Skip Main Navigation

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Download the SAP Policy

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is one of many Federally mandated criteria viewed in determining a student's eligibility for continued receipt of their financial aid. SAP is measured by a student’s PACE (the number of credits earned in relation to attempted units), Qualitative (GPA) standard and Maximum Time Frame (time allowed to complete the academic program). Students must also demonstrate a progression toward completion of their degree program within an established timeframe.   

Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will result in loss of financial aid eligibility including federal, state, institutional and certified private loans. Progress is reviewed at the end of each semester of a student’s enrollment. 

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

SAP is measured by a student’s PACE (the number of credits earned in relation to attempted units), Qualitative (GPA) standard and Maximum Time Frame (time allowed to complete the academic program). Students must also demonstrate a progression toward completion of their degree program within an established timeframe.  To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, means you must maintain:

  • A cumulative completion rate of at least 67% of the units you attempt
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Complete your education program within 150% of the minimum required units

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review:   
The Office of Student Financial Aid will conduct a review of Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each term of a student’s enrollment. Email notifications of a student’s SAP eligibility will be sent to the student's MSJC email account.   

Please note that students who have not received financial aid in previous years but are applying for financial assistance for the first time will also be held to the requirement of maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed for all semesters of a student's enrollment regardless of whether the student was eligible for financial assistance during a semester. If students exceed the maximum time, they are not meeting satisfactory academic progress, thus, all aid will be denied.   

Financial Aid denial does not prohibit a student from continuing their education at Mt. San Jacinto College. It does prohibit a student from receiving financial aid until the student again meets the standards for satisfactory academic progress.   

SAP Statuses:

SAP Satisfactory:  A student is meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress as long as the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (Qualitative Standard), a completion percentage of 67% (Quantitative Standard) and the student has not exceeded the Maximum Time Frame of their selected program of study (Quantitative Standard). 

SAP Warning:  Students failing to meet SAP will be placed on a one semester “Warning”, which will allow students to receive financial assistance even though they are not meeting the SAP standard.  If after the “Warning” semester, students are still not meeting the SAP standard, they will become Ineligible.  (Students who have exceeded the 150% Maximum Time Frame do not receive a Warning semester). 

SAP Denied:  Students who continue to fail to meet satisfactory academic progress will be placed in a Denied status.   You have the option to appeal this denial. An appeal must be based on significant extenuating circumstances that seriously affected and prohibited a student’s academic performance and/or completion.  A student in a Denied SAP status may reinstate their financial aid eligibility by bringing up either/both their GPA and/or their completion rate.  Reinstatement is not retroactive, and you will not receive aid for any semester that you were ineligible.   

Financial Aid “Probation”:   
An approved course list will be developed after a student’s SAP appeal has been approved by the committee.  All approved course lists will be monitored each term. If the student fails to meet the SAP standards of the 2.0 GPA and/or the 67% completion rate, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Students who fail to meet the standards during their probationary semester will not be eligible to submit a subsequent appeal.  NOTE:  Students who are on probation and take a course listed on their approved course list, and either withdrawal or receive an insufficient grade will not be eligible for their financial aid for that course, if they were to retake it.  Students who withdrew from a course from their approved course list and received partial payment or any payment, the student will not be eligible for financial aid again for that course, if retaken.  

How many units must I enroll in and complete to maintain eligibility for aid?

The Financial Aid office does not impose a minimum number of units each semester, although most financial aid programs require at least 6 units per semester (half-time status) to receive funds.  Therefore, you may decide each semester how many units you will attempt.  In deciding, consider such factors as employment, course difficulty, family responsibility, academic probation, etc.

What is MSJC's definition of “completed” and “attempted” units?

You complete a course when you earn credit by receiving a passing grade of A, B, C, D, P, or CR.

Attempted units are any units for which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, EW, MW, RD, P, NP, CR, NC, I, IP, or W is received after the last date to drop a class without receiving a “W” grade.  Units for "EW" COVID related withdrawals will not be included as attempted units.

  • Attempted units include all coursework at MSJC as well as all other transferable coursework at other institutions

Do non-degree applicable and repeated courses count for financial aid?

Up to 30 units of non-degree applicable/remedial qualify for federal financial aid.  You may be paid for any repeated class if you previously failed that class and/or for any one class that you previously passed but want to retake.  Note:  The financial aid policy differs from the academic policy governing repeated courses.

What happens if I complete less than 67% of my attempted units or fall below a 2.0?

If you completed less than 67% of your attempted units or your GPA falls below 2.0, you are automatically placed on Financial Aid “warning” status for the following semester.  A "warning" status is eligible for financial aid.  Some students will be automatically terminated based on previous academic history and/or the inability to bring your cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or higher.

How do I re-qualify if my eligibility is terminated?

At the end of each semester MSJC will re-evaluate your SAP status.  If you successfully increase your cumulative completion rate to at least 67% of your attempted units and have a cumulative 2.0 GPA, the Financial Aid Office will automatically reinstate your financial aid eligibility.

How can I monitor my own SAP status?

Calculate your percentage of earned units using this formula:

(Earned Units)
Divided by 
(Attempted Units)
8 Earned Units
Divided by
12 Attempted Units


Completion Rate Calculator


How does MSJC define the maximum unit timeframe?

Federal regulations require that you complete your academic programs within 150% of the standard timeframe for your program.  At MSJC, 90 units is the maximum for most programs.  All units are counted even if you did not receive financial aid and even if the units do not count for unit credit toward graduation and/or transfer.  Once you reach the maximum units for your program, you are ineligible to receive financial aid.

  • Please note: Students enrolled in an eligible Certificate program will be allowed to attempt up to 150% of the published number of units required to earn the certificate

May I appeal if I lose my eligibility because I completed less than 67% of my attempted units, have a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 and/or exceed the maximum units allowed?

You have a right to appeal your financial aid SAP status by presenting a written appeal with a personal statement, current Educational Plan and documentation of mitigating circumstances. You may request an SAP appeal via Student Forms.

The Appeal Process:   
Appeals must be submitted prior to the semester’s deadline.  These dates vary from year to year; however, so make sure you review the dates listed below.   

Deadline for appeal submission for 2023-24 academic year:   

  • Summer term – July 13, 2023 
  • Fall term – November 16, 2023  
  • Spring term – April 18, 2024   
  • Summer term - July 11, 2024   

MSJC will consider appeals for uncontrollable events, students having trouble adjusting to college, special circumstances that happen in a student's life such as death of a family member, student illness, transition to college issues, being called to the military, etc. The student must describe what impact the circumstance had on academics, what the student has done to address the impact and how the student plans to be successful. If the student is not yet prepared to vigorously focus on academics with assistance, if necessary, the student should not submit an appeal.   

Some examples include but are not limited to:  

  • Death in the family. State how this person was related to you (i.e. parent, spouse, sibling, etc.).  You must provide a copy of the death certificate, obituary or related documentation.   
  • Disabling illness or injury to the student.  Please provide supporting documentation from your medical provider.   
  • Disabling illness or injury of immediate family member that required your care.  Please provide supporting documentation from your medical provider.   
  • Emotional or mental health issues (for student) that required professional care.  Please provide supporting documentation from your medical provider, social worker or other professional.   
  • Other special circumstance beyond your control (transition that may lead to depression, anxiety, and other problems that can be documented, divorce/separation, natural disaster, extreme change in financial or legal circumstances, etc.)   

Extenuating circumstances do not include the following: 

  • Applying for an additional degree or certificate 
  • Changed your mind about current degree plan 
  • Did not like the instructor; had conflicts with the instructor, did not like the course 
  • Death of anyone other than immediate family member 

Documentation or evidence that supports the reason(s) must be included with your appeal. This may include a signed letter from a doctor, court documents, death certificates, layoff notices, foreclosure notices, etc. Upload any and all supporting documentation.   

1.  Use the SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS APPEAL FORM to describe your personal statement.   

  • State clearly why you failed to meet the condition(s) cited. Upload documentation if necessary.   
  • State what has changed that will allow you to demonstrate SAP progress at the end of the next evaluation period.   
  • To confirm your extenuating circumstance(s), you must upload signed documentation from an objective third party (e.g. physician, counselor, lawyer, social worker, teacher, religious leader, academic advisor).   

We realize that sharing personal information can be difficult. Be assured that your statement will remain confidential. Only the SAP committee will review your appeal.   

2.  Meet with your MSJC Counselor to request and schedule a 1hr SAP appointment with an academic counselor.   

  • Upload a current Education Plan by an academic counselor which outlines the required courses for your program of study and expected date of graduation or transfer. NOTE: If you submit your appeal without the advisor or department chair's evaluation, your appeal will be denied.   

 3.  Complete “The Key Components to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Financial Aid Appeal Process Session” found at:   

  • Download your completed confirmation page and upload to complete the SAP Appeal task.   
    • NOTE:  There are five total Financial Aid counseling sessions.  Please complete the requirement of the third session, "The Key Component of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Financial Aid Appeal Process".   

 4.  Upload all supporting documents for your extenuating circumstance(s) indicated in your personal statement 

 5.  Submit your appeal by the deadline.  Failure to submit to complete appeal will result in cancellation of aid. 

NOTE:  Submission of an appeal does not guarantee that a student will regain financial aid eligibility.  After reviewing the appeal, a decision will be made, and the student will be notified by email. 

PleaseALLOW 2-3 WEEKSfor the review of this appeal and receipt of the decision notification. If your appeal is approved, the decision notification will outline the conditions of your contract for reinstatement of aid eligibility. The contract is binding, and your academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester. If your appeal is denied, the decision notification will specify the conditions for future consideration for financial aid eligibility.   

Students awaiting a response from the SAP Appeal Review Committee are responsible for paying their tuition and other fees by the payment deadline to avoid late and collection fees.   The decision of the financial aid review committee is FINAL and cannot be appealed.   

Financial Aid Office Hours
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: Closed
*In-person services for Financial Aid only available at the Menifee Valley Campus
Reach us by phone at 951-465-7891 or email