Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of "Satisfactory Academic Progress", also known as "SAP" for students receiving financial aid. UIW makes its standard applicable to all federal, and institutional financial assistance programs for the purpose of maintaining a consistent policy for all students receiving financial aid. State financial assistance, such as the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) usually have a higher renewal requirement than our minimum SAP policies.

To make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), students must meet all of the following standards:

Academic Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA minimum requirement at the end of each academic year for all credit hours attempted (cumulative, including previous schools - Undergraduates 2.0; Graduate students 3.0). If the cumulative GPA drops below the minimum requirement, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

Maximum Time Frames

The number of credit hours a student attempts may not exceed 150% of the number of credit hours required for graduation in his or her program of study, as published in the University Catalog, including hours transferred from another institution and accepted by UIW towards the student's current program of study.

That is, if the published number of hours required for graduation is 120, a student may not attempt more than 180 credit hours (120 x 1.5 = 180) and continue to receive financial aid. All periods of enrollment must be considered, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid, as well as hours transferred in from another school. If the number of attempted hours reaches 150% of the hours required for graduation, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

Attempted hours include all registered hours per semester whether or not the student earns a grade or receives credit.

The following are considered hours attempted, but not completed:

  1. “F” grades for undergraduate students, “D” or “F” grades for graduate students
  2. “AU” Audited courses
  3. “W,” “NG,” or “IP” grades

Completed hours include all semester hours for which the student earns a grade:

  1. “A” through “D-” grades for undergraduate students
  2. "A” through “C-” grades for graduate students
  3. “P” passing with credit
  4. All transfer hours accepted for credit towards current program of study

Enrollment Status

Any student who receives financial aid must successfully complete a cumulative minimum of 75% of all attempted coursework. If the number of cumulative completed hours drops below 75% of attempted hours, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. (See completion definitions above).


If a student attempts (registers for) 30 credit hours, he or she must complete a minimum of 22 credit hours (75% x 30 = 22.5 = 22) in order to make SAP.  NOTE: All partial credit hours will be rounded down to the nearest hour.

If a student attempts 36 credit hours, he or she must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours (75% x 36 = 27) to be meeting SAP.

If at the end of the second year a student has attempted 60 credit hours, he or she must have completed a cumulative minimum of 45 credit hours (75% x 60 = 45) to be meeting SAP.

Review Policy

At the end of each academic year (Spring semester), the Office of Financial Assistance will review the progress of each financial aid recipient for SAP. Students will be reviewed to ensure that they are meeting the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (undergraduate students) or, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate students).
  2. Successful completion of at least 75% of all attempted coursework for all periods of enrollment (cumulative), even those for which the student did not receive financial
  3. Total attempted hours not to exceed 150% of the published length of the program of study.

Financial Aid Termination

In the event that the student does not meet the requirements for SAP, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Termination. This means that the student will not be eligible for any type of federal, state, or institutional aid until he or she has returned to Satisfactory Academic Progress or submitted an appeal to the Office of Financial Assistance for possible reinstatement.

Conditions for Reinstatement

Students whose eligibility for financial aid has been terminated may appeal the decision in writing to the Office of Financial Assistance if they believe that they had extenuating circumstances which led to their unsatisfactory progress. The Office of Financial Assistance will notify the student in writing of the decision.

Students requesting an appeal will complete a SAP Recovery Packet, which must include:

  1. Review of SAP standards written in the SAP Recovery Packet
  2. A completed Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, which is part of the Recovery Packet
  3. A letter from the student documenting the extenuating circumstances; for example, personal illness, medical problems, or death in the family. This letter should provide a detailed explanation of the situation. If the student has exceeded the maximum time frame and is appealing based on a change of major, he or she should state the reason for the change and submit a new program of study or degree plan which indicates the number of hours remaining to be taken in the new major. The student must also provide a DegreeWorks printout (if available), or a statement from his or her academic advisor indicating the number of credit hours from the previous major or which were transferred in that will apply to the new major. This information should be included with the SAP Recovery Packet.
  4. A Satisfactory Academic Progress Academic Plan Agreement, completed by both the student and his/her academic advisor.

Students whose appeals are approved will be required to agree to an academic plan and must meet the cumulative SAP requirements or be meeting the requirements of the academic plan by the end of the following semester in order to continue receiving financial assistance. Students who are meeting neither requirement by the end of the next semester will be placed on Financial Aid Termination and will not be eligible for further aid until they are once again meeting the cumulative SAP requirements. Subsequent appeals after termination must include new information as to why the student was unable to meet the terms of the Academic Plan Agreement.

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Termination because they do not meet the GPA or Enrollment Status requirement may do the following if they decide not to appeal, or if their appeal is not approved:

  1. Students may attend UIW without financial assistance until they meet the SAP requirements for both cumulative GPA and cumulative completion
  2. Apply for various alternative loan programs available to help meet the costs of tuition. NOTE: Some private loan programs require the student to be meeting SAP Research your loan carefully to determine whether SAP is required or not.
Relevant Forms (available at
  1. Financial Assistance Recovery Packet (including the following two forms)
  2. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form
  3. Satisfactory Academic Progress Academic Plan Agreement