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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is required for all financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that a student receiving financial aid under the Title IV programs make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with the standards set by the home campus, University of Hawai'i Community Colleges, and the US Department of Education, using both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (pace and maximum time frame) measures.

The financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is separate and distinct from the institution’s academic progress policy. All credits attempted in any semester of enrollment at the student’s home campus, regardless of aid status, will be counted when calculating all measures of satisfactory academic progress.

In order to be eligible for financial aid, the student must meet specific academic requirements. Financial aid calculations for GPA, and credits earned and attempted, includes all home campus coursework ever taken. Transfer credits are only factored into calculations for credits earned and attempted. The minimum academic requirements and the student’s current status can be viewed in their MyUH Services portal.

Satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated annually. For students who have been placed on Probation with Academic Plan requirements, satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of every payment period.

For students in certificate programs that are less than 24 credits, academic progress will be evaluated at the end of every payment period.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative financial aid grade point average (FA GPA) of at least 2.0. FA GPA calculations do not exclude original grades that are changed as a result of repeated coursework, administrative withdrawals, academic renewals, and other academic policies.

  • Grades will be calculated into the student’s GPA as follows: (A: 4 points, B: 3 points, C: 2 points, D: 1 point, and F: 0 points).
  • The following grades will not be calculated into the student’s GPA: Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), No Grade (N), Withdrawal (W), Incomplete (I), Record Delayed (RD), Audit (L), Credit by Exam (CE).

Example: Kimo completed their first year in school. In the fall semester, they earned a D in Math 100 and a B in Eng 100. In the spring semester, they earned a B in Math 100 and an A in Bio 100. Kimo’s institutional GPA is 3.33 because the first D grade in Math is no longer counted in their institutional GPA after retaking the class and earning a higher grade. However, Kimo’s financial aid GPA is 2.75 because the financial aid GPA includes every class taken at the home campus. Kimo is meeting the minimum GPA requirement for satisfactory academic progress, but this example shows how an institutional and financial aid GPA may differ.

Students must successfully complete (pass) at least 67% of all credits attempted (calculations will be rounded down to the nearest percent).

  • Non-Passing Grades: F (Failing), NC (No Credit), N (No Grade), W (Withdrawal), I (Incomplete), and RD (Record Delayed) grades will be considered as credits attempted but not earned.
  • Incomplete Grades: An I (Incomplete) grade will be calculated as no credit earned. After reverting to a letter grade, the new grade will be included in any following SAP evaluations.
  • Audit: Audited classes are not eligible for financial aid and will not be counted toward credits attempted or completed.
  • Credit by Exam: Credit by Exam (CE) will be counted as credits attempted and completed.
  • Transfer Credits: All transfer credits will be counted as credits attempted and, if applicable, completed.
  • Repeat Courses:
    • 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.
    • All repeat courses will count as credits attempted and earned (if passed), which may be different from the institution’s academic progress policy.
  • Concurrent Enrollment Courses:
    • Concurrent enrollment courses taken at another campus that are completed will be factored into the completion rate when the courses are transferred to the student’s home campus.
    • Concurrent enrollment courses that are not completed but have been included toward the student’s financial aid credit load will be counted as attempted, but not completed, toward the completion rate (pace).
  • Administrative Withdrawal Credits: Administrative Withdrawal credits may be counted as attempted but not completed.
  • Academic Renewal: Any credits forgiven through academic renewal as a matter of academic policy will still be counted as credits attempted, but not completed, for the credit completion rate.

Example: Since Kimo started attending school, they attempted 60 credits but only successfully completed (passed) 50 credits, having withdrawn from a few classes and failing one. The calculation is 50 credits divided by 60 credits equals 83% (50 ÷ 60 = 0.833 = 83%). Therefore, Kimo has met the completion rate (pace) criteria.

Students are allowed to attempt up to 150% of the credits required for their degree program before becoming ineligible for financial aid. All attempted credits outlined in the previous section (Pace) will count against a student’s maximum time frame. Students who are unable to complete their program and achieve minimum SAP standards by the end of their maximum time frame are not eligible for financial aid.

  • Change of Major: Students may choose to change their major at any time, however all credits previously attempted at the college, and any transfer credits, will still be counted toward their maximum time frame.
  • Remedial/Developmental credits: Students are allowed up to 30 total remedial English and Math credits that are not counted toward their maximum time frame.
  • English as a Second Language: ESL credits are not counted toward the maximum time frame. Transfer Credits: All transfer credits will be counted toward the maximum time frame.
  • Non-Applicable Credits: Credits that are not applicable to a student’s current major will still be counted toward the student’s maximum time frame.
  • Multiple Degrees: If a student has already earned a degree, they must submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal so that a new maximum time frame can be determined, unless they will be able to complete their new degree within the original time frame.

Example: Kimo’s degree program requires 60 credits to graduate; therefore, they must complete their degree program within a total of 90 attempted credits (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits).


Students who do not meet the minimum standards for academic progress will not be eligible for financial aid.

To reinstate eligibility, a student must meet all three of the following conditions:

  • Have a minimum cumulative financial aid GPA of at least 2.0.
  • Complete at least 67% of all credits attempted (includes all credits reflected on the transcript).
  • Be able to graduate within their maximum time frame.

Students who have been placed on financial aid suspension because they are not meeting minimum requirements have the option to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal if they had extenuating circumstances that caused them to fall below standards. For an appeal to be approved, students should address all relevant semesters, provide documentation (no pictures), and demonstrate that the circumstances leading to financial aid suspension have been resolved. Examples of some situations that may be considered in an appeal include divorce or illness, difficulty balancing family and school responsibilities, and financial difficulties.

Appeal approval is at the discretion of the Financial Aid Office and is not subject to further review. Processing time is 4 to 6 weeks, and appeals will not be accepted later than 30 days before the last day of instruction. Students will be notified of any appeal decisions via their UH email (

If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on financial aid probation and given academic requirements to complete each semester until they meet the minimum standards for academic progress. The academic conditions will be monitored after every payment period. Students who do not meet the academic conditions will be suspended and become ineligible for financial aid. Students are notified of their suspension status via their UH email.

If an appeal is approved, an Academic Plan will be developed to include terms and conditions that must be met for the duration of the appeal. Before financial aid can be disbursed toward the student’s account, the student must acknowledge that they understand and agree to the terms of the Academic Plan by responding to the appeal approval email. The Financial Aid Office will review the student’s progress at the end of each payment period and notify them of any updates to their academic standing via UH email.