Satisfactory Academic Progress

One of the eligibility requirements to receive federal financial aid is to maintain standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Your academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester and your status is updated based on whether or not you met the SAP standards. Meeting these standards will keep you on track to successfully completing your degree or certificate program!

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Requirements to Maintain SAP Standards

Grade Point Average 

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA
  • Maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA each semester for students on an Academic Plan.

Pace of Progression

  • Pass 67% of the total cumulative hours attempted
  • Pass 75% of all credit hours attempted each semester for students on an Academic Plan.

Maximum Time-Frame

  • Total overall hours must not exceed 150% of the published length of a student’s degree program.

Emergency COVID – 19 (ECV) Grade : The ECV grade will not count in the SAP GPA calculation, but will be counted in the Pace of Progression and Maximum Time-frame standard outlined in the SAP Policy.

The SAP Review Process

Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each payment period by the college’s Financial Aid Department for all students, and students who received aid the previous semester (payment period) will be notified of their updated status, in writing, via email. Your financial aid SAP status can be found in your LoLA account

Next step, if I do not meet the SAP requirements:

If mitigating circumstances prevented a student from meeting the requirements, a SAP Appeal may be filed. The appeal must be submitted with supporting documentation. All supporting documents will be retained in the student's financial aid file.

submit an appeal

Supporting Documentation:

As part of the appeal process, students must provide documentation that supports the circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the SAP requirements. 

Examples of Acceptable Documentation

Medical condition such as student injury, illness, or mental health diagnosis
  • Written and signed statement on letterhead from a health care provider that confirms condition and includes dates of service. 
  • Medical documentation confirming that the student or family member was seen for the medical condition, including dates of service.
Death of a family member
  • Copy of the Death Certificate
  • Obituary that shows your relationship to the deceased .
Birth of your child
  • Birth Certificate
  • Signed and dated letter on letterhead from doctor.
Personal Difficulties
  • Signed and dated statements from a physician, therapist, employer, counselor, clergy member, law enforcement, or court official. 
  • Police reports, insurance claims, or court documentation. 

Academic Plan:

All students whose appeals are granted are placed on an Academic Plan. The Academic Plan will require the student to meet two standards: earning a 2.0 semester GPA and passing 75 percent of the credit hours attempted for the semester.

These standards progress a student towards completion of their degree or certificate program within a reasonable time frame. Students will need to meet the requirements of the Academic Plan each payment period until meeting the SAP standards. Not enrolling in college for a period of time then re-enrolling will not bring the student into compliance with the SAP policy.

Other Factors Which May Impact a SAP Determination

“I” (incomplete) grades could have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory
academic progress. An “I” grade will be considered “attempted,” but will not be considered to have been “completed.” It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office if an “I” grade changes during a payment period. If the change of the grade will affect the student’s financial aid eligibility, the Financial Aid Office will perform a recalculation of aid eligibility during the payment period. Otherwise, the change of grade will not be factored into the cumulative pace rate until the next SAP evaluation. 
“W” (withdrawn) grades could have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory
academic progress. A “W” grade will be considered “attempted,” but will not be considered to have been “completed.”
A student may only receive federal financial aid for one repetition (repeat) of any previously passed course (a passing grade is a D or better for the purposes of federal financial aid).
The maximum number of hours that a student may receive Title IV federal aid for developmental courses is 30 hours. Developmental courses are counted as attempted hours, completed hours and grades received for SAP purposes even if federal aid is not used for these courses.  
Students who change their major are still expected to complete the coursework for the new major within the maximum allowable hours. All attempted hours from a prior major will be included in the total attempted hours.


For purposes of determining student eligibility assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, an institution must establish reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. On October 29, 2010, the Secretary of Education published final rules aimed at improving the integrity of programs authorized under Title IV of the HEA, as amended. 

View the full SAP policy: LCTCS Policy 1.026 - May 2018 Revision