Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require colleges to monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance. The City University of New York first published minimal standards for academic progress in 1995.  Recent revisions to these standards reflect the new federal regulations that became effective for the 2011–2012 award year.

All students must satisfy the following qualitative and quantitative academic standards in order to remain eligible for federal financial aid. These qualitative and quantitative standards refer to the following Title IV Federal Aid programs: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, and TEACH Grant.

All students (whether aid recipients or not) will be measured against the Title IV Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards at the end of each spring semester in order to determine eligibility for the upcoming year. Those who fail to meet the academic standards will have their federal aid automatically suspended until they meet the minimum standards that are listed below.  

NOTE: In some cases, a student’s failure to meet SAP was due to extraordinary or exceptional circumstances. These students may choose to submit an “Appeal for Reinstatement” of their federal aid. Supporting documentation must accompany their appeal. Additional information and forms are available in the Financial Aid Office or on the City College of New York financial aid website.

Undergraduate students


In order to qualify for Title IV student financial assistance, an undergraduate student must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree by meeting the minimum standards specified below.

A.  Minimum GPA: 

Students must achieve the following Grade Point Average (GPA) at City College:

  • 5–12 attempted credits  =  1.50 GPA required
  • 13–24 attempted credits =  1.75 GPA required
  • 25+ attempted credits     =  2.00 GPA required

It is important to note, however, that federal regulations also stipulate that an undergraduate student must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 after attending school for four semesters without regard to enrollment status and superseding the above table.

B. Maximum time-frame:

Attempted credits must be no more than 150% of the credits required for the completion of the degree.

  • (120 credit degree x 150% = 180 maximum credits attempted)
C. Pace of progression:

Accumulated (or earned) credits must be equal to or greater than a certain percentage of the total amount of attempted credits.The chart below summarizes the City University’s “progression toward degree” requirements for undergraduate degrees that require 120 credits:

Title IV Pace of Progression Chart

Credits Attempted

15

30

45

60

75

90

105

120

135

150

165

180


Required Credits Earned

0

5

16

27

42

50

63

72

84

95

108

120

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduate Students


In order to qualify for Title IV student financial assistance, a graduate student must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree by meeting the minimum standards specified below.
 

A.  Minimum GPA – Student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or better, or have an academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduation.
 

B.  Maximum time-frame – Student may not attempt more than 150% of the credits normally required for completion of the degree.
 

C. Pace of Progression ­– Student must accumulate credits greater than or equal to two-thirds of the cumulative credits attempted at the institution.