Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard

You must make satisfactory academic progress in your program of study to continue receiving federal financial aid at BMCC.

There are 3 parts to the college’s federal satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standard:

  1. Minimum GPA — You must have the GPA needed to meet the college’s minimum retention standard (that is, you cannot be on academic notice, special notice or academic dismissal). Learn more.
  2. Maximum Time-frame — You may not attempt more than 150% of the credits normally required to earn your degree (that is, you cannot attempt more than 90 credits to earn 60).
  3. Pace of Progression — You must successfully complete a certain percentage of the total number of credits that you attempt according to the following table:
Credits Attempted 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72 78 84 90
Credits Earned 0 2 4 6 13 19 23 27 33 39 44 49 55 61


Annual Evaluation for Satisfactory Progress

Your total academic record will be measured against each of the three progress components at the end of every spring term to determine whether or not you meet the standard of progress. All courses that appear on your permanent academic record and all courses accepted for transfer count towards the pace of progression and maximum time-frame requirement even if you received no federal financial aid for those courses.

Financial Aid Suspension

If, at the point of evaluation, you have not met one or more of the three progress standards, you will be placed on financial aid suspension and lose your eligibility to receive federal financial aid. Federal financial aid includes Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, Work-Study and Direct Loan assistance. You will remain ineligible for federal student aid until you take actions that once again bring you into compliance with the appropriate progress standard.

Your Right to Appeal
If you have been placed on financial aid suspension, you may appeal to the Committee on Academic Standing to be allowed to receive federal student aid once again.

Your appeal must be based on excusable circumstances resulting from events in your life such as personal illness or injury, illness or death of a family member, loss of employment, or changes in your academic program. Your appeal must include an explanation of how these circumstances caused you to fail to make satisfactory progress and what changes have you made that would allow you to meet the appropriate progress standard in a future evaluation. Your appeal should include independent third-party documentation of the circumstances you describe in your explanation.

Your appeal must also include a reasonable and attainable academic plan that, if followed, will ensure that you will complete your academic program or make substantial progress towards completing your program in the semesters that you wish to receive aid for.

If you decide to appeal, please read the following instructions regarding our new processes:

Deadline to submit all tasks for Financial Aid SAP Appeal:

  • Summer 2023 (Thursday, 7/13/23)
  • Fall 2023 (Wednesday, 11/1/23)
  • Spring 2024 (Wednesday, 4/3/24)

Financial Aid Probation
If your appeal is granted, you will be placed on financial aid probation and have your federal student aid eligibility reinstated for one semester. At the end of the probationary semester, your record will be reviewed to determine if you have fulfilled the requirements specified in your academic plan.

If you meet the conditions of your academic plan while on financial aid probation, you will continue to receive federal student aid on a monitored semester-by-semester basis until the next scheduled progress evaluation.

If you fail to meet the conditions of your academic plan in any probationary semester, your eligibility for federal financial aid will be once again suspended. Appeals to restore your financial aid probation are allowed, but, as in the original appeal, you would have to indicate the reasons why you did not meet satisfactory progress requirements, the reasons why the objectives of your academic plan were not achieved, and what has changed to ensure you will be able to meet the progress standard at the next evaluation.

There is no limit on the number of times you may follow the financial aid appeals procedure. If your appeal is denied, the Committee on Academic Standing may permit you to re-submit the appeal with additional documentation. You may continue to submit appeals each time you are found not to be making satisfactory progress, but approval of your appeal is at the discretion of the Committee on Academic Standing.

Re-establishing Eligibility

Other than having eligibility restored through filing a successful appeal, you may only have your financial aid suspension removed by taking actions that bring you into compliance with the appropriate progress standard. The mere passage of time, by itself, will not restore your aid eligibility.

If you remain enrolled without receiving federal financial aid, you may request a review of your academic record after any term you were on financial aid suspension to determine whether you have met the standard of satisfactory progress. If the standard is met, you will regain eligibility for federal aid in the subsequent terms of the academic year.

Defining Credits Attempted and Credits Earned

Your credits attempted reflect the semester course loads maintained in your permanent enrollment record at the college. Credits earned are those credits you have actually earned toward your degree.

In measuring your academic progress, certain courses and situations will be treated in the following ways:

  1. Basic Skills Courses
    Remedial or basic skills courses do not carry degree credit. These courses are not counted towards meeting the minimum GPA requirement and are not included as either credits attempted or credits earned for determining your pace of progression.
  2. Withdrawals
    Withdrawals recorded on your permanent record will be counted in your total record of credits attempted. “W” and “WU” grades are not factored into your GPA and do not affect your academic standing, they do adversely affect your ability to meet the pace of progress standard.
  3. Incomplete Grades
    Your total credits attempted must include any course in which you receive an incomplete grade. This course cannot be counted towards meeting the minimum GPA requirement or as part of your earned credits until you have received a completion grade. If you fail to meet either the minimum GPA or pace of progression requirement due to an incomplete grade for a course, your eligibility can be restored for all terms once the successful completion grade is submitted.
  4. Repeated Courses
    Successfully completed courses can generally be accepted toward degree requirements only once. However, each time you attempt a course, it is included as part of your total record of credits attempted for measuring of pace of progression. Therefore, while repeating a course may assist you to meet the minimum GPA requirement, it may reduce your ability to meet the pace of progression requirement.
  5. Transfer of Credit
    As a transfer student, you will have your status initialized for measuring satisfactory academic progress by counting the transfer credits accepted toward the degree as both credits attempted and credits earned.  Transfer courses are not used to evaluate whether or not you meet the minimum GPA requirement.

Treatment of Non-Standard Situations

  1. Readmitted Students
    Upon readmission after any period of non-enrollment, your satisfactory progress standing remains as it was at the end of your last semester of attendance. If you were making satisfactory academic progress in your last semester of attendance, your eligibility to receive federal financial aid will not be affected when you return. If you return after an academic notice or dismissal, your financial aid will be in suspended status and you will have to file an appeal to have your eligibility for federal aid restored. Any action you took during your period of absence that would have brought you back into compliance with the progress standard (such as successfully completing transferable courses at another institution) is factored into the evaluation.
  2. Second Degree Students
    If you are enrolled for a second degree, your pace of progression status will be initialized for measuring satisfactory academic progress by counting the credits accepted toward the second degree as both credits attempted and credits earned.
  3. Change of Major/Change of Degree
    If you change majors within the same degree program, or begin pursuing a different degree without having earned the first degree, and you exceed the maximum timeframe, you are required to file a successful appeal to extend the maximum timeframe.