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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Policy Updated May 2013 

Federal Regulations require all students receiving Financial Aid to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to maintain eligibility for Financial Aid. The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarship Services will review all financial aid recipients three times a year (end of Fall term, end of Spring term and end of Summer term). The review will measure both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (completion rate) standards.

When evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), all terms of enrollment will be evaluated regardless of whether the student received Financial Aid during those terms or not. For transfer students, only those credits that are transferred to NMSU-DACC, and all credits attempted while attending DACC, will be counted toward the time frame. 

All the SAP standards for students applying for and receiving Federal Financial Aid, excluding academic suspensions, is established and monitored by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarship Services. Academic suspension standards are established and monitored by the University Registrar.

Notes of Importance:

  • Federal Regulations do not allow rounding of Financial Aid SAP standards.
  • The Financial Aid SAP standards are not the same as NMSU’s Academic Standards of Progress criteria.
  • Financial Aid students must maintain a higher completion rate (70%).

Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement (Qualitative)

All undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA on all hours attempted at DACC. ACO's (Adjusted Credit Options) are not recognized and will not eliminate a students actual gpa for financial aid eligiblity.
All Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA or greater to remain in good standing at NMSU.

Completion Rate Requirement (Quantitative): Pace of Progression to ensure completion within the maximum time frame

Students must complete 70% of all hours attempted at DACC.

All students are required to pass and complete 70% of all classes attempted.  A student will be ineligible for Financial Aid until completion rate is 70% or greater or an appeal for Financial Aid has been approved.

Maximum Time Frame- Pace of Progression

Students receiving Financial Aid must complete their program of study within a reasonable time frame. The maximum time frame is 150% of the published length of the academic program or certificate (to include all transfer credit hours). Limited developmental coursework will not be counted in the maximum time frame.

Example: Associate of Science Degree in Library Sciences = 66 hours x 150%= 99 hours

99 hours is the maximum that can be attempted with financial aid

Adjusted Credit Option

Students granted the Adjusted Credit Option (ACO) by NMSU will have their SAP separately calculated for Time Frame, Completion Rate, and GPA. Federal Regulations do not allow a student’s SAP to be calculated based on adjusted GPA, time frame or completion rate if Academic Amnesty has been applied to the student’s records.

When evaluating a student with an ACO, the Advisor must calculate their completion rate as would be done for any other student (all credits completed divided by all credits attempted). Time frame will be evaluated by adding all credits attempted at NMSU plus any transfer credits accepted at NMSU. For GPA, the actual non-adjusted cumulative GPA must be determined without any consideration of the ACO and the non-adjusted cumulative GPA must be used for purposes of evaluating SAP requirements. These students will be coded U-ACO until reviewed.

Effects on Funding

Financial Aid will not be provided for certain courses. Please be aware of the following stipulations:

  • Financial Aid does not apply for courses taken by audit, credit hours earned by placement tests (CR), and Continuing Education (CE) courses.
  • Grades of I, RR, F, W, and U will be considered hours attempted but not completed. 

SAP codes for Banner are as follows:

Academic Problem Area

Identifying Codes

Unsatisfactory, GPA, Completion, Time Frame


Unsatisfactory, GPA & Completion


Unsatisfactory, GPA & Time Frame


Unsatisfactory, Completion & Time


Unsatisfactory, GPA


Unsatisfactory, Completion


Unsatisfactory, Time Frame


Conditional/Warning Status


Conditional/Warning status is to make students aware that although they are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress they are close to the minimum SAP requirements.

Conditional/Warning, GPA, Completion, Time Frame


Conditional/Warning, GPA & Completion


Conditional/Warning, GPA & Time Frame


Conditional/Warning, Completion & Time


Conditional/Warning, GPA


Conditional/Warning, Completion


Conditional/Warning, Time Frame




Student in good standing


Approved appeal with stipulations


Appeal reviewed and denied


Adjusted credit option needs review


Consequences of Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):

In the following provisions, “warning” or “suspension” means Financial Aid warning or suspension, not academic warning or suspension.

  1. Financial Aid Suspension – If, after being placed on Financial Aid warning status, a student fails to meet the SAP standards of a cumulative 2.0 GPA and 70% completion rate, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose Financial Aid eligibility.
  2. Financial Aid Probation – When a student fails to make SAP and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for Financial Aid reinstated with an academic plan (W-Stips).
  3. Maximum Time Frame Suspension (Pace of Progression) – Undergraduate students must attain their degree on or before 150% of the published credits needed for an associate or bachelor degree. Graduate students must also attain their degree on or before 150% of the published credits required for the degree they are seeking.

If a student fails to meet the Maximum Time Frame standards, he or she will be placed on Maximum Time Frame Suspension and will immediately lose Financial Aid eligibility.

Failure to meet one or more of the established Financial Aid standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress will make a student ineligible for Financial Aid. Students who have their Financial Aid revoked due to the failure to meet the SAP standards will remain ineligible until such time that they are able to meet the cumulative Financial Aid SAP standards. Those students will be responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees.