Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards ensure that you are successfully completing your coursework and can continue to receive financial aid. All students receiving financial aid are required to meet SAP standards.

SAP standards

Federal regulations require the University to establish, publish, and apply standards to monitor your progress toward completing your degree program. If you fail to meet the SAP standards, you will be placed on financial aid warning or suspension.

SAP standards:

  • Your cumulative GPA must be at least 2.0 (or higher, depending on your college). 
  • You are eligible to receive financial aid for 150% of the published degree credits required to complete your program. For example, if your undergraduate degree program requires 120 degree credits, you are eligible to receive financial aid for up to 180 attempted credits. 
  • You must earn at least 67% of the credits you attempt. Each semester, the total number of credits you have attempted will be compared to the total number of credits you have earned.

SAP evaluation timing

SAP is evaluated at the end of each term (fall, spring, summer) for students who are in a financial aid eligible program or a certificate program, including both full-time and part-time enrollment.

SAP appeal

If you are not meeting SAP standards, you'll receive an email notice before the beginning of the next term.

You may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form for the specific aid year you are appealing (find it on the Forms page). Submit the appeal form no later than 30 days before the end of the term you receive notice. Incomplete or late appeals may jeopardize the reviewing of your appeal in a time frame that would allow disbursement of financial aid, if the appeal is approved.

Appeal reasons

You may appeal your financial aid suspension status for the following reasons:

  • Your record shows that you earned the required GPA or cumulative completed credits percentage to meet SAP standards during a term at your own expense.
  • You were readmitted after suspension from your college.
  • Unusual circumstances interfered with your ability to meet SAP standards, including but not limited to:
    • Illness, accident, or injury experienced by you or a significant person in your life (documentation required: physician's statement, police report, or other documentation from a third party professional; hospital billing statement)
    • Death of a family member or significant person in your life (documentation required: a copy of the obituary or death certificate)
    • Divorce experienced by you or parent (documentation required: attorney's letter on law firm's letterhead or copy of divorce decree)
    • Reinstatement after an academic dismissal or extended break in your enrollment (documentation required: adviser's written statement)
    • Personal problems or issues with your spouse, family, roommate, or other significant person (documentation required: written statement from medical doctor, counselor, attorney, or other professional advisor)
    • Successfully following an academic plan during the probationary term, yet remaining below the overall completion ratio of 67% (documentation required: appeal with advisor's statement section completed)
    • Exceeding timeframe while in a second undergraduate or dual degree program or as a result of changing your major (documentation required: appeal with advisor's statement section completed)

Financial aid suspension

If you have been placed on financial aid suspension, your financial aid awards will be canceled after the 5th week of the term. Those canceled funds are returned to the originating programs to be awarded to other eligible financial aid recipients. If your appeal is granted, your aid will be reinstated, based on what funds are available at that time. As a result of financial aid suspension, your original award(s) may be reduced or lost.

Questions

For questions about SAP or the appeal process, contact One Stop.

FAQ

SAP warning

You will be placed on financial aid SAP warning for one term if you fail to meet the required cumulative GPA and/or overall cumulative completed credits percentage standards. While on warning, you may still receive financial aid.

To be removed from financial aid warning status, you must attain the required cumulative GPA and/or cumulative completed credits percentage standards by the end of your warning period. You will be suspended at the end of your warning period if you fail to attain the required standards.

Timeframe reminder

Once your record shows you have attempted more than 125% of your degree credit requirements you will receive a timeframe reminder in your University email account. This is meant to inform you that you are approaching your maximum timeframe. You are still eligible for aid, but you may want to plan your coursework to ensure you complete your degree within the maximum timeframe. If you exceed the timeframe before you have finished your studies, you will not be eligible for financial aid.

Financial aid suspension

If you do not attain the required cumulative GPA and/or cumulative completed credits percentage during your warning period, or if you exceed your maximum timeframe of 150% of the published degree credits required to complete your program, you will be placed on financial aid suspension.

While on suspension you are not eligible for most financial aid programs. Exceptions include the American Indian Tuition Waiver and some private loan programs. You must check with private lenders to determine if they offer loans to students not meeting SAP requirements.

You may attend the University at your own expense until you attain the cumulative GPA and cumulative completed credits percentage requirement. To regain financial aid eligibility, your record must reflect that you have met these requirements. If you failed to meet these standards due to unusual circumstances, you have the right to appeal your SAP suspension status.

Academic suspension

If you have been suspended from the University, you are no longer eligible for any financial aid. Once you have been readmitted, your financial aid status and eligibility will be determined based on financial aid SAP standards through a review of your academic record.

Probation

You will be placed on financial aid satisfactory progress probation if a SAP appeal is approved. You are eligible for financial aid while on probation. Failure to attain the required GPA and/or cumulative completed credits percentage will mean that you are no longer eligible for financial aid. If you do not attain the required GPA and/or cumulative completed credits percentage, but you do successfully follow the academic plan submitted with your SAP appeal, you may submit a follow-up appeal showing you have met the terms of your academic plan.

Grade and credit definitions

When determining if you are meeting SAP standards, your grades and credits are tallied according to these guidelines:

  • Attempted credits include grades of A, B, C, D, F, K, I, N, NG, NR, P, Q, R, S, T, U, W, X, and blank.
  • Earned (completed) credits include grades of A, B, C, D, K, NG, P, Q, R, S, T, and X.
  • Grades of A, B, C, D, F (including +/-) count in your cumulative GPA calculation.
  • If you repeat a course, credits will be added to your attempted/earned credit totals each time you register. However, only the most recent grade received in the course will be used in the calculation of your cumulative GPA.
  • Remedial and English as Second Language (ESL) credit equivalences are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours and in determining if you meet SAP GPA requirements.
  • Transfer and consortium credits accepted by the University of Minnesota, will be included when calculating your cumulative completed credits percentage and maximum attempted credits, but not your GPA. This includes credits earned from institutions including non-University of Minnesota study abroad programs. Credits are included in both attempted and earned credits.
  • Extended term distance education courses are considered attempted, but not earned until a grade is submitted.
  • Audit (V) credits are not considered either attempted or earned.
  • Undergraduate credits taken while you are a graduate student earn graduate credit and are included in your cumulative completed credits percentage, cumulative GPA, and maximum attempted credits totals.
  • When calculating your SAP status, the University is required by federal regulations to include the original grade and number of credits for any course you retroactively withdrew from and for any course where you changed the grading basis after the end of the semester (for example, from A-F to S/N). Therefore, the GPA used to determine if you are meeting SAP standards may differ from your official University GPA. 

Academic standing

Academic standing is not the same as Satisfactory Academic Progress. Your academic standing is determined by your college. Academic Standing will not be included on transcripts or in degree audits.

To access your Academic Standing, go to the Student Center in MyU. In the "Academics" section of your Student Center, select “Grades" from the drop-down menu, then click the double arrows. Select a term and click on "Term Statistics" to expand the information. Scroll down. Your Academic Standing appears beneath your GPA and will display as one of the following:

  • Good Standing
  • Probation
  • Dismissal
  • PRAD, or Probation After Dismissal or Suspension

SAP extensions

You may request an extension of the maximum attempted credits provision of this policy if you are

  • Enrolled in dual degree program
  • Seeking a second undergraduate or graduate degree
  • Changing majors
  • You are a graduate student enrolled in a joint master's and doctoral program

Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Changing majors

If you change majors, the credits you earn under all majors will be included in your GPA calculation as well as your maximum attempted credits and the calculation of credits you have attempted and earned.

System campus credits

All credits attempted and earned at a University of Minnesota system campus will be included when calculating your maximum attempted credits, GPA, and cumulative completed credits percentage.

Undergraduate credit for graduate students

If you take undergraduate courses while you are a graduate student, credits you earn will be included in your GPA, cumulative completed credits percentage, and maximum attempted credits.

Military service

If you are required to withdraw for military reasons, your cumulative completed credits percentage and maximum attempted credits requirements will be waived for the semester of your official withdrawal.

Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) & College in the Schools (CIS) credits

Credits earned as a Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) or College in the Schools (CIS) student at the University will be included in your cumulative completed credits percentage, GPA, and the maximum attempted credits calculation. PSEO and CIS credits earned at another postsecondary institution will be treated as transfer credits.