Maintaining Your Eligibility

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a federal requirement that you must meet and maintain in order to receive both federal and state aid.
To view the Alamo Colleges District SAP Policy, click HERE.

There are three (3) components of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):

  1. Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • 2.0 GPA
  2. Completion Rate
    • 66.66% cumulative completion rate between hours attempted and hours completed
  3. Maximum Hours
    • No more than 99 attempted hours of college-level coursework (excluding 30 hours of remedial courses) for Associate Degrees
    • No more than 180 attempted hours of college-level coursework (excluding 30 hours of remedial courses) for Bachelor Degrees (BSN)

The Alamo Colleges District checks SAP every year after spring grades are posted.
Once the process is run, students not meeting SAP will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer qualify for financial aid.
If you are placed on financial aid suspension, you have the option to submit an appeal.
You can check your Satisfactory Academic Progress in the ACES portal. There will be a Financial Aid Checklist in the upper right corner of the 'My Page' tab.

Will the SAP process affect my summer and/or fall/spring awards as a continuing student?

All summer and/or fall/spring awards are tentative based upon final evaluation of SAP. SAP calculations are anticipated to be completed by May 25; at which point award offers will be removed for those students who do not meet SAP criteria. Summer awards will not be authorized until SAP has been reviewed and adjustments made. 

What can I do to make sure I remain in good SAP standing?

Avoid dropping classes or earning grades not considered to be passing according to the SAP policy, and follow your degree plan and meet with an advisor regularly. 

How does SAP affect dual credit students?

Due to prior college credit hours earned before attending the Alamo Colleges District, new incoming dual credit students entering fall or spring will be placed on SAP probation until the regular SAP process runs at the end of spring.

Why is my SAP status not available?

Please make sure you have

1) completed the ApplyTexas application for admission,

2) completed your FAFSA and

3) that the Alamo Colleges District has successfully received your FAFSA.


Financial Aid Appeal Process

Federal regulations provide the opportunity to appeal the loss of your financial aid eligibility, recognizing that there may be circumstances that prevented you from meeting the minimum SAP standards.

An appeal is submitted via your ACES portal. Click HERE for a tutorial.
After submitting your appeal via ACES, you will have seven (7) days to submit any supporting documentation to the financial aid office.

Financial Aid Appeal Submission Dates are as follows:

Summer: No Appeal Process

Fall 2022: May 2 - June 30, 2022

Spring 2023: September 12 - November 4, 2022

I have been out of college for a number of semesters/years, how can I be on suspension?

Your academic history, including hours transferred into the Alamo Colleges District, is cumulative and never resets itself. Once you are in violation of SAP requirements, the suspension status remains until an appeal is approved or sufficient progress is made. Transferred hours count towards maximum attempted hours.

I've been removed from Academic Dismissal or am approved for Academic Fresh Start, does this remove me from financial aid suspension?

No. An approved petition or Academic Fresh Start does not impact your financial aid suspension. Only an appeal approved through the financial aid appeal committee can reinstate students. 

I'm on financial aid suspension, can I still apply for a Direct Loan?

No. Your suspension status impacts eligibility for all federal aid, including Direct Loans. 

Is there any way to expedite the review of my appeal?

No. Appeals are reviewed according to the date they are received. 

How long will it take to receive a decision?

The review time can take up to 7 weeks and there is no guarantee your appeal will be approved. 

How will I be notified whether my appeal is approved or denied?

A message will be sent to your ACES financial aid portal. 

If my appeal is denied can I petition the decision?

No. The committee's decision is final.

If I submitted my appeal before the Priority Processing Date, does this impact the processing time?

No. The Priority Processing Date does not apply to Financial Aid Appeals for Reinstatement. 

If my appeal is approved, does it go into effect immediately, or can I use it for a later date?

If approved, SAP appeals allow financial aid eligibility only for the term for which you submitted the appeal. If you do not attend the Alamo Colleges District during the term for which the appeal was submitted, the approval will become null and void. Your SAP status will be returned to 'Suspension', and you will be required to submit another appeal with no guarantee of approval if you return to the Alamo Colleges District at a later date and wish to be considered for financial aid.


Financial Aid Overawards

An overaward exists when your financial aid package exceeds your financial need or Cost of Attendance (COA). Financial assistance counted towards financial need and COA include grants, loans, work study, scholarships, specific Veteran benefits, waivers, and other programs.

Federal regulations require overawards to be corrected at the time they occur. If an overaward needs to be resolved, it could result in the student owing money to the Alamo Colleges District. 


Financial Aid Award Proration

Initial financial aid awards are based upon the expectation of full-time enrollment.
If you enroll for less than full-time, certain financial aid awards will be recalculated, or prorated, based upon your actual enrollment for the semester. Adjustments will be made up to the census date of each semester.

Financial Aid Awards that are subject to proration at the Alamo Colleges District include, but are not limited to: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Texas Public Education Grants (TPEG), and Texas Education Opportunity Grants (TEOG).


Withdrawals and Returning Financial Aid Funds

If you withdraw from all courses (100%), federal regulations require the Alamo Colleges District to prorate the amount of Title IV financial aid you have earned based upon the percentage of the semester that you have attended classes.
The regulations require the calculation be performed for every student who withdraws from all classes, and that a re-payment percentage be calculated until 60% of the semester has elapsed.
Withdrawing before the 60% mark means you will have to pay back a portion of your financial aid that was not earned.

Failure to repay these funds results in Financial Aid Holds that prevent future registration at any college or university.

Title IV Funds will be returned in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

If you withdraw before financial aid is disbursed, financial aid amounts will be prorated according to federal regulations.
State, local, and institutional grants, loans, and scholarships are also subject to evaluation to assess impact of changes in enrollment status.

I need to drop a class or a class was cancelled.

Dropping classes should always be avoided when possible. Doing so could require a portion or the entire amount of financial aid funds disbursed to be paid back, and also affects Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status and possibly future financial aid eligibility.

Students needing to drop a class should consult a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss how this will affect SAP status or cause a potential overpayment or Return of Title IV Funds. 

How is my Satisfactory Academic Progress affected by dropping a class?

You are required to complete 66.66% of all courses attempted. Every time a class is dropped, it affects completion rate. Failure to maintain the 66.66% completion rate will result in being placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Why will I owe money if I drop a class?

If you withdraw from classes or a class gets cancelled for lack of enrollment, you may be required to pay back funds based on a reduced enrollment status. This is considered an OVERPAYMENT of federal funds. If funds are not paid back within 45 days, the Alamo Colleges District is required to report the overpayment to the US Department of Education and you will not be able to receive future aid until this overpayment is resolved.

What if I don’t attend/start a course for which I am registered?

Regulations require that a student receiving Federal student financial aid must begin academic work within the first 30 days of the period of enrollment.

If a student is reported by an instructor as not attending a resident course or not accessing an online course within the first 30 day of the period of enrollment, Student Financial Aid must adjust the student’s enrollment for financial aid eligibility purposes. This adjustment may result in a change to awarded financial aid and create a balance due by the student back to the College.

For fully online courses, an attendance verification activity is assigned and must be completed by the 3rd class day. For courses that are less than 5 weeks, the student is expected to complete the attendance activity on or before the Census Date.

Please reference the ‘Academic Standards’ section of your college catalog for more information.