Federal Satisfactory Progress Standard

The regulations for satisfactory progress require colleges to develop, publish, and apply a consistent and reasonable standard of academic progress. Colleges are required to review every student's academic progress for the purpose of determining future Title IV eligibility at the end of each academic year. The review must include all semesters with attendance including any summer and intercessions whether or not Title IV assistance was received.

The standard must include both a qualitative and quantitative measure of progress including a maximum time-frame of no more than 150 percent of an academic program's published length in which the student is expected to finish the program.

Federal satisfactory progress regulations have always required colleges to apply a qualitative measure (minimum grade point average [GPA]) against a norm. Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a degree to receive Federal Student Aid (Title VI). In addition, the student must achieve the GPA required for probationary status at the institution.

After two years of enrollment at the college, students must have earned at least a "C" average, its equivalent, or academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduation.

The City University of New York's Board of Trustee Policy for good academic standing requires that students maintain a sliding cumulative grade point average based on the number of cumulative credits attempted* as follows:

# of cumulative credits attempted
Cumulative grade point average
0 - 12
13 - 24
25 - upward


To quantify academic progress, a college must set a maximum time-frame of no more than 150 percent of an academic program's published length as the maximum time-frame in which the student is expected to finish the program. To ensure that a student is making quantitative progress throughout the course of study, the college must also establish a minimum percentage of credits a student must successfully complete each academic year. Remedial course-work is not considered in the calculation of quantitative satisfactory academic process for Title IV purposes.

Students must accumulate credits toward the degree according to the following standards:

  1. 150% CAP
    Students are required to complete their course-work in no more than 150 percent of an academic program's published length. The following formula may be used:

    [(Academic program's published length in credits) x 1.5 = ___]
    See example below for an associate degree program of 64 credits.
  2. Regular Standard
    If a student has attempted fewer than 150% of the total program credits, his or her accumulated (or earned) credits must be equal to or greater than two-thirds of the cumulative credits attempted at the college.
  3. Conditional Standard
    If the standard in the above paragraph is not met, eligibility may be retained by meeting the following conditional standard:

    For associate degree programs, the accumulated credits must be equal to or greater than [(.875 of credits attempted) - 21].
Title IV Satisfactory Progress Quantitative Measure

AA Degree (60 credit degree x (1.5) = 90)

Credit Accumulation







Required Cumulative Credits







Conditional Standard







Students will be measured against the above standards at the end of each academic year. Those who fall below the standards may appeal through the normal institutional academic appeal process to regain eligibility.

*Attempted credits are reflected on the student's file. Accumulated credits are credits that the student has earned toward the completion of the degree program. "W's" (WA, WF, and WU), "F's", "R's", "I's", transfer credits, and repeated courses reported on a student's grade transcript are counted as attempted credits. Second degree students shall have their status initialized for Federal Student Aid (Title IV) by using the number of credits accepted toward the second degree as cumulative attempted credits and cumulative earned credits.