Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that universities establish and apply standards of satisfactory academic progress for the purpose of receiving financial assistance under programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. State and university programs administered by the Office of Financial Aid are also included in this requirement. Financial aid recipients must meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, as outlined in the following sections, in order to establish and maintain financial aid eligibility.

Qualitative Requirement for SAP

Students must have the following minimum cumulative GPA to maintain SAP:

Completed Credit Hours Cumulative GPA
0-15 1.6
16-30 1.7
31-45 1.8
46-59 1.9
60+ 2.0
Graduate Students 3.0 

Quantitative Requirement for SAP (Pace of Progression)

Students must earn (complete) a minimum of two thirds (67%) of the credit hours. For example, if a student enrolls for 15 credit hours, they must complete at least 10 of those hours. Note that repeat courses and coursework assigned with grades of “W”, “WP”, “WF”, “F” or “I” will not be counted as hours earned toward graduation, but will count toward attempted credits.

Repeated Course Work

Students are allowed to repeat failed classes; however, they are only permitted to repeat a previously passed course (any grade other than “W”, “WP”, “WF”, “F” or “I”) one time and receive financial aid for it.  This means that if you pass a course and want to retake it to improve your grade you may do so one time.  Repeating the class a second time will not be counted toward your enrollment status to receive financial aid.  This should be kept in mind while setting up your class schedule each semester.

Hours accepted for transfer will be counted as both earned and attempted hours in the calculation.

Maximum Timeframe

In addition to meeting the minimum GPA and pace requirements, students must remain within the maximum timeframe to receive financial aid. Undergraduate students may not exceed 150% of the published length of the educational program. For example, the published minimum requirement for a Bachelor’s degree student is 120 credit hours, so a Bachelor’s degree seeking student can earn 150% of this minimum or 180 credit hours and still receive financial aid. A majority of associate degrees at USF require 68+ credit hours, so Associate degree seeking students can earn 150% of 68 credit hours or 102 credit hours and still receive financial aid. All courses in which students receive a grade will be counted toward the duration of eligibility. Once a student has exceeded the 150% rule, they will no longer be eligible for financial aid assistance. Institutional aid however is limited to 8 semesters.

Failure to meet SAP requirements

At the end of each term (fall, spring and summer), the Office of Financial Aid will review the student’s enrollment records. If, after the completion of the term, the student did not meet the minimum GPA requirement and earn at least two thirds (67%) of the cumulative hours attempted, the student will be put on Financial Aid Warning. Students on Warning will have until the end of the next term to improve their status. If at that time the student has not met the two thirds (67%) rule and the minimum GPA, he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

The student will be provided written notification of his/her ineligibility.  The SAP Appeal form will be included in this written notification and be available on the Financial Aid website under “Forms”.

SAP Appeals

Students who have been suspended must appeal to have their situation reviewed to determine if they can have their financial aid reinstated.

Appeals must be submitted using the SAP Appeal Form along with supporting documentation prior to the beginning of the next term of attendance. Circumstances that may merit appeals include but are not limited to the following:  serious illness or injury to the student, a death of an immediate family member, or other circumstances that cause the student undue hardship. The appeal MUST include a detailed description of why the student was not able to meet SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to meet SAP at the next evaluation.

A successful appeal will result in either one semester Financial Aid Probation OR an approved Academic Plan for Financial Aid Funding signed by the student and the student’s academic advisor or SASS staff member.  Academic Plans may be used for multiple terms and are required for those students for whom it will be mathematically impossible to meet SAP after the end of the next term.  An Academic Plan must ensure that the student will be able to meet SAP standards by a specific future point in time.

Approved Academic Plans will be evaluated at the end of each term.  Failure to meet the criteria of the Academic Plan will result in Financial Aid Suspension.

Appeals will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid who will consult with appropriate staff or faculty members as needed.

Student will be allowed to appeal a maximum of two consecutive terms.