Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal Financial Aid

In order to receive financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you will lose your eligibility.

Your progress will be reviewed annually at the end of each academic year following the spring semester. After review, Brooklyn College will notify you if you fail to meet SAP. If you fail to meet SAP, you will be placed on financial aid suspension and will be ineligible for all types of federal financial aid until you reestablish SAP or successfully appeal.

SAP Standards

You will be measured against each of the three SAP standards at the end of the spring term to determine eligibility for receipt of federal student financial assistance for the upcoming year.

Qualitative Standards: Cumulative Grade Point Average

  • 2.00 GPA for undergraduate programs unless otherwise specified in the SAP policy
  • 3.00 GPA for graduate programs

Quantitative Standards: Pace of Progression

Pace of progression is calculated by dividing the cumulative hours that you have successfully completed by the cumulative credits you have attempted.

Undergraduate Standards

For baccalaureate programs, your accumulated (or earned) credits must be equal to or greater than a predefined percentage range of the total credits attempted according to the following table.

Credits You Attempt 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 180+
Credits You Must Earn 0 5 16 27 39 50 61 72 84 95 106 120 Fail

For example, once you have attempted 45 credits you must have earned at least 16 of those attempted credits in order to meet the Pace of Progression SAP Standard.

Graduate Standards

At least 67% of your credits attempted must have passing grades.

Maximum Time Frame

Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, you may not attempt more than 150% of the credits normally required for completion of your degree. For example, if your degree requires 120 earned credits for you to graduate, you may not attempt more than 180 credits.

Your Right to Appeal

If you fail to meet any of the standards above, you can submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form (Dynamic Form) to request a reinstatement of financial aid.

SAP Resources

Writing a Successful Appeal

When Constructing Your SAP Appeal, Make Sure to Include:

  1. Explain what happened: Why were you unable to maintain satisfactory progress?
  2. Explain what has changed: What have you done or will you do to achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress?

Tips for Writing Your Appeal Explanation Statement

Admit the Problem

Take a hard look at your situation to determine what has kept you from making satisfactory academic progress. Perhaps you need help with time management or study skills. Admit the problem and explain how you will get that help.

Note: Lack of awareness of withdrawal policies, requirements for satisfactory academic progress, or unpreparedness for college course work will not be thought highly as a reason for the purpose of an appeal.

Attach any relevant supporting documentation. This may include a doctor’s statement, copy of hospital/urgent care/physician’s bill, obituary, funeral notice, or death certificate.

Have a Valid Reason

Valid reasons for an appeal include:

  • medical emergencies
  • severe health issues
  • severe personal or family problems
  • financial or personal catastrophe
  • return for a second degree or certificate

Example of a valid SAP statement (PDF) that a student would submit along with their supporting documents.

SAP Policy

All students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are evaluated for SAP. Brooklyn 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 Perkins Loan
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Federal Work-Study
  • All other TITLE IV aid programs
  • TAP (Note: While 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 York 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 member
    • Death of the student’s immediate family member
    • Other extreme circumstances

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

Brooklyn. All in.