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Skidmore College
Financial Aid Office

Undergraduate Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress 

Academic Eligibility Criteria for Federal Awards

Federal regulations require students to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree in order to receive any federal student aid, including Federal Direct Loans. SAP guidelines require students to meet both a Qualitative (Cumulative GPA) and Quantitative (Pace) standard within a maximum time frame. To remain eligible students must continue to meet SAP.

Students must maintain a satisfactory cumulative grade point average. Students will retain eligibility for financial aid if they maintain a cumulative GPA consistent with the Skidmore's academic standards required for graduation and meet the requirements shown on the academic progress chart. Students who fail to meet SAP are put on "warning" status and must meet the standards the following semester. The federal financial aid standards for academic progress are different from Skidmore's academic standards, which are described in the catalog. In addition, to maintain eligibility for New York State aid, please see the New York State Programs (Requirements) section below.

Additionally, students must progress through their educational program to ensure that they will complete the program within the maximum timeframe required for federal student aid. Students may attempt up to 150% of the credits normally required to complete a baccalaureate degree and retain eligibility for federal student aid.

Loss of Eligibility for Federal Awards and Appeal

Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress will be placed on warning. If the federal standards are not met in the next semester a student is enrolled at Skidmore, the student will lose his/her eligibility for federal student aid. A student placed on waiver by Skidmore's committee on academic standing has appealed this loss and will be considered approved and on federal student aid probation.

Note: A student on financial aid probation for a payment period may not receive federal aid for the subsequent payment period unless the student makes satisfactory academic progress or Skidmore determines that the student met the requirements outlined in the academic improvement plan.


Federal Financial Aid Academic Progress Chart

At Skidmore College, students must earn 120 graduation credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Thus, students may attempt up to 180 credits and retain eligibility for federal student aid. However, students must also complete a percentage of credits attempted each year as shown on the academic progress chart below. Transfer credits accepted by the college are considered to be attempted and completed credits for this purpose.

If credits attempted are between: Then the following % of graduation credits must be completed:
1-30 30%
31-60 50%
61-90 60%
91-120 65%
121-150 70%
151-180 80%
over 180 Ineligible


Progress towards the degree will be measured each semester, at the completion of the semester. Students may restore eligibility for federal aid when they meet the standards outlined in the SAP policy.

  • Repeated Courses: Repeat course credits will be counted as attempted and earned in the calculation of Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress. Note: Unlimited repeated courses can be funded with federal aid if the student has not passed the course previously at Skidmore. Only one repeated course can be funded with federal aid if the student previously passed the course.
  • Course Withdrawals: Credits for courses with a grade of W or L will be counted as attempted credits, but not credits earned in determining Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.  GPA is not affected/evaluated for incomplete semesters due to leave of absence.
  • Remedial Non-credit Coursework: Credits for remedial non-credit courses will not be counted as credits attempted or credits earned in determining Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Incomplete Grades: In determining Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress, credits for courses with grades of Incomplete will count toward credits attempted but not count toward credits earned until the incomplete grade is changed to a passing grade.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer credits accepted by Skidmore College are considered to be attempted and completed credits in determining Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Change in Major: A change in major has no impact on academic progress. All attempted credits and grades earned will be counted when assessing progress.

Completed Program, No Degree
Students who have completed all degree coursework and academic requirements for the degree they are pursuing cannot continue to receive federal aid.

New York State Programs

Students who receive Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) assistance from New York State for the first time must meet requirements below for academic performance and progress toward the degree. Failure to meet these standards results in the termination of financial assistance from New York State. Skidmore College does not substitute its resources for funds that are withdrawn by New York State.

New York State Requirements

A Skidmore College student must be registered for a minimum of twelve semester hours of credit in the fall semester and a minimum of twelve semester hours of credit in the spring semester, and must meet the following regulations, established by the state Board of Regents, in order to remain eligible for payments:

  • Approved Program- a student must formally declare a major not later than the beginning of their junior year.
  • Program Pursuit- a student must receive a passing or failing grade in a minimum of:
    • Six semester hours in each semester of study in the first year in which an award is made;
    • Nine semester hours in each semester of study in the second year in which an award is made;
    • Twelve semester hours in each semester of study in each succeeding year.
    • Grades of W (withdrawal) or I (incomplete) will not satisfy this requirement.
  • Academic Progress- students must meet the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress.  

Waiver of Pursuit of Progress and/or Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Receipt of State Financial Aid

A Skidmore student who does not maintain either the Program Pursuit or Satisfactory Progress standards may qualify for a one-time waiver if:

  • The student can document that the reason for failure to main standards was the result of an extenuating circumstance that can be documented; and
  • The student receives permission for such a waiver after submission of documentation to the Registrar.

A waiver is not automatically granted for any student and is not intended to provide an additional semester of aid to a student who has used poor judgment or has been academically irresponsible. Procedures for granting waivers follow the institution's established academic review process. Documentation of the extenuating circumstances will be maintained in the Registrar's Office. Students will be expected to meet prescribed standards thereafter.