Standards of Academic Progress

Understand what Satisfactory Academic Progress is.

It is important to learn about satisfactory academic progress so that you can successfully complete your degree with financial aid funding.

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 achieve a required 2.0 cumulative UM-Dearborn GPA.
  • Students must complete academic program within 150% of published length of program.
  • Graduate students must complete 67% of attempted courses.
  • Graduate students must maintain 3.0 CGPA 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.

SAP measures 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’s Office of 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.

What counts against SAP?

What if a student doesn’t meet the requirements?

If a student does not meet the required academic standard, he/she will be allowed a warning semester in which the student can receive financial aid.  At the end of the semester, if the student has not regained eligibility, he/she will be sent a letter of suspension from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

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. The number of courses required is based on an individual's historical academic record.


  • 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 have 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 petition 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 the 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.
  • 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 the 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.)