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Services and Support

STEP 5: Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Updated: 04/16/2015


Evaluating a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the fifth and final step in the financial aid process.

Maintaining Eligibility or Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To ensure that you maintain good academic standing within the Maricopa Community Colleges, it is important to understand a specific student policy called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students are required to maintain SAP for continued financial aid eligibility and course registration. See Student Policies and/or review the following to learn more about meeting SAP requirements while working toward  your educational goals.

Federal regulations (CFR 668.32(f) and 668.34) require a student to move toward the completion of a degree or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Specific requirements for academic progress for financial aid recipients are applied differently than Scholastic Standards. Federal regulations state that Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. Students will be evaluated using the standards described below. Failure to meet any of these minimum standards will result in loss of title IV, HEA program (federal financial aid) eligibility.

Evaluation Period

SAP will be evaluated at the end of each semester. Programs less than one year in length will be evaluated at the midpoint of the program. Non-standard sessions will be evaluated at the completion of the session.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

SAP is evaluated on each of the three measurements outlined below. Failure to meet any of these standards will result in suspension of eligibility for financial aid.

Please Note: Grades of F,I,N,W,X,Y,Z, and courses not yet graded are considered attempted but not meeting progress standards for the purposes of financial aid.
    1. Grade Point Measurement: Students must meet the following credit hour/cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

    2. Total Credits Attempted*

      Min CGPA

      < 15.75








      *for which grade points are computed

    3. Pace of Progression Measurement: Students must successfully complete 2/3 (66.67%) of all attempted course work

    4. Maximum Time Frame Measurement: Students have attempted more than 150% of the published credits required for their program of study are considered not meeting SAP

    For more information about these standards, refer to the following video tutorial:

    Coursework Treatment in SAP Calculation

    Course work taken during the semester also included in the evaluation

    • Courses funded through a consortium agreement

    • All attempted remedial credits

    • Repeated course work

    Course work included in the Maximum Time Frame evaluation

    • All of those included in the Pace of Progression evaluation

    • Any Associates degree or higher earned will be considered to have exhausted maximum timeframe eligibility

    • All coursework forgiven through the academic renewal process

    Coursework included in the Pace of Progression evaluation

    • All of those included in the semester evaluation

    • All evaluated transfer credits

    Course work not included in SAP evaluation

      • Audited courses

      • Non-credit courses

      • Credit by examination

      • Credit for prior learning option (as outlined in the college general catalog)


      Students that have applied for federal assistance, but who do not meet the standards, will be notified. This notification will direct students to information regarding the appeal process.

      Ineligibility Determination Appeal

      Any student who has lost financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances may appeal. Appeal must:

        • Be in writing and submitted to the Financial Aid Office where the student is applying for aid

        • Include the extenuating circumstances that caused the student not to meet SAP standards

        • Include appropriate supporting documentation

        • Include how that condition or situation has been resolved thus allowing the student the ability to meet SAP standards

          Students will be notified of the results of their appeal and any restrictions or conditions pertaining to their appeal. The outcome of an appeal may include a probationary term or denial.

          Failure to successfully complete all conditions during the probationary period (as defined in the academic plan) will result in loss of future financial aid eligibility.

          Regaining Eligibility

          A student who has lost financial aid eligibility may only regain eligibility by meeting the minimum SAP standards. Course work taken at other colleges will not be considered for reinstatement purposes.

          Proven Strategies for Maintaining Eligibility and Meeting SAP Standards

          • Enroll in classes that are part of your financial aid eligible degree program

          • Attend the New Student Orientation

          • Enroll in and complete a Student Success course

          • Meet with an academic advisor to review the classes in your degree program before enrolling each semester

          • Meet with your instructor to discuss your progress and/or issues regarding the class

          • Visit the Learning Support Center for tutoring

          • Do your homework and/or study for tests with another student

          • Be involved on campus by joining a student club and/or participating in an activity sponsored by Student Life

          • Visit the Counseling Center for personal issues: it is CONFIDENTIAL

          The Catalog Common Pages are MCCCD Administrative Regulations and Appendix items specifically relevant to students. (See Common Pages - Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress).

          If you would like to file an appeal on a SAP decision, please use the following form:


          Filed under: Finances v.12

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