Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Maintain your financial aid by following the Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)


Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients meet certain academic standards to be eligible for federal financial aid.

To ensure financial aid recipients are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), academic transcripts are reviewed at the end of each term to determine eligibility for the next term. All terms of attendance are reviewed, including periods in which the student did not receive financial aid.

See Appeal Process

Standards of Academic Progress

  1. Qualitative Progress: Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (a C average).

    Grade point values are: A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, F = 0. Grades of I, CR, PR, NC, W, AU, and TR are not calculated in the GPA. In the case of a repeat course, only the higher grade is calculated into the grade point average.

  2. Completion Rate: Students must complete a minimum of 66.67 percent of all coursework (registered credit hours) attempted at CNM.

    Any course with a grade of withdraw (W), (F), incomplete (I), progress (PR), audit (AU), or No Credit (NC) is not considered completed coursework. A course is counted as completed only once, regardless of how many times attempted or the grade earned. Transfer credits and credits taken during high school (Dual Credit) at CNM are counted as attempted and completed, thus increasing a student’s completion rate.

  3. Maximum Time Frame: Students must complete their program within 150 percent of the credit hours required by the program.

    Students who have reached their maximum allowable credit hours will be suspended from receiving financial aid. Developmental or remedial hours are excluded from this calculation. For example, if a student’s program requires 60 credits, the 150 percent limit would be 90 attempted credits. The MTF calculation counts all attempted hours including repeated courses, ineligible courses, transfer hours, and credits taken at CNM during high school (Dual Credit) accepted by CNM. This also includes hours taken under a previous major and hours for which a student did not receive financial aid.

Financial Aid Warning

Continuing students are placed on financial aid warnings when they fail to meet the cumulative qualitative or completion rate components of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students will receive federal student aid during the warning term. Students must meet ALL cumulative standards by the end of the warning term to be eligible for financial aid the next term they attend or they will be suspended from financial aid (See Financial Aid Suspension below).

Note: Students who were on a prior approved appeal plan or appeal probation and do not meet all cumulative standards will not be eligible for another warning status and will be placed directly into suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

Continuing students are suspended from receiving financial aid if they do not meet the SAP by the end of their warning term. Students on financial aid suspension will not receive any form of federal or state financial aid (grants, student loans, student employment). Financial aid eligibility may be reinstated when all requirements of SAP are met. Students suspended from receiving financial aid are not eligible for a financial aid deferment. This suspension pertains only to financial aid and does not prevent you from enrolling and paying for classes on your own.

Policy for Closed Institutions

The CNM Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requires that all transfer hours must be included when calculating total credit hours. In the event that a student is unable to obtain academic transcripts as a result of the institution’s closure, upon sufficient documentation the financial aid administrator may waive the request for the transcript.

Developmental, Preparatory, or Remedial Courses

In order for students to receive Financial Aid for remedial/developmental /preparatory courses, they must declare an eligible major. Remedial courses are considered part of a student’s eligible program. Federal regulations prohibit students from receiving federal student aid for more than 30 hours of remedial coursework.

ESL and ESOL Courses

CNM does not have a separate English as a Second Language program. At CNM, both ESL and ESOL courses are treated as remedial courses; therefore, students are limited to 30 hours.

Changing Majors/Seeking Additional Degrees

CNM does not reset SAP for students who change their majors or seek additional degrees. All attempted credits and earned grades are included in the SAP determination.

Financial Aid Appeal Policy

Students suspended from financial aid may appeal their suspension if there were extenuating or unforeseen circumstances affecting their progress. All appeals should explain and document all terms in which progress was not met. Each appeal must also address how the circumstances that caused the suspension have been resolved.

Students interested in appealing must submit to Financial Aid and Scholarship Services an appeal form with all required documentation. Each appeal will be thoroughly reviewed and reinstatement of financial aid will depend on the extenuating circumstances that directly contributed to deficient academic performance, as well as other factors.

Appeals are evaluated on a term-by-term basis. Should a student’s appeal be approved, the student is required to sign an Appeal Contract for either one or multiple terms.  Both options will require students to meet certain conditions each term of attendance, such as earning a specified GPA, maintaining a specified completion rate, and registering for a certain number of credit hours. To facilitate understanding, a copy of the contract will be provided to the student.

Probationary Appeal (for use for one term only)

  1. Students who fall in this category are below the required 2.0 GPA and 66.67% completion rate. At the end of the appealed term these students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average, have completed 66.67 percent of their attempted classes, and not have exceeded their maximum allowable hours (MTF). If these students do not meet these requirements, they will be suspended and future appeals may not be approved. Financial Aid Probation contracts do not apply to students who have exceeded their maximum allowable hours (MTF). However, MTF suspensions and other appeals requiring more than one term to meet SAP or complete a program may be approved on an Academic Plan (see below).

  2. Appeal Plan (for use for multiple terms)

    An Academic Plan (AP) is given to a student whose appeal has been approved for resolved extenuating circumstances but who will need more than one term to meet cumulative SAP standards. The Academic Plan Contract requires completing a required number of credits with a particular grade point average over more than one term. Should a student on an AP contract not meet the requirements in any given term, the student would automatically be suspended and future appeals may not be approved. Students on an AP contract who skip a term will also be suspended.

The Deadline to Submit Appeals is the Friday Before the Term Begins.