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Academic Progress Info

Students receiving financial aid must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to continue to receive assistance. In other words, you have to achieve good grades and complete enough credit hours to keep you moving toward the successful completion of your degree in an acceptable time period. The standards for financial aid eligibility are not necessarily the same as the College’s requirements for Academic Standing. It is possible to be on probation for academics but not for financial aid (and vice versa).


Alert IconFederal and state aid each have different progress requirements. It is possible to be eligible for one and not the other.


Federal Aid Academic Requirements

Please refer to the charts below for current SAP requirements. Students may generally attempt up to 150% of the credits required to complete their degree requirements. Once this percentage has been exceeded a student will become ineligible for SAP (90 credits for an Associate’s degree or 180 credits for a Bachelor’s degree). Only courses that count toward your degree are considered “aidable.”


Associate Degree Program

Attempted Credits 0-22.5 23-35.5 36-51.5 52-83.5 84-99
Earned Credits 33.33% of Attempted Credits 66.67% of Attempted Credits 66.67% of Attempted Credits
or Associates Degree
Minimum Cumulative GPA 1.5 1.75 1.9 2.0 2.0 or
Associates Degree



Bachelor's Degree Program

Attempted Credits 0-99 99.5-175.5 180 Or More
Earned Credits see above 66.67% of Attempted Credits 66.67% of Attempted Credits or Bachelor Degree
Minimum Cumulative GPA see above 2.0 2.0


Alert IconAn attempted credit refers to any credit that you are enrolled in after the add/drop deadline. Repeated courses, withdrawals after the add/drop deadline, rebated courses and incomplete grades are counted in the attempted credit total. Transfer credits earned at different institutions count toward both attempted and completed credits.


New York State Academic Requirements

New York state residents are eligible for 8 lifetime payments of TAP (only 6 can be received for an Associate degree). Full-time registration is required.


Associate Degree Program

Before being certified for this payment: 1 2 3 4 5 6*
A student must have earned this many credits: 0 6 15 27 39 51
With at least this cumulative GPA: 0.0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0
Credits to be completed in preceding semester: 0 6 6 9 9 9

*EOP Students can receive up to 6 TAP payments for an Associate degree.


Bachelor's Degree Program

Before being certified for this payment: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9** 10**
A student must have earned this many credits: 0 6 15 27 39 51 66 81 96 111
With at least this cumulative GPA: 0 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Credits to be completed in preceding semester: 0 6 6 9 9 12 12 12 12 12

**EOP Students can receive up to 10 TAP payments for a Bachelor's degree.


Alert IconRepeated courses for which a student has already received a passing grade CANNOT be counted as part of the full-time certification for TAP. For example, a student will lose their TAP eligibility if they are only registered in 12 credits and one of their classes is being retaken even though it was passed previously.


TAP Waiver Policy

Students who can demonstrate that exceptional circumstances beyond their control caused them to have a substandard record may be eligible for a one-time undergraduate waiver of TAP regulations. Waivers will be granted in these exceptional cases only when: (1) there is a reasonable probability that the student will regain good academic standing; (2) the student is able to present full documentation; and (3) the waiver is approved by the TAP Certifying Officer. Students who wish to apply for a TAP Waiver must meet with a Financial Aid counselor.

Federal Financial Aid Probation

Students that have lost their financial aid eligibility due to failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress may appeal their status if there are extenuating circumstances. The students appeal must explain what caused them to not make academic progress and also what will change that will enable them to meet academic progress. The appeal will be presented to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and all factors will be evaluated. Some of the factors that will be evaluated to determine if a student is eligible for Financial Aid Probation will be:

  1. Was there and extenuating circumstance: illness, injury, death of a relative, etc?
  2. Has the student been out of college for a substantial amount of time? (usually, two years or more)
  3. After consulting with the Registrar’s Office, will student be able to attain their degree in a timely fashion if they meet the minimum terms of an academic plan?
  4. Any other questions that may arise after review of the appeal letter. Students on Financial Aid Probation will have to follow an academic plan in order to continue to receive their financial aid.

The minimum academic plan would consist of a student successfully completing all attempted classes and utilizing the tutoring center. The academic plan could be adjusted depending on the appeal letter and what the student has accomplished up to the term of the appeal. As long as the student maintains the academic plan they will be able to receive federal aid until they are back in Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students are removed from Financial Aid Probation due to one of the following: a.Student has achieved Satisfactory Academic Progress. b.Student has not met the requirements of their academic plan. If this happens a student will not be able to receive federal aid until they achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Important Definitions


Qualitative Measure

Undergraduate students who have completed less than one year of academic pursuit must maintain a minimum Plattsburgh cumulative GPA of 1.6. At one year completed and beyond, a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA is required.

The cumulative GPA at Cobleskill does not include transfer coursework, or the following grades: satisfactory (S), incomplete (I), and withdrawal (W). The college’s Rebate Policy does not apply to the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. Rebated grades will continue to be counted in SAP review.


Quantitative Measure

Students who have completed less than one year of academic pursuit must earn at least 33.33% of all credits attempted. After 36 credits have been attempted and beyond, 66.7% of all attempted credits must be earned.

Transfer credits accepted at SUNY Cobleskill count as both attempted and completed credits. Note that passing grades are considered completed credits, although the following are not: incomplete (I), withdrawal (W),  and unsatisfactory (U).

Students must successfully complete their degree pursuit within 150% of the credits required for graduation. Generally, 150% is a maximum of 180 attempted credits. Upon request from the student, the number of years remaining will be adjusted for students who have graduated from Cobleskill and are working on their second bachelor’s degree.


Repeated Courses

Students may repeat coursework according to the College's academic policy, defined in the college catalog.

Federal and state aid programs will allow for repeat coursework to count in credits being attempted when the course is required for degree completion and: has been failed (F grade), has been withdrawn from (W grade), or has a grade earned that is not acceptable as stipulated in the major/degree requirements for the student’s major catalog year. However, federal aid programs may only be used one time for retaking previously passed coursework.

The most recent/last grade earned in repeat coursework will be used in the GPA computation and only courses taken and repeated at SUNY Cobleskill (or through cross registration) will count toward a student’s GPA.

Each course attempt is included in the quantitative and maximum time frame components of SAP review.


Incomplete Courses

All courses with a grade of “I” will be counted towards the student’s attempted credit hours but will not count towards credits earned until the incomplete is changed to a grade. Students are encourage to contact the Student Financial Services Office to request a re-review of their SAP whenever they receive a grade change.


Credits for courses with a grade of “W” will be counted as attempted credits but will not count towards earned credits when calculating Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Remedial Courses

Credits for remedial courses will not count as attempted or earned credit hours when calculating Federal and State Satisfactory Academic Progress. They will also not count towards the student's Grade Point Average (GPA).

Maximum Timeframe

Students must finish his or her educational program within 150% of the published length of their program in order to keep their federal financial aid eligibility.