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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

SAP Policy PDF PDF Document

Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients, in order to remain eligible for financial aid, must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the achievement of their degree or certificate. SAP measures a student’s progress towards their chosen degree by assessing their Grade Point Average (GPA), Credit Completion Rate (CCR), and whether they are on track to complete their program within their maximum time frame.

SAP will be evaluated at the end of the Spring semester for all students. Students whose academic program length is less than one year (less than 24 credits), and all students who officially or unofficially withdraw, will be evaluated at the end of every term.

-- All attempted courses that appear on a student’s official transcript will be counted (including academic renewals); regardless of whether financial aid was received at the time the courses were attempted. --

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program of study which is at least sixteen (16) credits and fifteen (15) weeks in length.

Grade Point Average

  • Students must maintain a cumulative HawaiiCC GPA of at least 2.0.

Credit Completion Rate (Pace)

  • Students must complete their educational objectives within a reasonable period of time.
  • Students must successfully earn at least 67% of all credit hours attempted.
  • A student’s CCR is calculated by dividing credit hours completed by credit hours attempted.

EXAMPLE:  Since Kaleo started attending college, he has attempted 60 credit hours.  He only completed (passed) 50 credits because he withdrew from a few classes and failed a class.  Based on the following calculation, Kaleo has earned more than 67% of the credits that he attempted and therefore has fulfilled HawaiiCC's SAP credit completion requirement.

Kaleo's Credits Completed (50) ÷ Kaleo's Credits Attempted (60) = 83% 

  • The student’s CCR will be assessed based on the number of credits the student is enrolled in on the HawaiiCC Pell Recalculation Date (FinancialAid Enrollment Status Determination date - see current semester calendar).
  • The following grades will be considered as credits attempted and earned: A, B, C, D, CR.
  • The following grades will be considered as credits attempted but not earned: F, W, NC, N, I.

Chart to Determine Two-Thirds Completion Each Term

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

Credit Hours AttemptedMust Successfully Complete

Maximum Time Frame

  • Financial aid may fund up to 150% of the number of credit hours required for completion of the student’s chosen degree/certificate. This maximum time frame is calculated by multiplying the number of credits needed to complete the degree or certificate by 150%.

EXAMPLE:  Kaleo's degree program requires 60 credits to graduate, therefore he must complete his degree within the maximum time frame of 90 credits (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits)

  • Students may attempt up to 30 remedial credits which will not be counted against their maximum time frame.
  • ESL credits are not counted against student’s maximum time frame.

Eligibility Limitations:

  • Students can only be awarded financial aid for courses that are applicable toward their degree/certificate.
  • Students who complete the academic requirements for their program’s degree/certificate, but have not applied for graduation or posting of credentials to their transcript are not eligible for further federal aid for that program.
  • Credits and grades excluded under the Academic Renewal Policy will be included in the calculation of the Financial Aid GPA and Credit Completion Rate (CCR).
  • Students are responsible for informing the Financial Aid Office of any grade changes once posted to their academic record.
  • Non-credit and audit classes are not eligible for financial aid and are not included in calculations of GPA, CCR or maximum time frame.

Change of Major/SecondMajor

  • Students who change their major without completing their first degree or certificate will have all credits previously attempted counted toward their new maximum time frame.
    • Students must notify the Financial Aid Office when changing their major.
  • Financial Aid will fund one degree or certificate at a time. Students who seek a second degree/certificate must submit a Maximum Credit/Transfer Credit to Subsequent Degree form and a new time frame will be calculated.

Transfer Credits

  • Only transfer credits applicable to HawaiiCC degrees and programs will be counted towards the maximum time frame.
  • Students are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office when credits are transferred in to HawaiiCC.

Repeat Courses/Credits

  • Repeat courses/credits are counted towards student’s 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.

Financial Aid Suspension:

  • Students who fail to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible to receive financial aid until the SAP requirements are met.
  • Students who officially or unofficially withdraw will be placed on immediate Financial Aid Suspension if they are not making SAP. See the Return of Title IV Policy ( for more information.
  • During the period of Financial Aid Suspension, students may (unless placed on Academic Dismissal) attend HawaiiCC without financial aid. If the student wishes to continue to attend, they will be responsible for covering all educational expenses.


  • A student who is placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal the denial of financial aid.
  • The appeal process is optional and it is the student’s responsibility to submit the HawaiiCC Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal form along with all supporting documentation. The following should be included in the appeal:
    • Extenuating/mitigating circumstances which prevented the meeting of HawaiiCC’s Financial Aid SAP (including as much detail as possible).
      • Circumstances considered may include illness, injury, accident, death of an immediate family member, family difficulties, interpersonal issues, and/or college adjustment problems.
    • Academic progress strategy detailing how student plans to return to good standing and meet the SAP requirements.
  • Students will be informed of a decision whether their appeal has been conditionally approved or denied via email within 4 to 6 weeks of submission.
    • If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will receive a Financial Aid Academic Plan (FA Plan) outlining the conditions that must be met in order to continue receiving future financial aid.
      • The student must meet with their Academic Advisor and return the FA Plan to the Financial Aid Office prior to any funds being disbursed.
      • If the conditions of the FA Plan are not met, the student will again be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • SAP Appeal decisions cannot be re-appealed and/or eligibility reinstated if a SAP Appeal was previously granted and FA Plan conditions were not met, unless appealing on the basis of a different set of circumstances.