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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is calculated for all enrolled students (i.e., remained in a class beyond the 20 percent point) during the semester, including Title IV recipients, non-Title IV recipients, and students who did not receive aid. Calculations are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment and all units from transfer institutions posted to the student’s BCC transcript, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received. SAP is only calculated at the end of the full-term semester. If a student takes short-term classes that end before the end of the full term, SAP will not be calculated. All students, regardless of enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time) or program of study (e.g., associate degree or certificate), are treated the same.



Students are sent email notices at the end of each semester after SAP is calculated. The students are directed to the BCC Viking Portal to view their newly calculated SAP status. Students may also request and receive this information in person at the Financial Aid Office.


Components of SAP

  1. Qualitative: Cumulative Grade Point Average is calculated from all grades achieved by a student, not just from one term.
  2. Pace: Students must complete 67 percent of cumulative units attempted
  3. Maximum Timeframe:
    1. Once a student has completed an Associate Degree, aid eligibility will be suspended.
    2. Students must complete their declared program of study within 150 percent of the program's published length. Failure to complete a declared program by the number of allowable units will result in aid suspension. BCC programs of study and maximum attempted units:
      1. Associate Degree                    90 attempted units
      2. High Unit Certificate               27 attempted units
      3. Mid Unit Certificate                18 attempted units
      4. Low Unit Certificate                9 attempted units
    3. All English as a Second Language classes and basic skills credit course work are deducted from the units attempted when determining satisfactory academic progress for the maximum time frame.
  4. Student records will be evaluated to determine if they can complete a degree or certificate within the maximum timeframe allowed. When it is determined the student will not complete the program within the 150 percent credit limit, the student will be suspended from receiving financial aid. The 150 percent maximum credit rule applies to students who change their majors or pursue dual majors and second degrees.


Grades, Course Withdrawals, Incompletes, and Repetitions

Passing grades include: A, B, C, D, and P (Pass).


The following grades are considered attempted but not completed or passing credits: F, NP (No Pass), W (Withdrawal), I (Incomplete), IP (In Progress course that has not yet ended), and RD (Report Delayed – course has ended but grade not yet reported). If a student completes zero credits in a term for which financial aid was received, the student may owe a financial aid repayment.


Withdrawals before 20 percent of the semester will not count as attempted or completed units when calculating SAP. Withdrawals after 20 percent of the semester will count as attempted but not completed and will adversely affect the pace component of SAP.


Incompletes are granted in rare extenuating circumstances by instructors. Instructors must indicate the grade the student will earn if missing work is not submitted by the deadline. Incomplete grades are tracked as follows:

  • IB – equal to a B grade
  • IC – equal to a C grade
  • ID – equal to a D grade
  • IF – equal to an F grade
  • INP – equal to a “No Pass” for pass/no pass classes


Incompletes of IF or INP will be treated as failing the class and will count as attempted but not earned. All other classes will act as attempted and earned. An incomplete will not calculate into the GPA, so it will only impact pace.

A student may receive financial aid for a repeated class under these conditions:

  • Until the student receives a passing grade for a non-completed or non-passed class (F,NP).
  • Once for a previously passed class.


Credits taken at another institution that are officially accepted toward the student’s degree or certificate will be used to calculate SAP standing.


Non-traditional credits (such as AP, CLEP, Credit by Exam, and Military Equivalencies) that are accepted for credit will not be used in the calculation of SAP standing but will be counted in the calculation of the 150 percent maximum timeframe credit limit for financial aid.


Financial Aid Good Standing

Student has a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, student is completing 67 percent of all attempted credits each term, and student can graduate within 150 percent maximum timeframe limit.




Financial Aid Warning

The student’s cumulative GPA dropped below 2.0, and the student did not complete 67 percent of all attempted credits in a term, and the student can graduate within the 150 percent maximum timeframe limit. A student can receive financial aid while on financial aid warning status but must meet SAP standards during that term of enrollment to remain eligible for subsequent financial aid. Students are notified by email when they are placed in a Warning status, and no appeal is necessary to receive aid for this status.


Financial Aid Suspension

The student did not meet SAP standards while in Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation status, or it is determined that the student will not be able to graduate within the 150 percent maximum timeframe limit, or a student in Financial Aid Academic Plan status fails to follow the plan. The student is not eligible for financial aid while on Financial Aid Suspension.


Re-establishing Aid Eligibility

There are two ways a student can re-establish aid eligibility, dependent on which standards are not being met.

  1. Meeting on Your Own: A student may reestablish aid eligibility by improving their grades and successfully passing courses attempted. Once students meet all standards, their SAP status will revert to Good Standing.
    • This option is best for a student failing GPA (2.0 cumulative GPA) and/or pace progression (completion of 67 percent of units attempted).


  1. Submit an Appeal: A student can submit an appeal to re-establish aid eligibility. Typically, students who cannot meet independently can appeal their SAP status, and if approved, will re-establish their aid eligibility.
    • This option is best for students with mitigating circumstances that led to failure and/or
    • Failing SAP due to maximum time frame – These students MUST appeal to re-establish aid eligibility.

Appeal Procedures


Students who lose their financial aid eligibility may appeal based on mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are defined as unanticipated and unavoidable events or situations beyond a student’s control that prevented them from successfully completing courses in a prior term. Examples of mitigating circumstances include, but are not limited to, death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances.


Students must meet with a counselor prior to submitting an appeal. The Suspension of Financial Aid Eligibility Appeal form can be downloaded from the Financial Aid Office’s website. The student is responsible for providing sufficient information in the written statement to substantiate the existence of mitigating circumstances. Additionally, the student statement must address what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.


The Financial Aid Office will review the appeal. The appeal process is final.


  • Financial Aid Probation

This status is only granted upon the approval of a Financial Aid SAP Appeal. Students may receive financial aid for one term and must meet SAP standards by the end of that term to remain eligible for subsequent financial aid.


  • Financial Aid Probation with Academic Plan

Student fails to meet SAP standards for the term in which the student is on Financial Aid Probation. This status is only granted upon the approval of a Financial Aid SAP Appeal with the condition the student follows an academic plan. The student is eligible to receive financial aid as long as the student continues to follow the academic plan provided by the counselor.


Monitoring of Appeal and Notification

Students on Probation are monitored by the Financial Aid Office at the end of every semester to ensure that they have met the requirements laid out in the approved appeal. If the student has met the requirements, probation can be continued until the student has reestablished aid eligibility or completed the program of study. Notifications are sent at the end of each semester to update the student’s status as completion of a program of study, continuation on probation, reestablishment of eligibility, or suspension. 


Denial of Appeal

The Financial Aid Office will review the appeal. The appeal process is final and can only be appealed if the student meets the following criteria:


In the semester denied, the student must demonstrate academic success by:

  • Completion of 6 degree applicable, letter graded units with a 2.0 semester GPA.