Click here to Skip to main content
AskARC Logo


Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal regulations require that all students who receive Financial Aid maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (according to the policy listed below) in their course of study, regardless of whether they have ever applied for or received financial aid.  Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be checked each semester.



1. Maintain Progress (Quantitative) - Complete at least 67% of units enrolled*:
Total Percentage =  (Total Units With "W", "I", "F","NP","IP" and "NC")
(Total Units Attempted)
Must be 33% or less 
2. Maintain Minimum of 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA)=Grade "C" or Better* (Qualitative) -
Grade Point Average = (Total Grade Point Earned)
(Total Units Attempted using A - F grades only)
=  Must be 2.00 or better
3. Maximum Time Period or Total Units - (Maximum Timeframe) toward program completion.  The completion of a specific program of study, or attempting 150% of the units required for a program of study (whichever occurs first), will result in financial aid ineligibility.  Additionally, students who have already obtained a bachelors degree (domestic or foreign) are ineligible for financial aid at American River College (only the California Promise Grant is available).  Generally, a degree program at ARC is 60 units.  This means that the maximum timeframe of a standard degree program is 90 units of attempted coursework.  Units that are earned at another college that are transferred to and accepted at any Los Rios College will count toward maximum timeframe.  Students who enroll in ESL or excessive courses that don't apply to their degree or certificate may exhaust their financial aid eligibility.  Students may have the option to complete an SAP Appeal (Click here for more information) if extenuating circumstances have prevented timely completion of the program of study.  Give attention to point #6 in the appeal policy.


Students with 150 or more units and/or who have already obtained bachelor degree (including a foreign degree) are not eligible to appeal for federal or state financial aid.  Only the California Promise Grant is available to students who exceed 150 units.   


* If you have extenuating circumstances that negatively affected your academic progress, you may complete the Financial Aid Appeal for further evaluation.  If you have questions regarding satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards at American River College (or if you prefer to see the policy in text format), then click here for more information.  Students may appeal a SAP dismissal under some circumstances.  Submission of an appeal does NOT GUARANTEE the reinstatement of students' financial aid. Therefore, students should be prepared to pay for their books, and other school related expenses pending the outcome of their appeal.  Note:  SAP checks are not performed until the student has an eligible educational goal/program of study on file with the Enrollment Services Office (E-Services) for the semester the student intends to attend the college during the award year.  The Financial Aid Appeal Policy can be reviewed by clicking here for more information.

Online SAP Appeal workshop. Students need to score a minimum of 40 points to access the certificate and the appeal form.

Warning:  Beginning in the 2016-2017 award year, students who have one semester of not meeting cumulative SAP standards (GPA of 2.0 or greater and progress completion percentage of at least 67%) will be placed on financial aid warning status.  Students on warning status are eligible to receive TitleIV aid for one semester while they work to re-establish SAP standards.  If the student is unable to meet SAP standards after the semester on warning, then the student will be dismissed from financial aid and must appeal to be considered for further financial aid.

Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility after Dismissal:  Students who are dismissed from financial aid due to failure to meet SAP can reinstate eligibility outside of the appeal process by academically restoring their cumulative GPA to 2.0 and cumulative completion percentage to 67%.  If a student is eligible for financial aid due to an appeal, then exceeds 150% of the units for the declared program of study, then the student is allowed a new appeal within the award year for violating maximum timeframe requirements.  Students who have attempted 150% of the units required for a program of study (typically, 90 units for an AA or AS degree program) can only reverse a dismissal from financial aid eligibility through the Financial Aid Appeal process.  Students who are approved on appeal will have their appeal status rolled forward until they academically meet SAP standards or complete their allowable units determined through the appeal process with their academic counselor.  Students who fail to maintain SAP standards, after being approved on appeal, are not eligible for an additional appeal until the following award year.  If a student has been approved on appeal prior to reaching 150 units, then the student may continue to receive aid until the end of their approved academic program as long as they continue to meet the requirements of their probation.  If the student fails to meet the requirements of probation and is beyond 150 units, then the student may no longer appeal for financial aid.  Students who have attempted more than 150 attempted units or who have a bachelor degree are no longer eligible for appeal.

Course Repetition and Academic Renewal: To determine the student's GPA, the most recent grade for a repeated courses and all grades from academic renewal courses are used. All units (both current and prior) from repeated courses and academic renewal courses are counted toward the maximum timeframe (150% of the selected program of study) that a student is permitted to attempt. Courses that are repeated or academically renewed will still count toward a student's completion percentage for qualitative progress determination.  Students are not eligible to receive aid for more than one repetition of a course that has been previously taken.


Remedial coursework: Up to 30 units of remedial coursework may be deducted from the total units accumulated. Students are not eligible to receive aid for more than 30 units of remedial coursework.

Note: Students who enroll in ESL or excessive courses that don't apply to their degree or certificate may exhaust their financial aid eligibility.