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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to be eligible for federal aid (grants, loans, and work-study) and Cal Grants. To be eligible for financial aid, students must maintain SAP.

All periods of enrollment at Allan Hancock College (AHC) and transferable units from other colleges (determined from official transcripts on file at AHC) will be included as part of the SAP review. 

Financial Aid SAP standards are separate and distinct from general academic policies, and apply only to financial aid applicants.

Students who had extenuating circumstances that prevented them from making SAP may submit a SAP Appeal Request to be reviewed and hopefully approved to have their aid reinstated.

For academic policies, please refer to the General Catalog or review this information with your academic counselor. 

Maintaining SAP Eligibility

How to keep receiving financial aid

SAP standards apply to all the following federal and state-funded programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)
  • Cal Grant Program (B & C)
  • Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)
  • State Chafee Grant Program

Grade Point Average (GPA):

Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 or better to achieve satisfactory SAP status. 

Pace of Unit Progression:

Students must have a minimum completion rate of 67 percent of the units attempted to maintain SAP. The completion rate (pace) is measured by dividing the cumulative number of units the student has successfully completed by the number of units the student has attempted.

Examples of unit progression rate of 67 percent or higher:

Attempted Units

Minimum Completed Units (67 percent)







Maximum Units Attempted

When a student surpassses 150% of the required units for their academic program, they lose federal financial aid eligibility.

For example, 60 units is the standard length of completion for an Associate’s Degree at Allan Hancock College, so if a student surpasses 90 attempted units (over 150%), they will lose their federal financial aid and are encouraged to complete a SAP Appeal. See below.

The maximum attempted units cannot be extended for students who change academic programs or have prior degrees or certificates.

All units of ESL (English as a Second Language) are excluded from the maximum unit limit. Up to 30 units of Basic Skills/Remedial courses are excluded from the maximum unit limit.

Recipients of financial aid must be enrolled in a program of study, which leads to a Certificate of Achievement, Associate Degree, or a transferable program that leads to a Bachelor’s Degree. It is the student's responsibility to have an eligible academic program of study declared at Allan Hancock College. Students without an approved program of study cannot be evaluated for SAP.

Students should also meet with an academic counselor to create an updated Comprehensive Student Education Plan (CSEP), which outlines the required courses to be taken to complete their new academic program.

Students who have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher from an accredited domestic or foreign school are not eligible for financial aid, with the exception of the California College Promise Grant, Federal Work Study (FWS), and federal student loans (if qualified).

Cancellation and Appeals

Students who fail to meet any of the above listed SAP standards will be cancelled from financial aid. Students will be notified via email of their cancellation status and possible next steps. Check your myHancock emails for any SAP notifications at the end of the term.

A student on "cancelled" status will not be eligible to receive federal or state aid, with the exception of a California College Promise Grant CCPG (which is exempt from SAP regulations).

If your financial aid has been cancelled, follow these steps to appeal:

Step 1: Review the SAP policy 

Step 2: Complete and submit the SAP Appeal Packet.

If you have been cancelled from financial aid due to failure to meet the SAP requirements and wish to appeal, you should attend an online SAP Workshop in conjunction with your appeal if you have questions about the appeal process. 

Workshop Schedule

Complete SAP appeal packet

Tips for writing your appeal explanation statement

    • Take a hard look at your situation to determine what has kept you from making SAP. 
    • Perhaps you need help with time management or study skills.
    • Admit the problem and explain how will you get assistance.

Supporting documents (i.e. medical records, legal documents, death certificate) that may assist in justifying the student’s situation/case

If this is not your first SAP appeal, your explanation statement must include information about what has changed since your last appeal.

Step 3: Monitor your myHancock email. You will be emailed updates on the status of your SAP Appeal or if additional information is being requested.

When will I know the outcome of my SAP Appeal?

Outcome will be determined and sent to the student via their Hancock email address within 2-3 weeks of submission of a completed SAP appeal.

Note: Incomplete submissions should expect a longer time frame as they will be in "pending" status until requested documentation is received.

If your SAP appeal is approved, your financial aid is considered in a probationary status. Federal regulations require that the student make SAP progress at the end of their probation semester before they can continue to receive aid.

Maintaining Eligibility During Probation

Students Financial aid will remain in Probation status until they meet SAP (SAP) or graduate. Students can show academic progress by doing the following:

  • Taking courses listed on their approved Student Academic Plan (SEP).
  • Successfully completing their units during their probationary semester(s).
  • Avoiding W’s, D’s, F’s, and NPs.
  • Increasing their unit progression completion percentage.
  • Increasing their term GPA and cumulative GPA.

How often is probation reviewed?

Students will automatically have their progress reviewed at the end of every semester (fall, spring, and summer). If progress is made, then the appeal is automatically extended, and students will not need to appeal again.

Failure to meet conditions of Approved SAP Appeal

Failure to follow any terms of probation will result in immediate termination of "probation" status and will revert to "cancelled" status. Once canceled, students will be disqualified from receiving all federal forms of financial aid and Cal Grants.

Students in this situation have the option to submit another appeal (this is not done automatically). 

Note: California College Promise Grant (CCPG) has different eligibility criteria and in most cases may continue to be eligible for this grant. 

Students who's SAP appeal is denied will receive the reasons for the decision in their email along with suggestions on what to do before a future appeal. The students aid will stay in "cancelled" status.

Students have the option to re-appeal a denied outcome in the same or future semester. Please keep in mind that a re-appeal without new information or documentation from the original denial will not be accepted.

Students whose appeals or re-appeals are denied will need to seek alternative payment methods such as, out-of-pocket (contact the Cashiers office for payment information and plans), private scholarships, or private loans.

Several campus resources are available to assist students with academics.

SAP Resources