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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

Federal regulations require students to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress toward an eligible degree or certificate program in order to qualify to receive financial assistance. Satisfactory Academic Progress includes three required standards:

  1. Quantitative (i.e. number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted), PACE measure
  2. Qualitative (i.e. grade point average), GPA standard
  3. Timeframe, the program of study must be completed within 150% of the timeframe allowed. For example, students enrolled in an associate degree program that requires 60 credits for completion must finish their program before exceeding 90 attempted credits (i.e. 60 credits x 150%=90 credits)

Policy Change: Effective Spring Semester 2019-20 Academic Year

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid applicants is reviewed at the end of each spring semester regardless of whether the student received financial aid for the semesters being reviewed. SAP will be measured at the end of each semester (fall, spring and summer) for students enrolled in a certificate program and/or who have an appeal approved to ensure compliance with conditions of their education plan.SAP will also be measured at the end of every term for students who are not maintaining SAP to determine if they are back in good standing.


The following chart details the measures that are used to determine whether a student is maintaining SAP:
Attempted Credits Cumulative Financial Aid GPA Required Completion Rate (PACE) Required
0-9 No Evaluation  
10-15 2.0 60%*
16-30 2.0 60%*
31-45 2.0 67%
46-90 2.0 67%
(*Students in a certificate program of less than 30 credits in length must reach a 67% PACE by the midpoint of their program)

Students must maintain a cumulative financial aid grade point average of 2.0 to retain eligibility for financial assistance. The “financial aid GPA” includes all grades from developmental coursework; the CCRI institutional GPA excludes developmental coursework.

PACE example: students who have attempted 15 credits, must earn 9 credits to maintain a 60% completion rate. Students who have attempted 25 credits cumulatively, must earn 15 credits cumulatively to maintain a 60% completion rate.

Students who have attempted 30 credits, must earn 20 credits to maintain a 67% completion rate. Students who have attempted 45 credits cumulatively, must earn 30 credits cumulatively to maintain a 67% completion rate.

The first 30 credits of a student's developmental coursework do not count toward the 150% limit, however developmental credits attempted and grades earned in these courses are counted in the qualitative and quantitative academic progress measures. Any developmental coursework above 30 credits will count toward the 150% limit and may therefore affect the student's eligibility to receive financial aid. Financial aid does not cover any developmental coursework above the allowed 30 credits.

The "financial aid GPA" includes all grades from developmental coursework, the institutional GPA excludes developmental coursework.

All courses withdrawn from are considered credits attempted but not earned.

Attempted credits are all credits registered for at the end of the add/drop period. To earn credits, a student must receive a final grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P. Students who receive a final grade of F, I, IC, NA, NR, NS, W, WP or WF will not earn credits for their courses.

Students should contact the Financial Aid Office when grades are changed after the final grading period, for example, when incomplete coursework is submitted and an I grade is updated or when a grade change is issued. The SAP status will be re-evaluated based upon the updated grade history. Changes to the SAP status cannot be processed retroactively for award periods that have already ended, the new SAP status will allow students to regain eligibility for future terms only.

Repeating Coursework

Once a student receives a "D" or better grade, they can repeat the course a second time. If a student receives a grade the second time, the following applies:

  1. Letter grade of A, B, C, D or F, Financial Aid will not pay for a third attempt.
  2. "W", "WF", "WP","NA" course is considered attempted and not completed. Financial Aid will pay for additional attempts until a student receives a grade of A, B, C, D or F.

Student is not to have completed a course until they have a grade of "D" or better. Therefore, students initially receiving "W's" and "F's" are eligible for Financial Aid until they receive a "D" or better.

Once a student receives a grade of "D" or better, option 1 or 2 may apply. Only the highest grade of a repeated course will be included in the overall Financial Aid GPA, and the credits attempted and earned will only be counted once, even if the course is successfully passed multiple times.

Consequences for not meeting the requirements:

If a student fails to meet the SAP policy described above, the student will become academically ineligible for financial aid for the next enrolled semester. This will result in the ineligibility for all federal, state and institutional financial aid. Once placed on financial aid suspension, a student may regain financial aid eligibility by meeting the required GPA and PACE standards based upon the number of credits they have attempted. Students who have exceeded the 150% requirement may only regain eligibility upon approval of an appeal (see below) or by declaring a new program of study. Students who declare a new major will have their 150% calculation based upon only those attempted credits that apply to the new program. The recalculation will be completed upon request by the student and/or Academic Advisor.

When a student becomes academically ineligible, they have the right to appeal the suspension of their financial aid based on mitigating circumstances (please see Financial Aid Appeal Form). All appeals must be submitted using the Financial Aid Appeal form. and documentation must be provided when applicable. Situations such as serious illness and family emergencies may be considered as mitigating circumstances. The Financial Aid Appeal committee will review appeals and make decisions regarding approval or denial. The decisions of this committee cannot be appealed unless additional information is presented that was not included in the initial appeal. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeal committee may only be overturned by the Director of Financial Aid or their designee.

Students with approved appeals will be given a plan of study ("educational plan") by an Academic Advisor and will be considered on probation until they are back in compliance with all SAP standards. During the probationary period, the student must earn all credits attempted with a minimum 2.0 term financial aid GPA and must continue to enroll in only those courses outlined in the plan of study and/or courses specifically required for graduation from their current program of study. The plan of study may require a higher minimum GPA to allow the student to achieve a 2.0 by the time they are ready to graduate. A review of probationary students' academic progress is completed at the end of each semester to ensure the student is in compliance with the requirements of their plan of study.