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 satisfactory academic progress. To maintain SAP, a student must comply with all three requirements of the policy. The three components of satisfactory academic progress 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 term and 12 credit hours for the Winter term must complete at least 66.67% of those credit hours, which are 16 credit hours (24 x 66.67% = 16).

3. Must Maintain 2.00 Cumulative Grade Point Average (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 term 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 at least 66.67%.

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

Appeal Process

For students with extenuating circumstances, HFC Financial Aid has an appeal process which allows a student to explain, in writing, the circumstances that led to their 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 and incomplete appeals will not be considered.

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:

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 satisfactory academic progress 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 are approved are 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 the student successfully met the conditions of their probationary status. Students that remain on suspension at the end of their probationary status AND met the conditions of their probationary status must submit a new appeal in order to be considered for future financial aid.

Students on appeal who 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 are approved are placed on Financial Aid Probation and their academic progress must be monitored, in accordance with a SAP Academic Plan, every semester until the student successfully completes their 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 his or her academic record to ensure that he or she only enrolled in classes specified on his or her SAP Academic Plan. This will ensure that the student successfully completed all of the classes in which they enrolled. As long as the student is registered only in the classes specified in the SAP Academic Plan and he or she 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 registers for a class not specified in the SAP Academic Plan OR 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.