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 Measures a student’s performance at the end of each semester in the following areas:

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 50%
15-29 Credits 50%
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 happen if a student receiving financial aid drops or withdraws from a course?


  • 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.

SAP Status Definitions

What does SAP stand for?


The student is meeting minimum standards and is eligible for financial aid.


The student is beginning to fall below minimum standards, but is given an alert for time to improve.
The student is eligible for financial aid.


The student has fallen below minimum standards and is not eligible for financial aid.
However, the student may appeal if there were circumstances that had an affect on their academic performance.

Unsatisfactory Maximum Time Frame

The student is close to or has exceeded the maximum time for their program of study and is not eligible for financial aid.
However, the student may appeal if they have not exhausted their eligibility & are close to completing their program of study.

Meets Academic Plan

Students who continue to meet the terms of the academic plan maintain their eligibility for financial aid.
The plan is evaluated at the end of the next semester and the student is either placed back in a Satisfactory Status or continues to meet the terms of the plan or has failed the terms of the plan.


Once an appeal is approved, the student is placed on academic plan.
The academic plan states the student must earn at least a 2.25 semester GPA and complete all the coursework.
To continue to receive aid at the end of the Probation semester the student must either have returned to a Satisfactory SAP status met the terms of the academic plan.

Failed Probation

The student was on an academic plan and received less than a 2.25 cumulative GPA and/or did not complete their coursework is considered to have failed the terms of the plan.
While in this status, the student is not eligible for financial aid or to appeal.
During the COVID national emergency students will be permitted to appeal for reinstatement if they failed to meet the terms of the academic plan.


Once an appeal is not approved, the student is denied.
The student is not eligible for financial aid or to appeal again.
A denial by the SAP Committee can be reviewed by the Director based on additional information.

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

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,
  • 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: make sure to include/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 (my.bergen.edu) and Bergen email.

Notes: During peak processing time, it may be longer.

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.