Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)


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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations (CFR 668.32(f) and 668.34) require a student to move toward the completion of a degree or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Specific requirements for academic progress for financial aid recipients are applied differently than Scholastic Standards. Federal regulations state that Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. Students are evaluated using the standards described below. Failure to meet any of these minimum standards results in the loss of Title IV, HEA assistance (Federal Financial Assistance) eligibility. This includes grants and federal student loans.

All students are expected to understand their responsibilities in regard to the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at this institution.

Failure to maintain academic progress standards as defined by the Rio Salado College SAP Policy listed below may result in withholding or canceling part or all of the student's financial aid award and limitation or loss of eligibility for financial aid.

Three Measurements of SAP

1. Pace of Progression Measurement. Students must successfully complete 2/3 (66.67%) of all attempted course work.

2. Grade Point Average (GPA).  Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average in order to meet SAP GPA requirements.

3. Maximum Timeframe. The Department of Education requires students seeking federal financial aid to be completing their educational program in an allowable timeframe. Students who attempted more than 150% of required credits or who have earned a Bachelor's degree or higher, have exhausted this maximum timeframe requirement and are placed on financial aid suspension. Under certain circumstances, students can appeal that status. 

SAP Warning Period

Students are allowed a warning period upon failing Qualitative and/or Quantitative SAP standards. The warning period allows one semester of Federal Student Aid eligibility upon failing SAP. The semester the student is not meeting SAP, the student will be placed on a warning period the next semester for which the student registers for classes. Students will be placed on suspension if they fail to meet SAP after the warning period. Note: To receive the warning period, students must be meeting Maximum Timeframe requirements.

Visit SAP Warning Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the warning period.

Note: Students who were enrolled prior to this policy going into effect (6/23/2020) and stopped out for a term may not automatically receive a warning period. Please contact the financial aid office if you have additional questions.

SAP Appeal Process

If you fail to complete at least 2/3 (66.67%) of cumulative attempted credits and/or fail to meet the cumulative GPA requirements, you are placed on financial aid suspension.

If you fail to meet SAP standards and have lost eligibility for financial aid due to due extenuating circumstances that beyond your control, you may appeal the financial aid suspension.

If you have lost your financial aid eligibility due to not meeting SAP for extenuating circumstances beyond your control, you can appeal under some circumstances. Financial aid is only reinstated on a probationary status in the event of an appeal being approved. Filing an appeal does not guarantee that you will be able to receive financial aid in the future.

About Appeals

Withdrawal from College and Return of Title IV Funds Requirements

If you leave college or fail to satisfactorily complete the days enrolled and scheduled to complete, you may owe federal funds that are determined to be unearned. It is your responsibility to understand these possible consequences.

Return of Funds Policy

Keep Your Student Loans In Good Standing

You must keep any students loans you have in good standing if you want to continue to receive financial aid. If you have a student loan in default, you are ineligible to receive federal student aid until that loan is in good standing. You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year you request financial aid.