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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal Regulations specify that a student must be making progress towards his or her academic degree in order to receive Financial Aid. In order to remain eligible for federal, state, and institutional aid, a student must maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress” as outlined in the following 3 measures:

  1. Cumulative GPA
    • Undergraduate Students = 2.0 Minimum
    • Graduate Students = 3.0 Minimum
  2. Pace of Completion (POC)
    • All students must complete at least 66.67% of their units attempted. (POC = Total units completed / Total units attempted).
  3. Duration of Progress
    • Once a student has attempted 150% of the required number of units for his or her degree, he or she is no longer eligible to receive financial aid. For example, if a degree requires 128 units for graduation, a student may not receive aid after he or she has attempted 192 units. Federal regulations specify that “a student becomes ineligible when it becomes mathematically impossible for him to complete his program within 150% of its length.

Grades & GPA

The only grades that meet SAP completion standards are grades for which credit is awarded; A, B, C, D, P & CR (credit). Withdrawals and incomplete grades are not passing grades but they are included in attempted units. For purposes of SAP, cumulative GPA is calculated: Total grade points from all colleges attended / total grade hours from all colleges attended. In order to be meeting SAP, students need to meet the minimum cumulative GPA for their program.

Withdrawals, incomplete courses, repeating courses, non-credit remedial courses and units transferred in from other colleges have the potential to affect the pace of completion. Withdrawals lower the number of successfully completed units. Incomplete courses not completed in a timely fashion act essentially as a withdrawal and also lower the number of successfully completed units. Repeated courses are counted as attempted each time, but only as completed one time. All situations will lower a student’s pace of completion.

Transfer Units & Remedial Coursework

Units transferred in from other colleges may actually help the pace of completion, as these units are counted on a 1:1 ratio for units completed and units attempted. Grades from ALL courses attempted will be counted in the GPA for all students.

Non-credit remedial courses do not count as either attempted or completed, but do have the possibility of extending the time of completion beyond the 150% time frame and must be carefully monitored by the student to ensure the length of the program is not exceeded.

Repeated Courses

If a student repeats a failed or a previously passed class, it will replace the grade to recalculate into the new cumulative GPA. The units from both attempts will still count toward the completion rate and maximum time frame. Learners who pass a class (A, B, C, D) and choose to repeat it for a higher grade may receive financial aid only once (a total of two attempts) for that repeated class. Learners may receive financial aid for a failed class (F) that they repeat until they pass.

Note: A “D” grade is considered a passing grade by the U.S. Department of Education.

Time Limits for Duration of Progress

Federal financial aid for all programs cannot exceed 150 percent of the total units in the program, including units that result from transfer units and repeated courses. Students will not be eligible to receive aid after completing the amount of units listed below:

  • Certificate in Addiction Studies (CAADAC): 45
  • Undeclared (NDS): 60
  • A.A./A.S. programs: 96
  • B.A./B.S. programs: 192
  • M.A.L. program: 54
  • M.A.T. program: 68
  • M.A.Ed. program: 48
  • M.B.A. program: 57

Pace of Completion (POC)

To determine the pace of completion, divide the cumulative units successfully completed by the cumulative units attempted. As long as this percentage stays at or above 67 % a student can be assured they will complete degree requirements in the federally required time frame.

Financial Aid SAP Statuses

  1. Good Standing
    • Student has met or exceeded the minimum SAP requirements.
  2. Warning Status
    • Student has not met one or more SAP requirements and was not on Probation Status or Suspension Status the previous semester they attended. A student may only be in Warning Status for one semester in a row.
  3. Probation Status
    • Student was on Warning Status the previous semester they attended, they did not reach the minimum SAP program requirements and they successfully appealed their Suspension Status.
  4. Suspension Status
    • Student has still not met the minimum SAP requirements while they were on Probation Status the previously attempted semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of Spring. At each review, a student’s quantitative (Pace & Maximum Time Frame), and qualitative (GPA) progress is evaluated. If a student is not making sufficient progress, as explained above, he/she will be issued a Failure Notice, and all of his/her financial aid will be suspended. In certain cases (illness, death in the family, special circumstance), a student may appeal the aid suspension by completing the “Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.”

Appeals should address the circumstances surrounding the student’s insufficient progress, as well as a plan of action to correct the insufficient progress. Students will need to specify what has changed in the circumstances, and therefore why they will be able to make progress in the upcoming semester. If the insufficient progress was related to “Duration of Progress,” the student will need to specify how many units they intend to complete each term in order to complete his or her degree.

If the Appeal is approved, a probationary period of one more term may be granted. In extreme cases, when one more term will not be sufficient to Satisfactory Academic Progress, the Financial Aid Office may create an Academic Plan for the student, which will specify the academic requirements the student must meet, and the deadline for when these requirements must be met. They will include (but may not be limited to) the following minimum requirements:

Academic Plans and GPA:

If a student is granted an Academic Plan regarding GPA, the student must achieve the required Term GPA (2.0 for Undergraduate and 3.0 for Graduate Students) the following term. If the required GPA is not achieved in that term, the Academic Plan will be revoked, and the student’s aid will be suspended again.

Academic Plans and Pace:

If a student is granted an Academic Plan regarding Pace, he or she must pass the lessor of: 100% of the attempted units in the next term or a percentage that would bring them up to the minimum SAP requirements. If the student is not able to complete the percentage of the attempted units in the following term, the Academic Plan will be revoked, and the student’s aid will be suspended again.

Academic Plans and Duration of Progress:

If a student is granted an Academic Plan regarding Duration of Progress, he or she will be expected to complete all units that are listed in the Plan specified in his or her Appeal Letter. If any units are not completed in his or her approved time frame, the Academic Plan will be revoked, and the student’s aid will be suspended again.


Any student who loses financial aid eligibility for failing SAP does have the right to appeal to the Financial Aid Committee if extenuating circumstances have occurred such as medical problems, family emergencies, a death in the family, or other unique circumstances determined applicable by WJU.

An appeal is a request for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility and is initiated by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, available at The appeal must address why the student failed SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation which will allow them to successfully achieve SAP by the next evaluation period.

Regaining Eligibility

Financial aid eligibility may or may not be reinstated at the discretion of the Financial Aid Committee. If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for one semester. Specific criteria for successfully moving off Probation as well as a student-specific timeline for meeting those criteria will be outlined in a ‘Probation Granted’ letter to the student. The timeline will generally be the next semester (or defined period of enrollment), but can be extended if the Financial Aid Committee deems an Academic Plan is necessary. Failure to satisfy the terms of the Probation will result in immediate loss of all financial aid eligibility for subsequent semesters.

A student who fails to meet the terms of the Probation may submit a subsequent appeal for reinstatement by repeating the appeal process outlined above. Generally, after failing SAP in two successive semesters, a student may not be granted Probation again until achieving satisfactory progress without any financial aid. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

It is possible for a student to fail SAP (and not be eligible for financial aid) but not be academically dismissed from the school. In this situation, a student has successfully earned the right to completely pay for school on their own. Financial Aid SAP and WJU’s Academic Probation/Dismissal policies are different. Please refer to the most recent copy of WJU’s Academic Catalog ( for specific details on Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal.

Download the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

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