Skip to main content

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.

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.

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% (rounded up to the nearest credit) 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 not including the Excelsior Scholarship.

To maintain academic eligibility for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship, students must successfully complete at least 30 credits per year towards 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. 

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

An appeal is a signed letter written by the student 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. The appeal will be granted only when there is reasonable expectation that the student will meet future academic requirements.

Update due to COVID-19: Students impacted by the campus closure, transition to online courses, and/or the coronavirus are encouraged to submit a letter of appeal explaining how they were impacted. While documentation is recommended (if available) it is NOT required.

An appeal may be granted based on:

  • Personal Medical Problems
  • Family Medical Problems
  • Severe Personal Problems
  • Other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student

Third party documentation is required with all appeals. Appeals will not be granted to students who reduce their course loads to avoid academic difficulty.

To apply for an appeal, students must submit a signed letter by the deadline including:

  1. Geneseo ID number
  2. Expected graduation date
  3. Details on the extenuating circumstances that interfered with the student's academic progress and supporting documentation
  4. Details on  how the circumstances have changed

This statement must be accompanied by third party documentation supporting the given reasons for failing to maintain academic progress. These materials must be postmarked by the date specified in the notification letter and should be sent 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.