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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal and state regulations require students receiving federal financial aid and Cal Grants to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  There is a separate SAP policy for the California College Promise Grant (CCPG). 

We encourage all students to read and be familiar with the complete Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy. These standards are stricter than those required to enroll at SBCC.  In general, you must:

  • Complete your program within 150% of the maximum time frame
    • AS, AA or transfer programs within 90 units
    • Certificate programs within 30 units
  • Maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA
  • Successfully complete 67% of all attempted units

After grades are posted at the end of each semester, students are notified of their financial aid SAP status via an email to their Pipeline account. To view a description of the different SAP statuses please click here. Students not meeting SAP standards are not eligible for federal financial aid, Cal Grants, and alternative loans.

A student may request to have their eligibility reinstated if there were circumstances beyond the student's control that prevented them from making academic progress.  A student needing to appeal should follow the process below.

Fall 2022 Deadline: Friday, October 7, 2022 at 1 pm

Financial Aid Appeal Process - Step by Step

  • Meet with an Academic Counselor to create a current and updated Student Educational Plan (SEP). Make sure that your SEP matches your current enrollment.  If your current enrollment matches the current term then you may attach it to your SAP Appeal.  


    Follow these steps to view and save your SEP:

    1. Log into your Pipeline account
    2. Click on "Starfish" (at top right)
    3. In Starfish, click on the 3 bars next to "My Success Network" (at top left)
    4. Select "Degree Planner"
    5. Click on your created Student Education Plan (SEP)
    6. To access your SEP, click on the "More" tab (to the right in the blue heading)
    7. Select "Plan History"
    8. Click on "View Snapshot"
    9. Download your SEP
    10. Save to your computer and include with your SAP Appeal and Statement submission in Step 4 below
  • If you were enrolled in the Spring 2022, but will not be enrolling until Fall 2022 you must submit your SAP Appeal Form by the deadline of October 7, 2022. To view a description of the different SAP Status please click here. You can only appeal for the current semester.  It is not possible to be granted an appeal for a previous semester.   Identify your Academic Progress Status by logging into your Pipeline account . This is necessary to complete the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal form. 

    Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal 2022-2023 -Fillable PDF

    1. Log into your Pipeline account
    2. Click on the "Student" tab
    3. Click on "Financial Aid" link
    4. Click on "Special Messages"
    5. Select the "Aid Year" and click "Submit"
    6. Click on the "Special Messages" tab


    Fall 2022 Deadline: Friday October 7, 2022 at 1pm

  • Write your personal statement that explains why you did not make satisfactory academic progress.  Your statement should include what circumstances beyond your control prevented you from meeting the standard(s) that you mark on your SAP Appeal form. You must also explain how this situation has changed and the steps you are taking to prevent it from happening again (for example, better utilizing campus support services). Supporting documentation that helps explain your situation can be attached. To view a description of the different SAP Status please click here.

    Please note: This is a statement about your academic progress, not how much you need financial aid. 

  • Submit your completed and signed SAP Appeal form, updated and current SEP, and typed personal statement through ShareFile, Fax, or Mail. Please follow the directions below. Do NOT email your appeal packet. Be sure to complete your documents carefully.  Incomplete documents will have to be returned to you. A signature is required: you can sign it electronically by drawing it with your mouse, or you can print out the form and sign it by hand. 


    1. Save as an electronic file (PDF preferred), your completed and signed SAP Appeal form, your updated Student Educational Plan (SEP), and a typed personal statement.
    2. Click here; this will take you to a Pipeline login with the SBCC logo. You will need to enter your SBCC Pipeline email, first name, and last name.  Ignore the company box
    3. Once you click continue, the next page will ask you to either drag a document (PDF preferred) into the space provided, or you can choose to look for the document by clicking the 'Browse files' link. You will then just need to select the document that you want to submit.  If you have several documents, you will need to repeat this process for each document.
    4. Once documents are selected, you need to click the 'Upload' button on the bottom left of the page. After you click the button, you will receive an email letting you know they have uploaded a file to ShareFile.



    Financial Aid Department
    721 Cliff Drive
    Santa Barbara, CA 93109



    SAP Appeal Committee Review:

    • The Financial Aid Office will review your appeal and once a decision has been made, you will be notified via your Pipeline email account. Review time can take 4-6 weeks once your SAP Status is updated to "Received, Not Yet Reviewed" in Pipeline under Eligibility. Click here for instructions on how to view your unsatisfied requirements. During peak times, review can take up to 6 weeks.
    • If denied, students cannot appeal this decision. All denied appeals have gone through two (2) rounds of review by the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee for a final decision.  


    Due to the volume of appeals we receive we are not able to give detailed reasons why your appeal was denied. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final and cannot be appealed further at the college. You can send an email from your Pipeline email to Pat Hurley, Director of Financial Aid asking for clarification. Include your SBCC K# in the subject line of your email.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Reference: 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 668.34