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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is defined as the successful completion of coursework towards an eligible certificate or degree. Federal and state regulations require the SUNY Cortland Financial Aid Office to monitor academic progress of students receiving financial aid at the end of each semester (summer, fall and spring).

 Please note that these standards do not replace or supersede department or program procedures affecting academic standing.

Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

State Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

State Programs Include: Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), SUNY Tuition Credit (SUNY TC), World Trade Center Scholarship and other NYS scholarships. 

To be eligible for the NYS Tuition Program (TAP), students must enroll in at least 12 new credit hours per semester and meet the satisfactory academic progress standards provided below. Additional details provided in the SUNY Cortland College Catalog.

NYS Aid recipients must demonstrate that they are pursuing a program of study by completing a percentage of minimum full-time course load per semester according to the following schedule:

Year of Eligibility

Percent Completed

1st (0-12 points) 50% (6 credit hours)
2nd (13-24 points) 75% (9 credit hours)
3rd (25-36 points) 100% (12 credit hours)
4th (37-48 points) 100% (12 credit hours)

Before NYS financial aid eligibility can be certified, an undergraduate student must meet the following:

Semester Minimum accrued credit hours Minimum grade point average A passing/failing grade for at least these credit hours
1st 0 0 0
2nd 6 1.50 6
3rd 15 1.80 6
4th 27 1.80 9
5th 39 2.00 9
6th 51 2.00 12
7th 66 2.00 12
8th 81 2.00 12

The following chart chart should be used for students in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).

Semester Minimum accrued credit hours Minimum grade point average A passing/failing grade for at least these credit hours
1st 0 0 0
2nd 3 1.10 6
3rd 9 1.20 6
4th 21 1.30 9
5th 33 2.00 9
6th 45 2.00 12
7th 60 2.00 12
8th 75 2.00 12
9th 90* 2.00 12
10th 105* 2.00 12

Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Federal Programs include: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work Study, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Direct Loan and the Federal Parent PLUS Loan.

Cumulative GPA: An undergraduate student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA as outlined in the chart.

Minimum Academic
Progress Requirements

Minimum Cumulative
Grade Point Average

Cumulative Credit Hours
Earned/Attempted

First-time freshman in program (23.5 or less total credit hours)*

1.00

50%

Less than two full years (24 to 47.5 total credit hours)* 1.75 50%
Two full years or more (48 or more total credit hours)* 2.00 65%

Maximum attempted credits: Federal regulations specify that a student must complete their degree within 150 percent of a published length of the program. Typically, the number of credits required for a degree program is 120 credits (120 x 150% = 180) – in this example, the maximum number of attempted credits allowed is 180.

Pace of academic progression:  You must earn a minimum number of the credits you attempt. Each semester the total number of credits you have attempted will be compared to the total number of credits earned.

Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Federal Programs include: Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. 

Additional details provided in the SUNY Cortland College Catalog.

Cumulative GPA: A graduate student must earn a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA.

Maximum attempted credits: Federal regulations specify that a student must complete their degree within 150 percent of a published length of the program. Typically, the number of credits required for a degree program is 30 credits (36 x 150% = 45) – in this example, the maximum number of attempted credits allowed is 45.

Pace of academic progression:  You must earn a minimum number of the credits you attempt. Each semester the total number of credits you have attempted will be compared to the total number of credits earned.

 

Minimum Cumulative
Grade Point Average

Cumulative Credit Hours
Earned/Attempted

Graduate-Level Students

2.80

65%

SAP Eligibility Review 

SAP is evaluated for all students after the end of each semester. Students are notified by paper letter if they are not meeting SAP and myRedDragon status is updated.

SAP Status 

The following SAP statuses are assigned to a student after a SAP evaluation. Students may log into the financial aid section of myRedDragon to view SAP Status.

  • GOOD – Student is in good standing. Student is meeting all SAP standards and is eligible to receive financial aid for the current and upcoming aid year.
  • FEDWRN – If it is the first time a student has fallen below SAP standards for federal financial aid, the student will be placed on ‘financial aid warning’. The student is not required to take any action and federal aid eligibility will continue for one additional semester. If the student meets SAP standards after the warning semester, the SAP status will return to ‘Good’. If the student does not meet SAP standards for a second semester, the SAP status will be updated to ‘FEDSAP’ or 'FEDTAP'. 
  • FEDSAP – If a student has not met SAP standards for two or more semesters, the federal financial aid is terminated until SAP standard are met. If there were extenuating circumstances related to academic performance, the student can submit a SAP appeal.
  • FEDTAP - If a student has not met SAP standards for two or more semesters, the federal and state financial aid is terminated until SAP standards are met. If there were extenuating circumstances related to academic performance, the student can submit a SAP appeal
  • FWNLTP - NY state financial aid is terminated until standards have been met but federal financial aid is in 'warning' status. Federal aid will continue for one additional semester. If there are extenuating circumstances related to academic performance, the student can submit a SAP appeal for NY state financial aid. 
  • LOSTAP – If a student has not met SAP standards, NY state financial aid is terminated until standards have been met. If there are extenuating circumstances related to academic performance, the student can submit a SAP appeal.

SAP Appeal Review 

If you are not meeting SAP standards, you will receive notification via paper letter that you have the option to appeal. You may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the financial aid office.

SAP appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Review Committee consisting of staff members from the financial aid office and other offices. Each submission is reviewed separately based on the student’s extenuating circumstances, academic record and supporting documentation.

Reasons for appeal:

Valid reasons for a SAP appeal include: 

  • Medical condition
  • Family member death
  • Impacted by COVID 19
  • Accident
  • Military Service
  • Natural Disaster

If financial aid appeal is approved, financial aid will be reinstated.

Satisfactory Academic Progress FAQ

What is a SAP warning?

If you do not maintain SAP, you are placed on financial aid ‘warning’ and stay eligible for federal financial aid for one additional semester. If you have not met SAP requirements at the end of that semester, you will loose financial aid eligibility.

How to I regain funding after it is lost?

If you continue to not meet the required GPA or completion ration requirements for SAP after the warning semester, you may lose some or all of your financial aid funding. If funding is lost, you have the option to appeal your SAP status.

If your SAP appeal decision is denied you may attend SUNY Cortland at your own expense until you attain the cumulative GPA or completion ratio requirements. During this time you may choose to borrow a loan through a private bank or lender of your choosing. You must check with private lenders to determine if they offer loans to students not meeting SAP requirements. To regain financial aid eligibility, your record must reflect that you have met SAP requirements.

Is SAP the same as my academic standing?

Your academic standing is not the same as Satisfactory Academic Progress. Your academic standing is determined by your department.

My GPA is meeting requirements. Why am I not meeting SAP?

If your cumulative GPA is meeting standards, there may be another reason you are not meeting SAP.

  • Completion ratio
  • Unresolved or incomplete grades

If you are unsure why you are not meeting SAP, please contact our office for clarification.

Contact us

Miller Bldg, Room 209
Phone: 607-753-4717
Fax: 607-753-5990
Email: Financial.Aid@cortland.edu

Office hours

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday