Satisfactory Academic Standards / Federal Aid Programs


In order to receive federal student financial aid funds, a student must be considered “a regular student in an eligible program” per federal regulations. SUNY Adirondack defines “a regular student in an eligible program” as an individual who completes the matriculation process at SUNY Adirondack. A matriculated student is one who has made application to the College, has submitted the required documentation, and has been formally accepted as a candidate for a degree or certificate. Students who are enrolled in online courses are required to meet the same standards as “a regular student in an eligible program” in order to be eligible for student financial aid funds.

An eligible student is considered to be in good academic standing if, at the end of each term, the student meets the criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress. In addition to meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student who is receiving federal financial aid must also meet pursuit of program guidelines.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student is considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) if he or she maintains the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) based on the total number of credits attempted noted in the following chart. Attempted credits is defined as ALL credits a student attempts (as of the end of the bill adjustment period), including audited credits, withdrawals, repeated course work, incompletes, failed courses and any transfer credits accepted toward a student’s program of study. Developmental coursework and accepted transfer credits are not calculated in the GPA. Also, the federal government does not recognize re-calculated GPA or eliminated credits under the SUNY Adirondack Fresh Start program (see academic regulations).  Please keep in mind that we are required to consider all credits even if they are from long ago or you didn't receive financial aid at the time you were enrolled. 

Pursuit of Program

A student is considered to be meeting pursuit of program if he or she completes 67% of the total number of credits attempted as defined above regardless of whether a student received federal aid. Minimum credits earned is defined as ALL credits passed at SUNY Adirondack (A to D-), including any transfer credits accepted toward a student’s program of study. An incomplete will count as a withdrawal until the course is successfully completed. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Financial Aid Office when the incomplete grade is changed to a letter grade. Federal aid eligibility may not be adjusted if an incomplete is changed at a point in time which makes it impossible for the student’s federal aid to be revised.

Please note that separate SAP and pursuit of program requirements exist for recipients of New York State aid programs.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Chart for Federal Financial Aid Eligibility1


Total Credits Attempted2 Academic/FA Warning CGPA Academic/FA  Probation CGPA Academic Dismissal/FA Warning CGPA4
0 - 18 1.51 - 1.99 0.00 - 1.50   -
19 - 36 1.76 - 1.99 1.26 - 1.75 0.00 - 1.25
37 - 54 1.91 - 1.99 1.51 - 1.90 0.00 - 1.50
54 - 963   - 1.80 - 1.99 0.00 - 1.80
  meeting SAP warning warning
Total Cr Att Minimum % of Earned Credits Required5
0-18 50%
19-54 60%
55-96 67%


1   Students may appeal if one or more conditions are not being met. Please see below for detailed information.

2  Attempted credits include all transcript credits (transfer, failures, withdrawals - official & unofficial)

3  Per federal regulation, total attempted credits may not exceed 150% of the program length

4 CGPA = cumulative grade point average

5  Total credits earned divided by attempted credits must always be >= to the % indicated above

       EXAMPLE: attempted credits = 13 x 0.67 = 8.71 means 9 credits need to be earned to meet guidelines

*Students pursuing subsequent degrees can receive another warning before loss of aid



Process to Appeal Loss of Financial Aid

A student who receives a loss of eligibility notice from the SUNY Adirondack Financial Aid Office may appeal to possibly regain eligibility for aid. The appeal must be in writing and received by November 20th of the fall term, April 20th of the spring term. Your letter should fully explain why you did not succeed and what you will change to improve your academic performance going forward. You may be asked to document your circumstances and can appeal more than once in an academic year. Per regulation, we are required to use the chart put forth by the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to determine eligibility for NYS awards.

*Minimum credits earned is a requirement for federal financial aid recipients only. 


If a student graduates and requests a second program of study, his/her transcript will be evaluated to determine what portion of the requirements for the new degree has been satisfied. A student will be reviewed using the above chart based upon the new count of attempted credits. For federal financial aid, a student will be allowed to change majors a maximum of four times while in attendance at SUNY Adirondack. If a student changes majors more than four times, he or she will be considered ineligible for federal aid and will need to attend SUNY Adirondack without the benefit of federal assistance or request a federal appeal.*Minimum credits earned is a requirement for federal financial aid recipients only.

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