Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial Aid/Veterans Office

7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

1113, SCC Main Building
(636) 922-8601

Military Friendly

SCC was designated a Military Friendly School.

Learn more.

What Is Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Federal and state financial aid is intended to assist students as they make successful progress toward completing a degree. As a student, you have the responsibility of demonstrating satisfactory academic progress. In simpler terms – in order to maintain eligibility, you must academically qualify for your funding by meeting certain academic standards. If you are not receiving financial assistance, you are also held to these same standards.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Please review our entire SAP policy in the SAP Policy PDF. Federal regulations require students make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree or certificate to be eligible for Federal Title IV Student Aid (668.34 of the Higher Education Act).

Federal Title IV Student aid includes the following:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The SAP policy is consistently applied to all enrolled students at the end of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. The SAP status for incoming transfer students will be based on this current SAP policy. You should select courses that will fulfill your educational goals. These courses must follow published degree requirements. Students will be evaluated at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters in order to determine eligibility of assistance for the next term. Please be aware that some programs may have a higher GPA requirement for renewal.

How is SAP Measured?

To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), students must meet the minimum requirements noted below. SAP has a qualitative measure and a quantitative measure, which are measured at the end of each term. Based on these measurements, there are three components of SAP which must be met in order to remain eligible for Federal Title IV student aid and A+. Students must meet all of the following SAP components:

  1. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) requirement (Qualitative Measure)
  2. Cumulative completion percentage requirement (Quantitative Measure)
  3. 150% maximum allowable time frame (Quantitative Measure)

The chart below provides additional information and examples of the three components of SAP.

Classification/Level Attempted Hour/GPA Scale Completion Percentage Maximum Time Frame

1-15 CR = 1.5 GPA

16-30 CR = 1.8 GPA

31 CR above = 2.0 GPA

67% Cumulative Attempted Hours 150% of published program length

2.0 required

2.25 > 2.0 = good

67% of 60 = 40

50 >40 = good

60 X 150% = 90

75 < 90 = good

Attempted and Earned Hours

  • Attempted and earned credit hours are based on the official college calculation as presented on the student’s academic records in the college database.
  • Once a student has completed a degree, all subsequent coursework is considered in the attempted hours calculation until that subsequent degree is completed.
  • Attempted hours include: repeat hours, incomplete hours, academic clemency/bankruptcy hours, transfer hours, concurrent (high school) enrollment, regardless of whether a student received financial aid.
  • The Department of Education regulations do not exempt hours included in academic clemency/bankruptcy from the SAP policy. This means that terms excluded due to clemency/bankruptcy remain in the maximum allowable time frame and completion percentage calculation of your SAP status.
  • All periods of enrollment at SCC will be counted in attempted hours.
  • Courses where a student receives a final grade of A, B, C, D, F, I (In Progress), or W will be used to compute hours attempted. An “I” grade is considered an “F" grade for SAP calculation purposes.
  • Courses with final grades of F, I (In Progress), or W will not be counted in earned hours.
  • Remedial/Transitional courses will not be considered in the calculations, instead will be monitored based on established policies for that program.
  • Courses deleted or canceled are not included in the calculation of GPA, completion rate, and/or maximum timeframe.
  • If a student changes their major, degree or seeks to earn an additional degree they are eligible to receive federal aid for no more than 150% of the credit hours required for the chosen major. The 150% maximum timeframe limit is applied to all credit hours earned or attempted while enrolled at SCC, and includes transferred credit from previously attended institutions.


  • Students may request a recalculation of their eligibility for the current term due to grade changes due to corrections. Please note that a grade change is not the same as grade forgiveness.

Financial Aid Warning and Suspension

Financial Aid Warning

A student who fails to meet the minimum SAP requirements (because of GPA and/or completion percentage as indicated above) at the end of a term will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. A student on Financial Aid Warning may continue to receive assistance under the Federal Title IV funds for the next term only. During the term of warning, the student is expected to come into compliance with the standard Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy as stated above. 

At the end of that term, if the student has met the minimum GPA and completion percentage, the student is considered to be meeting SAP (unless the student is not meeting the maximum time frame requirement).

If the student has not met the minimum completion percentage and GPA requirement, the student is not considered to be meeting SAP.  At this time the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not be eligible for Federal Title IV funding.   

Note: Financial Aid Warning and Suspension are separate from Academic Probation and Suspension.  Students should contact the SCC Registrar’s office for information regarding Academic Probation and Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

There are two reasons a student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension: 

  1. Failure to meet SAP Good Standing after the Financial Aid Warning period.
  2. Failure to complete the academic program within 150% of the published program length (a.k.a. Maximum Hours)

During this period of suspension, the student will not be eligible to receive Federal Title IV funds. The student may continue to be enrolled at SCC if they meet admission and enrollment requirements and meet published payment deadlines.

A student who loses their Federal Title IV financial aid eligibility due to SAP at the end of a financial aid warning or as a result of not completing their program within 150% of the published length of the program, has the right to file an appeal.

Repeated Course(s) Rule

  • Repeated courses are not part of the SAP policy, but it is important students understand they may only receive federal financial aid for one repetition of a previously passed course(s).
  • If a course is repeated and replacement is approved according to the SCC Academic Repeat policy, the grade given at the end of the repeated course becomes the official grade. The replacement grade is used to compute the cumulative GPA in the calculation of a student's SAP status.
  • Each repeated course will count towards the attempted hours when determining completion rate and maximum timeframe. Note: this includes Transfer Credits accepted for meeting degree requirements.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals

Appeal requests must be submitted to the Enrollment Services Department by noon on the second Wednesday of the month. Applications received after the second Wednesday will be reviewed at the next month's meeting (no exceptions). Exceptions to the college's SAP policies are not made lightly and will generally be considered only for extenuating circumstances. Decisions are based on an individual's extenuating circumstances, the documentation provided and the student's academic history. An incomplete application will not be reviewed by the Appeals Committee.

Initial Appeal

A student on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal if the circumstances causing the student to fall below minimum standards were out of the student’s control and warrant special consideration.

Mitigating Circumstances

Example of Documentation

Death of a family member/friend

Obituary, death certificate

Marital Issue

Separation Agreement, divorce decree, statement for counselor/minister

Health Issues

Statement from medical professional, medical records

Employment Issues

Letter from employer, copies of time sheets, pay stubs

Family Responsibilities

Documentation that supports the particular issue

Financial Responsibilities

Documentation that supports the particular issue

Complete a Financial Assistance Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal form.

  1. Attach to your appeal a typed one-page letter explaining why you are currently not meeting SAP standards and what has changed that will enable you to be successful in the future. Include relevant dates, names and relationships when possible.
  2. Attach a degree audit report printed from your SCC Connection account.
  3. Attach supporting documentation of your extenuating circumstances that have contributed to your inability to maintain SAP.

The appeal should address each term that a student's performance was below the minimum requirements. Additionally, an appeal should contain an explanation of the steps that a student intends to take to ensure that future academic progress will be acceptable. The student will complete an academic plan with the help of an Academic Advisor. The Academic Plan will contain a projection of the courses the student will take each term up to the term that they again meet SAP requirements. The appeal form, letter, documentation and academic plan will be turned in to the Financial Aid Office and sent to the Appeals Committee for review. You will be notified via SCC email of the Committee's decision.

Should you wish to contest the original decision of the committee, you may do so in person at the next appeals meeting. To schedule an appearance, call 636-922-8601 no later than noon on the Wednesday preceding the meeting.

Appeal Deadline:  Students on financial assistance suspension, whose appeals have not been read and/or approved by the payment deadline for a given semester, are required to pay for their tuition and fees (by the payment deadline) in order to secure the classes in which they have enrolled. Appeals must be received no later than three weeks after the start of the semester in which you are enrolled. Appeals received after three weeks will take effect the following semester.

Financial Aid SAP Committee

The committee is comprised of representatives from SCC staff and faculty

  • The committee reviews the appeal according to the dates on the Financial Aid website and provides its decision to the Financial Aid Office.

  • Students will receive an email informing them of the committee’s decision. The email is sent to the student’s SCC email address.

  • The decision of the committee is final. Note: No Federal Title IV aid will be paid retroactively for a term in which the student did not meet the minimum SAP requirements as outlined in Section I.

  • If the student has questions regarding the decision, an appointment can be made with the Director of Financial Aid.

Appeal Approval

If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have their appeal approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and must maintain compliance with the Academic Plan submitted with their appeal. While on probation, a student is eligible for Federal Title IV aid.

  1. During the period of probation, the student is expected to come into compliance with the SAP policy as described above in Section I, or

  2. Maintain compliance with the Academic Plan submitted to the Financial Aid Office as part of the appeal. The Academic Plan will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office at the end of term. Failure to meet the terms of the Academic Plan will result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Suspension and the will not be eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Reestablishment of Aid Eligibility after not maintaining Academic Plan Requirements:

    A student who does not meet the terms of Academic Plan may establish federal aid eligibility in one of two ways.
  1. The student will be eligible for Federal Title IV Aid when they meet the SAP policy requirements listed in Section I, or

  2. The student may submit another appeal to the SAP Committee for consideration in order to regain federal aid eligibility.

Intention of Academic Plan

The purpose of the academic plan is to:

  • Ensure the student has met with an Academic Advisor to discuss their academic goals and ensure they understand the path to obtain their degree of certificate.

  • Establish with their Academic Advisor a plan that will allow the student to do one of the following:

    1. Obtain compliance with the SAP policy within one academic term, or

    2. Obtain compliance with the SAP policy within a reasonable time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to withdraw? Or take an "F"?

A "W" won't affect your GPA, but it will have a negative impact on your completion ratio. An "F" will have a negative impact on both your GPA and your completion ratio.

How do "hours attempted" and "hours earned" work?

It's simpler than it sounds:

  • You have to complete 67% of all coursework attempted, including remedial coursework.
  • Coursework attempted during all semesters (fall, spring, summer) is evaluated cumulatively (and reviewed each semester).
  • Participating in SCC's financial aid program? You'll need to submit official transcripts from all institutions you've attended previously.
  • Transfer credits accepted from other colleges and universities are included in the number of credit hours attempted and earned.
  • Financial aid applications can't be processed until all transcripts have been received and evaluated.
Is there a maximum hour limit?

Yes! For students enrolled in an associate of arts degree program, it's 96 attempted credit hours.

If you're in the associate degree nursing program, though, the limit goes up to 108.

This includes:

  • Hours transferred from other colleges
  • Hours previously completed at SCC (even if you didn't receive financial aid)
  • Withdrawals

If at any time SAP measurements make it mathematically impossible for a student to graduate within the maximum time-frame described above, that student will no longer be eligible for financial aid from the moment such a calculation is determined.

What if I change programs? Does that affect my limit?

No. You may change programs, but this doesn't change the maximum number of credit hours.

  • The maximum number of credit hours for a certificate program is based on the number of hours to complete that program. For example:
    • A certificate program that requires 36 credit hours will have a maximum of 54 hours of financial aid eligibility.
What if I already have a degree?

Students who have earned an associate's or bachelor's degree are considered to have met the maximum attempted credit hours limit.

What happens if I don't meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards?
  1. Warning – If you fail to meet all parts of the SAP policy, you'll receive a financial aid warning. You may continue to get financial aid for one semester, but you must meet all parts of the SAP policy by the end of the warning semester.
  2. Suspension – If you fail to meet the minimum required GPA or completion ratio in your warning semester, your financial aid will be suspended. 
Can I appeal a suspension?
Yes, you can appeal in some cases – students whose financial aid is suspended due to extenuating circumstances may appeal through the Enrollment Services Appeals Committee. Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If your appeal is approved and your financial aid is reinstated, you'll be granted "Probation" status, and your progress will be monitored on a term basis (instead of cumulative).

You'll also be required to meet with a financial assistance counselor to develop an academic plan, and you can only enroll in the courses that are part of that plan.

You'll need to maintain a term GPA of at least 2.0 and a term completion rate of 100% for each future term of enrollment – if you don't, you won't be eligible for any future financial aid until your cumulative GPA is 2.0 and your completion rate is 67%.

No additional appeals will be considered, but you can still attend SCC at your own expense.

SCC logo

4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
Cofttleville, MO 63376

© 2024 St. Charles Community College.