Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Maricopa Community Colleges District (which includes Mesa Community College), has revised its Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.

This revised policy will go into effect beginning of summer 2011. 

  1. 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 will be evaluated using the standards described below.  Failure to meet any of these minimum standards will result in loss of title IV, HEA program (federal financial aid) eligibility.

This policy affects any student that has, or will apply for financial aid.  Programs less than one year in length will be evaluated at the midpoint of the program.  Non-standard sessions will be evaluated at the completion of the session.

Federal regulations state that Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received.

Evaluation Period

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated at the end of each semester: fall, spring and summer.   Programs less than one year in length will be evaluated at the midpoint of the program.  Non-standard sessions will be evaluated at the completion of the session

Standards of Academic Progress

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are evaluated on each of the three measurements outlined below. Failure to meet any of these standards will result in suspension of eligibility for financial aid.

Note:  Grades of F,I,N,W,X,Y,Z, and courses not yet graded are considered attempted but not meeting progress standards for the purposes of financial aid.

Grade Point (GPA)Measurement

Students must meet the following credit hour/cumulative grade point average (CGPA)

Number of Credits Attempted* Minimum Cumulative GPA
<16 1.60
16 - 30.75 1.75
31 -45.75 1.90
46+ 2.00

*for which grade points are computed

Progress Measurement

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

Maximum Time Frame Measurement

Students who have attempted more than 150% of the published credits required for their program of study, are considered not meeting SAP. 

Maximum Timeframe Eligibility

  • Students approved for a Maximum Time Frame are required to successfully complete 100% of the approved coursework for the degree.  
  • Students are limited to one time frame appeal during the duration of the approved Maximum Time Frame.  A second Maximum Time Frame will not be accepted if the first Maximum Time Frame has not been successfully completed. If the program is no longer offered by the institution a petition to reconsider may be submitted.  Federal Regulations require a student to move toward the completion of one degree at a time within an eligible program when receiving financial aid.  
  • A degree audit will be required for all time frame appeals.

Coursework Treatment in SAP Calculation

Course work taken during the semester also included in the evaluation:

  • Courses funded through a consortium agreement
  • All attempted remedial credits
  • Repeated course work

Course work included in the Maximum Time Frame evaluation:

  • All of those included in the semester evaluation
  • All evaluated transfer credits
  • Any Associates degree or higher earned will be considered to have exhausted maximum timeframe eligibility.

Course work not included in SAP evaluation:

  • Audited courses
  • Non-credit courses
  • Credit by examination
  • Credit for prior learning option (as outlined in the college general catalog)
  • Academic Renewal Process

Ineligibility Determination Appeal

Any student who has lost financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances may appeal.  Appeal must:

  • Be in writing and submitted to the Financial Aid Office where the student is applying for aid.
  • Include the extenuating circumstances that caused the student not to meet SAP standards.
  • Include appropriate supporting documentation.
  • Include how that condition or situation has been resolved thus allowing the student the ability to meet SAP standards

Students will be notified of the results of their appeal and any restrictions or conditions pertaining to their appeal.  The outcome of an appeal may include a probationary term or denial.

Failure to successfully complete all conditions during the probationary period (as defined in the academic plan) will result in loss of financial aid eligibility.   

Regaining Eligibility

A student who has lost financial aid eligibility may only regain eligibility by meeting the minimum SAP standards.  Course work taken at other colleges will not be considered for reinstatement purposes. 

For the full Maricopa Community Colleges Standards of SAP for Financial Aid Eligibility in PDF format click here

For students who had to appeal:

Your appeal decision will be sent to your Maricopa Google email account. Please read the email to ensure that you understand the decision and any stipulations set for you by the Academic Appeals Committee.

If  you are placed on probation, or were given stipulations set by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, you must meet the requirements set for you by the Committee. This criteria may vary from student to student so it is important that you check with us if you are unsure of your requirements to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you do not meet the criteria set for you, you may need to re-appeal or you may be ineligible for aid. To view your appeal decision go to your Student Center To Do Checklist at: My.maricopa.edu.

Academic Probation For Not Meeting Scholastic Standards

Financial aid probation or denial for failing to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, and academic probation for not meeting Scholastic Standards are different issues. Students who need to appeal for academic probation for scholastic standards must do so through the Admissions and Standards Committee.