Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree to be eligible for federal financial aid. SAP is monitored by the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office and measured at the end of each payment period. Students not meeting SAP requirements will be notified by email to their university email account by the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office. Failure to meet the required performance standards may make a student ineligible for financial aid.
Measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
It is important that students become familiar with the three measurements by which SAP is demonstrated: Pace of Progression, Maximum Time Frame, and Grade Point Average (GPA).
Pace of Progression (67% Rule)
Federal regulations require that students demonstrate progress toward a degree by completing at least 66.67% of all credits attempted. This is referred to as Pace of Progression, or Pace. For SAP, Pace is assessed by calculating the number of credits earned (or passed) divided by the total number of credits attempted.
Credits Earned ÷ Credits Attempted = Pace
The Pace Calculator represents the standard by which SAP will be measured. The Earned Credits Needed to Meet Pace represent the minimum number of credits that must be earned (or passed) in relation to the corresponding number of Cumulative Credits Attempted for a student to meet SAP.
Disclaimer: The Pace Calculator results are intended to provide students with a planning tool regarding the SAP credit completion rate requirement. The results of the calculation are estimates and unofficial. Official Pace results and SAP statuses are determined by the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid office.
Maximum Time Frame (150% Rule)
Maximum Time Frame (150% Rule) federal regulation requires that students achieve their degree or certificate within 150% of the published time frame to complete the program. The maximum time frame calculation includes all credits attempted and transferred, regardless of program and tuition payment.
Students are allowed to attempt up to the maximum timeframe credits shown below. After a student has attempted more than the max timeframe credits shown below, he or she is suspended from receiving financial aid.
|Required Credits||Maximum Timeframe|
BS-Information Science & Technology
|AAS-Arts & Sciences||60||
Grade Point Average (GPA)
GPA standards are determined by the college or university in which a student is enrolled. Failure to meet program-specific standards may result in dis-enrollment from a program and, therefore, make a student ineligible to continue receiving federal financial aid.
Note: Standards of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid are different from the Academic Action policies for probation/suspension. Review the Academic Action policy.
- Students receiving federal financial aid must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for all credits attempted.
- Further information about UW-Milwaukee’s SAP policies can be found on the UW-Milwaukee website.
- Further information about UW-Parkside’s SAP policies can be found on the UW-Parkside website.
Warning, Probation, and Appeals
Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress, as defined by their institution, may be placed in a Financial Aid Warning status. Students should become familiar with the policy associated with their institution.
Students who fail to maintain SAP are placed on “warning” status for the subsequent payment period. A student may receive financial aid funds during the payment period in which he is in warning status. If a student meets SAP standards by the end of this payment period he will be removed from warning status and may continue to receive financial aid. If a student does not meet SAP during the warning period he will be ineligible for further financial aid. Warning status is only for students who were making SAP in the prior payment period they were enrolled in.
Financial Aid Suspension and Appeal Process
Students who are suspended from financial aid eligibility for not meeting SAP standards, and who have extenuating circumstances, may appeal to re-establish their eligibility for federal financial aid. Appeals must be based on circumstances that impacted negatively upon the student’s ability to meet the required standards. These circumstances must be documented and should pertain to all subscription periods that contributed to failure to maintain SAP.
Extenuating circumstances include (but are not limited to):
- Medical condition of self or direct family member
- Death in the family
- Military deployment, national guard service, or reservist training
- Work related situation
- Natural disaster
- Change of programs or completion of another degree (for maximum timeframe appeals only)
Appeals must explain the circumstance(s) that resulted in the student failing SAP as well as what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to meet SAP going forward.
The SAP Appeals Committee reviews appeals for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility, which is separate and distinct from academic reinstatement from probation/suspension. (You can learn more about academic reinstatement from probation/suspension policies for your program of study by visiting your Student Resource Center and accessing the Academic Action Policy link under Academics.) Students appealing their financial aid suspension must complete the SAP Appeal for Reinstatement Form and provide appropriate documentation of extenuating circumstances. Circumstances may include employment-related hardships, a serious medical condition, or a death in the immediate family. The SAP Appeals Committee will determine whether the student’s financial aid should be reinstated or remain in cancellation. If the appeal is approved, the student remains eligible for federal financial aid through the payment period. If denied, the student is no longer eligible to receive Federal Title IV Financial Aid. SAP Appeals Committee decisions are final. Students who are no longer eligible for federal financial aid may consider alternative loans. See Types of Aid for more information on alternative loan programs.
Students whose appeals are denied, or do not have extenuating circumstances to appeal, can regain financial aid eligibility by successfully completing competency sets and paying tuition without federal financial aid until SAP standards are met.
Click here to access the SAP Appeal form.
If a SAP appeal is approved, the student may be placed on probation status. A SAP Plan (see below) must be submitted before aid will be reinstated. A student may receive financial aid funds during the payment period in which she is in probation status. At the end of the payment period on probation status, a student must meet the SAP standards or be meeting the terms of her SAP Plan; otherwise she will be ineligible for further financial aid funds.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Plan
A student in probation status must develop a SAP Plan in consultation with his or her Success Coach. The SAP Plan will identify competency sets to be taken within a specified time period that allows the student to maintain SAP standards. The student will follow the SAP Plan for each specified subscription period until the student achieves SAP standards to maintain aid eligibility or graduates from the program. If the criteria outlined on the SAP Plan are not met by the end of the payment period, the student becomes ineligible for federal financial aid.
Click here to access the SAP Plan form.