Satisfactory Academic Progress & Financial Aid Eligibility

Academic Progress is Monitored by the Office of Financial Aid through Established Institutional Guidelines.

For a student to be considered as progressing normally and maintain eligibility for federal and institutional financial aid, students must achieve specific quality standards (grade point averages) and quantity standards (credits earned). Below are outlines of the academic standards which must be met to comply with federal and institutional requirements.

Students have a limited amount of time to complete their undergraduate degree requirements. To earn the basic undergraduate degree, students must successfully complete 120 credit hours (minimum). Undergraduate full-time status equals 12 or more credits per semester. However, to graduate in 4 years, a student must complete 30 credits each academic year. Federal or institutional aid recipients enrolled less than full-time are required to meet these standards on a basis proportional to their enrollment status.

For students with transfer credits, satisfactory academic progress will be measured by equating transfer credits accepted by Russell Sage College to the number of cumulative credits earned, as indicated on the chart below. All transfer credits accepted by Russell Sage College will be considered attempted credits and completed credits for purposes of determining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Federal and Institutional Financial Aid: Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Cumulative Grade Point Average & Pace Completion (%) requirements to remain in good academic standing for Federal and Institutional Financial Aid are listed below. Contact the Office of Financial Aid, [email protected], for more information.
*Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e).668.32(f) and 668.34) require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance and that the school certify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree.

Cumulative GPA
Pace %
0-30 credits 1.500 67.000
30.5 - 47.5 credits 1.750 67.000
48+ credits 2.000 67.000

*Note: all transfer credits accepted by Russell Sage College will be considered attempted credits and completed credits for purposes of determining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Qualitative Standards: Grade Point Average

In accordance with federal regulations, by the second calendar year of enrollment in a post-secondary educational program, the student must have at least a 2.000 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) to be considered making satisfactory progress for continued participation in federal and institutional aid programs. Students who do not meet this test will be ineligible to participate in federal and institutional financial aid programs until this deficiency is corrected.

Quantitative Standards: Credits Earned (Pace of Completion)

To remain eligible for financial aid, all students must successfully complete (earn) a minimum of 67.000% of the total cumulative hours attempted.

  • Attempted credit hours include all credits attempted at Russell Sage College as well as credits that were accepted as transfer credits.
  • Pace of completion (%) is determined by dividing the total number of credit hours earned (successfully completed) by the total number of credit hours attempted. [completed credits / attempted credits = %]

In order for students to monitor their academic progress, both the cumulative GPA and the Pace of Completion can be found in Self Service - Student Planning - My Progress (under the Show Program Notes link). Russell Sage College recommends students earn at least 30 credit hours per academic year in order to graduate in four years.

All F Grades or Zero GPA

Students receiving all F grades or having a zero term GPA in one semester will have their status automatically moved to Unsatisfactory Academic Progress (USAP) and will not be eligible for federal or institutional financial aid regardless of meeting all other SAP requirements. Until the student is making satisfactory academic progress, they are responsible for all charges due to the College.

During the semester that the student received all F grades or a combination of F’s and Incomplete grades (I) the student will be asked to verify their attendance. Failure to verify attendance will be considered an “unofficial” withdrawal and aid for that semester is subject to the Return to Title IV (R2T4) Federal Calculation of repayment. This calculation could result in the student having an outstanding balance with the college due to returned funds to the Department of Education. 

Grade Changes

Students who are receiving aid on a conditional or probationary basis must resolve all incomplete grades before the Office of Financial Aid can make a final determination that they meet the satisfactory academic progress guidelines. Students must report any grade changes that impact their aid directly to the Office of Financial Aid.

Right to Appeal

Students have the right to appeal any decision of ineligibility (USAP) to continue to receive financial assistance unless they have previously been granted an appeal. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of notification that aid eligibility has been lost. An appeal must be typed and sent to:

Director of Financial Aid
Russell Sage College
65 First Street, Troy, NY 12180