Sign up today for a Financial Aid Progress Workshop.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Northwest State students receiving federal financial aid are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), according to federal and state laws.

The review of a student’s SAP is based on the entire academic record. This includes all transfer credit hours being accepted by the College, even if the student did not receive financial aid for a previous semester of enrollment. The SAP is monitored after each semester’s grades are posted. Being eligible to enroll in classes does not mean the student is maintaining SAP for financial aid.

Students will be considered to be maintaining SAP if they: maintain the required cumulative grade point average (see Chart A), satisfactorily complete the necessary number of credit hours (see Chart B) and will graduate within 150 % of the credit hours required to complete the program (see Chart C).

Students who receive a final grade of “A”, “B”,”C”,”D” or “S/SC” for a course have successfully completed those credit hours. However, a final grade of “F”, “I”, “W”, “AU”, “U/UC”, “P”, “WF”, “WM”, “WP”, “NP”, and “NR” is not considered satisfactory. Transfer hours accepted by Northwest State will be used in calculating the remaining semesters of financial aid eligibility and the minimum hours to be completed.


Chart A

Students must meet a cumulative grade point average listed below:

GPA Credit Hours Attempted
Cumulative GPA










Chart B

Students are expected to complete 67 percent of their total attempted classes. For example:

Total Hours Attempted
Min. Hours Required to Complete












Chart C

After a student has completed the maximum time frame allowed to complete a degree or certificate, eligibility for federal financial aid will end. Below are estimated maximums.

Max. Timeframe to Complete Program

Associate Degree

105 credit hours

Certificate Program

54 hours

If a student has not met the minimum cumulative GPA requirement (Chart A), or has not completed the minimum credit hours (Chart B) they will be assigned a classification of either warning or suspension.



A student who has not completed at least 67 percent of the total attempted hours, or is below the minimum GPA for credit hours attempted will be placed on warning. The student has one semester to correct the deficiencies in SAP. The student may continue to be eligible for loans and grants and is encouraged to seek counseling, tutoring or other support services for help. Students who are on warning are not allowed to charge their books in the bookstore until the week before classes start for that term.



After a semester of warning, the student still has not corrected the deficiencies in SAP. Therefore, the student’s financial aid is suspended.


Maximum Time Frame

To remain eligible for financial aid, a student must make sufficient progress to graduate within 150% of the credit hours required for their program (Chart C). Students in a degree program have a maximum of 105 credit hours to complete their Associate degree. Students in a certificate program have a maximum of 57 credit hours to complete the certificate.

A student who is within 20 credit hours of meeting the maximum time frame allowed to complete a program will have a warning status posted. If the degree or certificate is not completed within the timeframe allowed, the student’s eligibility for federal financial aid will be suspended.


Developmental Hours

A student is limited to 30 developmental credit hours while receiving federal financial aid. Federal financial aid programs will not cover any developmental courses taken after reaching the maximum 30 hours. These courses include but are not limited to Math 050, Math 080, Math 090, English 080, English 090, and Intro to Computers 090.


Repeated Courses

Any courses that are repeated will be used in the calculation of a student’s satisfactory academic progress status.


Reinstatement of Financial Aid / Right to Appeal

A student whose financial aid has been terminated can become eligible for financial aid again by fulfilling one of the following conditions:

  1. Eliminate all academic deficiencies by completing the number of credit hours that are lacking, or complete enough credit hours to achieve the minimum cumulative GPA, at student’s own expense.
  2. Demonstrate special or extenuating circumstances.

A student who has been suspended from receiving financial aid may appeal. The financial aid satisfactory academic progress appeal form gives detailed instructions on how to complete the appeal workshop. The Office of Financial Aid will respond electronically to an appeal.