Satisfactory Academic Progress – GradPlan

The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is now open. Learn more here.


Satisfactory Academic Progress

Here, you can learn more about SAP and how to deal with it

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

SAP is a way that tracks students to see if they meet satisfactory academic progress in order to continue to receive federal student aid. Failure to maintain the requirements will prevent students from receiving financial aid.

What Are the Requirements to Stay on Track? 

These are the bare minimum requirements for all accredited colleges and universities. Make sure to check with your school as the requirements may be more strict.

GPA: Students must maintain a certain GPA (this varies by school)

Credits Per Semester: Students must complete at least ⅔ (67%) of their credits for that semester. For example, if a student attempts 15 credit hours, they must pass at least 11 credit hours.

  • Withdrawals: Grades of “W” are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame.
  • Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of “attempted credits.”

Time Frame in years: Students are normally expected to complete an undergraduate degree by the end of four years of full-time study. Therefore, students will forfeit their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs after six years of full-time enrollment.

Pass/Fail Courses: These credits do count within the total of attempted and earned hours.

Transfer credits: accepted for the student’s academic program or degree are counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree or program.

What Happens if You Do Not Stay on Track?

Not staying on track will result in your financial aid being suspended; however, there is a way out of this!

Every student has a right to appeal if something stood in the way of their academics. The appeal process is different for each school, so make sure you check your school website to learn about their procedure.

Probation Period

If your appeal was accepted, you will be put in a probation period of one to three semesters and still receive financial aid during this period. During your probation, you will have to get back on track within the time period to successfully get off probation and receive financial aid.

Recommended Resources



"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist