Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Both federal and state regulations require students to meet basic academic standards in order to remain eligible for financial assistance. Failure to meet one or more of the established standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Requirements are listed below.

All previous academic history, even if the student didn't receive financial aid, is included in the academic review. Compliance with state standards is reviewed each semester; federal standards are reviewed every May. It is the student's responsibility to monitor academic progress and to understand the criteria needed to maintain both federal and state financial aid eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to lose eligibility for federal aid and remain eligible for state aid and vice versa?

Yes, the requirements for federal SAP are different than the requirements for state SAP. In addition, we review for state eligibility after each SEMESTER. We review for federal aid eligibility once per YEAR (at the end of the spring semester).

Does this really mean I can’t receive any financial aid?

If you do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal and/or state financial aid, you cannot receive aid unless you
submit and are granted an appeal. You may still be able to receive private loans and/or participate in a
tuition payment plan for your expenses. 

How do I submit an appeal?

In order to qualify for an appeal, extenuating circumstances (i.e. medical or physiological circumstances,
personal/family emergency, military service/deployment, etc.) must have prevented you from
maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you feel that you have had extenuating circumstances
that prevented you from maintaining SAP, you may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form.

What kind of supporting documentation do I need to submit with my appeal?

You will want to provide third party documentation to support the reasons listed in your appeal letter that prevented you from meeting SAP. This could include medical records, death certificate, police report, or letters from employer, therapist or doctor. All letters should be typed, signed and on official letterhead. 

Do I have to submit two appeals if I have lost eligibility for both federal and state financial aid?

No, if you have lost eligibility for both federal and state (with exception of the Excelsior Scholarship) financial aid, you only need to submit one appeal form. 

In limited cases, you may be able to appeal the loss of the Excelsior Scholarship. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 585-245-5731.

I received a notice that I am not meeting SAP for federal financial aid but I did not receive federal financial aid. Is this correct?

Because you can apply for federal financial aid at any time during your enrollment period, all enrolled students will be evaluated for federal SAP. If you are not meeting the federal requirements, you will be notified. 

Federal Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress

Federal financial aid regulations assess progress using three criteria: Pace, Grade Point Average (GPA), and Maximum Timeframe.

  • Pace of Academic Progression: A student's pace is calculated by dividing the number of hours earned by the total number of hours attempted. A student must complete at least 67% of all cumulative credit hours to continue receiving federal student aid.
  • Grade Point Average: A student must earn a minimum 2.0 Cumulative GPA.
  • Maximum Timeframe: Federal aid cannot be paid to a student who exceeds 150% of the published length of the degree program Typically, the number of credits required for degree program is 120, therefore, the maximum number of attempted credits allowed is 180.

All credits attempted at SUNY Geneseo, even terms in which the student did not receive financial aid, are included in attempted credits including all W, I, E, F, and U grades. Transfer credits accepted by SUNY Geneseo will be included as both credits attempted and credits completed. Transfer credits not accepted are not considered.

Withdrawals are also included in the attempted credits calculation. Incompletes will not be included until a grade has been assigned. Repeat courses are counted once. Note: Students receiving financial aid should consult the Financial Aid Office before repeating a course; repeating courses may have an impact on financial aid eligibility.

Failure to Meet Federal Standards

If a student fails to maintain SAP for federal aid, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students on suspension are not eligible of federal financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study.

Reinstatement of Federal Aid Eligibility

The College may consider exceptional circumstances which would justify an appeal allowing the student to receive financial aid for the following semester. Students that wish to appeal should follow the instructions under the appeal process section below.

Appeals for federal aid will result in one of three decisions:

  • Financial Aid Probation: A student whose appeal is granted will be put on Financial Aid Probation and will regain eligibility for federal aid. If after the next semester the student still does not meet the SAP standards, they will be ineligible for further aid until they do.
  • Financial Aid Probation with Academic Plan: A student whose appeal is accepted who will not be able to regain satisfactory academic standing in one semester will be placed on Financial Aid Probation with an Academic Plan. Plans will vary depending on academic record. Upon completion of the semester on an academic plan, a student must meet all terms of their individualized plan. If they do not, they will lose future eligibility for all federal aid.
  • Loss of Eligibility: If an appeal is denied, the student will be ineligible for further aid until they meet the SAP standards.

State Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress

The criteria below is used to assess New York State academic progress and impacts students receiving NY State financial aid and scholarships NOT including the Excelsior or STEM Scholarships. Excelsior and STEM Scholarships use different criteria for maintaining eligibility.

To maintain academic eligibility for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship, students must successfully complete at least 30 credits per year toward their degree. (Repeat courses will not count towards the 30 credits.)  College credits earned while in high school are 'banked' and may be used to fulfill the 30 credit hour/year requirement. 

To maintain STEM, recipients must meet all eligibility requirements, complete at least 12 credits per semester that are applicable toward their degree requirements, and earn a cumulative GPA of 2.5 for each semester beginning with the second semester (for a full overview of the GPA requirement, please see the following chart).

This chart should be used for students who first received TAP in 2010-2011 or later.

End of Semester 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9*
Required Sem. Hours of Graded (non-W’s) Credits 6 6 9 9 12 12 12 12 n/a
Required Minimum Cumulative Hrs. Earned 6 15 27 39 51 66 81 96 n/a
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average 1.50 1.80 1.80 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 n/a


This chart should be used for students in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and those who first received TAP prior to 2010-2011.

End of Semester 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9*
Required Sem. Hours of Graded (non-W’s) Credits 6 6 9 9 12 12 12 12 12
Required Minimum Cumulative Hrs. Earned 3 9 21 33 45 60 75 90 105
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average 1.10 1.20 1.30 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

*Students may only receive 8 semesters of TAP. The only exception is students in the Education Opportunity Program (EOP)  who may receive up to 10 semesters of state aid.

Failure to Meet State Standards

A student that fails to meet the academic standards for NYS financial aid will be notified by mail. Notices will be sent upon completion of the term once grades are submitted and reviewed.

Reinstatement of State Eligibility

Students who lose their eligibility for NYS financial aid for failing to meet the standards listed above may appeal to have their State financial aid eligibility reinstated. If approved, state aid will be reinstated. Such a waiver can be granted only one time in a student's undergraduate academic career.

In order to apply for an appeal, see the appeal process section below. The student must demonstrate that an unusual/extenuating circumstance existed while the student was enrolled at SUNY Geneseo and had affected their academic performance; that the circumstance is now resolved or no longer exists; and provide documentation of the situation.

Appeal Process

Students that wish to appeal the loss of financial aid must submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form petitioning the school for reconsideration of their eligibility for student aid. Appeals will be granted in accordance with the following policy:

An appeal for federal and/or state aid will be granted if situations beyond the student's control prevent the student from maintaining satisfactory academic progress. These situations must be documented by an unbiased third-party or on- or off-campus agencies (ex. doctor, counselor, social worker). The appeal will be granted only when there is reasonable expectation that the student will meet future academic requirements.

An appeal may be granted based on:

  • Personal medical problems
  • Family medical problems
  • Death of an immediate family member (parent, step-parent, sibling, student's spouse, child or grandparent)
  • Severe personal problems
  • Other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student

Note: Circumstances related to the typical adjustments to college life, such as working while attending school, a different environment from high school or community college, taking online courses or balancing involvement in student organizations with studying, are not acceptable reasons for appeal.

Third party documentation is required with all appeals. Appeals without supporting documentation will not be considered. 

Mail completed appeals to:

Financial Aid Appeal Committee
Office of Financial Aid
SUNY Geneseo
1 College Circle, Erwin 104
Geneseo, NY 14454

The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review the student's request and supporting documentation. The student will be notified in writing of the committee's decision. The decision regarding the appeal is final.