Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Each student receiving Federal Student Aid must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Standards evaluated are qualitative (grades) and quantitative (PACE) and maximum hours attempted toward completing a degree or certificate.  A SAP evaluation is completed for all applicants, even if they have never received Federal Student Aid. SAP is evaluated at the close of each semester. Notifications are sent to all evaluated students. Students receiving Federal Student Aid must meet all SAP criteria to be making satisfactory progress.


Students who fail to meet SAP are placed on Warning status for their next semester of enrollment. Students on Warning status are eligible to receive Federal Student Aid for one (1) semester of Warning status.

After being placed on Warning status, students who have not met SAP standards for successful PACE of 67% cumulative credit hours attempted or GPA will be placed on Suspension status. Students may appeal using the online Suspension Appeal Form. 


If a student’s appeal is approved, the student is placed on Probation for the next semester of enrollment. Conditions of the Probation semester will be stated in the email notification to the student. At the close of the Probation semester if the student has not met the conditions, the student will lose financial aid eligibility.


Circumstances that could impact a student’s opportunity to meet SAP standards include, but are not limited to: Death of an immediate family member, student illness or an accident in which the student was involved and unable to attend classes, divorce, natural disaster directly impacting student, medical circumstances of an immediate family member requiring the student’s care for an extended period. You may be required to provide supporting documentation.


Individual Success Plans are designed to help move a student toward SAP in a specified time frame. This may include referral to support services, a reduced course load, scheduled counseling sessions, adjustments to financial assistance. Students who are on unsatisfactory status may be required to participate in Success Plan to maintain their eligibility for financial aid.


Qualitative Satisfactory Academic progress (SAP) is assessed by the Registrar’s Office, based on criteria established by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE). GPA requirements for SAP: 1-15 credit hours, cumulative GPA 1.5; 16-30 credit hours, cumulative GPA 1.7 and 30 or more credit hours, cumulative GPA 2.0.


The cumulative minimum PACE rate is 67% and is measured by the credit hours successfully completed divided by the credit hours attempted. Example: 9 completed hours/12 attempted hours = 75% PACE. Transfer credit hours that apply to any OCCC degree or certificate will be included in the evaluation of PACE. Grades that are counted for successful completion are; A,B,C,D,P,S and CIP. Unsuccessful grades of; F,AW,W,I,NP and U are included in the hours attempted. Grades of I, once completed will be re-evaluated.


The maximum number of credit hours allowable for a student receiving Federal Student Aid to complete a degree or certificate is 150 percent of the credit hours normally required to complete a degree or certificate program. Example: 60 hours * 1.5% = 90 hours max.

Remedial or developmental course credits are not counted toward the maximum credit hours attempted. However, transfer credits which will apply to any associate degree or certificate at OCCC are counted toward the maximum credit hours allowable.


Students placed on probation may regain eligibility by taking at least six (6) credit hours per semester without Federal Student Aid until they meet all SAP standards. They may then submit an online Suspension Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office explaining they have now met all Financial Aid SAP standards.

A student on Probation based on a Continued Eligibility (CE) appeal must meet all SAP standards each semester to remain on schedule to complete their Financial Aid Success Plan. The Financial Aid Success Plan is void if the student does not meet SAP standards each semester (67% PACE and 2.0 GPA).


Students may repeat a course as needed to replace a failing grade if the course is needed to complete degree requirements at OCCC. A passed course may be repeated once and counted for enrollment if a higher grade is required for degree completion.


Audited courses are not eligible for Federal Student Aid. If a course is changed to AUDIT, a student will have to repay any Financial Aid that included the AUDIT course credit hours. 


Students taking courses under a Consortium Agreement, must submit their grades at the end of each semester for use in evaluating SAP. Any future financial aid awards will be canceled for failure to submit grades.


Students who have attended other colleges and universities are required to submit academic transcripts to the OCCC Records Office. The Financial Aid Office must consider all college level credit hours that apply to any OCCC degree or certificate program when evaluating progress. Students who have earned an associates, bachelors, masters or doctorate degree must complete a Continued Eligibility appeal to establish their academic plan and the credit hours required for degree completion.


All OCCC students who complete their degree or certificate program requirements, or who graduate with a certificate or associate degree, must submit a Continuing Eligibility (CE) appeal to establish their academic plan and credit hours requirements for any additional degree.


Students may attempt up to 30 credit hours of developmental coursework and receive Federal Student Aid toward enrollment that is part of a Success Plan based on assessment testing and academic advisement. Students who are in an eligible degree program and taking exclusively developmental coursework must earn a passing grade in each course to be considered to have met qualitative SAP criteria. Students taking a combination of regular coursework and developmental must meet SAP CGPA requirements and earn passing grades in all developmental courses to meet qualitative criteria.


ESL courses are not eligible for Federal Student Aid. Students who take IEP courses as a means to document proficiency in English enabling them to begin college level credit courses will not be eligible for Federal Student Aid and these courses will not be counted in SAP evaluation or toward the 30 credit hour limit on Developmental coursework.

Students for whom English is a second language are required to document proficiency in English prior to admission for credit classes. Students may demonstrate or document proficiency through: Standardized Testing; High School performance; or transfer students must have successfully completed 24 college level credit hours where English was the primary language.