Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require all financial aid recipients to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in a course of study leading toward a degree or certificate. Failure to meet one or more of the established standards of SAP will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Financial Aid SAP status includes all previous academic history, even if the student did not receive financial aid.

It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his or her academic progress. Although the Financial Aid Office attempts to send students correspondence informing them of their status, students who do not meet the standards of SAP will be ineligible for financial aid even if they do not receive correspondence.

This policy is separate from the HFC’s Academic Probation and Dismissal policies. This website provides information for commonly asked questions related to Financial Aid SAP. However, the complete policy can be found in the HFC Financial Aid brochure.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

There are three components that are reviewed when determining if a student is making SAP. To maintain SAP, a student must comply with all three requirements of the policy, which are:

1. Total Attempted Credit Hours (150% Rule)

A student cannot receive financial aid if he or she have attempted more than 150% of the credit hours published as being required for the completion of their associate degree program or eligible certificate program.

Example: A program of study may require 60 credit hours to graduate. A student enrolled in this program can no longer receive financial aid once they have attempted more than 90 credit hours (60 x 150% = 90).

Example: A certificate of achievement may require 30 credit hours to graduate. A student enrolled in a program of this length can no longer receive financial aid once they have attempted more than 45 credit hours (30 x 150% = 45).

2. Credit Hours to be Completed (Completion Percentage)

A student must complete at least 66.67% of the total (cumulative) credit hours they have attempted, including transfer credit hours, earning a letter grade of either an "A," "B," "C," "D," "S," or "TR." For example, a first-time student enrolled in 12 credit hours for the Fall semester and 12 credit hours for the Winter semester must complete at least 66.67% of those credit hours, which are 16 credit hours (24 x 66.67% = 16).

3. Must Maintain Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 (GPA Requirement)

A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 for all attempted credit hours at HFC.

Determining Satisfactory Academic Progress

Eligibility for financial aid (based on SAP) is determined at the end of each Winter semester or at the time of application for students who have never applied for financial aid at HFC.

For students on “Financial Aid Probation” (explained later), eligibility for financial aid is determined at the end of each probationary term.

If a grade change occurs after a student’s SAP standing has been computed, SAP will not be (automatically) recalculated. Financial aid will review whether or not a grade change has any impact on a student’s SAP status when requested by the student.

When calculating SAP, all attempted and completed hours are part of the SAP calculation. This includes the following:

Count Towards Attempted Hours Count Towards Completed Hours
Classes with an earned letter grade of A, B, C, D, S or TR Yes Yes
Classes with an unearned letter grade of E, DR, I, NA, W or U Yes No
Transfer Credits Accepted by HFC Yes Yes
Repeated Courses Yes (all attempts) All courses with a grade of A, B, C, D, S or TR will counts in completed credits
Classes paid with the student's own money or other resources Yes All courses with a grade of A, B, C, D, S or TR will counts in completed credits

Students Not Making Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who receive an unsatisfactory SAP status will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and must pay for any future classes they register for at HFC at their own expense.

Students who have been denied federal or state financial aid based on either the Completion Percentage requirement or GPA requirement may have their financial aid eligibility reinstated in the future if they are able to pay for classes on their own and bring their cumulative GPA to at least a 2.0 and completion rate of classes to at least 66.67%.

Students who regain eligibility by completing coursework at their own expense must notify the Financial Aid Office in order to have their progress re-evaluated.

Appeal Process

For students with extenuating circumstances, the Financial Aid Office has an appeal process which allows a student to explain, in writing, the circumstances that led to his or her Financial Aid Suspension status. The required appeal form(s) and typed statement, as well as supporting documentation, must be submitted by the stated deadline in order to be considered. Late appeals will be considered but may require the student to set up EZ Pay to hold their classes (see Appeal Deadline information below).

A Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Committee reviews all appeals on a case-by-case basis. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. For students not meeting the GPA or Completion Rate requirements, there is an expectation that an appeal will only be approved for a student if it is reasonably possible for the student to meet SAP standards by the end of the one-semester probationary period.

Students wishing to appeal must submit the following required documents by the stated deadline:

  • Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Form; and
  • Signed Academic Plan (for 150% Rule Violation Only).

In the event a Financial Aid Suspension Appeal is denied, the student will be responsible for payment of all charges related to the current semester of enrollment and all semesters of attendance until SAP standards are met.

For all financial aid approved appeals, “successful completion” of a class means a letter grade of either an "A," "B," "C," "D," or "S."

Students Appealing Due to Not Meeting GPA or Completion Rate Requirements

Students who appeal due to not meeting the GPA or Completion Rate Requirements (CRR) and who are approved are then placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student placed on Financial Aid Probation is only eligible to receive financial aid for one semester (Fall, Winter, or Spring/Summer). While on Financial Aid Probation, students are required to successfully complete all of the classes in which they enroll and achieve a semester-based GPA greater than 2.0.

If at the end of the semester for which the appeal was approved and the student is still not making SAP, a new appeal will only be considered if and only if the student successfully met the conditions of their probationary status. Students that remain on suspension at the end of their probationary status AND have met the conditions of their probationary status must submit a new appeal in order to be considered for future financial aid.

Students who appeal but did not complete all the classes in which they enrolled OR did not achieve a semester-based GPA greater than 2.0 will not be eligible to submit any future appeals.

Students Appealing Due To 150% Rule Violation

Students who appeal due to a 150% Rule Violation and who are then approved are placed on Financial Aid Probation and their academic progress must be monitored, in accordance with an SAP Academic Plan, every semester until the student successfully completes his or her program of study.

If a student has an appeal approved and the SAP Academic Plan is for a period of more than one semester, at the end of each semester the Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Committee will review their academic record to ensure that they passed all classes in which they were enrolled and that required classes remain.

As long as the student successfully completed all of the classes in which they enrolled, financial aid eligibility will automatically be approved for each subsequent semester within that academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer) until all approved classes on the Academic Plan have been taken.

However, if the student drops any of the classes in which they have registered OR fails to successfully complete any of the classes in which they have registered, the student will immediately lose financial aid for the current semester and all future semesters. Because of the severity of not meeting the conditions of this appeal, it is imperative that students read their Academic Plan thoroughly and understand what is expected.

If the approved SAP Academic Plan covers a period of more than one academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer), the student will be required to submit a new Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Form and a new year-specific “Financial Aid Academic Plan for Satisfactory Academic Progress ‘150% Rule’ Violators” form at the beginning of each subsequent academic year in order to continue to receive financial aid funding.

Appeal Deadline

The deadline to submit both the appeal form and Academic Plan is as follows:

Semester Deadline
Winter 2021 11/20/20 (01/15/21 if on an approved Fall 2020 appeal)
Spring/Summer 2021 4/02/21 (05/21/21 if on an approved Winter 2021 appeal)

Appeal Submitted by the Deadline

If you submitted both the appeal form and Academic Plan by the deadline, your appeal will be reviewed prior to the start of the semester. For students on an approved appeal or students enrolled in the current semester, the appeal will be reviewed after grades are posted.

Appeal Submitted after the Deadline

Appeals are considered late if either the appeal form or the Academic Plan is submitted after the deadline. Late appeals will still be considered and will be reviewed the second week of each of the following months:

Semester Deadline
Fall September, October, November (no late appeals for Fall after November 15)
Winter February, March, April (no late appeals for Winter after April 15)
Spring/Summer June, July (no late appeals for Spring/Summer after July 10)

If your appeal is late, please be aware of the following:

  • If you are currently enrolled, you may need to set up an EZ Pay Payment Plan or pay your tuition in full by the posted payment deadline in order for your classes not to be dropped.
  • There is no guarantee your appeal will be approved. If your appeal is denied, you will still be responsible for any tuition/fee charges on your account and will not be eligible for a tuition appeal based on the denial of the appeal.
  • Only classes that are required for your HFC program of study are eligible for financial aid. Credits for classes that are not required for your HFC program of study will not be included when determining financial aid eligibility.
  • Appeals will be denied if any of the following is true:
    • You were on an approved FA appeal previously and did not meet the conditions of that appeal;
    • It is not possible for you to bring your cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or cumulative completion rate to 66.67% within one semester; and
    • You have already dropped, been flagged as Never Attended or failed a class in the semester for which you are appealing.