Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid


Federal regulations mandate that a student receiving financial aid under Title IV programs must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study regardless of whether or not financial aid is awarded each semester. Students are responsible for understanding and adhering to the satisfactory academic progress policy.  Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be measured at the end of each term for all students. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured with the following standards:

  • Qualitative (cumulative Grade Point Average)
  • Quantitative (67% Rule – Hours earned divided by Hours Attempted)
  • Maximum Time Frame (150% of required hours for credential completion)

The Federal Regulations specify minimum standards for these measures. KCTCS may set stricter standards in its policy.


KCTCS qualitative standard is determined by the student’s earned Grade Point Average (GPA).  KCTCS uses a 4-point scale for GPA.  Students earning a cumulative grade point average below a 2.0 at the end of a term shall be placed on financial aid “Warning”. 


The satisfactory academic progress policy must also include a quantitative measure to determine the number of credit hours attempted and percentage of credit hours completed (passed).  The minimum percentage of work a student must successfully complete by the end of each term is 67% of all attempted hours.  If a student fails any combination of two (2) consecutive terms of cumulative qualitative and/or cumulative quantitative standards, their financial aid will be suspended.


Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma/certificate credentials within a Maximum Time Frame (MTF) of 150 percent of the required number of credit hours to graduate.

Maximum Time Frame Rule (Required Classes for Credential)
Credential Hours Maximum Time Frame Percentage Attempted Hours Permitted
Associates - 60 Hours  150%  90
Diploma - 48 hours  150%  72
Certificate - 30 hours  150%  45

NOTE: Transferred hours, Repeated classes, Bankrupted hours, Incompletes, Withdrawals, Failed in graded courses, Failed in Pass/Fail courses and Audit (changed from credit to audit after the last day to add a class) count toward maximum time frame and quantitative standards.

For a standard 16-week term, Student Aid enrollment status for payment purposes will be established at the close of the 7th calendar day beginning with the first day the term, including weekends but not holidays, or upon file completion whichever is later.

Courses added after this date will not be considered for enrollment for student aid purposes but will be counted as attempted for quantitative and MTF standards.


The following items describe the treatment of academic programs coursework, and grades in the measurement of the SAP standards.

1. All attempted coursework is included in the measurement whether or not the student received student aid.
2. Course credits are treated as attempted credits if a student is enrolled in the credits on the census date of the course’s term.
3. All coursework and accepted transfer credit will be treated as attempted credit, including developmental credits.
4. Grades of A, B, C, D, P and S will be treated as attempted and earned credits that are successfully completed.
5. Grades of "E", "F", "W", "WF", "WP", "MP", or "I" are considered credits attempted but not earned.
6. Credits from coursework that earns an A, B, C, D or F will be included in the calculation of cumulative grade point average (GPA)
7. Repeated courses and courses for which the student has been granted academic renewal are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned credits.
8. Audit courses, and a grade of AU, are not considered credits attempted or earned.
9. Transfer credits are not counted in the calculation of the cumulative GPA Standard, but are included in the calculation of the Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame. They are counted as both attempted and earned credits.


If a student changed program(s) or certificates(s), the credits from the previous program(s)/certificate(s) will be counted in the attempted and earned credits.


KCTCS colleges will use the highest grade when calculating a student’s GPA, but must include the credits from all attempts when calculating maximum time frame (MTF).

1.8.1 Additional Information

Student Aid will not be provided for:

  • Courses taken by audit
  • Credit hours earned by placement tests
  • Non-credit course work

All transfer hours will count in the attempted and earned hours.

Grades in legacy software systems (before PeopleSoft) will be used as recorded and reflected on the student’s academic transcript

  1. If the student receives a change in a grade for a class he/she must report this to their local Student Financial Aid office in writing for the change to be evaluated in the student’s financial aid eligibility record.
  2. Developmental remedial course work may receive funding up to a maximum of 30 credit hours according to federal regulations.

Dual Enrollment Agreements (also known as Consortium Agreements) allow a student to receive funds for classes taken at more than one college outside KCTCS colleges. These forms are to be completed by the student and the student’s "visiting" college and submitted to their local KCTCS “home” College (where financial aid funds are received; usually the college from which the student plans to graduate). Classes taken at a visiting college (whether at KCTCS colleges or outside KCTCS colleges) must count toward the student’s graduation from their awarding college.

If a student is admitted "conditionally" she/he may receive student aid for one semester only. No additional aid may be awarded until the student completes an admission file.


Students who are admitted into an eligible program can take remedial coursework within that program. Because a student in this situation is considered a regular student, the same SAP policies apply.


SAP is evaluated at the end of every term of enrollment.  All measurements are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment whether or not financial aid was received.  Failure to meet any single standard may affect eligibility for financial aid.

Email notifications are sent to all financial aid recipients after each evaluation period indicating the current SAP status by the KCTCS Systems office.  SAP status is also available to view in Student Self-Service.  SAP Statuses are explained below.

  • Meet  All standards of success were met and student remains eligible for all financial aid programs.
  • Warning  Failure to maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and/or 67% completion rate results in Warning.  Student will remain eligible for financial aid for one additional term.  There is no Warning period for MTF.
  • Suspend  Failure to meet required SAP standards after the Warning term (except for MTF) results in the loss of all financial aid eligibility (grants, loans and work study). 
  • Plan of Action  A student who was suspended but submits a successful appeal may be placed on a Plan of Action if more than one term may be necessary to achieve SAP.  A student placed on a Plan of Action must fulfill the requirements of the plan every term in order to remain eligible for financial aid or achieve Meets status.


Students who are suspended but have mitigating or extenuating circumstances may be eligible to file a SAP Appeal Request.  SAP Appeal Requests are reviewed by a college Appeals Review Committee.  Submission of an appeal does not automatically mean financial aid eligibility is restored.  Students must be able to pay for tuition and books in order to remain enrolled while a SAP Appeal Request is under review.  SAP appeals require at least 30 days for review.


Mitigating or Extenuating circumstances are defined as situations beyond the student's control and created an undue hardship that caused the student's inability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Documentation must be provided.

Mitigating or Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • Death of an immediate family member or person who share the student' s household (parent, spouse or significant other, sibling, child )
  • Divorce
  • Injury or illness to student or immediate family member (parent, spouse or significant other, sibling, child) that required hospitalization, convalescence in an institutional setting or confinement at home for at least seven (7) days   

 Examples of unacceptable extenuating or mitigating circumstances include but not limited to:

  • The difficulty of a course
  • The teaching method or dislike of an instructor
  • Too many hours attempted in a semester
  • Promises to perform better in the future
  • Immaturity or "didn't know better"
  • The length of time since last attended
  • Changing majors
  • Dropping a course to avoid a bad grade
  • Voluntary change in work hours 

If the SAP appeal is approved, the student will be assigned a Financial Aid SAP Probation status and may be given an academic plan of action/contract that stipulates certain conditions and academic requirements.  Upon acceptance of the academic plan of action/contract, the student may receive financial aid for one additional term.  The SAP Appeal Approval process is not complete and awards will not be made until the Financial Aid Office receives the accepted academic plan of action document from the student. At the end of that term, the student’s status will be re-evaluated.  Federal student aid for the next term will not be awarded or disbursed until the student has successfully completed all terms specified within the academic plan of action contract or is found to have met SAP requirements.

If the SAP appeal is denied, the student is not eligible for federal student aid and will remain ineligible until they are again in compliance with SAP standards.  These students may continue to attend college at their own expense. 

NOTE:  Students are responsible for all expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies pending the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee and must contact the Business Affairs Office to make payment arrangements with the institution. SAP appeals require at least 30 days for review.

Decisions made by the SAP Appeals Committee are final and are not subject to further appeal.

SAP Appeals must be submitted via the Online SAP Appeal Process within the following deadline date for review:

  • Fall Semester: by October 15
  • Spring Semester: by March 15
  • Summer Semester: by July 15

Appeals submitted after the deadline dates above will be review for future semester enrollment.

Submission of an appeal DOES NOT guarantee approval or automatic re-instatement of aid.


KCTCS Academic Standing

  • SAP for financial aid is separate from overall academic standing.
  • Grades
    • Grades of "A", "B", "C", "D", "P" and "S" will be considered in determining credit hours earned.
    • Grades of "E", "F", "W", "WF", "WP", "MP", or "I" will not be considered as credit hours earned but, will be considered as hours attempted for the semester.