Keeping Your Aid: Satisfactory Academic Progress

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is an important part of getting and keeping your aid.

Students listen to a presentation in the library.

General Information

Federal, state and college requirements make up the standards we review at the beginning of each year before we offer you aid, and then again at the end of each quarter in which you receive financial aid. It is a federal requirement that our review take into consideration your entire Bellevue College transcript even if you did not receive financial aid at the time you earned the credits. Additionally, we may also request that you submit an official transcript from other schools you attended if your records indicate recent or unusual enrollment at other colleges.

Classes not included in academic progress (SAP)

  • ABE, GED, ESL, ADFIT and ELI classes
  • Community Education classes

Monitoring SAP

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) includes three areas:

1) Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must earn at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. This is a fixed standard that we review at the end of each quarter and at the beginning of each year.

  • Your cumulative GPA includes all courses taken, including courses below the 100 level.
  • Courses with grades reported as NC, F, HW, I, U and Y, are assigned a GPA of 0.0.
  • Courses with a Pass/Fail option, are assigned a GPA of 1.0 for Pass (P).
  • Courses with a Credit/No Credit option are assigned a GPA of 2.0 for Credit (CR).
  • Courses with a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option are assigned a GPA of 2.0 for Satisfactory (S).
  • Repeated coursework in which Academic Renewal has been applied is not calculated in the GPA, but does count as attempted credits (See Maximum Time frame below).
  • The GPA for courses transferred to BC from any prior institution is included in your overall GPA.

2) Pace of Progression/Completion Ratio

To remain eligible for aid, you must complete a minimum of 67% of all your credits*. We monitor this each quarter and at the beginning of each year. This completion rate ensures that you graduate within the Maximum Time Frame, which is the next standard we monitor.

*The college uses standard rounding rules. Your completion rate is rounded up for .5 and higher and rounded down if below .5. (Example: A 66.66% completion ratio is rounded up to 67% and a 65.25% completion ratio is rounded down to 65%)

3) Maximum Time Frame (MTF)

Federal rules require you to complete your degree or certificate program within 150% of the credits needed to graduate. Federal rules also state that a student becomes ineligible for financial aid whenever it becomes mathematically impossible to complete their program without exceeding the maximum time frame/credits. This rule is referred to as MTF.

  • Degree and certificate programs have different credit graduation requirements. Check the catalog to determine how many credits your program requires.
  • Students who have changed programs may reach their maximum time frame before their program of study is complete.
  • All college level attempted credits are counted, including those transferred in from another school, and those in which you did not earn a grade or credit. Grades of I, HW, W, N, NC, Y, F or R, and those included in Academic Renewal count as attempted credits.
  • Developmental courses (below the 100 level) are not included in the MTF standard.
  • This standard is monitored at the beginning of each year – before we award you aid.
  • If you complete a program and begin a new program, MTF is recalculated on the new program.

What happens if you do not make satisfactory academic progress (SAP)?

Federal, state and campus rules require us to enforce consequences when students do not maintain SAP. Below is a list of the possible consequences you may receive if you fail to make SAP in any given quarter, and/or in your overall cumulative time, here at Bellevue College.


When you fail to make SAP you are generally placed on Warning first. However, not all students are given a Warning, even when SAP problems occur for the first time. Use the chart below for exceptions to the assignment of Warning.

Enrollment/Funded Status & GPA RequirementsRequired Minimum CompletionWarning Status – complete:Cancellation Status – complete:
FullTime (12+credits)12 credits8 – 11 credits7 or less credits
3/4 Time (9-11 credits)9 credits6 – 8 credits5 or less credits
1/2 Time (6-8 credits)6 credits4 – 5 credits3 or less credits
<1/2 Time (1-5 credits)All Funded Credits.N/ALess than all credits
< C grade or Quarterly GPA 2.0 GPA N/AWarningCancellation if 2nd Consecutive Quarter of Enrollment <2.0 GPA
< C grade or Overall GPA 2.0 GPA N/AWarning if 1st Quarter of EnrollmentCancellation for all Continuing Quarters of Enrollment <2.0 GPA


This means your aid is cancelled and you may not receive funds for the upcoming quarter. Cancellation happens if:

  • You are on Warning or Probation and fail to make SAP;
  • We determine you are not making quarterly or overall Pace;
  • You have a cumulative GPA below a 2.0;
  • We determine that you cannot complete your degree within the Maximum Time Frame.


If you are on Cancellation and successfully appeal to have your aid reinstated, you are placed on Probation for your next quarter. You must meet the SAP standards at the end of your probationary quarter or your aid is once again cancelled and you are placed on Ineligible Status.

Academic Performance Plan (APP)

If we determined that you cannot meet the SAP standards during one quarter of Probation, we may require you to develop an Academic Performance Plan (APP) detailing the steps you must take to bring yourself back into good standing. Academic Performance Plans are developed collaboratively between you and designated academic advisors. Continued financial aid eligibility is contingent on successfully completing the plan’s requirements each quarter you are in attendance, or until the requirements are met and you are once again making SAP.

Ineligible Status

This results when you are on cancellation, and your appeal is denied, or you fail to make SAP while on Probation. You may appeal for aid reinstatement when you can demonstrate that you are once again meeting the SAP standards.