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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

All students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) while receiving Title IV assistance. Please familiarize yourself with the policy. Philander Smith College reviews SAP at the end of each Spring semester.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid is defined as passing a required number of hours and achieving a required grade point average during any semester or academic year.  The minimum progress standards will be reviewed once per academic year, usually at the end of the spring semester for every student enrolled.  All semesters attended must be considered in making a satisfactory progress determination without regard to whether or not the student received aid in a given semester.  Also, Academic Appeals and Financial Aid Appeals are independent and separate from each other.  Please note that there is a difference between Financial Aid Probation and Academic Probation.  Please see the Office of Academic Affairs for the policy on Academic Probation. The three components of Philander Smith College’s policy are described below:

Component 1: Qualitative Standard

Each student must meet a cumulative grade point average to remain eligible for financial aid:                                  

                                                             Hrs Attempted                        Required GPA

                     First-Year Students           0 through 29                                  1.50

                     Sophomores                    30 through 59                                  1.75

                     Juniors & Seniors            60  and above                                  2.00

Regardless of hours attempted and earned, every student must have earned a cumulative 2.00 grade point average by the end of their second academic year .

Component 2: Quantitative Measure

Each student must successfully pass a minimum of 70% of their credit hours attempted during the preceding fall and spring semesters at the College (rounded to the next highest number).  Drops, Withdrawals, Incompletes, Failures, repeated course, non-credit remedial coursework and hours attempted for change of majors will be counted towards the hours attempted. Transfer work must be reflected on the PSC transcript at the time of the SAP review and will be considered for purposes of financial aid eligibility.

Component 3: Maximum Time Frame

Students must not exceed 150% of the required program hours to graduate from any one degree program.

Example - Students requiring 124 credits to graduate from a program may not attempt more than 186 [124 x 1.50] hours and still receive financial aid.

In the event a student elects to change their major, all attempted hours will be counted in the evaluation of the 150% timeframe when determining if a student has maximized his Title IV eligibility.          

Evaluation Periods

Philander Smith College will evaluate SAP standards at the end of each academic year (Spring semester). For those who attend summer school, we will evaluate at the end of their summer terms.

Cancellation of Aid

Students who fail to meet the above SAP requirements at the end of each year will not be eligible for financial aid and all aid for future terms will be cancelled.  The student will be required to appeal for continued Title IV eligibility.

Appeal Process

The appeal process is as follows:

1)       Submit the SAP appeal form

2)       Statements must be typed and include documentation to support questions 6 & 7

Examples of accepted documentation: Official documents from an agency, letters on official letterhead, notarized letters, medical records, etc.

3)       Include a degree audit for students who have earned 60+ hours.

A counselor will review your appeal and return a written decision of either approved or denied.


A counselor will review the appeal and if approved, the student will be placed on SAP Probation and the following must be in place:

Evidence that the student can return to SAP standards by the end of the approved semester, or

An academic plan (in conjunction with the student advisor) is developed that ensures a return to SAP standards

While on SAP Probation, students will be allowed to continue receiving financial aid

Students on probation will be closely monitored and expected to adhere to the terms of their probation. The terms of their probation during this SAP Probation semester will be detailed in their written SAP Probation notice. While on SAP Probation, the student will be expected to at a minimum, meet with the ICC Academic Counselor twice a month, visit with their Academic Advisor to monitor their academic plan, and complete all courses registered.

Although an academic advisor may request more than one semester to reach the required GPA; the student should show progress toward the requirement in the first semester or the probation status will be cancelled.

Student’s, who fail to meet the SAP requirements listed above by the end of their SAP Probation semester(s), will have their Title IV eligibility suspended for the next enrolled term and until they have obtained satisfactory SAP status.  


A counselor will review the appeal and if denied, the student will not be able to receive Title IV aid eligibility until such time they regain their SAP eligibility status.

How to regain Title IV Eligibility

To regain SAP eligibility the student must:

1)       Meet with their academic advisor and construct an academic plan that would create a pace of progression to ensure completion within the maximum time frame (within 186 attempted or earned credit hours).

2)       Submit a copy of the academic plan to the Financial Aid Office for monitoring

3)       Enroll in PSC and follow the academic plan created by the advisor without Title IV assistance.  The student must utilize other sources to satisfy financial responsibility.

4)       When the student has completed the academic plan, notify the Financial Aid Office. The student’s file will be reviewed to confirm that ALL requirements have been met. If all components of the SAP policy have been met, the student will regain eligibility and Title IV aid will be reinstated.

Notification will be issued in writing to the students regardless of decision.

SAP Appeal Forms

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form

Satisfactory Academic Progress Plan Form