Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with the standards set by the College and the federal government. These limitations include all terms of enrollment, whether or not aid was awarded or received and also applies to state aid. 

Progress is measured throughout the academic program by the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA Rule) and by credits earned as a percentage of those attempted (67% Rule).  In addition, students must complete their programs of study before attempting 150% of the credits required to complete the program.

The College Financial Aid Office will evaluate SAP before aid is awarded and after grades are posted for every term, starting with their first term of enrollment.

Note: Federal-student loan borrowers must meet SAP requirements at the point of loan certification and again prior to the disbursement of any loan proceeds.

Click the below topics to learn more about SAP Statuses, Rules, and Appeal Process.

Financial Aid Student Statuses

Meeting SAP

Good Standing- Students who are meeting all aspects of the SAP policy or successfully following a designated academic progress plan.


Students who fail to meet SAP for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term.  Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of the warning status term will be placed on financial aid suspension.  However, with a successful SAP appeal, those students will be placed on financial aid probation and will retain financial aid eligibility.


Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed in Probation Status (PS). Students in Probation Status (PS) are eligible to receive financial aid for one (1) semester, after which they MUST be in Good Standing (GS) or meeting the requirements of an academic progress plan that was pre-approved by the College Financial Aid Office.

Not Meeting SAP

Suspension-Students who do not meet the credit progression schedule and/or the cumulative grade point average standard, or who fail to meet the requirements of their pre-approved academic progress plan, will be placed in Suspension Status (SS). Students in Suspension Status (SS) are not eligible to receive financial aid. See Steps to Appeal Your SAP Status.

Students who do not meet the credit progression requirements (67% Rule or 150% Rule) and/or cumulative grade point average requirements (GPA Rule) will be immediately ineligible for financial aid.  Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment. 

Unless extenuating circumstances exist and an appeal is granted (see “IV. Appeals” for additional information), a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until SAP requirements are again met.

Students will be required to complete additional requirements (i.e., see a career counselor or another type of counselor, meet with an advisor to develop an academic progress plan for completion, limit enrollment, etc.) before an appeal is granted.  The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation.  The reasonableness of the student’s ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student’s program of study will be carefully considered; appeals will be approved or denied.  Students who have appeals approved will be in probationary or academic progress plan status for the coming term.  

Academic Suspension

Academic requirements for avoiding warning status and staying in school differ from financial aid requirements for SAP. Academic status will be noted on registration records; financial aid status will be noted on financial aid pages in the Student Information System (Your MyLaurelRidge account). Any student suspended from the College for academic or behavioral reasons is automatically ineligible for financial aid.

During probationary or academic progress plan status, the student must meet the conditions of the appeal as communicated to them by the Financial Aid Office, or the student will return to suspension. Failure to meet the requirements of the academic plan will result in financial aid suspension until the student returns to Good Standing on their own. If an academic progress plan has been pre-approved by financial aid, continuing to meet the requirements of that plan will put the student back into good standing.

Understanding the SAP Rules

150% Rule- This determination is not based on grades but credits completed versus required. The calculation also includes transfer credits and any completed credits for a previous degrees or certificate. Developmental and ESL course work are excluded in this calculation. Whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence. Please Note: Students that have already completed 2 degrees at Laurel Ridge CC are not eligible for aid, even if aid was not used for those degrees. Appeals will be denied.

67% Rule- This determination is based off all the credits ever attempted at Laurel Ridge CC, not just the current semester. A student must successfully complete at least 67% of all credits attempted at Laurel Ridge CC. A successfully completed course is one where a grade of A, B, C, D, or S is earned. Unsuccessful grades include F, I, R, U, or W.

COVID-19-Spring Semester 2020 Grading Policy Guidance

GPA Rule- This determination is based off of your cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), not just the current semester.

In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale*. Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are excluded. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.

There is a GPA requirement based on credits attempted, see the chart below.

Total Number of Credits Attempted GPA Requirement
1-15 1.5
16-30 1.75
31+ 2.0

*Some scholarships have stricter GPA requirements and therefore do not fall under the above scale. LRCC requires a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate from any Career Studies Certificate (CSC), Certificate, or Associate Degree. This overrides any GPA requirement for financial aid. For example, if your CSC requires 18 credits to graduate, you need a minimum 2.0 GPA, even though financial aid requires a minimum 1.75 GPA. 

Transfer Students:  Credits officially accepted in transfer will be counted in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility.  Students only taking courses at LRCC to transfer back to another college that will award the degree are NOT eligible for financial aid at LRCC. 
Second Degree Students: Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted. 
ESL and Developmental Studies:Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met. 
BSK Courses:BSK courses are not eligible for financial aid because they are considered pre-developmental and federal and state regulations do not allow financial aid to pay for those courses. Therefore it is the student’s responsibility to pay for those courses out-of-pocket.  

Additional Considerations:

  • Withdrawals (W grades) that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid. 
  • Incomplete Grades: Courses that are assigned an incomplete grade are included in cumulative credits attempted. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned. 
  • Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative grade point average. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements.  Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt.  Only the latest attempt will count toward the cumulative grade point average.  

NOTE: Some career studies certificate programs are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward all SAP requirements (Grade Point Average (GPA), Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe, and Developmental Maximum) if the student later enrolls in an eligible program.

Steps to Appeal Your SAP Status

Click the SAP Rule that impacts you, the steps to appeal are based on that.

To determine your SAP Rule: Login to MyLaurelRidge >> Click SIS >> Click Student Center >> Click To-Do List

Only complete appeal submissions, with documentation, will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office–The decision is final.

Appeals must be submitted by the Friday of the first week of each semester or aid will be cancelled. Appeals submitted beyond that date will still be reviewed.

GPA & 67% Rule

Step 1: Gather Supporting Documentation

  • Explanation of Special Circumstances—Type in a Word document, email, or other an explanation. The explanation must include:
    • What happened and why the event(s) caused you to be unable to maintain satisfactory progress.
    • What has changed and what steps you have taken or will take to achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • If applicable a doctor’s statement, copy of hospital, urgent care, or physician’s bill, an obituary, funeral notice, or death certificate must be submitted to [email protected].

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment with your Academic Advisor.

  • During your appointment, you will complete the Academic Success Plan. Be prepared to discuss your motivations, dreams, goals, and the steps to take.

Step 3: Complete and submit the SAP Appeal.

Submitting the SAP Appeal without meeting your Academic Advisor will result in your appeal being denied.

Step 4: The Financial Aid Office will notify you of the appeal decision via your Message Center.

150% Rule

Step 1: Complete and submit the SAP Appeal.

Step 2: The Financial Aid Office will notify you of the appeal decision via your Message Center.

Regaining Eligibility without a SAP Appeal

Students who fail to meet these SAP standards and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may request a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid to determine whether they have again met SAP standards. 

If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year. Students should consult with the financial aid office for assistance in appealing any element of this policy or to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid. 

Appeals must be submitted by tuition deadline for each semester to prevent your classes from being dropped. If you enroll after the tuition deadline, appeals must be submitted by the Friday of the first week of each semester or aid will be cancelled. Appeals submitted beyond that date will still be reviewed.

Have other questions? Contact the Financial Aid Office