Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

According to U.S. Department of Education regulations, all students, regardless of matriculation status or financial aid status, must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue to be enrolled as a student and/or receive federal financial aid. All students are measured for satisfactory academic progress, both academically and financially, at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) by the Financial Aid Office according to three federal standards: minimum GPA, Pace/Completion Rate and 150% Rule (see description below).

SAP Standards


Financial Aid: Minimum overall GPA of 2.0 (C or better).
Academic: GPA according to the chart below:

Total Number of Credit Hours Attempted Min Required GPA
12 or less 1.65
13–24 1.70
25–36 1.76
37–48 1.82
49–60 1.88
61+ 2.00

Pace/Completion Rate

Students must complete and pass 2/3rds or 67% of all courses that they attempt. Withdrawn (W) or Failed (F) courses are attempted but not earned.

Example: If you register for 4 courses, at 3 credits each, you are registered for a total of 12 credits. If you pass 2 courses, withdraw from one, and fail one, you will have a 50% completion rate and therefore would not be meeting the Pace requirement.

150% Timeframe

Students must complete their academic program(s) within 150% of the normal time or credits required for their degree.

Example: You are in a program that requires 60 credits to complete. You earn 60 credits, so you are at 100% of the credits allowed for that program. But you repeated some classes and changed your major, so you still have to take some classes. Under SAP standards you are allowed an additional 50% of credits—in this case 30 for a total of 90 credits to complete a 60 credit program. If you attempt 90 or more credits, you will not meet the Timeframe requirement of the policy.

When not meeting any of these three standards, students are placed on Financial Aid Warning and/or Academic Probation. Once on Financial Aid Warning or Academic Probation, students have one semester to get back into Good Standing or risk moving into Suspension.  Warning is not the same as Suspension!

Satisfactory Academic Warning/Probation

Students who have a SAP status of Warning/Probation:

  • have one semester to get into compliance with the three standards set in the college’s  SAP Policy
  • are still allowed to attend MWCC and access financial aid
  • risk moving into Suspension status if they are not back into compliance with the SAP Policy after the Warning/Probation semester

Satisfactory Academic Suspension

Students not meeting the financial or academic SAP standards for more than one semester are placed on Suspension and must complete the four-step appeal process to try to reinstate to the college, or financial aid eligibility.

SAP Appeal Process:

  1. Attend a SAP Appeal Workshop & complete an Appeal
  2. Meet with Student Services
  3. Wait for the Academic and/or Financial Aid Review Boards decision
  4. Complete Reinstatement Plan if approved

Download this easy SAP flowchart for more information.  Feel free to contact Holly Kreidler-Phaneuf, Financial Literacy Counselor at or 978-630-9197/978-630-9109, or stop by the Advising Center with any questions.