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Financial Aid Tip of the Month, December 2022

Know your school’s satisfactory academic progress standards


Satisfactory academic progress, or SAP, is an important phrase in the language of student aid for Kentucky students to know, according to KHEAA.

SAP comes into play after you have taken college or technical school classes and are applying for student aid for the next school year.

All colleges that award federal student aid must have SAP standards, which are based on three key areas: GPA, pace and a maximum time frame.

The GPA students must have may vary by school, major and whether a student is pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree.

To meet the pace standard, students must pass a certain percentage of the classes they take in a given period of time. This may also vary by college.

Maximum time frame means students have to finish their degree within a given number of attempted credit hours. For example, a school may require a student to pass 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree, but the student must earn those 120 hours without taking more than 150 hours.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents.

In addition, KHEAA disburses private Advantage Education Loans on behalf of its sister agency, KHESLC. For more information, visit

KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit

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