Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)


In order for students to receive federal and state financial aid, they must be making “satisfactory academic progress” (SAP) toward a degree. SAP encompasses many elements including:

  • Is the student meeting financial aid eligibility requirements?

  • Is the student achieving the required cumulative grade point average?

    • Undergraduate students are expected to have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater

    • Graduate students are expected to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater.

    • Students must also maintain a cumulative grade point average greater than that which would result in academic dismissal (as listed in the college catalog).

  • Is the student completing enough credit hours to finish the program within the maximum timeframe?

    • Students must pass at least 66% of all credit hours attempted toward their degree.

    • Grades of “A-D” are considered passing while grades of “I”, “IP”, “F”, and “W” are not passing grades.

    • As an example, if an undergraduate student has completed 48 credit hours, you must pass at least 32 credit hours in order to meet the quantitative measurement requirement.

  • Will the undergraduate student complete the program within 150% of requirements? For example, a student pursing a bachelor’s degree is allowed a maximum time frame of 6 years to complete degree requirements.

At the close of each semester, the Financial Aid Office performs a Satisfactory Academic Progress review on each student that received federal financial aid during the academic year just completed. Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress criteria are placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students placed on Financial Aid Suspension will be notified of this status by the Financial Aid Office via their SUNY Poly email account. Once on Financial Aid Suspension, students will be ineligible for federal financial aid (i.e., Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study)

Please note that the SAP eligibility criteria for New York State Aid Programs (i.e., Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Aid for Part-Time Study, and Veterans Tuition Awards) vary slightly. Their requirements are listed here:

  • The cumulative grade point average the student must maintain varies according to the number of state awards they have received. As a general rule, if they maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (undergraduate and graduate students), they will meet this requirement. View the NYS SAP Progress Charts

  • The number of credit hours the student must “complete” each semester also varies according to the number of state awards they have received. In addition, while they must “pass” the credit hours for federal financial aid, they need to “complete” the credit hours for state financial aid. Therefore, in addition to grades “A-D”, grades of “F”, “S”, “U”, “I”, and “IP” are also considered “completed” for state financial aid.

  • The total number of credit hours accumulated toward the student's degree increases with each additional state award. This means that the number of credit hours transferred into SUNY Poly from another institution plus the number of hours passed at SUNY Poly must be equal to or greater than the number of hours required for the next state award. View the NYS SAP Progress Charts

There are two ways by which a student can regain their financial aid eligibility:

  1. The student may receive a waiver of the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. If they are an otherwise academically successful student (defined as an undergraduate student maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a graduate student maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA and have passed at least 66% of all credit hours attempted), and have experienced an extraordinary circumstance of a one-time nature (death in the immediate family, prolonged medical condition which prevented them from attending classes, etc.) which resulted in them not meeting the minimum standards, they may submit a Financial Aid Reinstatement Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office along with supporting documentation. If warranted, a waiver may be granted for federal and/or state aid programs. Students may request only one waiver for federal aid and one for state aid per degree. Students whose waivers are approved will be placed on financial aid probation. Students who fail to meet the terms of their probationary period will be denied aid until they regain their eligibility.

  2. The student can enroll at SUNY Poly and pay their college costs (tuition, fees, etc.) from their own resources and/or other aid programs for which they remain eligible. Once they meet the appropriate standards, their eligibility would be reinstated for your next semester of enrollment (federal and state aid).

Other Important Notes Regarding SAP

  • Repeated courses. A repeated course will count toward the minimum credit hours enrolled requirement if the student's original grade failed to meet the minimum grade required for the course. For example, accounting majors must have a “C” or better in all courses in their major. If the student wanted to retake a required course because they received a “D” or an “F,” that course would count toward the minimum credit hours. However, if the student previously received a “C” or better grade, the repeated course would not count.

  • Incomplete (“I”) or Failed (“F”) Courses. If the student has had a grade changed from an “I” or “F” to a passing grade, their financial aid eligibility may be reinstated based on the revised cumulative grade point and hours passed. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Financial Aid Office to request a review of their SAP eligibility as a result of a grade change.

  • Note that students not receiving financial aid are subject to the same criteria (as listed above) and can be placed on financial aid suspension for future consideration.

  • Additional information about the Satisfactory Academic Progress financial aid requirements are available in the college catalog.


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