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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (sometimes abbreviated as SAP) is a measure of a student’s success in pursuing an academic degree, calculated from your GPA and from the percentage of classes successfully completed compared to those that a student has not completed or has failed.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education regulations, financial aid recipients must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the achievement of a degree or certificate. The student’s SAP will be evaluated at the end of each enrolled term. The information below is the policy for Pellissippi State Community College.


Pellissippi State SAP Standards for Financial Aid

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of each term of enrollment. All grades earned over the student’s full academic career at Pellissippi State, including remedial classes, are considered when calculating the cumulative GPA for financial aid purposes.

Students must pass at least 67% of attempted credit hours on a cumulative basis in order to be on reasonable “pace” to graduate. Attempted hours include all transferred hours, dual enrollment hours, remedial and repeated course work, classes dropped with a “W,” and classes attended but not completed. The determination for what is a passing credit hour include all credit hours with grades of A, B, C, D or P.

Students will be allowed to receive Federal financial aid for the equivalent of 150% of the number of cumulative credit hours required for their degree. Example: An associate degree that requires 60 credits for graduation would allow a student up to 90 credit hours of financial aid eligibility (60CH x 150% = 90 CH) to complete their degree program. Students who have reached the 150% limit will be ineligible for financial aid.

Any student who earns no credit (All F’s/W’s) in their first term at Pellissippi State, or who transfers to Pellissippi State with all F's and W's will be on warning semester. The student will have one semester to return to good standing.

If you are not able to return to good SAP, in your warning semester your financial aid will be suspended until you return to good SAP, a 2.0 GPA and 67% Pace.

You would no longer be eligible for federal funding and you would have to find alternative funding after your warning semester until you return to good SAP.


Check Your SAP Status Online

Check your SAP status in myPellissippi. Under the main “Financial Aid” menu, choose “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status” and then select the aid year. Click on the “Academic Progress” tab and your SAP status for that semester will be listed.

  • If your SAP shows “Good Standing,” then you have met Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and you are eligible to receive Federal financial aid. No action or appeal is required.
  • If your SAP shows “Warning,” then you have not met either a GPA or attempted and passed course requirement. A “Warning” notice indicates you have not met SAP standards for that term, but will be eligible for Federal financial aid during the next enrolled term in order to regain or meet your Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. No action or appeal is required.
  • If your SAP shows “Approaching 90 Hours," then it is determined that you will not complete the program within federal guidelines and will need to complete your degree program soon. Students who have not completed their degree program are suspended after attempting 90 credit hours.
  • If your SAP shows “Suspension,” then you have not met cumulative SAP standards for two consecutive terms and/or you have reached the 90 maximum credit hours within your most recently completed term. This includes students who transfer to Pellissippi State with more than 90 credit hours attempted during their college career as well as dual enrollment students. Students placed on “Suspension” are ineligible for Federal financial aid until Satisfactory Academic Progress is established. Students on “Suspension” may qualify to file a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Financial Aid office.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

An SAP Appeal asks for reconsideration of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards due to extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.

Students are allowed a maximum of two (2) SAP appeals during their academic career at Pellissippi State. In order for an appeal to be reviewed, the student must be enrolled at Pellissippi State by the fourteenth (14th) day of the semester. An unreviewed appeal does not count toward the two-appeal maximum.

There is no guarantee that the submission of an SAP Appeal will result in regaining Federal financial aid for the current or any subsequent semesters.

If an SAP Appeal is approved, the student will be placed on SAP “Probation” for the next enrolled term. A student must achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress during that term, or he or she will lose financial aid for the next enrolled term. If an SAP Appeal is approved with an approved degree plan, the student is required to fulfill the plan’s terms and conditions, including, but not limited to: taking a reduced course load, enrolling in specific courses, achieving or maintaining a certain GPA, not withdrawing from any enrolled classes and passing all enrolled classes. If a student fails to meet the plan’s requirements, he or she will lose financial aid for the next enrolled term.

Any appeal must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation, including but not limited to:

  • Illness: Statement from physician
  • Accident/Injury: Police report, hospitalization record, physician statement
  • Death of immediate family member such as a parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse or dependent: Copy of death certificate, obituary or funeral announcement
  • Other extenuating circumstances: Notarized letters from clergy, professional counselors, legal authorities, employers, or other professionals
  • SAP Appeals for “Suspension” due to exceeding the maximum 90 credit hour limit must be submitted with a written plan for degree completion from a Pellissippi State academic advisor and signed by the student


SAP 90 Credit Hours Appeal

A student may be eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 hours (150% of the 60 hours needed to complete degree) attempted toward a degree. Transfer and dual enrollment hours accepted by Pellissippi State will be counted toward the maximum number of hours allowed to receive financial aid. A student who has reached their maximum 90 hours must complete a 90 Credit Hours Appeal through the Advising office to regain financial aid eligibility.

The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to complete the 90 hour appeal. If you do not meet all qualifications, please do not request an Advising appointment. A student must:

  • Be earning a degree from Pellissippi State (not taking prerequisites toward a degree at another institution)

Completing a 90 Credit Hours Appeal does not guarantee it will be approved. A student placed on a 90 Credit Hours Degree Plan must meet all terms of their plan, and their circumstance will be re-evaluated at the end of the semester. Students will be sent a mid-semester email to remind them of the terms of their plan.

If the 90 Credit Hours Appeal is denied,  the student will need to complete coursework at his or her own expense, without financial aid, until he or she meets SAP standards —OR— the student and/or his parent(s) may choose to set up a deferred payment plan with the Cashier (only during spring and fall semesters) —OR— the student and/or his parent(s) may apply for a loan through a private lender.


Deadline to Submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal or 90 Hour Appeal

If you are a currently-enrolled Pellissippi State student, you cannot file an SAP appeal until all of your final grades have been posted.

Fall 2019 Spring 2020 Summer 2020
September 9 February 4 June 8

Contact Us

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Text: 865-270-6400
Phone: 865.694.6400
Fax: 865-539-7691
(all faxed documents must include the student's P# or will not be processed)
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We have financial aid experts on each campus.

Locations and Office Hours:

Hardin Valley Campus
Goins Administration Building
Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Room 157
Monday - Thursday: 4:30 p.m.- 6:00 p.m., Admissions Counter  
Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Room 157

Blount County Campus
Enrollment Specialist, Room 118
Monday - Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Division Street Campus
Room 114
Monday & Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Magnolia Avenue Campus
Room 108
Tuesday & Wednesday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Strawberry Plains Campus
Main Office - Room 2933
Monday & Thursday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(Available remotely other days)


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