Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


In order to be eligible for Title IV Federal Aid, federal guidelines require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) while pursuing approved degree and/or certificate programs at North Arkansas College. Regulations require progress be measured with both qualitative and quantitative measures, as well as time to completion. SAP will be checked prior to the initial enrollment period and again at the end of each payment period for students enrolled in programs lasting one year or less. Only courses required for a student’s chosen degree plan are eligible for Federal Aid. Other courses will not be considered in calculating eligibility, should a student choose to enroll in them. Rules are applied uniformly to all students whether or not aid has been previously received. SAP is calculated based on your chosen degree plan at the time of file completion. Students are responsible for ensuring that their Major Code is correct with the Advising Office. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

  • Qualitative (Grade Point Average) Students must have earned a 2.0 GPA.


  • Quantitative (Pace of Progress) Students must complete at least 67% of all attempted hours.

            Pace Examples (Multiply all attempted hours by 0.67)

3 Attempted Hours - 2 Minimum Completion Requirement

6 Attempted Hours - 4 Minimum Completion Requirement

9 Attempted Hours - 6 Minimum Completion Requirement

12 Attempted Hours - 8 Minimum Completion Requirement

15 Attempted Hours - 10 Minimum Completion Requirement 

Clock Hour Programs

Academic progress for students enrolled in a clock hour program will be reviewed at the completion of each payment period.


Financial Aid Suspension

Students who do not meet SAP will be placed on Suspension from Title IV Aid. Any student that withdraws from all classes or completes the semester with a zero GPA will be suspended for their next term of enrollment. If suspended because of GPA or minimum completion, a student must complete a semester with his/her own finances and meet SAP to regain eligibility. If a student has exceeded the 150% timeframe or academic progress reflects the inability to complete a program within the timeframe, the student will be suspended and the only option for reinstatement of aid is to appeal the suspension. 


How to Appeal

Students who are placed on Financial Aid Suspension that can demonstrate and provide documentation of unusual or mitigating circumstances, such as serious illness or death of a close family member, may appeal.  The Suspension Appeals Committee will review appeals and their decision is final.  If denied, the student will be notified by email; if reinstated, eligible Title IV Aid will be added to the student’s account and they will receive an Award Notification.  The student will be responsible for all charges if the appeal is denied. 


Examples of mitigating circumstances and appropriate documentation could be:

  • Significant trauma or injury to the student, physical illness, or mental health issues (doctor’s note, copy of admission and/or discharge paperwork, or other official medical forms that support your case).
  • Serious illness or injury to a dependent of the student that required extended recovery time (doctor’s note, copy of admission and/or discharge paperwork, or other official medical forms that support your case).
  • Death of a family member during the semester (copy of death certificate or obituary)
  • Program Change (certificate to degree) – must include copy of Admission Status Change Form


The following documentation MUST be included with an appeal:                         

  • Statement of Explanation that includes the following:
    • Explanation of the extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from achieving academic success
    • Explanation of the changes that have occurred which will allow the student to meet the SAP Standards in future semesters
    • Estimated graduation date (if unknown, contact the Advising Office at 870-391-3115 to talk to an advisor)
  • Supporting Documentation. The student MUST supply documentation to support the unusual situation. 
  • Academic Progress Plan. Can be printed from myNorthark (Academics, Student Planning, My Progress)
  • Academic Transcript(s). An unofficial copy of the student’s Northark transcript from their myNorthark account (Academics, Unofficial Transcript) or request an unofficial copy from the Registrar’s Office.


All appeals should be emailed to jbutterfield@northark.eduPlease note that all appeal documents must come in the same email, preferably in pdf format.  Documents submitted in subsequent emails will not be included for the SAP Appeal Committee to review. 

By submitting an appeal, the student acknowledges the following:

  • I understand that I must meet SAP requirements to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid.
  • I understand that even if I provide a personal statement and documentation to support my appeal it may still be denied by the SAP Committee.
  • I understand that I will be notified by email if my federal financial aid SAP appeal is denied.
  • I understand that if I do not attend a semester I am registered for and DO NOT drop the classes before the first day of class, I will owe money to the college; and if I drop all classes after attendance, I may owe money to the college.
  • I understand that federal financial aid suspension does not necessarily affect enrollment in classes.
  • I understand that if my appeal is not granted, I am responsible for charges on my student account.
  • I understand that if my appeal form is not legible it may be denied.
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