Section Home

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

All students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are evaluated for SAP.

York College students must satisfy both qualitative and quantitative federal financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education in order to remain eligible for federal financial aid. CFR668.34. Students are reviewed annually at the end of each academic year. Your cumulative academic record will be measured against each of the three progress components at the end of every spring term to determine your eligibility to receive federal student aid in the upcoming award year. All courses that appear on your permanent academic record and all courses accepted for transfer count towards the pace of progression and maximum time-frame requirement even if you received no federal financial aid for those courses.

Federal Aid Programs Governed by these Regulations

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Federal Work-Study
  • All other Title IV aid programs
  • TAP (Note: Failing to meet federal financial aid satisfactory academic progress can impact your eligibility for TAP. New York State has developed its own guidelines for New State satisfactory academic progress).

Financial Aid Suspension

A student whose appeal is approved will be placed on financial aid probation and may receive aid for one more semester. At the end of the probationary semester, the student's academic progress will again be reviewed. If a student is not meeting the requirements at the end of the probationary semester, he or she will be ineligible for financial aid.

A student, who completes an academic plan while on financial aid probation will continue to receive federal student aid on a monitored , semester-by-semester basis until the next scheduled progress evaluation.

There is no limit on the number of times you may follow the financial aid appeals procedure, except that there must be an alternative reason for failing SAP during the same semester.

In Measuring Your Academic Progress, Certain Courses and Situations Will Be Treated in the Following Ways


Courses that are dropped during the add/drop period will not be counted as cumulative attempted credits. Withdrawals that are recorded on a student's permanent record will be included as cumulative attempted credits and will have an adverse effect on a student's capability to meet the appropriate standard.

Incomplete Grades

Courses with incomplete grades are included as cumulative attempted credits. However, these courses cannot be used as credits accumulated toward the degree since successful completion is the criterion for positive credit accumulation. If the student fails to meet the pace of progression standard due to the lack of successful completion grades for incomplete courses, the recording of successful completion grades within a term which brings the accumulated credit level to the appropriate standard will restore eligibility for the term and subsequent terms within the academic year.

Repeated Courses

Successfully completed courses can generally be accepted toward degree requirements once (cumulative earned credits). However, each time a student attempts a course, even if that course is part of a forgiveness or amnesty policy whereby credits attempted and grades earned in prior semesters are excluded from the GPA, it must be included as part of the cumulative attempted credit record for the measuring of pace of progression. Therefore, repeated courses, regardless of the prior grade, reduce a student's capacity to meet the pace of progression standard.

Transfer Students

Transfer students from colleges inside and outside of CUNY shall have their pace of progression status initialized for the purpose of measuring satisfactory academic progress by using the number of credits determined to be acceptable toward the degree as both the student's cumulative attempted credits and cumulative earned credits. 

SAP Changes Effective July 1, 2011

The following is required by the U.S. Department of Education and are to be implemented for the 2011–12 academic year and thereafter:

  • Students found to be unsatisfactory due to failing one or more components of SAP at the annual review are ineligible for financial aid. No tolerance is permitted. First-year students must earn a 1.50 GPA within their first 12 credits and a 1.75 by their 24th. Continuing students at 25+ credits must earn a 2.00 GPA.
  • Students are reviewed annually at the end of each academic year. A student who is found to be deficient in one or more components as defined above is ineligible for any future financial aid immediately. A student who is ineligible has the right to appeal if there are extreme extenuating circumstances that contributed to the deficiency.
  • Appeals are approved for documented extreme situations only. Students who appeal will be approved only for the following federally defined reasons:

    Serious physical or mental illness of the student
    Serious physical or mental illness of the student's immediate family memberDeath of the student's immediate family member
    Other extreme circumstance

The circumstance must have occurred during the the time the student struggled academically. All appeals must have documentation of the circumstance claimed in the appeal.

There is no limit on the number of times a student may follow the financial aid appeals procedure. Although a student may file only one appeal per payment period (semester), additional appeals to extend financial aid probation to subsequent semesters are all deficiencies in one term will once again become ineligible for federal financial aid.

As in the original appeal, the student would indicate the mitigating circumstances, the reasons why SAP was not achieved, and what will ensure that the student will be able to meet SAP at the next evaluation.