Evaluating Students Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Date Issued: 

Per Regulation 126.4(e)(2), adopted on September 29, 2021, schools shall determine the academic standing of each student in accordance with the new regulations. These regulations require schools to align the reviews of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) with the midpoint and end point of the quarter, term, or weeks listed on the enrollment agreement. Schools may no longer choose their review periods and must align all SAP reviews in accordance with the regulations.

The following Policy Guideline will set forth the standards and provide guidance for schools to utilize when measuring satisfactory academic progress. The Bureau has published this policy in a question and answer format to reflect the most common areas of confusion and to provide real-time examples.

What is SAP?

SAP is a measure of how well a student is progressing in the program. This measure forecasts if a student is likely to graduate, and if they are not, helping them to complete the program through counseling and remediation.

  • Satisfactory: means meeting the minimum requirements
  • Academic: means grades and attendance
  • Progress: means certain check points in the student’s program

Students who are not progressing should not be billed for future tuition payments if they are unlikely to complete the program. Students have a right to know how they are doing academically and/or whether the job field is a good fit for them.

When Should Schools Conduct SAP Reviews?

SAP reviews are done at the midpoint and endpoint of each quarter or term. Mini programs require SAP reviews at the midpoint. The enrollment agreement specifies when the midpoint and endpoint are. Use the number of weeks in the program to determine when to review for SAP.

Note: Schools may decide to change their enrollment agreement to make SAP reviews easier. Always submit proposed changes to your field associate and wait for approval.

Some examples of SAP mid-point and end-point reviews:

  • Barbering Program – 1 Term of 18 weeks, the midpoint review occurs at 9 weeks and the endpoint review occurs at 18 weeks.
  • Web Development Program – 3 Quarters of 10 weeks (30 weeks total), the midpoint occurs at weeks 5, 15, and 25 and the end point review occurs at weeks 10, 20 and 30.
  • HHA Programs – 1 mini program of 3 weeks. The total program hours are 84. Midpoint review occurs at 42 hours.

What are SAP Standards?

Standards of SAP include the following:

  • Grades: Cumulative grade point average (aka “GPA”)
  • Attendance: Cumulative attendance rate


The school’s catalog is required to describe the grading system and the minimum grades considered satisfactory.

For example:

A = 90 – 100
B = 80 – 89
C = 70 – 79
Below 70 is failing

SAP requires students to maintain a GPA of 70 percent or higher, or its equivalent letter grade. Schools must have graded assignments throughout the program to determine the cumulative GPA. A record of these grades must be available for BPSS inspection and checking the school’s SAP calculations.


  • Lee has an 80% GPA. Lee meets the minimum SAP standard.
  • Jamie has a 93% GPA. Jamie meets the minimum SAP standard.
  • Nan has a 64% GPA. Nan does not meet the minimum SAP standard.


The school must calculate the cumulative attendance rate by using the formula below. Cumulative means all attendance up to the point you are doing the review. The minimum attendance rate is 70%.

  • Number of instructional hours attended ÷ Number of instructional hours offered.

Quick Arithmetic Review:

Hours Earned / Hours Offered x 100 = Percent
20 hours earned / 40 hours offered x 100 = 50%
566 hours earned / 600 hours offered x 100 = 94.3%
147 hours earned / 382 hours offered x 100 = 38.5%

Examples: Find the SAP Percentage…[Hours Earned/Hours Offered x 100]

  • Lee completes 60 hours of the 75 offered (80%). Lee is meeting SAP attendance.
  • Jamie completes 167 of the 200 hours offered (83.5%). Jamie is meeting SAP attendance.
  • Nan completes 55 of the 83 hours offered (66.2%). Nan is not meeting SAP attendance.

We Have a SAP Percentage, So What Happens Next?

Pursuant to § 126.4(e)(2)(v) of the Commissioner’s regulations (“regulations”), students who do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point average or the minimum attendance rate at the midpoint evaluation shall be provided a written notice of warning.

Example: From the midpoint review, we know that Nan has a 64% GPA and a 66.2% Attendance Rate. Nan is definitely not meeting SAP. The school’s next step is to give Nan a written warning since it’s the mid-point review.

Pursuant to § 126.4(e)(2)(vi) of the regulations, students who have been provided a written notice of warning at the midpoint evaluation and who do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point average or the minimum attendance rate at the conclusion of each quarter or term as defined in the student enrollment agreement shall be placed on probation or withdrawn from the program.

Pursuant to § 126.4(e)(2)(vii) of the regulations, the maximum period of probation shall be the conclusion of the next consecutive quarter or term after the student has been placed on probation, as defined in the student enrollment agreement.

Pursuant to § 126.4(e)(2)(viii) of the regulations, schools shall offer academic counseling and remediation for all students placed on probation.

Example: At the end of the quarter, the director notes that Nan has made up quite a few hours but is still not passing any exams. Nan’s Attendance is a 70% but the GPA is now a 60%.  Nan is definitely not meeting SAP. The school’s next step is to put Nan on probation for the next quarter, since it’s the end-point review.

Pursuant to § 126.4(e)(2)(ix) of the regulations, students who have been placed on probation and who do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point average or the minimum attendance rate at the conclusion of the probation period shall be withdrawn from the program.

Prior to withdrawal, and at the school’s discretion, students may be afforded no more than thirty days to make up assignments or instructional hours to achieve satisfactory academic standing as required by this section.

Example: It’s the end of Nan’s quarter of probation. Nan decided to move to Florida without telling anyone and then came back after two weeks. Nan now has a 63% GPA and 64% attendance rate. Nan is definitely not meeting SAP. The school director has two options:

  1. Withdraw Nan for not meeting SAP.
  2. Calculate if it’s possible for Nan to make up hours and tests in the subjects missed in the next 30 days to meet SAP.

Pursuant to § 126.4(e)(2)(x) of the regulations, no student shall graduate from a program with less than a 70 percent cumulative grade point average, or its equivalent in the letter-grade scale approved in the school’s catalog or earning less than 70% of the program’s total instructional hours, unless otherwise mandated by curriculum requirements.

Note: the SAP regulations do not change for those programs with a single quarter, single term, or a mini term. The main difference is a student will not be eligible for probation but can qualify for the 30-day extension to make up hours and work. Students must meet the graduation requirements.

Example: single quarter, term or mini

Nan decides to enroll in a coding bootcamp at a different BPSS school. The bootcamp is 10 weeks long. At the mid-point review, Nan is not meeting SAP. Nan is given a written warning. Nan is not meeting SAP at the end of 10 weeks, and therefore does not meet the requirements for graduation. The school director has two options:

  1. Withdraw Nan for not meeting SAP.
  2. Provide Nan the opportunity to make up hours and tests in the subjects missed in the next 30 days, in order to meet graduation requirements.

How Should Schools Document SAP Determinations?

Pursuant to § 126.4(e)(2)(xi) of the regulations, schools shall provide students a copy of each academic standing evaluation. For students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress, the evaluation must contain the student’s and director’s signatures. Schools can use their own forms or use the Bureau-approved prototype that a school may choose to use, found here. It is okay for the school to create their own form or use a computer-generated report, provided that these meet the requirements and provide the student with correct information. Not all computer systems will produce a report that is BPSS-compliant. It is the school director’s responsibility to ensure computer generated reports are accurate.


New York State Education Law §§ 5001(4)(a); 5001(4)(b)(ii); & 5001(4)(c)

Commissioner’s Regulations at 8 NYCRR § 126.4(e)(2)