Student Financial Services

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP Appeal Request Instructions)


Federal regulations require schools to review students’ academic records at least annually to ensure that students are making adequate progress toward degree completion to maintain eligibility for Federal Title IV financial aid funds. Federal funds include Direct Loans (student and parent loans), Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, and Federal Work Study.  Minimum academic standards for meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements are outlined below.  Students must meet both the qualitative and quantitative standards and not exceed maximum timeframe standards to remain eligible for federal financial aid.  The SAP review is performed annually at the end of the spring semester. SAP standards apply to all students wishing to be considered for federal financial aid regardless of whether or not aid was received in prior semesters. Students who fail to meet SAP standards are considered ineligible to receive any federal financial aid funds until they have successfully gone through the appeal process and been placed on Financial Aid Probation or they are able to meet the standards at a subsequent review point.


Standard #1 Qualitative Requirements (GPA):

Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

The following grades are not included in the GPA calculation: AU, H, I, P, R, S, U, W.


Standard #2 Quantitative Requirements (Pace):

Undergraduate students must complete a percentage of credits attempted each year as shown on the following academic progress chart. Transfer credits accepted by the College and applied to the New Paltz degree are considered to be both attempted and completed credits for this purpose. The following are considered to be attempted credits, but are not considered to be successfully completed: F, I, R, U, W.

Undergraduate Academic Progress Chart

If attempted credits are between:

Then the following % of graduation credits must be completed:











over 180




 Graduate Students must complete 67% of credits attempted each year


Standard #3 Maximum Timeframe:

Federal aid recipients must demonstrate continued progress towards degree requirements to ensure that they will complete the program within the maximum time frame.  Students generally may attempt up to 150% of the credits required to complete the degree requirements. Once the maximum time frame has been reached, the student becomes ineligible for further federal financial aid. If at any point a determination is made that a student will not be able to meet their degree requirements within 150% of the program length or graduate with the required GPA, they become immediately ineligible for federal financial aid. There are no appeals for the maximum timeframe standard.

Example: 120 credit Bachelors’ degree x 150% = 180 credits.  Student will be ineligible for financial aid if they attempt more than 180 credits.


Example: 30 credits Masters’ degree x 150% = 45 credits. Student will be ineligible for financial aid if they attempt more than 45 credits.


Students officially enrolled in a second baccalaureate degree program may attempt a maximum of 240 credits and may only be considered for student loan funds.


Repeated Coursework:  All repeated courses are included in the quantitative and maximum timeframe components of the SAP review. Inclusion in the qualitative component of the review process is based on the academic grading policy defined in the college catalog. Only courses taken at SUNY New Paltz will count towards the GPA calculation.  Only one repeated course can be funded with federal financial aid once a passing grade for a course has been achieved.


Withdrawals:  Credits for courses with a grade of W will be counted as attempted credits, but not credits earned in determining federal SAP.  Receiving a W grade will impact pace as outlined in the Undergraduate Academic Progress Chart since the course will count as attempted credits, but not earned.


Remedial and ESL Coursework:  Non-credit remedial and ESL courses will not be counted as attempted or earned credits in determining federal SAP and are not included in the student’s GPA calculation.


Incomplete Grades:   Credits for courses with grades of Incomplete will count toward credits attempted but not count toward credits earned. If an ‘Incomplete’ grade is changed to a ‘passing’ grade by the midpoint of the subsequent semester, the credits may then count towards credits earned and be included in the GPA calculation.


Transfer Credits:  Transfer credits accepted by SUNY New Paltz and applied toward the New Paltz degree are considered to be attempted and completed credits in determining federal SAP. Only grades for courses taken at SUNY New Paltz are included in the GPA measure.


Change of Major/Double Major: Students may change or add majors prior to degree completion, however all attempted credits in all degree programs are included in maximum time frame calculations. Completion of program requirements for one major concludes eligibility unless pursuing a second baccalaureate degree.


Maximum Pell Grant Semesters: Students may receive a maximum of 12 full time (or full time equivalent) semesters of Pell Grant awards This includes all Pell Grants received at all schools attended.


Degree Completion: Students may only receive federal financial aid for courses which are required for degree completion. Students enrolled in credits beyond the number required for the degree or enrolled in courses that are not applicable to a degree requirement will have financial aid adjusted accordingly. A student who has completed all coursework required for a major or degree is ineligible even if a degree application has not been filed or the student has not exceeded the maximum timeframe allowed (150%).

Federal financial aid eligibility will be terminated when the Office of Student Financial Services determines it is not mathematically possible for a student to complete his/her degree program within the maximum timeframe.


SAP Status Notification: All students are reviewed for satisfactory academic progress after the spring semester has concluded. Students will receive an electronic notification beginning in June as FAFSAs are received. SAP status is also posted on Students may reestablish their eligibility for federal financial aid through the appeal process or by improving their academic record to meet the SAP standards.


SAP Appeal Process: Students who have not exceeded their maximum time frame may submit an appeal application to the Office of Student Financial Services if they feel there were extenuating circumstances beyond their control that affected their ability to make academic progress. The appeal process only pertains to federal financial aid eligibility, not general academic standing or New York State aid programs. Filing an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid. Reasons for appeal may include: a death in the student’s immediate family, serious injury or illness or other mitigating circumstances beyond the student’s control. Students can review the Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP Appeal Request Instructions).  The written appeal must specify what has changed that will allow the student to be successful moving forward. Generally, a maximum of two appeals will be considered. These appeals must indicate separate and distinct circumstances to be considered.  SAP appeals are to be submitted before the start of the semester in order to determine financial aid status for the semester. Students submitting a SAP Appeal after semester bills are due will need to make payment arrangements with the Office of Student Accounts, as financial aid will be removed from the account and reinstatement is not guaranteed. The semester deadline for appeals will be two weeks prior to the last day of class. Appeals submitted without supporting documents will not be considered. Appeals should be submitted to:

Office of Student Financial Services,

200 Hawk Drive, Wooster Hall 124

New Paltz, NY 12561

Fax: (845) 257-3568


SAP Appeal Determination: Upon review by the SAP Appeals Committee, a determination will be communicated electronically to the student within approximately15 business days of receipt of the completed appeal form. All committee decisions are final and cannot be appealed further. Determined SAP status will also be posted on in the ‘My Financial Aid’ section under ‘Eligibility/Academic Progress’.


Appeal Approved/Probation: If an appeal is approved, the student will be eligible for federal financial aid for the following semester and will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.  All students on probation will be assigned a SAP Financial Aid Probation Plan.   This plan will outline the standards that the student must meet in order to maintain federal financial aid eligibility. The standard SAP Financial Aid Probation Plan is used for students who can reasonably expect to meet regular SAP standards after one semester. This plan requires completion of 67% of credits attempted with a 2.0 GPA. Customized SAP Financial Aid Probation Plans may be different and may extend beyond one semester. Progress will be reviewed after the semester ends to determine if the student met the requirements of their plan for continued eligibility. Students who have not met the terms and conditions of their plan while on probation will be ineligible for federal financial aid for the remainder of the academic year. Appeals are only valid for courses taken at New Paltz and are not retroactive. Progress will be evaluated at the next checkpoint.


Appeal Denied: If the appeal is denied the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid for the academic year. Their SAP status will then be reevaluated again after the following spring semester per the annual schedule. Eligibility may be reestablished by successfully completing coursework, without the benefit of federal financial aid, to meet the standards outlined in the SAP policy.