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Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) relates to the federal standards used to qualitatively and quantitatively measure academic progress for recipients of Title IV Federal Student Aid. The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Procedure (SP4-20d) meets U.S. Department of Education guidelines. The system procedure requires community colleges to monitor cumulative grade point average (GPA), completion rate and total credit hours attempted for all financial aid recipients in their progress toward their chosen program. These measures dictate whether a student will remain in good standing, be on Financial Aid Warning/Alert or Ineligible for Aid. Warning/Alert status occurs when a student eligible to receive financial aid has been warned to monitor their own progress. Ineligible for Aid status results when a student on Warning or Probation fails to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in a subsequent term or when a student does not successfully complete at least one attempted credit hour in a term. Ineligible for Aid status is usually indicative of a student failing to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for 2 subsequent terms.
Standards to Be Met
A student who has failed to comply with stated SAP criteria while on warning or probation status may be Ineligible for Aid. This is different from the requirements for academic standing.
The following conditions must be met in order to remain eligible for financial aid.
- Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
- Cumulative completion of 67% or higher
- Complete at least 1 credit hour in a single semester in which a student is enrolled
- Have not attempted more than 150% of the total credit hours required for the declared program
- Continue to meet the conditions of the academic plan from a prior appeal approval until 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate minimums are met
At the end of each semester (including summer), all students' academic progress is measured using the SAP standards listed. Each student's entire academic history at Arapahoe Community College, including credits attempted during periods when financial aid was not received, is included in the SAP calculation. If a student does not pass at least one credit hour in an enrolled semester, they become immediately ineligible for aid. All other students who fail to meet the minimum of a cumulative GPA of 2.0 are given a Warning status for the next enrolled semester.
- Credit hours for remedial courses are not included in the GPA calculation.
A required pace of a minimum cumulative 67% completion rate of credit hours, including transfer credits accepted by ACC, and credits attempted during periods where financial aid was not received. Maximum timeframe** to use financial aid is 150% of the total credits required for the declared program at ACC, including transfer credits accepted by ACC, and credits attempted during periods where financial aid was not received.
Pace: Completion rate is the total earned credits, including transfer credits, divided by the total number of credits attempted. (e.g. 9 credits attempted, 6 credits passed with a D or higher is a 66.67% completion rate). Completion rates are not rounded. Credit hours for remedial courses are included in this calculation.
Maximum timeframe: Maximum timeframe is the number of credit hours a student can attempt before they become ineligible for financial aid. This is calculated by multiplying the number of credit hours required for the program a student is enrolled in for that semester by 150%. (e.g. a 60 credit hour Associates of General Studies has a maximum time frame of 90 credit hours. 60 x 1.5 = 90). All credits attempted, including transfer and courses not applicable to the current degree/program, are counted toward the number of attempted credits. The only exception is for remedial credit hours which can be subtracted up to a limit of 30 credit hours.
At the end of each semester (including summer), all students' academic progress is measured using the SAP standards listed. Each student's entire academic history at Arapahoe Community College, including credits attempted during periods when financial aid was not received, is included in the SAP calculation.
Students are given a status of Warning after their first semester of failing to meet minimum standards of cumulative GPA of 2.0 and 67% completion rate. This status allows the student to use financial aid for the next enrolled semester. If after the next enrolled semester, cumulative GPA and completion rates are still below the minimum requirements, they will be given a status of Ineligible for Aid.
Per CCCS policy, students will not be given a status of Warning if they fail to complete at least one attempted credit in a semester. They will become automatically Ineligible for Aid.
Students are given a status of Alert when their total attempted credit hours (including transfer and credits not required for degree) exceeds 110% of the required credits for their declared degree at ACC. This status will remain in effect until the student exceeds 150% of the required credits for their declared degree at ACC, at which time they will be given a status of Ineligible for Aid.
A student is placed on probation for one semester after successfully appealing a determination he or she is not making SAP requirements (2.0 GPA, 67% completion rate, under 150% attempted credits).
Conditions are determined individually per student by the SAP Appeals Committee according to what will help the student regain Good standing. Students must meet the conditions each semester until they are back into Good standing (2.0 GPA, 67% completion rate) or complete their program. If a student fails to meet the conditions of approval, they will return to a status of Ineligible for Aid.
Students will be informed of their Satisfactory Academic Progress by the school each semester.
Students who have been determined to be Ineligible for Aid remain ineligible and cannot receive aid until they are back in good standing or have an appeal approved. Students have the option of appealing their eligibility for aid through the formal appeals process due to any of the SAP standards (2.0 GPA, 67% completion rate, 150% of the total credits) that have lead to their ineligibility.
The process for appealing SAP ineligibility is a formal, written process. Students are required to submit the Ineligible for Financial Aid Appeal Form along with a written narrative. Other documentation may be required depending on the type of appeal. For maximum accessibility, the appeal form is available in both a paper form as well as an online form. Appeals are reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee.
Per CCCS Procedure SP 4-20d and Department of Education guidelines, a student has the opportunity to appeal Financial Aid Ineligible for Aid status at two levels in order to reinstate eligibility for financial aid. This allows a student to submit a second appeal after initial denial if they choose. Appeal decisions at a secondary review may be held as final.
Deadlines to appeal each semester are determined each year and available on the Ineligible for Aid Appeal Form.
If a student is required to go on an academic plan, they will be instructed to meet with their Academic Advisor as part of the appeal process.
If a student is ineligible due to GPA and/or completion rate, they may regain eligibility by bringing these measures above the minimum standards of 2.0 and 67%.