Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Credit Hour Students

Federal regulations require students to make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a Certificate or Associate Degree to be eligible for financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid applicants will be monitored at the end of each semester. These standards apply to all students regardless of changes to academic major or degree program.

I.  Students must complete, with a passing grade, a minimum of 67% of all the credit hours attempted, whether or not financial aid was received for those attempted credits.

     A. Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D and D- are considered passing.

     B. Grades of E, I, X, V, W, WP, WF and N are not considered passing, and must be considered attempted credits.*

     C. If a student repeats a course:

  • The higher grade replaces the lower grade in determining the student's grade point average.
  • The higher grade is considered passing and the lower grade is not considered passing.
  • Credits for both classes are considered attempted credits but only the credits from the class with the higher grade are considered successfully completed.
  • A student may receive financial aid for only one additional attempt of a previously passed course. 

     D. English as a Second Language (ESL) and Developmental Education credits are included in the number of credits attempted and completed. Only thirty (30) Developmental Education credits can count toward a student's enrollment status for purposes of awarding financial aid.  

     E.  Credits accepted from transfer institutions must be included in the total credits attempted and the total credits completed. (See Section III, Item B below for further clarification)

II.  Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of not less than the following:

Credit Hours Attempted                                    Minimum Cumulative GPA Required

     1 - 14                                                                                 1.50

     15 - 28                                                                               1.75

     29 and above                                                                     2.00

 III.  Satisfactory Academic Progress also requires that financial aid recipients complete their Associate Degree or Certificate within the time frame that, by federal regulation, is 150% of the published length of the program. For example, if a student is in an Associate Degree program that requires 60 credits, the degree must be completed in a maximum of 150% of 60 credits, or 90 credits including both attempted and completed. Students should consult the GRCC Catalog to find the number of credits required in their Degree or Certificate program, and then multiply that number by 1.5 to determine the maximum number of credits.

     A. When students have attempted the maximum number of credits, financial aid will be terminated.

     B. All credits attempted (including developmental education and ESL courses, repeated courses and transfer credits) must be taken into consideration when determining the maximum number of credits, whether or not students received aid for those attempted credits. There is a maximum number of transfer credits which may be used toward a student’s degree. The maximum number of transfer credits used is equal to the number of credits required for a student’s program of study minus 15 credits.  For example, if 60 credits are required to complete an associate degree, 60 credits - 15 credits = 45 credits. Transfer credits in excess of this amount are not considered in satisfactory academic progress calculations.

Financial Aid Warning

Students falling below the standards of academic progress will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their following semester of enrollment. Students must be meeting the standards of academic progress at the end of their warning semester. Students can receive financial aid during their Financial Aid Warning semester. 

Financial Aid Suspension

Students not meeting the standards of academic progress at the end of the Financial Aid Warning semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students on suspension are not eligible to receive any type of financial aid.   

Suspension Appeals

Students failing to meet the standards of academic progress due to circumstances beyond their reasonable control may appeal their suspension. Extenuating circumstances may be grounds for a successful appeal.

  • All appeals must be submitted in writing on the Suspension Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office.  Students submitting appeals should state the reasons why satisfactory academic progress was not made. 
  • Neutral third party documentation supporting the reasons given must be provided.
  • The student should also discuss actions that have been or will be taken to make satisfactory progress in the future.
  • Financial aid suspension appeals will not be considered for students who are on Academic Suspension.
  • If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.   

Financial Aid Probation

Students with successful appeals will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and must follow the academic plan as outlined below (see Financial Aid Academic Plan) to continue receiving financial aid.  Students can receive financial aid while on probation.

Financial Aid Academic Program

Students on Financial Aid Probation must follow the Academic Plan described below:

  • Receive a passing grade (see item I-A above) in 100% of the classes they enroll in each semester AND
  • Earn a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 each semester AND
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards within four semesters of additional attendance.

Students must successfully follow this academic plan every semester they enroll until they are meeting the SAP requirements. Students who do not follow the academic plan will return to a Financial Aid Suspension status.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

Students will be taken off Financial Aid Suspension and considered for financial aid through one of the following methods:

  • Students can earn the minimum required cumulative GPA and successfully complete at least 67 percent of their attempted credits at their own expense.   
  • Students can appeal according to the suspension appeal process previously described.
  • Meeting standards after grade change(s) in course(s). Student must notify Financial Aid Office and request a reevaluation of their eligibility after the grade change(s) occur.


E = Failing

I = Incomplete

V = Audit

W = Student Initiated Drop

WP = Withdraw–Passing

N,WF = Withdraw–Failing

X = Absent from final exam