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Satisfactory Academic Progress

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Satisfactory Academic Progress, also known as SAP, is the progress required for students who received financial aid in academic studies to fulfill a specified educational objective. SAP is evaluated at the end of every semester. Students will be notified of their SAP status via their Viking student email, as well as annotated in their My Viking Student Planner under My Documents. 

Read more on the Grayson College Office of Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy in the Student Handbook for 2023-2024 (PDF)

How to Maintain your Financial Aid:

  • Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher
  • Pace: Complete 67% of all classes attempted
  • Complete your degree within the 150% timeframe (i.e. an associate degree of 60 credit hours must be completed within 90 credit hours)

Financial Aid Status

There are four different financial aid statuses, depending on your GPA, pace, and/or max timeframe your status can be classified as one of the following:

Good Standing

A student is considered to be in good standing as long as their cumulative GPA is at least a 2.0 or higher, maintained a cumulative completion rate pace of 67% or higher, and stay within the max timeframe for their degree plan.


A student’s financial aid status goes to Warning when they either obtain a GPA of 1.99 or lower or a cumulative completion rate (Pace) of 66% or lower. Students who are within the warning status will receive Financial Aid for one semester to get back into good standing, if they are not able to get back into good standing they will receive the status of Suspension the following semester.


A student goes on Suspension when they are unable to gain a GPA of at least a 2.0 or cumulative completion rate (Pace) of 67% within the warning semester, or when they reach the max timeframe for their degree plan and are no longer mathematically able to complete their degree/certificate within the 150% timeframe. When a student is on suspension, they do not qualify for financial aid, however, they can regain eligibility by submitting an appeal to the Appeals Committee. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on an Academic Plan. If an appeal is denied, the student will have to pay out of pocket. Students who are on suspension for GPA and/or Pace can regain eligibility once they meet the SAP requirements.

Academic Plan

A status assigned to a student who successfully appeals Financial Aid Suspension. Students who are placed on an Academic Plan must maintain a 2.5 semester GPA and a 75% completion rate during the semester until they regain eligibility or they graduate. If a student is on an academic plan for max timeframe they will remain on the academic plan until they graduate.

Status Summary

Condition Resulting Financial Aid Status Next Steps
  • Your cumulative GPA falls below 2.0
Warning Raise your cumulative GPA to 2.0 or higher in the next attending semester
  • You do not have a cumulative completion rate pace of 67% or more
Warning Raise your cumulative completion rate pace to 67% or higher in the next semester you attend
  • You were unable to raise your GPA to at least 2.0 during your warning semester
  • You were unable to raise your cumulative completion rate pace to at least 67%
  • You attempt over 150% of your program of study (major)

You cannot receive any federal student aid while on suspension.

You may pay out of pocket until eligibility is regained or file an appeal

If you go on suspension for max timeframe, eligibility cannot be regained in most cases. As a result, you will be required to pay out of pocket or file an appeal

  • Attending on Financial Aid Academic Plan
Academic Plan You must meet all requirements of your approved appeal in order to maintain an academic plan to be eligible for financial aid. 150% max-time probation, in most cases, will never regain financial aid eligibility

Re-Establishing Financial Aid Eligibility:

There are two avenues available for regaining eligibility for financial aid. These avenues consist of the following:

  1. Paying on your own: While remaining within the 150% completion rate of your degree/certificate, you must raise your cumulative GPA to a 2.0 while successfully completing a minimum of 67% of all courses you attempt.
  2. Appeal process: Students who have faced mitigating circumstances* may appeal the suspension of their financial aid. If the appeal is approved the student will have the opportunity to receive financial aid while attending classes as long as they adhere to the stipulations of the appeal. 

Appeal Process:

When a student is not meeting Satisfactory Academic Process they can file an appeal. It is then reviewed by the Appeals Committee for consideration in order to have their aid reinstated. Any student wishing to appeal must:

  1. Completely fill out the Financial Aid Appeal Form .
  2. Meet with a Success Coach and have a Degree Audit filled out as well as the Academic Advisor Appeal Agreement Form.
  3. Type a letter to the Appeals Committee explaining the following:
    • Why they failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress?
    • What mitigating circumstances they had making it difficult to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress?
    • What has changed to improve the mitigating circumstance?
    • Provide documentation that will support your claims for the mitigating circumstance(s).

GPA Calculator

Check this out:    GPA Calculator -  Raise My GPA

Pace Calculator

Step 1 : You may obtain a report of attempted and completed credit hours from the admissions office. Alternatively, you may determine your attempted and completed credit totals by reviewing your academic transcript.

Step 2 : Look to the bottom of your Unofficial Transcript to find your Transcript Totals.

Step 3 : Enter your attempted GC hours, transfer earned hours, and transfer deductions if applicable..

Example of attempted credits from Duckweb

Step 4 : Enter your earned hours.

Example of earned credits from Duckweb

Step 5 :

Click on the Calculate PACE button to determine your pace based on the information you entered.

For financial aid eligibility, you must complete 67% of your cumulative attempted credits to be on pace to graduate. All students are monitored for pace at the end of every term. If your completion rate drops below 67%, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one term. If your completion rate remains below 67% after the warning term, your status will change to Financial Aid Suspension. You will have an opportunity to appeal to regain eligibility. Your appeal must include a degree plan to get back on pace. If your appeal is approved, you will remain eligible for financial aid on an Academic Plan until you have regained eligibility, As long as you are meeting the terms of your academic plan you will remain eligible for financial aid and will not need to re-appeal each term. Keep in mind, you still need to meet the other financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements to retain your financial aid eligibility while you are following your plan to get back in good standing.

The Pace Calculator results are intended to provide students with a planning tool regarding the pace credit completion requirement. The results of the calculator are unofficial. Official pace results are determined by Financial Aid processing and the results are posted to the official institution student record.


SAP: Satisfactory Academic Progress means a GPA of 2.0 or higher, a completion rate of at least 67% or higher, and the attempted program hours have to be less than 150% of published program length.

GPA: A measure of a student’s academic achievement at an institution, calculated by dividing the total number of credits or hours. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or higher.

Pace: The total number of hours the student has successfully completed divided by the number of hours the student has attempted. Must be greater than or equal to 67%.

Maximum Timeframe: Per federal regulations, when it becomes mathematically impossible for a student to complete their degree program within 150% of its length they are no longer eligible for federal student aid. 

Appeal: A process for a student who fails to maintain SAP to petition the school for a reconsideration of eligibility to receive Federal Title IV funds, State, Exemptions and other financial aid funds.

Approved Appeal: Student will be placed on an Academic Plan and will have to meet terms of plan as stated in approval letter.

Denied Appeal: Student will remain on suspension and not be eligible to receive certain types of financial aid, including federal, state, and some institutional scholarships.

Mitigating circumstances: Situations beyond the student's control, may include:

  • A death in the immediate family
  • Injury or illness of the student or immediate family member
  • Other special circumstances

Mitigating circumstances DO NOT include:

  • Student felt overwhelmed
  • Student changed work schedule
  • Student did not like the instructor or had a conflict with the instructor
  • Student did not understand college and wasn't ready or mature enough
  • Death or illness of a friend or relative not in immediate family
  • Withdrew or stopped attending to avoid a bad grade
  • Student states: Nobody told me that would affect me