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Maintaining your Eligibility

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Federal regulations (CFR 668.32(f) and 668.34) require a student to move toward the completion of a degree or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Specific requirements for academic progress for financial aid recipients are applied differently than Scholastic Standards. Federal regulations state that Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. Students will be evaluated using the standards described below. Failure to meet any of these minimum standards will result in the loss of title IV, HEA program (federal financial aid) eligibility.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
(SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility


SAP are evaluated on each of the three measurements outlined below. Failure to meet any of these standards will result in suspension of eligibility for financial aid.
Note: Grades of F,I,N,W,X,Y,Z, and courses not yet graded are considered attempted but not meeting progress standards for the purposes of financial aid.

Grade Point Measurement
Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average in order to meet SAP GPA requirements. 


Progress Measurement Students must complete 2/3 (66.67%) of all attempted course work.


Maximum Time frame Measurement Students who have attempted more than 150% of the published credits required for their program of study are considered not meeting SAP.

Degree Program Total Credits Required Maximum Credits Allowed (150%)Administration of Justice - AAS6090Paralegal Studies - CCL4060

  • Courses funded through a consortium agreement
  • All attempted remedial credits
  • Repeated course work

Course work included in the Maximum Time Frame evaluation:

  • All of those included in the semester evaluation
  • All evaluated transfer credits
  • Any Bachelor's degree or higher earned will be considered to have exhausted maximum time frame eligibility.

Course work not included in SAP evaluation:

  • Audited courses
  • Non-credit courses
  • Credit by examination
  • Credit for prior learning option (as outlined in the college general catalog)
  • Academic Renewal Process

SAP is reviewed before the first semester a student begins attendance at Phoenix College and then calculated at the end of each subsequent semester, taking into consideration a student’s academic history at PC and any transfer credits. Students can be placed on suspension for any or all of the following reasons:

  • Failure to satisfactorily complete at least 66.67% of cumulative credits attempted
  • Failure to meet cumulative GPA minimum
  • Exceeded Maximum Timeframe

Students are responsible for knowing and understanding the SAP policy. There is often a short amount of time between semesters for SAP review that does not allow the Financial Aid Office to complete the review before the payment deadline. If you know that you may not be meeting SAP standards, it is your responsibility to pay for your classes by the payment deadline. Appeals received after the deadline (as indicated on the appeal form) will be considered for the next semester.

Students are allowed a warning period upon failing the minimum GPA and/or Progress measurement. The warning period allows one semester of Federal Student Aid eligibility upon failing SAP. The warning period will follow the semester for which SAP was not met, meaning the next semester for which the student registers for classes. If students fail to meet SAP after the warning period, they will be placed on Suspension.

Note: In order to receive the Warning period, students must be meeting Maximum Timeframe requirements.

For more information on this topic please visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Yes. If you lose your Federal Financial Aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances, you may appeal by following the appeal guidelines.

Financial aid suspension is the status assigned upon failing to meet the minimum SAP standards. Students in financial aid suspension are not eligible to receive Title IV, HEA assistance (Federal Financial Assistance). This includes grants, federal student loans and work-study.

Upon suspension due to SAP, eligible students may appeal the suspension due to extenuating circumstances. Financial aid will only be reinstated on a probationary status in the event of an appeal being approved. Filing an appeal does not guarantee that a student will be able to receive financial aid in the future.

Students who fail to complete at least 66.67% of cumulative attempted credits and/or fail to meet the cumulative GPA requirements are placed on financial aid suspension. Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid may appeal the financial aid suspension. If a student has experienced extenuating circumstances that were beyond their control that prevented them from satisfying the requirements to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), they have the option to appeal that status. This is referred to as a financial aid appeal. All information contained in a student’s appeal is confidential.

Department of Education requires students seeking federal financial aid to be completing their educational program in allowable timeframe. Students who have attempted more than 150% of the published credits required for their program of study or have earned a Bachelor's degree or higher are considered to have exhausted maximum timeframe eligibility and are placed on financial aid suspension. Under certain circumstances students have the option to appeal that status. This is referred to as a Maximum Timeframe appeal.

The type of appeal that is needed will depend on which of the SAP measurements a student did not meet. Some students may need to complete and submit both forms. Keep in mind that all information contained in a financial aid appeal will be reviewed by a committee and a determination of eligibility will be based on the facts and supporting documentation in the appeal. Appeals can be approved or denied. All information provided in the appeal process is confidential.

If you are on financial aid suspension for one of below reasons, you should submit the:
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form

  • Failure to satisfactorily complete at least 66.67% of cumulative credits attempted
  • Failure to meet cumulative GPA minimum

Maximum Timeframe Appeal

  • Exceeded the maximum timeframe

If you were approved for a Maximum Time Frame appeal in a prior semester and are not changing your program of study, you do not need to submit a new Maximum Timeframe appeal. You must continue to select only classes that are required for your major, as shown on your approved Maximum Timeframe and Restricted Course List (RCL) that was prepared with your advisor. We will review your enrollment at the beginning of each semester block for continued eligibility and adjustments will be made accordingly.

If you change your program of study after the Maximum Timeframe appeal has already been approved, you will be placed back on financial aid suspension and will be required to pay for your tuition and fees on your own.

If you were approved for a Maximum Time Frame appeal in a prior semester and are not changing your program of study, you do not need to submit a new Maximum Timeframe appeal. If you are adding additional, substituted or repeated classes they will not be funded unless an Academic Plan Restricted Course List Addendum is filed and approved before financial aid funds are disbursed. Addendums are reviewed by the appeal committee and can be approved or denied. If you receive funds for classes other than those listed and approved, your award may be reduced or canceled and you may be suspended from any further financial aid.

Appeals should be typewritten, signed, and include a detailed explanation of how extenuating circumstances beyond your control affected your ability to meet SAP requirements. You must include an explanation for all of the classes that contributed to your being placed on suspension. In addition, you must explain how these circumstances have been resolved, and the steps you have taken that will allow you to succeed and maintain academic progress in the future. Generally, the situation must have occurred after the semester began. If your extenuating circumstance first occurred before the semester started and you choose to enroll anyway, you will need to explain what changed after the start of the term which affected your ability to remain in or pass your classes. Appeals that cannot demonstrate extenuating circumstances will be denied.