Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

According to U.S. Department of Education regulations, all students, regardless of matriculation status or financial aid status, must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue to be enrolled as a student and/or receive federal financial aid. All students are measured for satisfactory academic progress, both academically and financially, at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) by the Financial Aid Office according to three federal standards: minimum GPA, Pace/Completion Rate and 150% Rule (see description below).

SAP Standards


Financial Aid: Minimum overall GPA of 2.0 (C or better).
Academic: GPA according to the chart below (2018-2019 catalog):

Total Number of Attempted Credits Min GPA Required for Good Standing
9 credits or less No Minimum
10-17 credits 1.5
18+ 2.0

Pace/Completion Rate

Students must complete and pass 2/3rds or 67% of all courses that they attempt. Withdrawn (W) or Failed (F) courses are attempted but not earned.

Example: If you register for 4 courses, at 3 credits each, you are registered for a total of 12 credits. If you pass 2 courses, withdraw from one, and fail one, you will have a 50% completion rate and therefore would not be meeting the Pace requirement.

150% Timeframe

Students must complete their academic program(s) within 150% of the normal time or credits required for their degree.

Example: You are in a program that requires 60 credits to complete. You earn 60 credits, so you are at 100% of the credits allowed for that program. But you repeated some classes and changed your major, so you still have to take some classes. Under SAP standards you are allowed an additional 50% of credits—in this case 30 for a total of 90 credits to complete a 60 credit program. If you attempt 90 or more credits, you will not meet the Timeframe requirement of the policy.

When not meeting any of these three standards, students are placed on Academic and/or Financial Aid Warning. Once on Academic and/or Financial Aid Warning, students have one semester to get back into Good Standing or risk moving into Suspension.  Warning is not the same as Suspension!

Satisfactory Academic Warning

Students who have a SAP status of Warning:

  • have one semester to get into compliance with the three standards set in the college’s  SAP Policy
  • are still allowed to attend MWCC and access financial aid
  • risk moving into Suspension status if they are not back into compliance with the SAP Policy after the Warning semester

Satisfactory Academic Suspension

Students not meeting the financial or academic SAP standards for more than one semester are placed on Suspension and must complete the four-step appeal process to try to reinstate to the college, or financial aid eligibility.

SAP Appeal Process:

  1. Complete the online Key Components to the Appeal Process: Academic and Financial Aid Suspension video session using the link provided in your suspension email.
  2. Meet with Student Services. Call 978-630-9855 to schedule.
  3. Complete the Appeal Form using the link provided by Student Services.
  4. Wait for the Academic and/or Financial Aid Review Board decision.
  5. Complete an Academic Plan if approved.

Download this easy SAP-Map for more information.  Feel free to contact Holly Kreidler-Phaneuf, Academic Counselor at or 978-630-9197/978-630-9109, or stop by the Advising Center with any questions.