Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

All financial aid students will be evaluated for academic progress at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters. In determining satisfactory academic progress (SAP), all attempted college and vocational credit (including transfer credits) required for current degree plan will be evaluated. "Attempted" means all credit hours, including withdrawals or audits as well as incomplete or failing grades, for which a student is enrolled after the drop/add date for the course.

Students must meet the following criteria in order to receive financial aid:

  • successfully complete 67% of all attempted course credits.
  • maintain a cumulative GPA requirement of 2.0. 
  • complete the program of study within the 150% time frame of the currently declared program degree or certificate.

Financial Aid Warning Status

Students who do not meet satisfactory academic progress will be placed into financial aid warning status. Students will receive a notification of their financial aid status through their PHSC student account and are encouraged to meet with their Financial Aid Office.  Students placed on financial aid warning may register and continue to use federal financial aid to pay for their classes.

Financial Aid Suspension Status

Students placed onto financial aid suspension status will receive a notification through their PHSC student account. Students placed on financial aid suspension status are not eligible for federal financial aid funding unless they have been approved for a financial aid appeal.

Maximum Time Frame Status

Students who have attempted more than 150% of the credits required for their program of study are not considered to be making satisfactory academic progress and are not eligible for federal financial aid. All transfer hours accepted for credits will be included when determining maximum time frame eligibility. 

Students who exceed the maximum time frame allowed for their respective program may continue to receive federal financial aid with an approved appeal. Students approved for a maximum time frame appeal are generally limited to one appeal per program, or certificate, and must complete 100% of all coursework each semester. Additional maximum time frame appeals may be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

Students who have lost financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances may appeal to the Financial Aid Office for reinstatement of their federal aid through a Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Request. Examples of extenuating circumstances may include: serious personal illness, accident, or injury, death within the immediate family, or other circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student. Students are limited to two appeals. In extreme cases, a third appeal may be granted by the Director or the Executive Director of the Financial Aid Office. Students must meet with an academic advisor to complete an academic plan as part of their appeal approval process. The financial aid appeal must:

  • Provide a written signed student statement letter.
  • Identify the pertinent extenuating circumstances that warranted the appeal.
  • Include attached supportive documentation such as a statement from a physician, accident report, death certificate, divorce decree, court documentation, etc. to attest to the student situation.
  • Explain how the condition or situation has been resolved in a manner which will allow the student the ability to complete course work successfully.
  • Meet with an academic advisor to complete an academic plan that may include tutoring, reduced course load, less online work, or other options in order to ensure federal SAP requirements are met within a specific time frame.

A financial aid appeal advisor will review the submitted appeal, supporting documentation, academic plan completion, and either approve or deny the appeal. The outcome of the appeal may include a probationary period with an academic plan.

Approved Appeal

  • Students will receive an email and notification to their student portal account stating the status of their approved appeal.
  • Students on an approved financial aid suspension appeal may continue to receive federal financial aid as long as they meet satisfactory academic progress standards and their academic plan.
  • Additional appeal requests are not needed unless the student does not continue to meet satisfactory academic progress standards.

Denied Appeal

  • Student will receive an email and notification to their student portal account explaining why the appeal was denied.
  • Student will receive a notification to their student self-service account and a written letter explaining why the appeal was denied.
  • Federal financial aid eligibility may be reinstated after the student has taken courses to meet the minimum SAP requirements of 2.0 GPA and cumulative completion ratio 67% of all attempted credit hours. It is the student's responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office when this condition has been met.
  • If a student disagrees with an appeal decision, they have the right to submit a written request to the Dean of Financial Aid for a review of their appeal determination. The Dean's decision is final.