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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To maintain eligibility for Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for grade point average, pace, and timeframe to degree. It is a student’s responsibility to become familiar with their college’s SAP Policy if they wish to receive Federal Student Aid (FSA). Failure to meet SAP places a student’s financial aid in jeopardy. The Financial Aid SAP policy also applies to students using the Nebraska Waiver of Tuition Program (NE R.S.S. 80-411).

STANDARD 1: Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

To receive or continue to receive financial aid, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA.  The cumulative GPA requirement differs based on the number of credit hours attempted.

Associate Degree Program   Certificate of Achievement or Career Certificate Program
Credit hours attempted Minimum GPA required   Credit hours attempted Minimum GPA required
0 - 29.5 1.5   0 - any 2.0
30 - 79.5 1.75      
80+ 2.0      

Standard 2: Completion Ratio (completed/attempted hours = 67%)

The percentage of attempted credit hours completed is measured by dividing the cumulative number of completed credits by the cumulative number of attempted credits.  The minimum requirement is 67 percent.  For financial aid purposes, a course is considered complete if a grade of A, B, C, D, P, or R is earned.  Grades of F, W, and I are considered unsuccesful grades and reduce the completion rate. 


The maximum time frame for the completion of a degree or certificate is limited by federal regulations to 150 percent of the published number of credit hours required to complete the degree or certificate. This includes transfer credits and all attempted credit hours, including completed credits, audits, incompletes, withdrawals, CLEP, and repeated or failed classes.   Students must be able to complete their program with the maximum credit limit.  Once it becomes mathematically impossible to complete within the maximum credit limit students are placed into denied (DEN) status.


Students placed in denied status have the right to appeal.  All appeals are reviewed by the Satisfactory Progress Committee.  When reviewing appeals, the committee looks for mitigating circumstances (unusual or extraordinary circumstances beyond the student's control that the student could not have planned for).

SAP APPEALS are REVIEWED QUARTERLY ACCORDING TO THE published deadlines – See financial aid self-service appeal form for deadlines.


To submit an appeal, follow these steps:
  1. The Financial aid Satisfactory Progress Appeal Form is an electronic form available to student through their Financial Aid Self Service.  In Self Service, the student should review their Satisfactory Academic Progress by clicking on the SAP status banner in the middle of the page.  From there, the SAP appeal form is available by clicking on the SAP Appeal Form link under Helpful links.  student appeals are available for all students requesting Federal Financial Aid and applicable Nebraska State Tuition Waiver eligible students.  If you are requesting Federal Aid, you must have a FAFSA on file.
  2. Complete the electronic appeal form.  Students will be asked to respond to three questions.
    1. Explain the circumstances contributing to your inability to maintain Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress.
    2. Explain how you have addressed any circumstances.
    3. Confirm your program of study and how many hours to completion.
  3. Submit any supporting documentation to aide in the review of the appeal.


The Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Committee reviews appeals.  Students are notified of the committee's decision by their MCC student email and in Financial Aid Self Service.

When an appeal is approved, aid is reinstated for the quarter the student requested the appeal.  If the student does not attend during the reinstatement quarter, the reinstatement will apply to next quarter of enrollment.  Students are placed on a Monitoring status (for details on Monitoring status please see Financial Aid SAP Status).

When an appeals are denied or  students decide not to appeal, students are responsible for payment of all educational charges on their MCC Account until they appeal or successfully return to good standing.


Statuses are determined for all students at the end of each quarter of enrollment.


Good standing status is given to students who meet all three Satisfactory Progress standards.


Students who do not meet SAP standards after their first quarter are placed warning and may still receive financial aid in the subsequent term. Their status may change back to good standing if they progress in SAP or move to denied if they continue to fail SAP standards.


Students who do not meet SAP at the end of a warning quarter, or those who are over the maximum timeframe are moved to denied status. Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are denied. However, students are afforded the opportunity to appeal the denial.


Students with an approved appeal are placed on monitoring/probation status for the subsequent quarter. Students on probation must meet the requirements for continued financial aid eligibility; complete all attempted credits, achieve a minimum quarterly GPA of 2.0 or higher, and attempt no more than 150 percent of the credits required for their program of study. While on probation, students must follow the academic program approved in their appeal and cannot change their program of study until regaining good standing.


Students may remain in extended monitoring until they regain good standing.


Students with an approved max timeframe appeal are eligible for aid for the subsequent quarter. While on max time approved status, students must follow their academic program.


Students may remain in extended max timeframe monitoring until they complete their program so long as they continue to meet the terms of their approved appeal.

Treatment of Courses


Audit courses are ineligible for financial aid funding and do not count toward the number of attempted credits or the number of earned credits; however, they do count toward the maximum credit limit.


Students can only receive financial aid once for a repeated course if they have already received a grade of R, P, D or better in the course. Credits from repeated courses count as attempted and earned credits as well as count toward the maximum credit limit. In addition, grades for the first time the course is taken and all times the course is repeated count toward the Satisfactory Progress cumulative GPA.


CLEP courses are ineligible for financial aid funding. The credits count as attempted and earned credits as well as toward the maximum credit limit but do not affect the Satisfactory Progress cumulative GPA.


Credits transferred to MCC from another institution count as attempted and earned credits as well as count toward the maximum credit limit but do not affect the Satisfactory Progress cumulative GPA.


Credits for ESL courses count as attempted and earned credits. Federal, state, and institutional financial aid can be received for a maximum of 100 attempted ESL credit hours. Students who lose financial aid eligibility because they exceed 100 attempted credit hours of ESL may regain aid eligibility when they start developmental classes or college-level classes.


Students admitted into financial aid eligible programs are eligible to receive federal aid for up to 45 developmental credits. Developmental credits count as attempted and earned credits as well as count toward the maximum credit limit. They also affect the Satisfactory Progress cumulative GPA.


High school students enrolled in MCC courses that will apply toward their high school graduation requirements and earn them credits at MCC are not eligible to receive federal aid. When dual enrollment students graduate from high school, enroll in financial aid eligible programs at MCC and apply for financial aid, credits for the MCC courses taken under a dual enrollment program count as attempted and completed credits as well as toward the maximum credit limit. These credits also affect the Satisfactory Progress cumulative GPA.