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Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

SAP Understanding

New Federal Guidelines

Effective Effective July 1, 2011, the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) revised its Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy to ensure compliance with the new Title IV federal regulations.

What is SAP?

  • Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines define the academic performance standards students must meet to maintain their financial aid eligibility
  • SAP is cumulative in nature: it takes into account all classes attempted, not just the previous term

SAP Affects All Students

CCC requires all students to achieve a minimum GPA standard – regardless of payment method – to remain in good academic standing.

SAP Standards

1. Grade Point Average (GPA)

You are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA for a specified set of Registered Credit Hours, as shown in the table below, to remain in good academic standing, regardless of payment method.
Registered Credit Hours​ ​Minimum Cumulative GPA
1 to 29​ ​1.75
​30 or more ​2.00
  • Registered Credit Hours include classes with the final grades of A, B, C, D, F, and the non-grades of ADW, I, and WTH
  • Cumulative GPA includes remedial courses as well as college-level courses
  • Cumulative GPA does not include pass/fail courses, no-show withdrawals (NSW), student-initiated withdrawals (WTH), incompletes (I), and administrative withdrawals (ADW)
NOTE: see grade point average (GPA) requirements for Skills students.

2. Pace – Course Completion Rate

Financial aid regulations require that you successfully complete at least 67% of all credit hours attempted as graduation hours. Formerly, this was referred to as your Earned Credit Rate (ECR).
  • Pace is cumulative and takes into account all credit hours for which you registered, not just the previous term, with the exception of remedial hours (see below)
  • All accepted transfer hours are included in the Pace calculation; transfer hours count toward the number of hours attempted
  • The following are included in the calculation of attempted hours and negatively impact Pace: student-initiated withdrawals (WTH), administrative withdrawals (ADW), incompletes (I), failing grades, and repeated classes. See your Advisor for details
  • Remedial hours and foundational studies courses are not included in this calculation

3. Timeframe – Credit Hour Limit (CHL)

Financial aid regulations require that you earn enough credits to successfully complete your degree/program within 150% of the total hours required for your degree/program. For example,
Associate in Arts Degree
Timeframe = 62 credit hours x 150% = 93 credit hours
Credit Hour Limit = Timeframe + enrolled remedial hours (maximum 30 credit hours)
AA Degree Credit Hour Limit = 123 credit hours
  • You may receive financial aid for no more than 30 hours of remedial courses
  • All accepted transfer hours from other colleges are added to your attempted credit hours at CCC
  • Your CHL is based upon the credit hours required for your academic program. If you change programs, your CHL should be adjusted accordingly (adjustment is not automatic). See your Academic Advisor for more information
  • Timeframes can be extended under certain circumstances
  • Financial aid eligibility is blocked whenever the total of your Credit Registered Hours + Skills Registered Hours + Transferred Hours is greater than your Credit Hour Limit.

More Information

For more information about SAP or how it affects you, see your Academic Advisor.