Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require the college to establish Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress as a general eligibility requirement for financial aid A student must maintain satisfactory academic progress in a course of study regardless of whether the student previously received financial aid or transferred in from another institution. The minimum standards at Seminole State are contained in this document and applicable to the Title IV student financial aid programs administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. 

The SAP policy applies to the following types of Title IV aid:

  • Federal Pell Grant 

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) 

  • Federal Work Study (FWS) 

  • Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) 

  • Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

At Seminole State, a student's entire academic history, including credits that are transferred from other schools, is evaluated to determine whether he/she is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Eligibility to receive federal financial aid is established each term, based on a student's ability to meet the criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension. Students who are on financial aid suspension will be prohibited from receiving any federal financial assistance until they have returned to satisfactory academic progress. 

The SAP policy may also apply to some other types of financial assistance that are administered by the College, which may include but not be limited to, state scholarships, institutional aid, scholarships (some may require a higher-grade point average than the minimum in the SAP policy), talent grants and athletic grants.  Academic progress (and other) requirements for non-Title IV aid are described in the criteria for those forms of assistance.

  • Successful completion of a class: Defined as having earned a grade of "A," "B," "C," "D," "P," or "SP."
  • Unsatisfactory completion or non-completion of a class: Defined as having earned a grade of "F," "NG," "W1,” “W3,”“W4,” “W5,” "I," "U," "NP," or "X."
  • Enrollment Status: This is established by the number of credit hours for which a student is officially registered each term. Students must successfully complete a specific number of credits as determined by their program of study and their enrollment status.
  • Total hours attempted: Students are expected to earn a degree or certificate within a specified number of attempted hours and are only eligible for financial aid during this time. The number of attempted hours cannot exceed more than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program.

All students receiving any type of federal financial aid must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. . The requirements for these standards are set by federal regulations. Students must meet all three criteria for ongoing eligibility for federal aid.

SAP Requirements

  1. A student must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA);
  2. A student must successfully complete at least 67 percent (student completion rate - pace) of all Seminole State courses taken (including transfer courses accepted by Seminole State);
  3. A student must complete his/her degree within the 150 percent time frame (example: an associate degree requiring 60 credit hours must be completed within 90 credit hours). At the point that this is determined to be mathematically impossible, aid will be suspended.
All students receiving any type of federal financial aid must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.  The requirements for these standards are set by federal regulations. Students must meet all three criteria for ongoing eligibility for federal aid.

Minimum Cumulative 2.0 GPA

For students who have attended other colleges, the courses accepted as transfer credit by Seminole State, including those taken as part of another program of study, will be included in determining SAP for financial aid purposes.

How to Calculate Student Completion Rate (Pace)

The formula for calculating the completion rate is total hours earned divided by total hours attempted. The resulting percentage must be 67 percent or greater to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Successful completion of a course means an earned grade of A, B, C or D, or SP. Students who have grades of I or NG that result in an unsatisfactory standing may have their SAP status recalculated when those grades are later reported as an A, B, C or D by written request only. [BRL1]  All other grades including I (Incomplete), F, NG (No Grade Assigned), W1 (Student Withdrawal), W3 (Administrative Withdrawal), W4 (No Shows), and W5 (Withdrawal based on Student Petition) are defined as unsuccessful completion. W (Withdrawal) grades are not included in the GPA calculation however, they are included in the Pace of Completion calculation. I (Incomplete), F, and NG (No Grade Assigned) are included in the GPA and Pace of Completion calculation.

The following chart demonstrates 67 percent completion rate (pace) for attempted hours in a semester. The left-hand column is the attempted hours and the corresponding number in the right-hand column is the number of hours you must successfully complete with a 2.0 GPA or higher to maintain satisfactory SAP.

Example: A student registered for 12 credit hours must complete 8 credit hours with a 2.0 GPA or higher to meet the SAP requirements for the semester. The 2.0 GPA and completion rate (pace) of 67 percent apply to cumulative totals on a student's transcript.

Maximum Time Frame Eligibility

Students are required to complete their degree or certificate within 150 percent of the credits of the published length of the program. Students become ineligible for Title IV aid when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete the program within 150 percent of the length of the program, even when the student has not yet reached 150 percent.

Students who change their educational program or graduate and reapply to a new program still must adhere to the maximum time frame policy.

Frequency of Evaluation

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated at the end of every term/payment period for each component of SAP. Financial aid recipients and applicants (upon submission of the FAFSA) who are found not to be in satisfactory academic standing will be notified via their SSC email.   Students can also check their eligibility status by logging into their MySeminoleState account.  The SAP evaluation period covers all enrollment periods regardless of whether a student received financial assistance during some or all that period.

Students who fail to reach all the SAP standards at the end of the term therefore, not in satisfactory academic progress standing and are ineligible to receive further Title IV funding. This status is known as Financial Aid Suspension.  A transfer student entering SSC for their first term with a failed SAP, for any reason, will not be eligible to receive financial aid for their first term.  

Students who reach or exceed the 150 percent maximum will not receive aid on a warning status.  In addition, those students who at the time the College determines will not be able to complete the program within the 150 percent time frame are ineligible at the point of that determination, even if they have not reached the 150-percentage point.

Students who do not meet the minimum GPA and Completion Rate SAP standards will be placed on "Financial Aid Warning" at the end of the semester in which they did not meet the standard(s). They will be eligible to receive federal financial aid funding for the following semester and given an opportunity to resume good academic standing. Students given this status are not required to petition for possible reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility.

Students placed on Financial Aid Warning status will be able to see this status on their mySeminoleState portal. Students who do not meet SAP standards after this period of Financial Aid Warning will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension status until they meet the SAP standards or submit a SAP Appeal that is approved.

Financial Aid Status:

  • Not determined (Undetermined) – Satisfactory Academic Progress has not been calculated at this time. Students must be in a financial aid eligible degree or certificate program of study and admitted to the College for SAP to be determined. Degree seeking status includes all certificates, associate level, baccalaureate level, and eligible clock hour programs. 
  • Meets SAP (Good Standing) – Student is currently meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress in all three areas: Minimum Cumulative Financial Aid GPA, Completion Ratio (Pace) and Maximum Time Frame. 
  • Warning – A student in Good Standing who fails to meet any of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and may continue to receive Federal Student Aid for one term. 
  • Suspended (Not Meet) – A student is placed on Suspension when they fail to meet any of the requirements for the second consecutive time or more. This status is also for a student who has failed to meet the requirements of their assigned financial aid Academic Plan. A student in this status is not eligible for financial aid. The student may submit a SAP appeal. 
  • Probation (Academic Plan) – A student is placed on Probation after submitting a written appeal and the appeal is approved. An individualized financial aid Academic Plan is assigned to the student. The student must adhere to the requirements of the financial aid Academic Plan to continue receiving financial aid. The financial aid Academic Plan will be reviewed at the end of each term. If a student does not adhere to the financial aid Academic Plan and is not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the next term, the student will be placed on Suspension. No other appeals will be accepted unless specific circumstances exist.

Appealing Financial Aid Suspension

Students on Financial Aid Suspension may submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships if extenuating circumstances* prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements.   All terms with unsuccessful grades need to be explained along with how the student plans to be academically successful going forward, provide supporting documentation, and an explanation as to what has changed so that the same situation(s) are no longer applicable.   (Refer to the appeal for further details).

The deadline to submit an appeal for consideration of reinstatement of aid eligibility for a semester is the last day of add/drop for the “A” session for the applicable term.

*Extenuating circumstances beyond a student's control include, but are not limited to: 

  • Documented medical condition or serious illness  
  • Documented learning disability  
  • Death of a family member or friend  
  • Domestic violence  
  • Involuntary call to active military duty 
  • Documented change in conditions of employment  
  • Other extraordinary/emergency circumstances, such as natural disasters. 
Students will be notified via e-mail as to whether their appeal is approved or denied.   Appeals that do not meet all the requirements will be denied. If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one term. A student placed on probation must enroll only in the courses outlined in their Academic Plan for each specific term and successfully complete all courses within the term with a passing grade of A, B, C, or D.

Students placed on Financial Aid Probation will:

  • Only have financial aid approved for the probationary term
  • Have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each term 
  • Student’s SAP status will return to financial aid suspension, and he/she will become ineligible for aid if he/she receives a non-passing grade of NG, F, I or W1/W3//W4/W5 in a course during a probationary term

The appeal must include an academic plan that is created by the student’s academic advisor in conjunction with the student.. A student on an academic plan will be evaluated at the end of each term/payment period to ensure the standards are met.   The review will continue on a term-by-term basis to ensure progress.

A student who is not making SAP and is placed on an academic plan may regain eligibility for Title IV aid by regaining a satisfactory SAP status or continuing to maintain the requirements as specified in the academic plan.

Financial aid will be suspended if any of the following requirements are not met while a student is on an Academic Plan:

  • Receive any unsuccessful grades (i.e., I (Incomplete), F, NG (No Grade Assigned) and W1/W3/W5 (Withdrawal))

If any of the requirements listed above are not met, the student’s financial aid will be suspended. Please note: Per Federal financial aid regulations, appeals are not automatically approved and may be denied based on failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements set forth at Seminole State College.

Academic Plan

The Academic Plan is reviewed one term after an appeal is approved to determine continuation of financial aid eligibility. The maximum length of an Academic Plan cannot exceed the number of credit hours determined for the student to complete his/her program.   This is only applicable to the program in which the SAP appeal is approved for.