Step #7 Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

We’re required by federal regulations to ensure that all enrolled students are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completing their degree. Afterall, you’re not at Washington State just to be a college student…you’re here to become a college graduate.

SAP Requirements

All students are monitored for SAP regardless of their eligibility or intent to receive financial aid. Students who don’t meet our SAP requirements may lose their eligibility to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

The Washington State Community College SAP Policy applies to the following financial aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Work Study Program
  • Federal Direct Student Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan Program

Our review is independent from any review of your academic record conducted by various academic departments. We look at your academic records at the end of every term to determine if SAP requirements are being met. You may continue to receive financial aid by meeting all of the following criteria, which have been established as the minimum standards for making SAP at Washington State:

For more information, please refer to the Consumer Information Guide.

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

In order to be considered to have maintained Satisfactory Academic Progress, you must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. The cumulative GPA is based on the total completed credit hours at Washington State Community College at the time of evaluation. If you fail to maintain a 2.0 GPA, you may be placed on Academic Probation. For more information, please refer to the WSCC Student Handbook.

Completion Rate

You must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67% or higher. Your completion rate will be monitored by dividing the total number of credit hours successfully completed by the total number of credit hours attempted. Please remember, this review is based on your entire enrollment history at Washington State Community College as well as transfer credits from other institutions. If your completion rate is below 67%, your progress is unsatisfactory. Completion rates are not rounded to determine eligibility. For example, if you complete 8 out of 12 credits your completion rate will be 66.67% which is below 67% so you will not be making satisfactory academic progress.

Hours Attempted

Hours attempted are defined as the total number of hours you’ve been enrolled in and include all hours you’re registered for on the 7th calendar day of fall and spring semesters and the 5th calendar day of summer semester plus any additional hours you’re registered for after these deadlines. Includes hours for which there are grades of A, B, C, D, F, S, I, K, L, T, N, W, U or "forgiven" hours.

Successful Completion

Successful completion of course work is defined as a letter grade/notation of A, B, C, D, K, L, T, N, S and are considered satisfactory completion of a course for financial aid purposes.

Unsuccessful Completion

Unsuccessful completion of course work is defined as a letter grade /notation of F, I, P, W, U, NG and are NOT considered satisfactory completion of a course for financial aid purposes.

Courses that receive a EW for an excused withdrawal will not be included in the numerator or denominator for completion rate calculations.

Note: Withdrawals, incompletes, and repeated courses count towards credit hours attempted for SAP purposes. It is the student's responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when an Incomplete Course (I, NG, or P) has been completed successfully for re-evaluation purposes.

Maximum Time Frame (MTF)

You must complete your academic program within 150% of the published length, expressed as credit hours, needed to graduate (e.g., 60 hours required x 150% = 90 maximum allowable hours attempted for financial aid eligibility). All classes attempted at Washington State Community College and transferred in from another institution are included in the Maximum Time Frame (MTF) calculation, as well as proficiency credits and credits "forgiven" by the WSCC Fresh Start Program.

Please remember that it’s very important to follow your program’s audit sheet. Taking additional classes not on the official program audit sheet will cause you to reach MTF faster. If the routine SAP review demonstrates that you cannot mathematically finish your program within your maximum time frame, you will become ineligible for federal financial aid at the time of that review.

Additional Institutional SAP Policies

Program Changes

If a student changes their major during their enrollment at WSCC, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the MTF according to the hours of the current major. All previous course work taken and transferred in to WSCC will be used in this calculation. Changing programs may cause the student to go directly into cancellation status. Per Federal Regulation, a student cannot change their major to avoid the Maximum Time Frame standard once the MTF has been reached. All credits attempted at WSCC and those transferred in from another institution must be included in the total number of credits attempted at WSCC when determining the denominator portion of the credit hour completion ratio. The cumulative GPA will include all courses taken at WSCC, without exception.

Remedial/Developmental Courses

WSCC does not offer a remedial/developmental program. Therefore, a student may receive aid for remedial coursework if enrolled in an eligible program as a degree-seeking student. Remedial courses will be included in all SAP measurements.

Second Degrees at WSCC

WSCC Office of Financial Aid policy states that a student may pursue no more than two degrees and receive federal student aid. All credits attempted at WSCC and those transferred in from another institution must be included in the total number of credits attempted at WSCC when determining the denominator portion of the credit hour completion ratio and the MTF calculation. The cumulative GPA will include ALL courses taken at WSCC, without exception. Seeking a second degree may cause the student to go directly into cancellation status.

Students who have completed two associate degrees while participating in the College Credit Plus (CCP) program at Washington State Community College, must seek approval for a third associate degree or certificate by completing the CCP Third Degree Form. The form will be reviewed and a decision will be rendered in writing. If approved, the student will be given an academic plan which the student will be required to follow. If the student deviates from the plan, financial aid will be terminated.

Dual Degrees/Dual Majors

A student may choose to seek two simultaneous degrees or majors from WSCC. Seeking two degrees/majors may cause the student to reach MTF hours and go into cancellation status more quickly.

  • Dual Degree: a student seeking a degree from two different programs at the same time (i.e. Associate Degree Nursing and Criminal Justice Technology).
  • Dual Major: a student seeking two degrees within the same program (i.e. instrumentation and control and robotics & mechatronics are both majors under the Engineering Technology).

If you continue to meet all SAP requirements, you won’t be contacted. However, if you don’t meet all SAP requirements, you’ll be notified of your SAP status via your WSCC email and mail. It’s your responsibility to keep all mailing addresses updated through Student Planning or the Records Office.

Financial Aid Warning

The first time you don’t meet the cumulative GPA or completion rate SAP requirement, you’ll be placed on Financial Aid Warning status for the following term. You’re still eligible to receive financial aid during this time as you work to bring up your GPA and/or completion rate to meet SAP requirements. During the Warning term, you will be required to meet with your academic advisor and complete and submit an education plan to the Financial Aid Office by the end of the semester.

At the end of the warning period, you’ll be reviewed for compliance of SAP eligibility criteria once more. If you fail to meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and/or fail to meet the stipulations at the end of the warning term, you will lose eligibility for aid and be placed on Cancellation Status. If found to be in compliance, you’ll continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for the following term.

IMPORTANT: Students who do not meet the maximum time frame (MTF) requirement aren’t given a warning period. Failure to meet MTF will result in an immediate cancellation of financial aid.

Financial Aid Cancellation

If you’ve previously been given a Financial Aid Warning status and still don’t meet the SAP criteria at the end of the term, your financial aid eligibility will be placed on Financial Aid Cancellation status. You may continue to attend Washington State as self-pay until you once again meet the SAP criteria or submit an SAP Appeal that’s approved.

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Once you’ve been placed on Financial Aid Cancellation status, you can re-establish eligibility in one of two ways:


You can choose to attend Washington State Community College in a self-pay status until all minimum SAP requirements are met. Once completion rate and/or cumulative GPA have met SAP standards, you must notify the Financial Aid Office in order for the cancellation to be reviewed. Please note, credit hours transferred from another college cannot be used to make up a cumulative GPA deficiency.

Written Appeal

If you’re placed on Financial Aid Cancellation status, you may file a written appeal using the SAP appeal process to request that your aid is reinstated. You must clearly explain why your SAP requirements weren’t met and provide proper documentation to support these extenuating circumstances (including doctor’s notes, employer statement, court documents, and so on).

As part of the appeal, you’re required to meet with your academic advisor to develop an academic plan that successfully meets the requirements of both your academic program and SAP policy.

SAP Appeal Process

Step 1

Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office along with documentation of the reasons for failing to comply with the SAP standards. The completed paperwork must be received by the deadline listed on the appeal form for the term in which the student wants the aid reinstated. Forms received after the deadline will not be processed until the following term.

Step 2

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review your appeal and render a decision.

Step 3

The written decision of the Committee will be sent by the Financial Aid Office to the student within ten business days of the committee meeting. The decision of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee is FINAL.

The deadline to file an appeal is the third (3rd) Friday of the semester in which the student wants to have aid reinstated. The committee will meet and review all completed appeal packets on Fridays.

If the appeal is approved, you will be placed on Probationary Status until meeting all minimum SAP standards. During Probation Status, you must successfully complete all coursework attempted. Any grades of an F, W, or D will result in cancellation of aid. Your academic plan will be monitored each term to determine continued eligibility until you meet the required SAP standards. Failure to follow the academic plan will result in cancellation status until you meet all SAP requirements. If the appeal is denied, you’re responsible for any balance owed to the College.

Note: A student cannot have more than two approved Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals during their entire academic career at Washington State Community College. As of December 7, 2020, WSCC will no longer limit the number of SAP appeals a student may submit or have approved. The SAP committee will read all appeals and use professional judgement on approving or denying appeals.

Want more info?

Click here to view the complete Washington State SAP Policy.