Satisfactory Academic Progress


2016-2017 ACADEMIC YEAR SAP Review Policies & Procedures


Students receiving financial aid funded by federal, state, or FDU sources must comply with the

University’s Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). This requires students

to meet federal, state and institutional measures of academic progress and achievement as

they advance through their educational program of study. Student aid recipients are reviewed annually –prior to the start of each academic year - by the Financial Aid Office to ensure that they are in compliance with the University’s Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Students must maintain a university calculated minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) – called a qualitative measure of SAP– as well as has successfully completed the minimum number of credit hours required to meet their degree requirements. This latter measure is a quantitative measure of SAP. It refers directly to the student’s number of completed, earned credits towards their degree, in relation to the total number of credit hours attempted. It measures the successful “pace” of degree completion. The student must be “on pace” to continue to receive student assistance.



The Table below summarizes the minimum standards of SAP required to maintain eligibility for federal, state and institutional assistance:


SAP Evaluation Method

Credit Hours Attempted


1 to 11

12 to 31

32 to 64

64 to 95

96 +

Qualitative: Minimum GPA






Quantitative: Pace*







*Pace represents the percentage of hours completed when divided by the number of credit

hours attempted. For example, 30 hours completed against 40 credit hours attempted equals

75%, a Pace which meets the minimum percentage (66.67%) that is required for SAP purposes. By contrast, if one earned 20 credit hours against 40 hours attempted, the Pace would be at 50%,which is below the minimum Pace requirement of 66.67%. And, if one is below 66.67% completion, the student is not making SAP and would be ineligible for student assistance.

All credits, including developmental, transfer and college level courses will be counted to determine credit hours. Withdrawals and incompletes will be included in the calculation of attempted credits.

Undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of 120 credits to obtain their degree but may not receive federal aid for more than 180 credits (150%).



In addition to maintaining an overall cumulative GPA of 2.75, (students in specific student type programs may vary in GPA requirement) and successfully complete at least 66.67% of credits attempted. Withdrawals and incompletes will be included in the calculation of attempted credits.

Students in the Silberman College of Business, Public Administration Institute, Corporate & Organizational Communication Program and Nursing are required to achieve a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.00.  3.25 overall GPA is required for Clinical Psychology program.


Repeating Courses:

The Financial Aid Office is required to monitor eligibility for Title IV aid (Pell Grants, Supplemental Opportunity Grants, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Direct loans) if, or when, students repeat course work for credits already earned. This applies to all students regardless of any policy within an academic program requiring a higher grade in the course.

Students may retake courses and receive federal aid if they have previously failed a course, but can only receive aid one time for a repeated course in which they have received a passing grade. A passing grade is defined as D or better.

The policy allows a student to receive financial aid under the following situations:

  • To repeat any failed course that has never been passed until a passing grade received
  • To repeat any withdrawn course with a grade of W that has never been passed previously until a passing grade is received
  • To repeat one time any course in which you previously received a passing grade (D or better)

Once a student has completed any course twice with a passing grade, he/she is no longer eligible to receive aid for that course. This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course.


Important Note: After receiving the first passing grade in a course, a “W” is counted as a retake of the course. Any enrollment status changes will affect the amount of the financial aid award in a term. Repeating courses can also impact Satisfactory Academic Progress. Repeated coursework in which a student receives financial aid contributes toward the total credits counted in the 150% rule.


Appeal and Probationary Semester

Students who are NOT making SAP are not eligible for renewed funding. However, a student who fails to achieve SAP may appeal for reinstatement of aid.  He/she must devise an Academic Plan that will put him/her back on course for making SAP.  Students wishing to pursue reinstatement should submit a letter of appeal along with their completed academic plan to the Office of Financial Assistance for review by a Financial Aid counselor.   The Academic Plan form can be found at: Financial Aid Documents for Download.


If the Academic Plan is approved by the financial aid counselor, the student will be given one probationary semester of financial aid eligibility. If the student does not meet all SAP requirements or meet the conditions of his/her Academic Plan following the probationary semester, he/she will no longer qualify for financial aid and will remain ineligible until he/she meets the minimum SAP standards outlined above.


Provided the student has met the terms of the Academic Plan and it is mathematically possible to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for graduation, he/she may receive up to 2 additional semesters of financial aid probation with a renewed Academic Plan. The student’s SAP status must be reviewed after each additional probationary semester before another is granted.



Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Guidelines


Many students have unexpected events that may cause them to have a difficult time during their education. If they have suffered from an exceptional event, they do have the right to appeal to be eligible to receive financial aid for a probationary period. Their appeal will be kept confidential. They do not need to type their appeal, but illegible handwriting may cause the appeal to be incomplete.

Appeals will NOT be heard in person. This letter is the only opportunity to describe any extenuating circumstances that prevented them from making academic progress.


Requirements for Appeal Letter:


Identify yourself

Always include your full name and student ID# on your appeal. Also include the date that you are submitting your appeal.

What is the reason for your letter?

Why are you appealing? Be sure to state in your own words the reason that you are not making academic progress.

State the Facts!

Explain your pertinent academic history. Remember, your entire academic history must be taken into account when your academic progress is reviewed.

Describe your extenuating circumstances

Think about what circumstances/events occurred that prevented you from meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements. Situations considered as beyond a person’s control may include, but are not limited to: serious illness or injury to the student, death or serious illness of an immediate family member, significant trauma in student’s life that impaired the student’s emotional and/or physical health, or other special circumstances.

Supporting documentation?

Please include copies of supporting documentation. We do not accept originals. Remember that your information is private and confidential.

What corrective action has been taken?

Your appeal should also explain the corrective action that addresses each issue that you listed as an extenuating circumstance. List changes that you have made or steps that you have taken that will help you remedy your situation.

Don’t forget: to sign and date your appeal letter


Your letter of appeal must be accompanied by a completed Academic Plan. This plan must be reviewed and approved by a Financial Aid Administrator.


Submission of an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of eligibility for financial aid. Each appeal is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. All appeal decisions made by the Office of Financial Aid are final.