Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) | GCTC

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress refers to the minimum academic standards required for a student to maintain federal financial aid eligibility.  As required by the United States Department of Education, there are three standards that must be met in order for a student to be meeting SAP.   

Qualitative Standard: To meet the qualitative standard, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.  GPAs are not rounded up for SAP purposes; For example, a 1.99 cumulative GPA is considered to be failing this standard.
Quantitative Standard:  In order to meet the quantitative standard, a student must have successfully completed at least 67% of all credit hours they have attempted as a KCTCS student. Completion rates are rounded up to the next whole number using standard rounding rules for this standard; For example, a student whose completion rats it 66.6% would be rounded up to 67% and considered to be meeting this standard.
Maximum Timeframe Standard: To be meeting the maximum time frame SAP standard, a student needs to complete their declared credential after attempting no more than 150% of the published hours for that program.  All credits hours taken at any KCTCS school, as well as all hours that are transferred in from any school count toward maximum timeframe.

All three SAP standards are based on a student’s cumulative academic record, even if financial aid was not received in some or all semesters that are included in the calculations. 

Warning Term 

SAP is evaluated for every enrolled student at the end of each term (fall, spring, summer). After the first semester that a student is not meeting the GPA and/or the completion rate standard, they will be on warning for the next term in which they are enrolled.  During that warning term, the student maintains financial aid eligibility with the hope that they will be able to again be meeting all SAP standards at the end of that term. 

There is no warning term for the Maximum Timeframe standard. Once the total attempted hours exceed 150% of the hours required to complete the student’s required credential, the student will be ineligible for federal financial aid. 

SAP Appeal Process 

A student who has lost financial aid eligibility because of not meeting SAP standards does have the right to submit a SAP Appeal Request.  A link to the online SAP Appeal Request is added to a student’s self-service center soon after the end of the academic term in which they have become SAP suspended. 

Students will be expected to explain why they have failed to meet the required SAP standards in their appeal.  They will also be required to explain what has changed that will allow them to be successful moving forward.  Students should be prepared to submit documentation to support the information they have provided in their Appeal.  

Once the Appeal has been submitted and any requested documentation has been received, the appeal will be reviewed by a committee of Gateway faculty and staff members.  Appeals are carefully considered with guidance provided by the Department of Education and they KCTCS SAP policy.  Students will be notified if their Appeal is approved or denied.  Committee decisions are final.   

Denied Appeals 

If an Appeal is denied, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid, including Federal Direct Student Loans.  Students are responsible for any charges incurred regardless of the outcome of their SAP Appeal. 

Approved Appeals 

  • Students failing for Maximum Timeframe only: Students complete a form called a Plan of Action (PLOA) with their academic advisor.  On the PLOA, all courses still required for the completion of their academic program are listed.  This becomes the student’s contract with the Financial Aid.  Until the completion of their academic program, they may only take the courses listed on their Plan of Action.
  • Students failing the cumulative GPA and/or completion rate standard(s):  The student completes a Plan of Action with their academic advisor. Provided they are enrolled only in courses listed on their PLOA, their financial aid eligibility can be extended for the one term. During the term that their aid is extended, the student is required to meet the terms of their appeal.  The terms of their Appeal, which will include a minimum term GPA and completion rate, will be stated in their Appeal decision communication from the Financial Aid Office.
    • If a student meets the terms of their Appeal, they will remain eligible for federal financial aid for an additional term. Students on a Plan of Action can only be extended aid eligibility for one semester at a time, provided they have continued to meet the terms of their Appeal.
    • If a student fails to meet the terms of their Appeal and they are still not meeting all three SAP standards, they will revert to being ineligible for federal financial aid again. They may submit another SAP Appeal, but it can’t be based on the same circumstances cited in a previously approved Appeal.

Priority Dates

2022-23 Academic Year
  • July 20 - Priority Date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for August 15 start date: Session 1-16 week and 1st 8 week term
  • August 24 - Priority date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for September 12 start date for 12 week term
  • September 26 - Priority date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for October 13 start date for 2nd 8 week term
  • January 3 - Priority Date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for January 9 start date: Session 1-16 week and 1st 8 week term
  • January 27 - Priority date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for February 6 start date for 12 week term
  • February 22 - Priority date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for March 13 start date for 2nd 8 week term
  • April 26 - Priority date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for May 15 start date for 6 week term
  • May 11 - Priority date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for June 5 start date for Summer 8 week term
  • May 31 - Priority date for SAP appeal submissions and all requested documentation for June 26 start date for 5  week term

Additional documentation to support the reason provided in the appeal will be requested through your Gateway email upon receipt of the appeal. Appeals will be submitted for review upon receipt of all requested documentation.