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What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the level of academic standing (as defined by the college or university) that a student must maintain to continue receiving federal student aid.

  • SAP is sometimes calculated in terms of your grade point average (GPA) or other grading standard, or by attendance records.
  • SAP also establishes a maximum time frame to complete your certificate, diploma or degree . The maximum time frame must not exceed 150 percent (or time and one-half) of the published program length.
  • Check your college or university's website, financial aid materials or student handbook to determine the SAP standards you must meet at your college or university. Make sure that you understand what is expected of you when you accept the award. Don't wait until it is too late to ask questions and you've lost your aid.


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  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.