Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
SAP at a Glance
- SAP is monitored at the end of each semester (Fall, Winter, Summer).
- Undergraduates must successfully complete a minimum percent of attempted courses
- Undergraduates must maintain the required minimum CGPA of 2.0, or higher if required by their academic unit.
- Students must complete academic program within 150% of published length of program.
- Graduate students must complete 67% of attempted courses.
- Graduate students must maintain the required minimum CGPA of 3.0 or higher if required by your academic unit.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
Students who receive financial aid must demonstrate SAP as determined by the University of Michigan-Dearborn in accordance with federal regulations.
Financial aid recipients are required to be in good academic standing and to maintain SAP toward their degree requirements for each semester in which they are enrolled. SAP is required to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The requirements for financial aid may be different than those required by one’s academic unit.
The standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress measure a student’s academic progress using both qualitative and quantitative measurements. These measurements include a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) requirement, a Cumulative Completion Rate requirement, and a Maximum Timeframe requirement. In addition, certain types of courses are limited or excluded from eligibility. The standards apply to all federal financial aid programs and programs funded and administered by the University of Michigan-Dearborn Office of Financial Aid and include degree, certificate, and consortium guest students who receive financial aid.
SAP is evaluated at the end of each term (Fall, Winter, and Summer). Federal regulations require the University of Michigan-Dearborn to evaluate all students for SAP regardless of whether or not they receive financial aid. SAP is evaluated based on the student’s cumulative academic record, from the date of entry to the university.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)
The qualitative measurement assesses the student’s Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).
The minimum CGPA requirement is a 2.00 or higher if required by your academic unit.
The minimum CGPA requirement is 3.0 or higher if required by your academic unit.
Completion Rate: Undergraduate Students
The quantitative measure assesses the pace at which a student progresses towards a degree. To ensure progress, students are required to complete a minimum percentage of all attempted courses (please see the chart for details). Attempted courses are those for which a student is enrolled at the conclusion of the Add/Drop period for a semester (those that appear on the academic transcript).
Students who fulfill this minimum rate of course completion and follow departmental recommendations on course selection should complete their degree within the Maximum Timeframe.
Cumulative Completion Rate Requirements
Attempted Credit Hours/Status
Required Completion Percentage Rate
1 – 30
31 – 60
61 and above
A student who has attempted 24 credits must complete a minimum of 14 credits to achieve a Cumulative Completion Rate of at least 55% (credits completed divided by credits attempted). The student may have an “A” average, but if the Cumulative Completion Rate requirement was not met, they would lose financial aid eligibility.
Required remedial courses are calculated into the Completion Rate and therefore, will count as an attempted and completed course (provided a passing grade was achieved). However, the grade received for a remedial course is not used to determine the CGPA.
Completion Rate: Graduate/Professional Students
The graduate faculty of the UM-Dearborn requires students to maintain the highest academic standards. As a result, the Office of Financial Aid monitors departmental postings of probation and suspension and utilizes these high standards of grade point average to assess SAP.
To ensure program completion in a timely manner, graduate/professional students are expected to complete a minimum of 67% of all courses attempted. The Office of Financial Aid reviews and calculates quantitative progress for graduate students in the same manner as for undergraduate students (identify the number of credit hours completed toward program and divide it by the number of credit hours attempted). The minimum required completion percentage for graduate/ professional students is 67%, regardless of attempted credit hours.
Maximum Timeframe (MTF)
Federal regulations require that a student must complete his or her educational program within a Maximum Timeframe (MTF) no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program measured in academic years, terms or credit hours attempted.
Up to 30 required remedial credits will be added onto the program length when determining compliance with the 150% of program length completion requirement.
If an undergraduate student is enrolled in an academic program that required 120 credit hours for graduation, he or she would be allowed a maximum of 180 (120 x 150%) attempted credits in order to obtain his/her degree.
If a graduate student is enrolled in an academic program requiring 60 credit hours to graduate, he or she would be allowed up to 90 (60 x 150%) attempted credits in order to obtain his/her degree.
Credits counted in the MTF are all attempted credits in residence (even when a student was not a financial aid recipient) and all transfer credits accepted towards an academic program (at the time of SAP Review). At the point that all required coursework for an academic program has been completed, financial aid eligibility will be suspended even if the student does not apply to graduate.
Courses that are transferred from another institution and accepted toward an academic degree program at the University (at the time of SAP Review) count as attempted and completed hours for Completion Rate and Maximum Timeframe (MTF). The CGPA is determined only with courses taken in residence at the University.
Students who have a grade change or incomplete grade changed after SAP has already been processed for any semester must notify OFAS of the change. At that time SAP will be recalculated to determine if the SAP status needs to be modified.
Change of Major or Degree
If a student decides to change majors, all classes already taken will count in the SAP evaluation. OFAS recommends a degree audit be completed with your academic advisor and submitted to the OFAS. It is possible that a change of major could impact your SAP standing.
If you are obtaining a second degree, you will need to have a degree audit performed to determine your new SAP standing. This will allow OFAS to create a new Maximum Timeframe.
What counts against SAP?
Successful completion of attempted courses is required for SAP. Therefore, grades of A, B, C, D and P are acceptable. Courses for which these grades are received will be used to establish your Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) and Cumulative Completion Rate rate. Although grades of C, D, IS and P may be acceptable (varies among academic units), it is unlikely they will increase your CGPA.
Grades of D-, E, F, I, IE, NR, U, UE, W, X, XE and Y are not acceptable. Courses for which these grades are received will not be counted as a successfully completed course, thus also lowering your Completion Rate rate.
Dropping classes (after the Add/Drop period)
Courses for which a student is enrolled at the conclusion of the Add/Drop period will be used to determine attempted courses for the Cumulative Completion Rate. Therefore, if it is necessary to adjust one’s class schedule, it is best to do so during the Add/Drop period of the semester. Courses that are selectively dropped after the conclusion of the Add/Drop period will not be counted as a successfully completed course, thus lowering your completion rate.
Full Semester Withdrawals
When a withdrawal occurs (cancelation of all courses for which a student was enrolled at conclusion of the Add/Drop period of a semester), there are no successfully completed courses for the semester. This will lower your Cumulative Completion Rate.
In addition, because financial aid is disbursed with the assumption that coursework will be completed, a student may become immediately liable to repay the financial aid disbursed for the withdrawal semester. Consecutive term withdrawals may result in aid termination, even with compliance of other SAP criteria.
If a student finds it necessary to repeat a successfully completed course, financial aid may be used only one time. (A subsequent repeat cannot be covered by financial aid.) When a course is repeated, the previous enrollment is deducted from the calculation of successfully completed courses; therefore, this will lower your Cumulative Completion Rate. The University of Michigan-Dearborn may allow a successfully completed course to be repeated beyond the financial aid limitations. Only the last grade received is counted in the CGPA.
Additive Credit & Audit Courses
Additive credit and Audit courses do not count toward degree requirements and cannot be covered by financial aid. Therefore, they are not used to establish enrollment requirements for disbursement, they are not considered as attempted courses, they do not count toward calculation of the CGPA and are not calculated with successfully completed courses. Financial aid gives Additive credit and Audit courses no consideration.
What if a student doesn’t meet the requirements?
Financial Aid Warning
If a student falls below the minimum requirements for SAP, they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent semester of attendance. During the semester the student is on warning, financial aid can be received. At the end of the semester, the student must meet the prescribed minimum standards or the student will be placed on suspension.
Financial Aid Suspension
A student who fails to meet the minimum requirements for SAP after being on warning will be placed on suspension and is not eligible to receive financial aid. All future awards will be cancelled. The student may appeal the suspension.
If a student is on Financial Aid Suspension and chooses to appeal the suspension, the student must complete the SAP Appeal Form, attach documentation that supports the basis of the appeal and submit the form and documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. The appeal will be reviewed by committee. The appeal must include an explanation of why the student failed to meet the SAP standards and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation.
If the appeal is denied, the student is responsible for either officially dropping the courses in which they are registered or paying for the classes. Any student whose appeal is denied and who fails to officially drop the courses before the 100% refund period is over is responsible for the cost incurred.
Circumstances to appeal a suspension decision are limited. A student may appeal a suspension if the student did not make SAP due to the death of a relative, illness of the student, or other extenuating circumstances. All circumstances must be documented (and may or may not be approved by the committee).
Financial Aid Academic Plan
A student who appeals the status of Financial Aid Suspension and whose appeal is granted may be placed on an Academic Plan status. Students on this status will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each semester and must continually meet the terms of the academic plan as outlined in the letter granting the appeal or again meet the SAP standards. If a student fails to meet the terms of the Academic Plan, the student loses financial aid eligibility and is returned to the status of Financial Aid Suspension.
Financial Aid Probation
A student who appeals the status of suspension and whose appeal is granted may be placed on probation. This status is limited to one semester only. At the end of that semester, a student on probation will have his/her academic progress reviewed and must be meeting the SAP standards. If a student fails to meet these standards, the student loses financial aid eligibility and is returned to the status of suspension.
How can a student regain eligibility if/when an appeal is denied?
If an appeal is denied, a student may regain eligibility by completing a specified number of credit hours without the benefit of financial aid.
- For undergraduate students, 12 credit hours must be successfully completed with grades of “C” or higher.
- For graduate students, 8 credit hours must be successfully completed with grades of “C” or higher.
- The credit hours need not be completed in consecutive semesters nor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. (If using transfer credits, a transcript may be requested as documentation. If choosing this option, it is suggested that the student consult his/her academic advisor in advance.)
Please Note: Following these suggested guidelines does not guarantee the reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.
Academic Plan -- An Academic Plan is a course of action that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet the University’s SAP standards by a specific point in time.
Academic Program -- The “major” in which the student plans to obtain a degree.
Add/Drop Period -- A specific period of time (the first week or two weeks) at the beginning of each semester during which a student may adjust his/her class schedule. At conclusion of the Add/Drop period, the courses a student has will appear on his/her academic transcript and are expected to be successfully completed (with grades of A, B, C, D or P) to maintain SAP.
Additive Credit & Audit Courses -- Courses that do not meet or apply to degree requirements. (Ineligible for financial aid)
Appeal -- The process by which a student who is not meeting the University’s SAP standards petitions to request reconsideration for eligibility for financial aid.
Attempted course -- A course in which the student is enrolled at the conclusion of the Add/Drop period. This course will appear on the student’s academic transcript.
Dropped course -- To drop a course is to cancel a course for which a student was enrolled (remove a course from a student’s scheduled enrollment) while remaining enrolled in at least one other course for the same semester. For SAP purposes, dropped classes will only negatively affect completion rate if they occur after the conclusion of the Add/Drop period of a semester. (Dropping a course should not be confused with withdrawing from a semester- see Withdrawal.)
Extenuating Circumstances -- Unusual events (that influenced the student’s ability to succeed).
Financial Aid Warning – A status assigned to a student who was previously in Good SAP standing and fails to make SAP for one semester.
Financial Aid Probation -- A status assigned to a student who fails to make SAP and who appealed and had financial aid eligibility reinstated for one semester.
Grade Point Average -- Cumulative: The overall average of a student’s grades while attending the University (used to determine SAP). Semester: The average of a student’s grades for one semester.
Grade Point Average--Semester: The average of a student's grades for one semester.
Graduate student -- A student enrolled in a program of study that leads to a Master’s or Doctoral degree.
Remedial course -- Course with content needed for improvement or skill-building, yet are not on par with university level coursework. Typically, these are courses below 100-level.
Repeated course -- A course for which a student previously enrolled, yet re-enrolls and takes the course again.
Successful Completion -- Finishing the courses for which one is enrolled at conclusion of the Add/Drop period and with grades meeting graduation standards.
Suspension -- Termination of financial aid eligibility.
Transfer Credit -- When a student changes schools, courses originally taken at the prior school(s) that are accepted for credit-toward-program by the new school.
Undergraduate student -- A student enrolled in a program of study that leads to a Bachelor’s degree.
Withdrawal -- To withdraw is to cancel enrollment for a given semester (i.e. remove all coursework from a student’s semester schedule). For SAP purposes, a withdrawal will only negatively affect completion rate if it occurs after the conclusion of the Add/Drop period of a semester. (Withdrawing from a semester should not be confused with dropping classes- see Dropped course.)