Financial Aid Eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require all students who receive any federal financial assistance make measurable academic progress toward a degree. Progress is determined quantitatively (hours attempted versus hours earned and time frame) and qualitatively (GPA). Students must maintain satisfactory progress in all three areas in order to received Federal Financial Aid. Progress is monitored at the conclusion of each payment period (Fall Term, Spring Term, and Summer Term).

Berea College expects all enrolled students to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completion of degree requirements.  Further, students are responsible for understanding the SAP and graduation requirements and to monitor their academic standing to ensure compliance with these policies. Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will lose their eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid. These are financial aid standards and do not replace or override Berea College academic policies.


A minimum standard for full-time enrollment is three credits per term. A minimum standard for part-time enrollment (at least half-time) is 1.5 credits per term.


The maximum time frame in which a student must complete their degree cannot exceed more than 150% of the published length of the student’s major. All majors at Berea require a minimum of 32 credits to complete the degree but must be completed in six (6) academic years for financial aid purposes. Berea College students can, therefore, attempt up to 48 credits and still be eligible for aid. Once 48 credits are exceeded, eligibility for federal aid would be suspended.  All repeated courses, failed courses, withdrawals, and transferred hours will count as credits attempted toward the maximum time frame.

In addition, students must earn at least two-thirds or 67% of the credits attempted.

Number of Total Terms Expected Credits Minimum Credits
1 4 earned 3 passed
2 8 earned 6 passed
3 12 earned 9 earned
4 16 earned 13 earned
5 20 earned 18 earned
6 24 earned 22 earned
7 28 earned 26 earned
8+ 32 earned 32 earned


In order to meet qualitative SAP standards, a student must earn the cumulative GPA of 2.0. As indicated below, the only exception to the 2.0 minimum GPA is for the 2nd and 3rd terms of attendance (b if a student is on continued probation).

Number of Total Terms Minimum Cumulative GPA
1 2.00
2 2.00 (1.67b)
3 2.00 (1.85b)


All enrolled students are evaluated for SAP at the end of each payment period after official grades have been posted.  Students who do not meet SAP standards will receive communication from Student Financial Aid Services. Students who fail SAP for an isolated term will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status. Warning status allows students to receive aid for one more period of enrollment. Students who fail SAP for two consecutive terms will be placed in a Financial Aid Suspension Status. With a suspension status, students are not eligible to receive financial aid. However, students placed on suspension status may appeal the suspension. Students granted an approved appeal will be placed on Financial Aid Probation Status. Probation status allows students to receive aid for one period of enrollment.


Appeals must be submitted to Student Financial Aid Services in written form. The appeal must speak to the circumstances surrounding the failure to meet the SAP standards of the Berea College this term. The appeal must tell of the plans in place to achieve academic success for the upcoming term and what changes have been made or will be made in order to graduate on time. The appeal must also list the resources students will utilize to support the plan.

Students will be considered in good standing in regard to financial aid eligibility when they again meet the minimum SAP standards or receive approval of a submitted appeal. Sitting out for any length of time does not affect a student’s SAP standing. Students who re-enroll after a period of absence are required to submit an appeal when they return in order to determine financial aid eligibility.