Federal and New Jersey State financial aid is to help students pay for their college expenses.
To receive grants, loans, scholarships, and work study, students must meet minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards while completing their Associate Degree or Certificate programs at Bergen Community College.

SAP Status Definitions

What does SAP stand for?

The SAP Measures a student’s performance at the end of each semester in the various areas, including completion rate, time frame, and cumulative grade point average.

Quantitative Pace – (Cumulative Completion Rate)

Students must meet minimum completion rate standards (number of credits attempted versus number of credits earned).
All withdrawals (official “W” and unofficial “E”) from classes will affect a student performance.

The minimum status a student must maintain is outlined in the following table:

Attempted Credits Minimum Pace
1-14 Credits 67%
15-29 Credits 67%
30+ 67%

Qualitative Pace – (Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students must meet the minimum GPA standards as described in the following table:

Grade Point Average (GPA) Credits Cumulative GPA
1-11 Credits 1.5
12-28 Credits 1.8
29-47 Credits 1.9
48+ 2.0

NOTE: All grades (including “E“, “W“, “F“, and “N“) will affect the student’s performance.
The grades assignment process information is included in the College Catalog.

Maximum Time Frame

The maximum timeframe for completion of a student’s academic program is 150% of the normal
timeframe to complete their coursework.

Example of Time Frame review for an Associate Degree Program

Cumulative Attempted Credits Eligibility Status
1-69 Credits In acceptable range
70 – 90 Credits Alert
91+ Credits Ineligible

Attempted Credits Limit Exceptions

Case Study: Students seeking a second degree or enrolled in Health Professions program.

  • The College will make a second evaluation based solely on attempted/earned credits.
  • Students enrolled in Health Profession programs and pursuing a second degree are allowed to receive financial aid for
    a total of 120 attempted credits.
  • Students seeking a second-degree students will have all attempted credits prior to the new program included in the

Treatment of Grades, Repeats, Audit, Withdrawals, & Grades

The following table outlines how course grades are treated in the SAP calculation.

Course Grades Counted as Attempted? Counted as Completed? Counted in GPA? Included in Max Timeframe
Transferred Credits Yes Yes No Yes
Incompletes (N, formerly I) Yes No No Yes
Official Withdrawal (W), (CNP) Yes No Yes Yes
Unofficial Withdrawal (E) Yes No Yes Yes
Failure Grade – (F) Yes No Yes Yes
Passing Grades – (A), (B), (C), (D), (CP) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Grades – Audit (AU) No No No No
Continuing Education Coursework No No No No
Remedial (ALP) Coursework* Yes Yes Yes Yes

*The information about remedial ESL/ALP – American Language Program coursework information can be found at https://bergen.edu/esl/english-for-college-university/

  • Impact of Dropping or Withdrawing from the Course

What happens if a student receiving financial aid drops or withdraws from a course?


SAP Status Assignment after Calculation

SAP Status Description Eligible for Financial Aid?  SAP Appeal Eligibility Academic Progress Remarks
Satisfactory (SAT, formerly known as AC) Yes Not applicable Satisfactory GPA and Pace performance
Graduate 2nd Degree (GRD) Yes Not applicable Satisfactory GPA and Pace performance
Warning (WRN) Yes Not applicable Close to failing to meet GPA or Pace SAP Standards
Unsatisfactory (UNS) No Can appeal Failed to meet GPA or Pace SAP standards
Unsatisfactory Maximum Timeframe (UMX) No Can appeal Failing OR close to meet GPA or Pace SAP Standards
Maximum Timeframe Denied (INX) No Can appeal Exceeded Pace SAP standards

SAP Status Assignment after SAP Appeal Review

SAP Status Description Expectations/Remarks/Observations
Academic Plan 3, 2, 1 (PR3), PR2, PR1) -formerly known as “”Probation””
  • Student will only be on the academic plan for a total of three (3) semesters AND
  • Maintain the plan standards (A minimum GPA of 2.25 AND 100% completion rate)
Health Professions (HPA)
  • Student will remain on this academic plan AND
  • Maintain the standards for their program until they reach 120-credit maximum
Denied (DN)
  • Either the student did NOT have a plausible explanation OR
  • Student’s academic progress did NOT show any satisfactory progress
Maximum Timeframe Denied (MD) Exceeded Pace SAP standards AND have more than one (1) semester to complete the program

SAP Status Assignment after Student’s Failure to Meet SAP/Academic Plan Expectations

SAP Status Description Expectations/Remarks Aid or Appeal Eligibility
Failed Academic Plan (FP, formerly RE) Student did not meet the plan standards
(a minimum GPA of 2.25 AND 100% completion rate each semester).
  • Not eligible for aid but
  • Can appeal (COVID Waiver still in effect)
Fall, Spring, or Summer Only (FA, SP, SM) Student is near a maximum time frame of an Associate Degree or Certificate program at Bergen CC.
  • Aid approved for one and only one semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer) AND
  • Will no longer be eligible to receive OR appeal for financial aid at Bergen CC after that particular semester.

Impact of Repeating Coursework

Can a student use the financial aid to pay for repeated coursework?


When the SAP calculation is run at the end of a semester, the student will be notified by both their personal and Bergen email address if they are close to or not meeting the SAP standard.
The student’s SAP status is also available on the front page of the Financial Aid on the Self-Service portal.
If a student is not meeting the SAP standard, the email will provide the steps for how a student can file an appeal for reinstatement of their aid.

How to Appeal an Unsatisfactory Status

The appeal will require you to outline:

  • why you failed to meet the SAP standard AND
  • what has changed in your circumstances so that you can now successfully complete your academic program.

Extenuating Circumstances

Examples of extenuating circumstances are:

  • Death of a family member
  • Serious injury/illness
  • Significant Trauma that affected your emotional and/or physical health
  • Emergency Circumstances
  • Other Unforeseen Circumstances

NOTES: Documentation to support your appeal can also be uploaded within the online SAP appeal form.

Steps to Follow

  • Step 1. Please see an Academic Counselor/Advisor in the Center for Student Success/One Stop Center – Pitkin Education Building, to review your Academic record and review the courses necessary to return you to a satisfactory status. Once this is done, proceed to Step 2.
  • Step 2. You will receive a message in your Bergen C.C. email to finalize the process.
  • Step 3. Click the link in the email to complete the SAP Appeal online form. Please make sure to include and type in your appeal outline & academic plan and, if applicable, upload any documentation to support your special circumstance.
  • Step 4. The appeal will be reviewed by the SAP Committee.
  • Step 5. Please allow seven (7) business days to be notified of the SAP Committee’s decision [in your Bergen Portal/Self Service and Bergen email].

Expectations and Plan Ahead

  • SAP Appeal Submissions deadlines can be found on the Financial Aid Dates & Deadlines Web page
  • During peak processing time, the SAP appeals review may take be longer. Plan ahead.
  • Notification of the SAP appeal decision will be updated in the student’s Bergen Self-Service Portal (my.bergen.edu) and student’s Bergen Email account.
  • Until a decision is made, the student is responsible for paying the tuition and fees for the classes they register for. The student is recommended to review the class schedule bill/registration statement for any outstanding balance and follow up accordingly, if applicable.

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Students can request a reinstatement of their aid either:

  • After a semester in which they received no aid and satisfactory performed.
  • Request a second review by the Director of a denied appeal; or
  • Meet the SAP minimum requirements.