Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal and State financial aid regulations require College of San Mateo (CSM), to establish, publish and apply qualitative, quantitative and incremental standards by which CSM can determine whether a student requesting and/or receiving financial aid is maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study. Financial Aid recipients are required to have a declared major and enrollment in a Title IV eligible program. You can learn more about SAP requirements below:
- SAP Requirements
- Other SAP Requirements
- Special SAP Considerations
- SAP COVID Policy 2020 through 2022
For additional information, please visit the Financial Aid Handbook.
Qualitative: The quality of a student’s academic progress is measured by the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. Courses completed with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P will be considered acceptable for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Quantitative: The CSM Financial Aid Office measures academic progress by the cumulative number of units a student has attempted and completed.
- Maximum Time Frame: All financial aid students will be expected to complete their program within 150% of the published length of the program. Students enrolled in 60 unit AA/AS, 4-year transfer, or vocational programs will be expected to complete their program by the time they attempt 90 units. Students enrolled in vocational programs of less than 60 units will be given a maximum time frame (attempted units) that is 150% of their chosen program's length.
- Pace Rate: It is expected that financial aid students will make continuous and steady progress towards their educational goals, referred to as Pace Rate. To measure whether students are progressing in their course of study within the maximum time frame, SMCCD will evaluate the Pace Rate of financial aid students after each term (Fall, Spring and Summer). At the end of each term, students will be expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted. Classes with grades of A, B, C, D, and P (Pass) are considered to have been completed. Classes with grades of F, NP (No Pass), I (incomplete), and RD (grade delayed) will not be considered as completed. All classes taken at other institutions through a consortium agreement will also be included in the Pace Rate assessment.
Associate Degree or Transfer Program maximum time frame is 90 units.
Increments: The academic progress of financial aid students will be evaluated after each payment period. Progress will be evaluated after grades for the previous term are posted.
Financial Aid Warning: When the academic progress of financial aid students is evaluated, students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0 OR whose cumulative Pace Rate is below 67% will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. In addition, students who are either transferring to a SMCCD college or who are continuing SMCCD students, but never previously applied for financial aid, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning if their cumulative GPA is below 2.0 OR if their cumulative Pace Rate is below 67%. Students on Financial Aid Warning will be eligible for financial aid during the term that they are placed on warning. After the warning term, if a student's GPA AND/OR Pace Rate meet the District's minimum standard, the student will no longer be on Financial Aid Warning. Students who do not meet the GPA and Pace Rate standard will be deemed ineligible and required to appeal. If the appeal is approved, they will be placed on Financial aid Probation.
Financial Aid Probation: You will be placed on financial aid satisfactory progress probation if a SAP appeal is approved. You are eligible for financial aid while on probation. Failure to attain the required GPA and/or cumulative completed credits percentage will mean that you are no longer eligible for financial aid. If you do not attain the required GPA and/or cumulative completed credits percentage, but you do successfully terms of your academic plan.
Academic Standing Policy for non-Title IV students: 34 C.F.R. §668.34(a)(1). Students who are non-Title IV, must follow Title V “Academic Standing Policy” listed below.
Financial Aid Students: All financial aid students, regardless of unit load and program, must adhere to the SAP policy if they wish to maintain title IV eligibility. 34 C.F.R. §668.34(a)(2)
- FULL-TIME STUDENTS(attempting 12 or more units) Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. and they will be expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted.
- THREE-QUARTER-TIME STUDENTS(attempting 9 – 11.9 units) Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. and they will be expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted.
- HALF-TIME STUDENTS(attempting 6 – 8.9 units). Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. and they will be expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted.
- LESS THAN HALF-TIME STUDENTS (attempting <6 units) Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. and they will be expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted.
Students who are deemed ineligible for financial aid due to not maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. and not completing at least 67% of all units attempted, as well as not completing their program of study within 150% of the published length of the program will receive an email from the financial aid office stating the reasons of the disqualification status and steps on how to go through an appeal process.
- Current Student Educational Plan (SEP) – signed by student and counselor
- Schedule an appointment with a Counselor. Link to counseling department: https://collegeofsanmateo.edu/counseling/
- SEP must be current, long term, and must show educational goal or major
- Complete the online SAP Counseling Sessions through our Financial Aid TV website. If you haven’t created an account, you will be required to do so: http://collegeofsanmateo.get-counseling.com/flag-session/8873+8889
***Make sure to print your certificate of completion once you successfully finish the session and attach to your appeal.
Submitting Your Appeal:
SAP Appeals are submitted through your WebSMART account. You will be asked to complete and signed SAP Appeal form. Once Appeal form has been signed, please upload your supporting documents and then click Submit.
If Appeal is approved, students will be placed on financial aid Probation which will allow them to receive financial aid as long as they are meeting SAP standards and following their student educational plan.
The student will be notified by email and letter of the decision.
If approved, the Financial Aid office will monitor the student’s progress, and review the student’s grades at the end of each term and making sure the student is meeting their plan and policy, until the student goes back into SAP compliance.
Denial Appeal Decision:
If denied, the student will be notified of this decision along with a detailed explanation of the denied decision. A student whose Financial Aid Appeal was denied, may make a written request for the denial appeal to be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. Check with your Financial Aid Office for requirements. The student will be notified by email and letter of the decision. The Appeals Committee decision is final.