Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

How to stay eligible for financial aid

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is designed to define successful completion of class work toward an approved degree or certificate program to maintain eligibility for student financial aid. If you are unable to meet these standards, you will be placed on financial aid warning or suspension. If you receive financial aid, you have a responsibility to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards your degree or certificate program to continue to receive state and federal funds, as well as Federal Direct Student Loans.

The current SAP Policy can be found under College Policies. To meet SAP standards, you must:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • Successfully complete 67% of all credit hours attempted for your degree or certificate program.
  • Complete your program within the time limit for receiving aid.
  • Earn grades of A, B, C, D, S or P in your classes. Grades of F, R, W, U, X and I are unsatisfactory.

How Do I Know My SAP Status?

PVCC's Financial Aid Office checks your progress at the end of each semester. If you are not meeting SAP you will be given one warning per semester. After that semester if you are not meeting SAP, your financial aid will be suspended. If this happens, the Financial Aid Office will send you a letter notifying you of the suspension. The letter will include information on how to appeal the suspension and what you need to do in order to reestablish your eligibility for financial aid. You can find all of the SAP components below:

1. Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule)

In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Withdrawal grades are included in the Total Number of Credits Attempted. Transfer credits are excluded. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.

Total Number of Credits AttemptedGPA Requirement
2. Completion Rate (67% Rule)

Students must successfully complete 67% of cumulative credits attempted. This evaluation is made prior to financial aid being awarded and after grades are posted at the end of each semester a student is enrolled at the College. 

  • Satisfactory grades are A, B, C, D, S, or P.
  • Developmental and ESL coursework is included in the calculation.
  • Accepted transfer credits will be counted as both attempted and completed.
3. Maximum Hours (150% Rule)

Financial Aid will be terminated for recipients upon reaching 150% of the number of credits needed to complete their degree, diploma or certificate program. This regulation applies to all students, including those that have not previously received financial aid.

Example: A student working toward an A.A. degree needs 60 credit hours to graduate. Once the student attempts 90 credit hours they are no longer eligible for financial aid at PVCC. (60 credit hours x 150 percent = 90 credit hours) Under extenuating circumstances, the 150 percent rule may be appealed. The 150 percent rule applies to all classes attempted by the student, including vocational and transfer hours. Students must make other arrangements to pay their tuition and fees if their financial aid is terminated and they do not appeal or their appeal is denied.

Students are allowed to receive financial aid for up 30 credit hours of remedial coursework. The successful completion of remedial coursework is not counted toward the 150% completion rule. Repeated coursework is allowed as stated in the college catalog. However, these repeated courses count towards the calculation of the 150% Timeframe limit.

One-Time 150% Reset: Students who would like to change programs of study and are nearing or exceeding the SAP 150% Timeframe Rule with the new program of study may appeal to the Financial Aid Office to be considered for a reset to count only those PVCC and transfer credits that go toward the new program of study. The reset may be approved one-time. To be approved, students must meet SAP requirements for GPA and Completion Rate and have not yet earned a degree. Additional requirements are under review. 

4. Developmental and ESL Courses

Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the student is in an eligible program of study and SAP requirement continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

What Should I Do If I Am Failing SAP?

Failing Satisfactory Academic Progress does not necessarily mean a student is no longer eligible for financial aid. Students are highly encouraged to submit a SAP appeal. As part of the appeal process, students will write a statement explaining any mitigating circumstances that led to their SAP status, as well as a plan for doing well in the future. The office will not review incomplete appeals. Supporting documentation is required and must correspond with the appeal. Documentation should be from an objective third party (e.g., medical bills, death certificate, counselor, teacher, religious leader).

  SAP Appeal Form 

Along with submitting a SAP appeal, students must meet with an advisor in the Admissions and Advising Office to create an Academic Plan. Your Academic Advisor will help you to choose your classes and stay on track during the semester. 

  Academic Advising

Finally, you can schedule an appointment with your Financial Aid Advisor if you have any questions about the SAP Policy or the SAP Appeal process.

 Schedule Appointment