Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy - Financial Aid Office

Register for CSAC's CASH FOR COLLEGE Webinar 
CSAC-Cash for College logoJoin the webinar to learn everything you need to know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Effective for the 2020-2021 Award Year


In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education regulations, financial aid recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the achievement of a degree or certificate. The law and federal regulations require that progress be determined using both qualitative and quantitative measures. All units attempted in any semester of enrollment as specified below at Ohlone College (Ohlone), regardless of aid status, will be counted when calculating both qualitative and quantitative measures of Satisfactory Academic Progress. The student’s academic progress will be evaluated initially, when the application is completed and at the end of each semester after grades have been posted.


  • All financial aid recipients must be enrolled as a classified student in an eligible degree or certificate program of study that is at least 16 credits and 15 weeks in length.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0. Units and grades excluded under the Academic Renewal Policy will be included in the calculation of the financial aid GPA (Qualitative standard), as well as Unit Completion Rate (Quantitative Standard).
  • Students must meet and maintain the standards of the Unit Completion Rate (UCR)of 67%.
  • Students must not exceed the Time Frame of Aid Eligibility (150% of total program units).


  • Students must successfully complete (pass) at least 67% of all units attempted (calculation will be rounded up to the nearest percent...ex. 66.67 to 67%).
  • All units attempted, will be counted towards the UCR calculation.
  • All transfer credits that are applicable to the current degree program will be counted towards units attempted and completed.
  • The following grades will be considered as units attempted but not successfully completed: F, W, N, I/F, NC, and any grade considered as a non-passing grade by either the home or the host-institution for consortium credits.
  • An I/F grade is calculated as no unit received until the grade is changed by the Instructor and added to the student’s academic record by the Records Office. If students need the completed grade to change their financial aid status (suspension), they must notify the Financial Aid Office when the grade has been added to their transcript. The Financial Aid Office will not automatically review for incomplete grade changes.
  • Audited classes are not eligible for financial aid and are not counted toward UCR calculation.
  • Students who repeat a course for which they have already earned a passing grade may be allowed to receive funding to repeat that course only ONCE. Repeat courses are counted as attempted units and may negatively impact your UCR as you are only able to earn units for a course one time.

Example: Since Sarah started attending Ohlone, she attempted 15 credits. She only successfully completed (passed) 11 credits because she withdrew from a few classes and failed one. The calculation is 11 units divided by 15 units equals 73%. Therefore, Sarah has met Ohlone UCR.


  • Students will be allowed 150% of the number of units required for the completion of their certificate or degree (the calculation will be rounded down to the nearest whole number of units). Students must notify the FAO when changing their major as this could affect your Max Timeframe.
  • Students who change their major, without completing their degree or certificate, will have all units previously attempted counted toward their maximum time frame. Student must appeal in order to have only those units that are applicable to new degree program counted toward their Maximum Timeframe. Financial Aid will only allow an appeal for 1 degree change ONLY. Students who change programs multiple times will continue to have all units attempted counted toward their maximum timeframe.
  • ALL attempted units from semesters of previous enrollment at Ohlone, regardless of aid status, will count toward maximum time frame.
  • Transfer units that are applicable to the current major/degree at Ohlone will be counted toward maximum time frame.
  • Students who repeat a course for which they have already earned a passing grade may be allowed to receive funding to repeat that course only ONCE. Repeat courses are counted toward a student’s maximum time frame.
  • Audited classes are not eligible for financial aid and are not counted toward time frame.
  • A student is allowed thirty (30) remedial units that are not counted toward their Maximum time frame. Remedial courses are program specific, so be sure to check with your Academic Advisor as to if this will affect your specific degree program. ESL courses do not count against the thirty (30) unit limits and do not count against the Maximum Timeframe.

Example: An Associate of Arts (AA) degree requires 60 units. A student is eligible to receive federal Title IV funds for a total of 90 units (60 units X 150% = 90 units).


Financial Aid calculates SAP status at the end of every Semester. Students that do not meet SAP standards at the end of any given semester will be placed on a Financial aid Warning status for the upcoming semester. This will be indicated on the student portal as;

WRN - Warning

This could be for various reasons, which you the student will see on their student portal;

  1. Not Meeting GPA - 2.0
  2. Not Meeting Unit Completion standard - 67%
  3. Combination of both of these factors

Students failing to meet minimum SAP requirements (2.0 GPA & 67% UCR) by the end of the semester, or have reached their Maximum timeframe will be placed in an Unsatisfactory status and must submit a SAP appeal if they would like to be considered for Federal Financial Assistance for the upcoming semester.


A student who is placed on an Unsatisfactory status may appeal to financial aid. In order to do so, the student must follow the instructions below. After careful review of a student’s appeal, a decision notification will be emailed to the student’s preferred email address. A student may appeal 1 time, and must include in the appeal the circumstances involved with not meeting Satisfactory Academic Standard, and what has now changed with those circumstances that will allow you to continue your education.

  1. To appeal, a student must log onto Student Forms and click "Request an Appeal” no later than 30 days after receipt of the notice of Financial Aid Unsatisfactory Status.
  2. Provide all information on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. Circumstances for which appeals will be considered include, but are not limited to:
    • Illness, injury or other health-related episode or condition that can be documented by a medical profession;
    • Death of a family member or other person of close relation;
    • Circumstances related to an outbreak of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the illness of a student or family member, compliance with a quarantine period, or the general disruption resulting from such an outbreak;
    • Disabilities verifiable by the Ohlone Student Accessibility Services;
    • Activities associated with a student’s service in the United States Armed Forces or other entity providing essential services to the public;
    • Issues experienced by students transitioning to collegiate academic requirements, which have been resolved or are being remediated with the intervention of Academic Advising.
    • Program Change (for Maximum Timeframe ONLY)
  3. For Appeals requiring more than 1 semester to get back into good academic standing, as well as Maximum Timeframe Appeals,the student must submit a Student Education Plan (SEP) from the Ohlone Counseling Office along with the SAP Appeal. This document must be uploaded along with all supporting documentation to student forms.
  4. Appeals are reviewed within 2-3 weeks of being received and a response will be communicated to the students preferred email.
  5. If approved, you will be placed on one of the following Appeal Plans depending on the severity of the students’ academic standing;
    1. PL - Complete 1 semester and regain SAP eligibility (2.0 Cumulative GPA & 67% UCR) by the end the semester.
    2. PCR - Complete 2 semesters and achieve a 2.0 term GPA and 100% UCR
    3. PG2 - Complete 2 semesters and achieve a 2.5 term GPA and 67% UCR
    4. PG3 - Complete 2 semesters and achieve a 3.0 term GPA and 67% UCR
    5. PB2 - Complete 2 semesters and achieve a 2.5 term GPA and 100% UCR
    6. PB3 - Complete 2 semesters and achieve a 3.0 term GPA and 100% UCR
  6. If denied, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension with an SAP code of SUS and will not be able to receive any and all Federal Student Aid until SAP eligibility is restored.

If student completes the term(s) of their academic plan and regains SAP eligibility, their SAP status will be updated with a Satisfactory status prior appeal, which is a code of OKP.

Failure to complete the SAP Appeal Plan and complete the assigned criteria as listed in the appeal will result in Financial Aid Suspension/Disqualification.


Students will not be eligible to receive financial aid when on Financial Aid Suspension/Disqualification. Students will be notified in writing that they have been suspended/disqualified and will remain suspended/disqualified until they once again meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards. This will be communicated to the student through their student portal with a code of SUS.


To regain financial aid eligibility, a student must earn sufficient grades and/or complete the necessary units to meet the qualitative (cumulative GPA of at least 2.0) and the quantitative (UCR of at least 67%) minimum requirements.

Financial aid eligibility cannot be reinstated for students who have exceeded the maximum timeframe for their degree or certificate without an approved appeal. Special Circumstances may apply for program changes.


The chart below demonstrates the minimum number of units required to complete each term in order to achieve a two-thirds completion. For example, if enrolled for 12 units, completion of 9 or more units is required.

Units Attempted

Must Successfully Complete