Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Public Law 99-498 requires that students make satisfactory and measurable academic progress in order to be eligible for state and federally funded financial assistance. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students are making progress toward the completion of their educational program of study. If a student is not meeting SAP and is disqualified, they no longer qualify for Financial Aid. Students may appeal the disqualification by following the instructions in Section C below.


 A. The Three Components of Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. Grade-point average (Qualitative Standard)

    All students must earn a 1.0 GPA at the end of their first semester of attendance and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above after two semesters of attendance, regardless of receipt of financial aid.

  2. Successful completion of courses (Quantitative Standard)

    Students will be measured for the quantitative standard at the end of each semester. Students must successfully complete and receive credit for a minimum of 67 percent of all college level and remedial courses attempted cumulatively, regardless of receipt of financial aid. The percentage can be calculated by dividing the successfully completed credit hours by the number of credit hours the student attempted.

    If at the end of a semester, a student has not successfully completed a minimum of 67 percent of all credit hours attempted cumulatively, the student will be placed on warning status for the next semester attended.

    If at the end of the warning status semester, the student has not successfully completed a minimum of 67 percent of all credit hours attempted cumulatively, the student will be placed on disqualification status, and they will not be eligible to participate in financial aid programs in future terms.

    All grades of A, B, C, D, F, P, W, I, and R are included in the calculation of credit hours attempted. Credit hours successfully completed toward the 67 percent are college and remedial courses completed with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P.

    Students receiving an INCOMPLETE ('I') grade or late grade that places them on warning status or disqualification status must complete the course in accordance with the 'Incomplete Grades' policy as outlined in the Triton College Catalog. The Financial Aid Department is not notified when a student finishes an incomplete class; therefore, the student must submit an appeal within the term to request that their financial aid be reinstated.

    All attempted credit hours at Triton College will be counted toward the cumulative completion rate standards and the maximum time frame standards. This includes College Success Courses, Repeated Courses, Withdrawn Courses, and Non-Completed Courses.

  3. Program Time Frame

    Students must complete their program of study within an attempted 150 percent of the credit hours required for the program. Typically, an associate degree will have a maximum time frame of 90 credit hours (60 credit hours x 150 percent). Certificates will vary more based on the credit hours required to complete the program.

    Maximum time frames will include all semesters of enrollment, regardless of receipt of financial aid, and will include all evaluated transfer credit hours. Grades of "W," "I," "R" or "F" are considered to be hours attempted and are included in the maximum time frame.

B. Financial Aid Academic Warning and Disqualification

  1. Students who fail to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in any semester will be placed on warning status (except if the GPA is less than 1.0 in the first semester of attendance, then the student is disqualified).
  2. Students who fail to meet the required course completion (see A-1) in any semester will be placed on warning status. Students who receive the Illinois Veterans Grant or National Guard Grant are exempt from the completion portion of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students may receive financial aid while on warning status without appealing.
  3. Students who fail to meet the 1.0 GPA in their first semester of attendance will be placed on disqualification status.
  4. Students who fail to meet the 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement for two consecutive semesters or who fail to successfully complete their courses as stated in section A-1 will be placed on disqualification status.

Students may not receive financial aid while on disqualification status. This includes federal and state grants, loans, work study and all Veteran Affairs benefits.


C. Appealing and Financial Aid Reinstatement

  1. Students on disqualification status may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee if they have mitigating circumstances. Students wishing to appeal their status must submit obtain an appeal form at triton.studentforms.com. All appeals must provide detailed information including supporting documentation about mitigating circumstances, and must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office. Additionally, appeals must include a current academic plan, future appeals will only require an academic plan if there is a change in the program of study. Appeals will be reviewed within ten business days.
  2. Students who have been away from Triton College for a minimum of three years may be allowed to return on probation status for one semester. During that time, the student must make satisfactory progress or become disqualified for further financial assistance. Students who were disqualified at the time they ceased their prior enrollment will be required to submit an appeal for reinstatement.
  3. Students who are not reinstated by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee may appeal again after they have successfully competed at least six credit hours in a single semester without dropping or failing a class. This does not apply to maximum timeframe holds..
  4. Reinstatement of students who have exceeded the maximum program time frame will be considered for an extension only if they can document a change in academic program and/or that they have taken developmental course work.
  5. Students have the right to appeal the decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. This may be done by submitting a written request to the Assistant Director of Financial Aid requesting a review of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee's decision. The  Assistant Director of Financial Aid's decision will be final.
  6. Students reinstated are switched to probation status and must meet the criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress or requirements of an academic plan from that point forward.

D. Notification of Status

The Financial Aid Office will notify students when they have become disqualified. However, it is the student's responsibility to know their academic progress status and how it affects financial aid eligibility.