Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations mandate that a student receiving financial aid under Title IV programs must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study regardless of whether or not financial aid is awarded each semester. Students are responsible for understanding and adhering to the satisfactory academic progress policy. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be measured at the end of each term for all students.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured with the following standards:

  • Qualitative (cumulative Grade Point Average)
  • Quantitative (67% Rule Hours earned divided by Hours Attempted)
  • Maximum Time Frame (150% of required hours for program completion)

The Federal Regulations specify minimum standards for these measures. KCTCS may set stricter standards in its policy.

KCTCS qualitative standard is determined by the student s earned Grade Point Average (GPA). KCTCS uses a 4-point scale for GPA. Students earning a cumulative grade point average below a 2.0 at the end of a term shall be placed on financial aid Warning.

The satisfactory academic progress policy must also include a quantitative measure to determine the number of credit hours attempted and percentage of credit hours completed (passed). This part of the policy is in place to ensure a student will graduate or complete their program of study within their maximum time frame. This is considered pace progression. The minimum percentage of work a student must successfully complete by the end of each term is 67% of all attempted hours. If a student fails any combination of two (2) consecutive terms of cumulative qualitative and/or cumulative quantitative standards, their financial aid will be suspended. Students at 66.5% or above will be rounded to 67%.

Students are expected to complete their degree/diploma/certificate credentials within a Maximum Time Frame (MTF) of 150 percent of the required number of credit hours to graduate from their enrolled program of study. MTF of 150% includes all classes required for the credential plus 50%.

Program / Degree: Associate

  • Required Credit Hours: 60 credit hours
  • Maximum Time Frame %: 150%
    Attempted Hours
  • Permitted (MTF): 90

Program / Degree: Diploma

  • Required Credit Hours: 48 credit hours
  • Maximum Time Frame %: 150%
  • Attempted Hours Permitted (MTF): 72

Program / Degree: Certificate

  • Required Credit Hours: 30 credit hours
    Maximum Time Frame %: 150%
    Attempted Hours Permitted (MTF): 45

NOTE: Transferred hours, repeated classes, Bankrupted hours, Incompletes, Withdrawals, failed in graded courses, failed in Pass/Fail courses and Audit (changed from credit to audit after the last day to add a class) count toward maximum time frame and quantitative standards.

For a standard 16-week term, Student Aid enrollment status for payment purposes will be established at the close of the 7th calendar day beginning with the first day the term, including weekends but not holidays, or upon file completion whichever is later.

Courses added after this date will not be considered for enrollment for student aid purposes but will be counted as attempted for quantitative and MTF standards.

If a student fails any combination of two (2) consecutive terms of cumulative qualitative and/or cumulative quantitative standards, their financial aid will be suspended. Students who exceed Maximum Time Frame (MTF) will be suspended immediately upon exceeding the MTF threshold.

A student who fails to meet SAP standards for the first time will be placed on a Warning status, allowing a student to continue to receive Title IV aid for one term without an appeal. A student who fails to meet SAP standards at the end of the Warning period or second consecutive term, will be Suspended and not receive additional Title IV aid. A student exceeding Maximum Time Frame may go directly to Suspense without having received a Warning status.

SAP is evaluated at the end of every term of enrollment. All measurements are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment whether or not financial aid was received. Failure to meet any single standard may affect eligibility for financial aid.

Email notifications are sent to all financial aid recipients after each evaluation period indicating the current SAP status by the KCTCS System Office. SAP status is also available to view in Student Self-Service. SAP Statuses are explained below.


  • All standards of success were met and student remains eligible for all financial aid programs.


  • Failure to maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and/or 67% completion rate results in Warning.
  • Student will remain eligible for financial aid for one additional term.
  • There is no Warning period for MTF.


  • Failure to meet required SAP standards after the Warning term (except for MTF) results in the loss of all financial aid eligibility (grants, loans and work study).

Plan of Action:

  • A student who was suspended but submits a successful appeal may be placed on a Plan of Action if more than one term may be necessary to achieve SAP.
  • A student placed on a Plan of Action must fulfill the requirements of the plan every term in order to remain eligible for financial aid or achieve Meet status.

To appeal, students must complete an electronic SAP Appeal Request Form and provide any additional information/documents required by the college. The SAP Appeal Request Form is available online via the SAP Appeal Request link in Student Self-Service. Students who cannot submit an electronic appeal should contact the Student Financial Aid Office at, or visit the Downtown or Southwest Campus Financial Aid Office for instructions on how to submit their appeal.

How to Submit an Online SAP Appeal:

  • Click on Financial Aid Box
  • Click on SAP Appeal Requests

Appeal requests are generally processed within 7-10 business days, but may take up to 21 business days to process during periods of higher volume (14-21 days prior to the start of the semester).

Submission of an appeal DOES NOT guarantee approval or automatic re-instatement of aid. Students are responsible for payment arrangements with the institution pending a decision of the appeals committee. Decisions made by the SAP Appeals Committee are final and are not subject to further appeal.

When completing a SAP Appeal Request, please be specific and brief in documenting your extenuating circumstance that prevented you from meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. In some cases, students are required to submit supporting documentation. Students requiring additional supporting documentation will be notified via their KCTCS student email and/or the SAP Request link in Student Self-Service. Supporting documentation can be submitted directly to the Financial Aid Office in-person, by fax at 502.213.2498 or by email at

Mitigating or extenuating circumstances are defined as situations beyond the student's control that created an undue hardship and caused the student's inability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Appropriate documentation must be provided. (examples of documentation include and obituary notice, divorce decree, or a letter from physician).

Mitigating or extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • Death of an immediate family member or person who share the student's household (parent, spouse or significant other, sibling, child)
  • Divorce with hardship
  • Injury or illness to student or immediate family member (parent, spouse or significant other, sibling, child) that required hospitalization, convalescence in an institutional setting or confinement at home for at least seven (7) days

Examples of unacceptable extenuating or mitigating circumstances include but not limited to:

  • The difficulty of a course
  • The teaching method or dislike of an instructor
  • Too many hours attempted in a semester
  • Promises to perform better in the future
    Immaturity or "didn't know better"
  • The length of time since last attended
  • Changing majors
  • Dropping a course to avoid a bad grade
  • Voluntary change in work hours

Students who submit an electronic SAP appeal request will check the SAP Confirmation page in Student Self-Service for notification of approval/denial and/or request for additional information. All other students are notified via KCTCS student email.

If approved, the SAP Appeal Status on the SAP Confirmation page is changed to “Approved” and SAP Appeal Details (a brief description of what is required to finalize the appeal process) are provided (see What to Do If an Appeal Is Approved).

If denied, the SAP Appeal Status on the SAP Confirmation page is changed to “Denied” and SAP Appeal Details (Important information for students who are SAP Denied) are provided (see What to Do If an Appeal Is Denied).

If additional information is required, the SAP Appeal Status on the SAP Confirmation page is changed to “Need Info” and SAP Appeal Details (a brief description of what is required) are provided. Please note: it is important that students monitor their student account(s) during the appeal process. Failure to provide additional supporting documentation within 10 business days of the notification date will result in the automatic denial of the appeal request.

If an appeal is approved, the student is required to sign and submit a SAP Memorandum of Understanding as part of the SAP appeal approval process. Upon successful completion of SAP the SAP Memorandum of Understanding, the student is assigned to a Financial Aid SAP Probation status, allowing the student to receive financial aid for one additional term.

The SAP Appeal Approval process is not complete and awards are not made until the Financial Aid Office receives a signed copy of this form indicates the student understands each of the following terms and conditions:

  1. He or she must academically perform with at least a 2.00 GPA and pass at least 67% of their courses from that point forward.
  2. That their student status will be re-evaluated at the end of the term.
  3. Federal student aid for the next term of attendance will not be awarded or disbursed until the student has met all terms and conditions as specified within the SAP Memorandum of Understanding, or is found to have met all SAP policy requirements.

If an appeal is denied, the student is not eligible for federal student aid and will remain ineligible until they are again in compliance with SAP standards. These students may continue to attend college at their own expense.

A student who is ineligible to receive financial aid because of failure to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress and/or are SAP Denied may re-establish his/her eligibility by enrolling at their expense and meeting the SAP standards on a cumulative measure. Classes taken at other colleges outside the KCTCS System will not be taken into consideration for the purpose of reinstatement.

Students who are not meeting the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and, have had their appeal to receive federal student aid denied are still important to us. We want to encourage you to develop a plan of action to complete your educational goals. Some ideas for how you might accomplish that are listed below.

One of the biggest barriers students face is the financial one, however you do have options and we hope that you will not give up on your dream of finishing your education.

  1. Pursue Academic Advising to ensure you are taking the right classes at the right pace for success.
  2. PAYMENT PLAN -- Jefferson offers a payment plan administered by Nelnet Business Solutions. NelNet/FACTS Payment Plans are available in the Fall and Spring semesters to assist you with continuing your education.  For full details, please view the tuition payment plan.  QUESTIONS ABOUT TUITION PAYMENTS? Call: 855.246.5282
  3. Students may see the Bursar’s Office about special Summer payment plans.
  4. Employer Paid or Reimbursement Options -- Participate in the Metropolitan College Program and get your tuition paid, as well as, bonuses, money for books, and other benefits. It’s possible to earn a college degree debt-free.
  5. There are also some Private Educational Loans available. While we want to encourage you to keep your student loan borrowing to a minimum, we recognize that sometimes, it is a necessary step. Kentucky Advantage Loan - The Kentucky Advantage Education Loan is a private loan.  For more information, call 888.678.4625 
    Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan.  For more information, call  877.279.7172 
    Wells Fargo:  For more information, call 1.800.378.5526
  6. Perhaps you could take one course at a time paying out-of-pocket. You would still be on your way to completing your goal. Once you have shown progress or completed a number of courses while improving your pass rate and cumulative GPA, you can resubmit your appeal to the committee for reconsideration.
  7. Work Ready Scholarship Program helps Kentuckians who have not yet earned an associate’s degree afford an industry-recognized certificate or diploma.

SAP Appeal Requests are reviewed in the order in which they are received. SAP Appeal Requests received prior to the posted due dates are reviewed for the current term of enrollment.

  • Fall Semester: by October 15
  • Spring Semester: by March 15
  • Summer Semester: by July 15

Appeals submitted after the posted due dates are reviewed for the next term of enrollment. For example: appeals received on or before October 15, 2018 will be reviewed for the Fall 2018 semester. Whereas, an appeal that is received after October 15, 2018 will be reviewed for the Spring 2019 semester. Students who are not enrolled at the time of review will be reviewed for the next term of enrollment.

NOTE: Students are responsible for all expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies pending the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee and must contact the Business Affairs Office to make payment arrangements with the institution

KCTCS colleges will use the highest grade when calculating a student s GPA, but it must include the credits from all attempts when calculating maximum time frame (MTF).

Student Aid will not be provided for:

  • Courses taken by audit
  • Credit hours earned by placement tests
  • Non-credit course work

All transfer hours will count in the attempted hours.

Grades in legacy software systems (before PeopleSoft) will be used as recorded and reflected on the student's academic transcript.

  • If the student receives a change in a grade for a class, he/she must report this to their local Student Financial Aid office in writing for the change to be evaluated into the student s financial aid eligibility record.
  • Developmental remedial course work may receive funding up to a maximum of 30 credit hours according to federal regulations.

Dual Enrollment Agreements (also known as Consortium Agreements) allow a student to receive funds for classes taken at more than one college outside KCTCS colleges.

  • These forms are to be completed by the student and the student s "visiting" college and submitted to their local KCTCS home College (where financial aid funds are received; usually the college from which the student plans to graduate).
  • Classes taken at a visiting college (whether at KCTCS colleges or outside KCTCS colleges) must count toward the student's graduation from their awarding college.
  • If a student is admitted "conditionally" she/he may receive student aid for one semester only.
  • No additional aid may be awarded until the student completes an admission file.


  • Grades of "A", "B", "C", "D", "P" and "S" will be considered in determining credit hours earned.
  • Grades of "E", "F", "W", "WF", "WP", "MP", "U", or "I" will not be considered as credit hours earned but, will be considered as hours attempted for the semester.

KCTCS Academic Standing

  • SAP for financial aid is separate from overall academic standing.


  • SAP for financial aid is separate from overall academic standing.

For assistance, please call 855.246.5282 (855.2GO.JCTC) or visit our Student Service Center online