Satisfactory Academic Progress

Effective July 1, 2011

Federal regulations require that all students who receive federal financial aid make Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (also referred to as SAP throughout this policy) toward achieving a degree. For financial aid purposes, progress is measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average, percentage of credit hours earned in relation to those attempted, and the length of the academic program. The Registrar furnishes this information to the Office of Financial Aid at the end of each semester. In order to assure that students make progress toward earning a degree both in terms of number of hours completed and cumulative GPA, CCMS employs the following financial aid satisfactory progress policy:

PROGRESS STANDARDS: Students must earn a satisfactory grade in at least 67% of the total credit hours attempted.

SEMESTER PROGRESS: Students must, at a minimum, receive a satisfactory grade (*) in the courses they attempt each semester. *For purposes of financial aid, satisfactory grades are A, B, C, D, S, SP or P. Unsatisfactory grades are F, W, U, or I. Audits do not count as attempted hours and are not eligible for financial aid. NOTE: Unsatisfactory grades will not be counted as earned credit hours but will count as attempted credit hours.

Financial Aid Warning: Warning status will be assigned to a student who fails to meet progress standards at the conclusion of a semester. A student assigned a Financial Aid Warning will be notified by email at their CCMS e-mail address. The student may continue to receive financial aid for one subsequent semester under this status; progress standards must be met to continue eligibility and be in good standing.

Financial Aid Probation: A student who was assigned Financial Aid Warning status who does not meet progress standards at the end of the subsequent semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. If the student chooses to appeal the suspension and the appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation status. A student on Financial Aid Probation may receive financial aid for one subsequent semester. A student on Financial Aid Probation may be placed on an Academic Plan that will require the student to meet certain terms and conditions as determined by the CCMS Financial Aid Appeals Committee. At the conclusion of the SAP Financial Aid Probation semester, the student must meet the progress standards or fulfill the requirements specified in the Academic Plan.

Financial Aid Suspension: A student may be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for one or more of these reasons:

  • A student on Financial Aid Probation fails to meet progress standards and/or who does not fulfill the requirements in his or her academic plan is placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • At the end of each semester, if the student does not earn a satisfactory grade in at least 67% of the total credit hours attempted, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • A student who does not earn any credit hours in a semester.Any student on Financial Aid Suspension is ineligible for further financial aid and can only receive financial aid again if eligibility is regained by successfully appealing or making up the deficient hours.

EVALUATION PROCESS: Students who do not make SAP are notified by e-mail at their CCMS address of their status (Financial Aid Warning, Financial Aid Probation, or Financial Aid Suspension).

  • Students who receive all I, F, W, or U grades in courses attempted in ANY semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • Repeat courses will be counted in earned credit hours. (Note: ALL courses attempted, except audited courses, count in total credit hours attempted.)
  • Transfer credit hours will be counted in both attempted and earned credit hours.

CUMULATIVE PROGRESS: To be in academic good standing, a student must be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of his/her degree requirements. Satisfactory progress is defined as passing all courses and earning a minimum 2.00 GPA each term at CCMS. Students must, in addition to the above, meet the retention standards of CCMS as outlined in the current CCMS Student Handbook.

MAXIMUM ELIGIBILITY: Maximum eligibility is reviewed each semester. If a student has attempted enough hours to graduate, and has not graduated, a warning email will be sent to the student at their CCMS address, reminding them of maximum eligibility standards. Students who have attempted 150% of the required credit hours for their degree will become ineligible for financial aid.

REPEATED COURSES: Beginning July 1, 2011 students may only receive federal financial aid funding for one repeat of a previously passed course. There is an exception for courses which require repeats (see examples below). Students taking a required repeat of a course should work with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure those credits are counted appropriately for financial aid eligibility. Please note that the student may need to provide documentation from his/her faculty advisor confirming the requirement to repeat.

Examples of repeated coursework that may, or may not, count for financial aid eligibility:

  • Allowable: Repeated coursework may be included if the student received an unsatisfactory or failing grade. There is no limit on the number of allowable repeats if the student does not receive a passing grade, as long as SAP standards are met.
  • Allowable: Repeated coursework may be included if a student needs to meet an academic standard for a particular previously passed course, such as a minimum grade. Example: Student received a D in a course which requires a minimum grade of C for the academic program.
  • Allowable: Student is enrolled in 15 credit hours which include 3 credits repeating a previously passed course. The student’s financial aid eligibility is not impacted by the repeat because the student is enrolled in a minimum of credits which are not repeats.
  • Not Allowable: Student receives a D in a course which does not have a minimum grade requirement for the program and decides to repeat the course to improve his/her GPA. The student may repeat this passed course one time, but if the student wants to repeat it a second time, the second repeat would not count for financial aid eligibility. In this example, the student is enrolled in 12 credits, including the three credit second repeat, so only nine credits will count for financial aid eligibility.

All repeated courses affect financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations. A repeated course along with the original attempt must be counted as attempted credit hours.



Students who lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal that status to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must be prepared in writing on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, and must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents. Reasons that may be acceptable for an appeal are:

  • Serious illness or accident on the part of the student;
  • Death, accident, or serious illness in the immediate family;
  • Class cancelled by CCMS; and
  • Other documented extenuating circumstances

SAP APPEAL LIMITS: The Financial Aid Office may grant or deny any SAP appeal. The maximum number of appeals any student may normally have granted during the total of all their enrollment periods at CCMS is two (2). Under extreme circumstances, a third appeal may be granted, provided that the student has documented proof of the circumstances. In the case of a student who files a third appeal, the reasons for the student’s two previous appeals will be considered when making a decision. The student’s progress within their academic program will be a determining factor on the rare occasion when a third appeal is allowed.

SAP APPEAL REVIEW AND DECISION PROCESS: All appeals must be submitted in writing in paper or electronic form to the CCMS Financial Aid Office. Provide written, detailed information and documentation as requested on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. SAP Appeals will be reviewed by the CCMS Financial Aid Office.

If an appeal is denied by the CCMS Financial Aid Office and the student wishes to further appeal, the student may appeal that denial to the second level appeal designee. Note: Appeals to the second-level appeal designee that do not contain further explanation and new documentation of the extenuating circumstances will not be approved nor eligible for a second level review and cannot be appealed further. 

Download SAP Appeal Form