program Based SAP Policy provides a more equitable assessment of academic performance (for both native and transfer students).

SAP is measured in three areas (listed below). You must meet the requirements in ALL THREE areas of each term to maintain eligibility for financial assistance. These three SAP measures will be based on all coursework that is applicable to your current degree or certificate program of study. If you don’t meet all three of the following requirements each term (not just the previous term or academic year), you will not be eligible for financial aid:

  1. Minimum Cumulative Financial Aid Grade Point Average 
  2. Completion Ratio 
  3. Maximum Time Frame 

At the end of each term, an evaluation will occur to determine if you are meeting SAP to receive financial assistance at SPC, regardless of program length. All financial aid applicants in approved degree/certificate programs are evaluated whether they received financial assistance in prior terms or not.

If you attended SPC in the past and re-enroll, you will be reviewed for SAP for financial aid purposes on all previously attempted courses and transfer credit hours that are applicable to your current degree or certificate program of student regardless of how long ago you attended SPC or whether or not aid was received.

You may modify your initial course schedule up to the last day to drop with a refund. Classes that are dropped during this time period are not counted as part of the SAP evaluation process. If a student withdraws after the Withdraw with a ‘W’ date, it will negatively affect the Completion Ratio (Pace) and Maximum Time Frame requirements.

If you change degree or certificate programs, your SAP calculation will reset to only count those credit hours that are applicable to your new program of study. Grades that do not count toward the new program of study will NOT be included in the SAP calculation.

Financial aid does not pay for credit hours that are audited. Non-credit continuing education and non-credit Corporate Training classes are not eligible for financial aid funding and are not included in any SAP calculation.

SAP Credit Hours

Remedial and English as a Second Language (ESL) credit hours

Remedial and ESL credit hours attempted are included in the Financial Aid Program GPA.

Remedial and most ESL credit hours attempted are NOT part of the Completion Ratio (Pace) or Maximum Time Frame calculations. There are two exceptions: EAP 1500 (Advanced Listening/Speaking) and EAP 1695 (Advanced English as a Second Language II) are included in the Completion Ratio (Pace) and Maximum Time Frame calculations.

Please remember financial aid will only pay up to 30 remedial credit hours. Example:  Student previously attempted 31 remedial credit hours in prior terms.  Student is currently enrolled in 12 credits, of which 6 are remedial and 6 are college-level. The student's financial aid will be awarded based on the six college-level credit hours.

Note that the following required prerequisites - MAT 1033, MAT 1033L, and MAT 1100 - can be paid with financial aid and are treated as remedial courses when considering the 30 credit hour limit described above; however, unlike the typical remedial courses, these courses WILL be counted when calculating Completion Ratio and Maximum Time Frame for SAP purposes.

Transfer credit hours

The Registrar evaluates and posts transcripts from prior institutions that you submit to the college; however, SPC does not require you to submit all transcript to be admitted to a degree program. All posted transfer credit hours that are applicable to your current degree or certificate program of study are subject to being counted for SAP purposes (minimum cumulative Financial Aid GPA, Completion Ratio (Pace), and Maximum Time Frame calculations).

If a transcript is provided after financial aid is awarded, those courses will be included when SAP is reviewed at the end of the currently enrolled term.

Repeated credit hours

Financial Aid Program GPA:  If a "select" college-level course and/or a course that is applicable to your current degree or certificate program of study is repeated, only the grade on the last (most recent) attempt will be included in the Financial Aid Program GPA. If a remedial course is repeated, the highest grade in the highest (most recent) term will be included in the Financial Aid Program GPA.

Completion Ratio & Maximum Time Frame:  If a course that is applicable to your current degree or certificate program of study is repeated, each attempt is included in the Completion Ratio (Pace) and Maximum Time Frame calculations. Remedial coursework is not included in the Completion Ratio (Pace) and Maximum Time Frame calculations.

Academic Grade Forgiveness

All courses attempted that are applicable to your current degree or certificate program of study are included in all SAP calculations, regardless of Academic Grade Forgiveness. If, as a result of Academic Grade Forgiveness, the classes are no longer applicable to your program of study, the attempts will be included in the Completion Ratio (Pace) and Maximum Time Frame calculations, but not the Financial Aid Program GPA calculation.

Treatment of Waivers, Exemptions, Course Substitutions and Milestones

There are instances where individual courses or an entire requirement group (group of courses) in an academic program are designated as completed based on previous coursework, specific accomplishments, and/or previous degree completion. Such designations are referred to as waivers, exemptions, course substitutions, and/or milestones. In such cases, the designated amount of credit hour(s) will be counted in your Completion Ratio (Pace) and Maximum Time Frame calculations as both attempted and completed credit hours. In the case of course substitutions, that course would count instead of the typically required course.

Example:  A student with a prior AA degree or higher comes to SPC or re-enrolls at SPC in a bachelors program. The 36 credit hours of general education requirements are designated as completed. In this case, those 36 credit hours are counted as both attempted and completed for Completion Ratio and Maximum Time Frame calculations; however, they will not count in the Financial Aid Program GPA since the designation carries no grade compliment.

Requirements met for graduation

The Federal Financial Aid Handbook states that "students who complete the academic requirements for a program, but does not yet have the degree or certificate is not eligible for further additional FSA funds for that program." Volume 1, Student Eligibility:  1-10

If you have already taken and completed the coursework required to graduate from a specific degree or certificate program of study, you are no longer eligible to be considered for future financial aid as long as you remain in that specific program of study.

What does SAP stand for?



Repeated credit hours

Related Resources

SAP Appeals
SAP Policy