Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Evaluation Guidelines

SAP Warning

Approved SAP Appeal/SAP Probation

When an appeal is approved, the student’s financial aid is reinstated, but with conditions. One such condition is Probation, which means the student must meet all aspects of SAP at the end of the semester. The other condition is an Academic Plan, which means the student must complete 75% of all credit hours each semester and receive a GPA of at least 2.5 each semester until all aspects of SAP are met.

Students who do not meet the conditions of their appeal will have their financial aid terminated again.

Denied SAP Appeal

When an appeal is denied, the student is responsible for covering the cost of their own tuition and fees and may not receive financial aid until they meet all requirements of SAP. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to terminate a student’s financial aid indefinitely at its discretion.

SAP Conditions

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing credit hours received count as attempted and completed credit hours toward the Maximum Time Frame (MTF) standard and completion percentage standard.


Audited courses do not count towards course completion or Maximum Time Frame. Students may not receive financial aid for these courses at any time.

Change of Major

Students who decide to change their major will still have all credit hours of their original major counted toward the MTF calculation of their new major.

Double Major

Students with a double major (earning two degrees) may receive 150% of the larger credit hour program. Once the limit is met, students must appeal to determine additional eligibility.

Academic Foundations (AF) Courses

Academic Foundations courses, which include English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, do not count toward the 150% MTF. However, these courses are limited to a maximum of 30 credit hours attempted, regardless of whether financial aid was used to pay for them.

Academic Forgiveness

Students who receive Academic Forgiveness (described in the Academic Policies section of this catalog) are not exempt from meeting all aspects of the SAP Policy. If financial aid is terminated due to academic status, the student must submit an appeal for financial aid.

Repeating Passed Courses

Students may receive financial aid for a previously passed course one time, regardless of whether financial aid was used to pay for the first attempt of the course. If the repeated class is subsequently dropped and not eligible for financial aid, it is still counted as a repeat and not further eligible for financial aid.

Courses taken under Cincinnati State's term calendar that have been equated to a semester course count as a repeat. Passed courses will count as complete only once, but will be counted as attempted each time the course is taken, for purposes of determining the student’s course completion standard of SAP. The highest grade earned will be calculated into the grade point average.

Prior Enrollment without Financial Aid

Students who previously did not use financial aid, but later begin to receive financial aid, are not exempt from meeting SAP. All credit hours attempted and completed, as well as GPA, must be taken into consideration in determining SAP, regardless of previous financial aid status.


Students who return to Cincinnati State following any length of separation are subject to meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards regardless of previous financial aid status. All courses attempted from prior enrollment will be considered in evaluating SAP.

Transfer Students

A large number of transfer credits can place a student over the maximum time frame standard. In this case the student may appeal to determine what credits are applicable to their program, in order to re-calculate their maximum time frame. Applicable credits are calculated into attempted and completed credits for purposes of determining completion rate. A student’s GPA is not affected by credits transferred from prior institutions.

Financial Aid/SAP Definitions

Acceptable Documentation: Doctor’s note, birth certificate, obituary, unemployment benefits record.

Attempted Course: Courses that are not dropped before the end of the 100% refund period, or any repeated course.

Double Major: A student enrolled into two degree programs, two certificate programs, or one of each.

Extenuating Circumstance: A death in the family, hospitalization, loss of employment, and/or any other circumstance will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students must provide appropriate documentation to support extenuating circumstances.

Probation: The granting of financial aid for one semester, based on an approved SAP appeal, to a student who did not meet SAP standards at the end of the prior semester.

Transfer Student: A student admitted to the College with credits earned from a prior institution.