How to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

Stay on Track for Your Degree or Certificate 

To remain eligible for financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you attend your classes, do the assigned work, and get decent grades, you’ll have no trouble meeting this standard. But if you fail to make SAP, you’ll lose your financial aid.

The federal government, which provides most financial aid money, requires each college or university to develop a SAP policy. The idea behind SAP is simple: If you receive financial aid, you need to work steadily toward getting a degree or certificate.

It’s kind of like having a job: You earn your financial aid by working hard to be successful in your courses. If you don’t do the work, the money ends.

SAP has three parts. You must:

  1. Achieve a specified grade point average

  2. Successfully complete a certain percentage of the courses you attempt

  3. Complete your certificate or degree program within a set number of credit hours

Let’s see how each part affects you.

Grade Point Average

Under OCC’s SAP policy, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. That’s a “C” average. This standard applies starting when you’ve attempted 12 credits.

The rule parallels OCC’s policy that requires at least a 2.0 GPA to graduate.

Course Completion Rate

On a cumulative basis, you must complete with a passing grade of A, B, C, or D at least two-thirds (67 percent) of the credit hours you attempt. This requirement kicks in when you’ve attempted 11 credit hours.

Here are two examples of how this works:

  • If you attempt a total of 12 credit hours, you must earn a passing grade in eight credit hours (67 percent of the total).
  • If you attempt a total of 18 credit hours, you must earn a passing grade in 12 credit hours (67 percent of the total).

Maximum Eligibility

Your financial aid eligibility covers the credit hours needed for your degree or certificate plus 50 percent. Then you reach your maximum eligibility limit. Financial aid ends because you’re not making SAP toward your degree or certificate.

Here are examples of how this works:

  • The Baking and Pastry Arts certificate requires 32 credit hours. You’re eligible for financial aid for 48 credit hours (32 + 16 = 48).
  • The Early Childhood Education associate degree requires 60 credit hours. You’re eligible for financial aid for 90 credit hours (60 + 30 = 90).
  • The Radiologic Technology extended associate degree requires 86 to 88 credit hours. You’re eligible for financial aid for 129 to 132 credit hours (86 + 43 = 129 or 88 + 44 = 132).

One important note: Any credit hours you transfer to OCC count toward your maximum eligibility limit.

How to Get Your Financial Aid Reinstated

If you lose your financial aid because you fail to make SAP, you have two options to get it reinstated. The most common option is to take enough credits with your own money to meet the eligibility requirements.

If you failed to make SAP because of extenuating circumstances, you can appeal your loss of aid. These situations must be beyond your reasonable control. Some examples include you suffering a major illness or accident or an immediate family member becoming seriously ill or dying.

You’ll get an email if you fail to meet SAP. It has a link to a form for appealing your loss of aid. You also should submit any supporting documentation. A committee will review your appeal, and its decision is final.

There are three deadlines for submitting appeals:

  • Fall: Sept. 30
  • Winter: Jan. 31
  • Summer: May 31