Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates institutions of higher education establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid. This standard applies to the student’s entire academic history, whether Title IV aid was received or not. In order to remain eligible to receive aid at Colorado Mountain College, students must meet the standards specified for acceptable academic performance and for Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of their program of study.

Only one Certificate and/or one Associate Degree will be supported by financial aid funds while attending CMC. All communication regarding SAP will be sent to your CMC email address.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

  • Cumulative GPA: 2.0 or above.
  • Cumulative Completion Rate: 67% or above.
  • Maximum Time Frame: Complete the academic program within 150% of the required number of credits needed for degree or certificate program. Transfer credits accepted into the CMC degree program are taken into consideration for Maximum Time Frame. Satisfactory academic progress is checked at the end of each term.


CMC will measure students’ eligibility for financial aid at the end of EVERY semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer), and will measure for ALL SAP components. The updated status will be effective for the following semester.

Financial Aid “Warning”

  • A status assigned to a student who fails to make SAP and will be granted automatically without a written appeal from the student (at least one credit will have been completed in the semester).
  • A student on warning may continue to receive financial aid for one payment period.
  • A student on “Warning” who then fails SAP standards the next payment period will be placed on “Termination.”

Financial Aid Probation

A student on probation must follow all terms of their academic plan to be considered for Title IV eligibility. Terms of the academic plan are defined in the approval letter.

Once placed on an academic plan:

  • The student remains on probation
  • The student must fully comply with the academic plan each term. Compliance is checked at the end of each enrollment period. Failure to fully comply with all aspects of the plan will result in termination. If terminated, the student will be notified what steps must be taken before there will be any future consideration for aid eligibility.

Financial Aid Termination

Failure to comply with an academic plan, completion of less than one (1) credit hour, or having a zero completion rate for the semester or not meeting academic standards of the college will terminate a student’s eligibility to receive financial aid.

Students can submit an APPEAL to the Financial Aid Office to request reinstatement of eligibility.

Financial Aid “Notice” (Maximum Time Frame)

Students will receive a notice if he/she has completed 75% of the 150% of the published length of the educational program.

Components of Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Colorado Mountain College definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress for receiving student financial aid includes the following components:

Academic Standards

CMC uses a Quality Point System and numerical code:


Students who have attempted twelve or more hours and who have earned a cumulative grade point average of less than 1.0 will be placed on academic/financial aid “Termination.” The minimum financial aid requirement for a student in his/her academic year is a “C” average (2.0).

Financial aid will not automatically be reinstated if “Academic Suspension” is waived by an Academic Appeals Committee; a separate Financial Aid Appeal must still be submitted.

Aid eligibility will be reinstated when a student who re-enrolls after an academic or financial aid suspension meets the following criteria in order to receive aid during subsequent semesters of enrollment:

  • meets the academic standards set by the college; and,
  • meets the criteria for a student in “Good Standing” according to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy;
  • completes steps defined after failure to comply with requirements of academic plan.


An Incomplete grade (I) is given when no credit is earned; therefore, an (I) grade may cause a student to be placed on academic/financial aid probation or suspension.

A student on financial aid suspension will have four weeks into the subsequent semester to complete the course(s) and submit evidence that the grade(s) meet the academic standard for Satisfactory Academic Progress. The four weeks are counted whether the student is enrolled during the subsequent term (i.e., the student receives “I” in the spring term and has four weeks to complete, regardless of summer enrollment status).

Students in compliance with this procedure can request to have their SAP status reevaluated.  If a successful reevaluation occurs, the student will not be required to submit a formal appeal for reinstatement of aid for the next term of enrollment.


Students withdrawing from some, but not all, classes after the funds have been disbursed may not have their current aid adjusted. A “W” (Withdrawal) or “AW” (Administrative Withdrawal) does not count as a completed credit and failure to complete the credit hours upon which your award was based will affect future financial aid eligibility. However, a “W” or “AW” does count as an attempted credit(s) in calculating the maximum number of credit hours for the Maximum Time Frame calculation.


Students may repeat a previously passed course one time using financial aid funds. A failed course may be repeated until it is passed using financial aid. The total attempted credits will be considered towards the maximum credit time frame. Students repeating previously passed courses may only repeat class once to count towards enrollment status for financial aid eligibility calculation.

Remedial Courses

These courses may be required because a student has basic skill deficiencies, and are allowable for financial aid provided that the student is degree/certificate seeking and enrolled in an eligible program.

Eligible courses include those designated MAT (MAT 025 through MAT 101) and CCR (CCR 091 through CCR 094).

NOTE: Students enrolling in CCR 093 and a co-requisite 100-level course will only receive financial aid eligibility for 100-level courses applicable within their declared program of study.

Academic Achievement courses (AAA) do not count towards the student’s enrollment status for financial aid, with the exception of AAA 050, AAA 101 and, only when paired with MAT 050, AAA 095.

Additionally, if the student chooses to audit a course it will not count toward his/her enrollment status for financial aid purposes and cannot be paid with financial aid.

The maximum number of remedial credits that may be funded by financial aid is thirty.

Pace of Progression

Students are expected to maintain a completion rate of at least 67% each semester. The completion rate is determined by dividing the cumulative number of credits successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted. Students are evaluated at the close of each semester.

  • (Cumulative Credits Successfully Completed / Cumulative Credits Attempted) x 100 = Completion Rate.
  • All credits, including remedial credits, are included in the calculation of the cumulative completion rate.

Maximum Time Frame

Colorado Mountain College, in accordance with Federal Regulations, has set a maximum time frame in which students at CMC are expected to finish a program. The maximum number of attempted credits after which financial aid will not be allowed is determined by the number of credits required to complete the currently enrolled program (as defined by the College Catalog).

When 150% of the attempted credits are reached, the student will be placed on financial aid Termination (see previous description). Refer to the Degree chart for the maximum number of attempted credits including transfer credits from other colleges that will be counted in the determination of maximum attempted credits.

Affected students who have reached or exceeded the hours allowed due to academic program changes, changes in major, transfer hours accumulated from other schools or pursuit of a second degree (i.e. second associates degree) can complete a Maximum Time Frame Appeal form and have their status reviewed.

Bachelor of Arts/Science 120 180
Associate of Arts 60 90
Associate of Applied
Science Nursing
75 113
Associate of Science 60 90
Associate of General Studies 60 90
One-year Certificate Program 35 53

*Additional credits may be required to complete major.