Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Purposes

All students receiving any type of federal, state or institutional financial aid must meet the standards of progress outlined below. The requirements for these standards are set by federal regulations (34CFR Sections 668.16(e), 668.32(f), 668.34). 

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements are:

  1. Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA), and;
  2. Successfully complete at least 67 percent of all CF credits taken including transfer courses accepted, and;
  3. Attempt no more than 150 percent of the total credit hours in your degree or certificate program.

How are the above calculations made?

If a student attended other colleges, the courses taken that are accepted as transfer credit by the College of Central Florida will be considered in the evaluation of progress. For financial aid purposes, being enrolled in a course for credit beyond the official drop/refund deadline counts as an attempt. All successfully completed transfer courses accepted and courses taken at the College of Central Florida, including those taken as part of another program of study (technical or vocational college credits will not be included for students in college credit certificate, associate or bachelor degree programs), will be included in determining your Satisfactory Academic Progress.

For financial aid purposes, successful completion of a course means an earned grade of A, B+, B, C+, C, D, SP or S. However, a grade of D is passing below average. All other grades (F, I, W, and N) are considered unsuccessful completions and will impact your progress determination. The formula for calculating the completion ratio is: total hours earned divided by total hours attempted. The resulting percentage must be 67 percent or greater. If a student has attempted 150 percent of the hours needed for the current declared program (for most students this is 90 credit hours or more, referred to as excess hours), the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid without an approved appeal.

When does the College of Central Florida evaluate a student for SAP?

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated when the FAFSA is received by the College of Central Florida’s Financial Aid office. Standards are also evaluated every two semesters or 24 credit hours attempted, whichever occurs first.

What happens if a student is not meeting SAP?

If a student does not meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students on suspension may continue to enroll and attend classes as long as all tuition, fees and any other charges are paid in full.

Can a student appeal the SAP decision?

CF will accept an appeal for financial aid suspension if extenuating circumstances affected the student's ability to meet the satisfactory progress requirements. Appeal forms are available from the Financial Aid tab on the student portal under Financial Aid forms. Students have 30 days from the notice of suspension date to file a SAP appeal request along with required supporting documentation of extenuating circumstances. Appeals submitted after your 30 day deadline will be denied.

Appeals are granted for extenuating circumstances only as defined below:

  • Documented student illness/injury which is an emergency or severe in nature.
  • Death of an immediate relative (parent, sibling, child) of the student.
  • Personal tragedy or natural disaster.
  • Called to active military duty.
  • Other mitigating circumstances that are not every day occurrences of life and are beyond your control. (Lack of child care, pregnancies, divorce, eviction, changes in work schedules and financial stress are not mitigating circumstances within themselves.)

If no appeal is made or if the appeal is denied, the student will remain in Financial Aid Suspension. If an SAP appeal request is submitted and granted, the student will be placed on probation for the next semester enrolled in classes. The student will be eligible for financial aid for the probationary period provided all eligibility and compliances have been met for the chosen academic program. If the student does not meet SAP requirements during the probation semester, he or she will be placed back on suspension and will not be eligible for further financial aid at the College of Central Florida until SAP standards have been met.

When placed on Financial Aid Suspension a student may regain eligibility for financial aid by bringing the cumulative GPA up to a 2.0 or better and the cumulative completion rate to at least 67 percent. Refer to the student portal to determine SAP status. If the student is awarded Title IV aid while on probation and continue to show improvement, a Financial Aid Administrator may extend the probationary period for the next semester attended (within the same financial aid year) without an additional appeal being submitted. No appeal will be approved for a semester that has already ended.

The Financial Aid Office will communicate its final appeal decisions to each student on the student portal and in writing or by email. Decisions on appeals are final and may not be appealed further.