Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid

Federal regulations (CFR 668.32(f) and 668.34) require a student to move towards 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.

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. 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.

Evaluation Period

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated for each semester a student attends after the semester ends, fall, spring, and summer. Non-standard sessions will be evaluated at the completion of the session. Students who have not attended MCC recently will have their SAP status determined from previous semesters attended and any credits transferred in from other schools.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Measurements

There are three measures of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The three measurements are outlined below. Failure to meet any of the Standards of SAP will result in the suspension of eligibility for financial aid.

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

Grade Point (GPA)Measurement

Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA to meet the SAP GPA requirement. Only credits taken at MCC will be used to determine your GPA.

Pace Measurement

To meet SAP, students must successfully complete 2/3 (66.67%) of all credits they've attempted.

Maximum Time Frame

Students who have attempted 150% (or more) of the published credits needed to complete their degree or program plan will have reached their Maximum Time Frame (MTF). Students who have reached their MTF are considered to not be meeting SAP.

Coursework Treatment in SAP Calculation

Coursework taken during the semester that is also included in the evaluation:

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

Coursework included in the Maximum Time Frame evaluation:

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

Coursework 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

Financial Aid SAP Warning

Students are allowed a warning period upon failing to meet the Qualitative (PACE) and/or Quantitative (GPA) measures of SAP Standards. The warning period allows students one semester of Federal Student Aid eligibility after the semester they fail to meet SAP. The warning period will follow the semester that SAP was not met, meaning the next semester the student attends. If students fail to meet SAP after the warning period, they will be placed on suspension.

Note: The warning period is not applicable to students who have reached their Maximum Time Frame.

Appeal Process for Not Meeting Standards of SAP

If it has been determined that you have not met SAP, you will not be eligible for financial aid which includes grants, all student loans including PLUS and private loans, and federal work-study. However, you can appeal to try to reinstate your eligibility.

To appeal for not meeting the GPA or Pace measure of SAP:

  • Go to the SAP Counseling Portal to learn what SAP is, how it impacts your financial aid, what the SAP Appeal process is, and how to complete a SAP Appeal.
  • Complete the session to gain access to the SAP Appeal Form.
  • Complete the online SAP Appeal Form and submit it.

For information about the Maximum Time Frame appeal process go to the Maximum Time Frame webpage

All Appeals must be submitted by the semester SAP Appeal deadline date on the Financial Aid Important Dates.

Notification of SAP Appeal Decision

Your appeal decision will be sent to your Maricopa student email. Please read the message to ensure that you understand the decision and any stipulations set for you by the SAP Appeal Committee. If you are placed on probation, you must meet the conditions set for you to remain eligible for financial aid. Please check with us if you do not understand your message or if you're unsure of the requirements you must meet to remain eligible for financial aid.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

A student who does not meet SAP will be placed on financial aid suspension and can only regain aid eligibility by:

  • Follow the appropriate Appeal Process and having their appeal approved by the SAP Appeals Committee
  • Paying for their tuition and fees until they meet the Standards of SAP

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

Academic Probation For Not Meeting Scholastic Standards

Financial aid probation or denial for failure 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.