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Satisfactory Academic Progress

How to keep your financial aid

Federal regulations require that a student meet basic academic progress standards to receive federal financial aid. This is known as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). These standards are different from academic requirements.  This video provides an introduction to SAP.

For Credit Programs, a student must:

  • Maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. The GPA calculation includes all remedial and college level course work. Watch a video about the Qualitative Standard.
  • Complete 67% of all college level coursework attempted. These are courses at the 100 level or higher. “Attempted” credit hours are every hour you are enrolled, including repeated courses, including failing or incomplete grades or withdrawals. Watch a video about the Quantitative Standard.
  • Complete your degree within the 150% timeframe. For example, an associate degree of 60 credit hours must be completed within 90 credit hours. The timeframe includes only college level coursework. Watch a video about Maximum Timeframe.

COVID-19 NOTE: Students that may have received W (withdrawal) or I (incomplete) grades in the spring 2020 semester will not have their SAP affected by these grades per CARES Act guidance.

For Credit Hour, Clock Hour and Non-Standard term classes, the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard is slightly different.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is generally determined at the end of each payment period (semester). Coursework completed at Pima Community College, as well as outside transcripts applied to the student's record, are included when determining a student's satisfactory academic progress, even if the student did not receive financial aid in the past.

Become familiar with Pima’s Satisfactory Academic Policy. Additional information on SAP policies is in the Student Financial Aid Handbook. Don’t wait until it is too late before you understand what you need to do to keep receiving financial aid.

SAP must be recalculated if a grade change has occurred or the student has changed their program.

Good Status

Students who have meet all SAP requirements have Good status and will continue to be eligible for federal and state financial aid grants and loans, as long as all other financial aid requirements are met.

Warning Status

Warning Status means a student did not meet all of the requirements of satisfactory academic progress.   You will continue to receive financial aid but you are at great risk of losing aid if you do not improve your academic performance to meet cumulative requirements.

Warning is a one-time grace period. If you are not meet cumulative requirements by the next semester, you financial aid will be suspended and you will have to pay out of pocket for classes or submit an appeal. 

Financial Aid Suspension Status

  • Suspension status means you are not eligible to receive any federal and state financial aid funds. This means you are no longer eligible for federal grants, loans and Work Study
  • Any funds awarded for the upcoming semester will be canceled and anticipated aid will be reversed from your student account.
  • Registered classes are at risk of being canceled if you do not make other payment arrangements.

Filing an Appeal

Sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control that affect your ability to meeting SAP requirements. When this happens, you have an opportunity to appeal. You must provide the justifiable or extenuating circumstances that made you unable to meet the GPA and completion requirement.

Examples include:

  • Illness or major injury
  • Death of immediate family members
  • Divorce or separation
  • Deployment due to active duty or reserves by the student, students’ spouse or student’s parents
  • Natural disaster affecting the students, student’s spouse or student’s parents
  • Other unusual, disruptive event

Submitting an appeal is a request; it does not guarantee financial aid eligibility will be reinstated.  This video provides more information on SAP Appeals.

Appeal Information

  • Documentation must be provided that supports the circumstances or reason you couldn't't’t meet SAP requirements. Documentation includes letters from health providers, copies of medical bills, legal or government documents, or statements about your circumstances.
  • You must also demonstrate what has changed to allow you regain good academic standing.
  • You must meet with an academic advisor or counselor to develop a plan for getting back on track.
  • Include your name and student number on all documents.

Appeal form and submission

Many students, based on other financial aid requirements, have access to complete the form through MyPIma. If you do not have access, please contact  All appeal documentation must be submitted through your MyPima account.

You will be notified of the results of your appeal through you Pima email account and in Financial Aid Messages. The decision is final. 

While waiting for your appeal decision, you might need to make payment arrangements to secure your enrollment by the payment deadline.

Financial Aid Probation Status

Students who have successfully appealed a financial aid suspension may be placed on Financial Aid Probation Status. If you are on Probation Status:

  • You must pass 100 percent of attempted courses in the next semester 
  • You must earn a GPA of 2.0 or better, or
  • You must meet the cumulative SAP standards that lead to a “Good” standing
  • You also must meet all academic standards during your probationary semester

How you will lose financial aid eligibility

If you do not meet the requirements, above, during your probationary semester, you will be placed back on financial aid suspension and lose financial aid eligibility. You may appeal once again, demonstrating new extenuating circumstances - the reason you couldn't't’t meet the standards.

Denied Appeal

If your appeal is denied, you can re-appeal if you have new extenuating circumstances and/or document that you did not include with your initial submission.  A re-appeal cannot be made for the sole reason that you disagree with the decision.

Reestablishing Eligibility

Students who choose not to appeal or whose appeal is denied might be able to re-establish financial aid eligibility. Students must:

  • Continue to enroll for courses at the College at your own expense
  • Meet all SAP requirements

Veterans Benefits and Special Programs

If you are a veteran and receiving VA benefits, please contact the Veteran’s Office, or if your program of study has specific requirements, please contact your program/academic advisor.

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