Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards ensure that students are successfully completing their coursework and can continue to receive financial aid. All students receiving financial aid are required to meet SAP standards which are measured using both qualitative and quantitative methods such as, GPA requirements, completion rate and time frame.


Federal regulations require the University to establish, publish, and apply standards to monitor each student's progress toward completing their degree program. If a student fails to meet the SAP standards, they will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students whose eligibility for financial aid has been terminated may appeal the decision if they believe that they had extenuating circumstances leading to their unsatisfactory progress.

In order to appeal, the student must complete the SAP Recovery Packet (PDF), a typed personal statement, supporting documentation and provide a copy of their degree plan from Degree Works.

Calculate Your Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA minimum requirement at the end of each academic year for all credit hours attempted. If the cumulative GPA drops below the minimum requirement, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid.
Undergraduate Students: Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0
Graduate Students: Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0

Calculate Your GPA

Students receiving financial aid must successfully complete a cumulative minimum of 75% of all attempted coursework, including hours transferred in from another school and accepted towards the current degree program. If the number of cumulative completed hours drops below 75% of attempted hours, the student will no longer be eligible for aid.


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

ii)   If a student attempts 36 hours, the student must complete a minimum of 27 hours (75% x 36 = 27) to make SAP.

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

If the number of attempted hours reaches 150% of the hours required for graduation (as published in the University Catalog) or it becomes mathematically impossible to complete degree requirements within 150%, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

Attempted hours include all credit hours you have registered to take at UIW as well as all credit hours you have transferred from another institution, whether or not you earn a grade, receive credit, or receive financial aid.

Example: Undergraduate Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree

If the published number of hours required is 120, a student may not attempt more than 180 hours (120 x 150% = 180). Therefore, if a student has already attempted 90 hours, but requires 91 more hours to complete degree requirements then it is no longer mathematically possible for the student to complete the program within 150%. At that point, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. 

Maximum Timeframe Per Level

Maximum Timeframe Per Level
Level Maximum Timeframe
Undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor's Degree Not to exceed 180 attempted credit hours

Undergraduate who has a Bachelor’s Degree and is pursuing a second Bachelor’s Degree

Not to exceed 240 attempted credit hours
Undergraduate pursuing an Associate's Degree Not to exceed 100 attempted credit hours
Undergraduate pursuing a second Associate's Degree Not to exceed 130 attempted credit hours

Undergraduate with a Bachelor’s Degree and is pursuing an Associate's Degree

Not to exceed 210 attempted credit hours
Graduate pursuing a Doctorate Degree Not to exceed 67 attempted credit hours
Doctor of Pharmacy Not to exceed 236 attempted credit hours
Doctor of Physical Therapy Not to exceed 185 attempted hours
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine See SOM student handbook

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) FAQs

At the end of every spring semester, our office will review the progress of every financial aid recipient to determine their eligibility for financial aid for the upcoming aid year.

Dropping coursework affects your cumulative completion percentage; that is, the percentage of hours you have earned versus those you have attempted. The cumulative percentage includes any coursework attempted/earned at any previous college/university.

Dropping can cause you to lose eligibility for current or future aid due to renewal requirements for specific aid funds, or the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirement. If you are already on SAP probation, you may lose all future eligibility for aid, unless you submit a new appeal and it is approved.

Any time you withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment, we are required to report the change in enrollment to your student loan servicers. This may trigger you to go into your grace period (typically 6 months) and subsequently into repayment on your student loans.

You should always  contact the Office of Financial Assistance before you withdraw to find out what kind of financial impact this will have on your aid. When you withdraw from a semester (or a mini-term), the Dept. of Education requires that we calculate how much of the time you were  scheduled to attend (i.e. registered) versus the time you  actually attended. This results in a percentage that may require us to return part of your aid. This is required even if you completed a previous mini-term in the same semester AND even if you receive a 100% refund of tuition/fees. Withdrawals also cause a reduction in your cumulative completion percentage, since they are hours attempted that you have not earned. This can cause you to lose eligibility for future aid (pending an appeal) due to the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.

Students on financial aid who do not finish all courses in a semester or who stop attendance, are subject to having their paid financial aid returned in part to the government. This is known as Return of Title IV funds. In addition, students who cease a minimum of half-time enrollment will enter their grace period for their loans and can incur a balance to the University due to funds pulling back.

If it is determined that you do not meet the minimum SAP requirements, you will be automatically placed on  financial aid suspension. Students on financial aid suspension are not allowed to receive any additional financial aid until the progress suspension is cleared.

Students whose eligibility for financial aid has been terminated may appeal the decision if they believe that they had extenuating circumstances leading to their unsatisfactory progress. Circumstances which warrant an appeal include: death in family, injury/illness of the student or family, or other circumstances beyond the student’s control. In order to appeal, the student must complete the SAP Recovery Packet (PDF), which must include a formal written statement signed and dated by the student. The statement needs to provide a full explanation, along with detailed documentation, verifying the circumstances that led to the inability to meet SAP. This explanation must also provide steps taken to overcome these obstacles and how they will not interfere with progression.

The completed packet must be returned to the Office of Financial Assistance and will be submitted to the SAP Review Board. The SAP Review Board will make a determination based on the information provided and will inform the student by email within approximately 3-5 business days. The SAP Appeal Form is due to the UIW Office of Financial Assistance by the scheduled deadlines below:

SAP Deadlines
Semester/Term Date
Summer 2021 July 8, 2021
Fall 2021 Nov. 1, 2021
Spring 2022 March 31, 2022

If a SAP appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation for the following semester and their academic progress will be monitored at the end of each semester to ensure they continue to meet the conditions of their academic plan. Once the Office of Financial Assistance determines that SAP was met for the probationary period indicated on the academic plan, then the student will be in good standing and will no longer be monitored each semester.

The requirements of an academic plan will vary from student to student depending on their specific situation and the documentation submitted with the SAP appeal. These requirements must then be met at the ending of each semester for a specific probationary period indicated on the academic plan. Upon conclusion of the academic plan, the student must be meeting all SAP requirements or have completed all degree requirements. If a student fails to meet the academic plan requirements, the student will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid and must complete a subsequent appeal to be considered for financial aid for a future semester.

If a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Recovery Packet is denied, the student will be notified of the reason for the denial and how to re-establish financial aid eligibility. Students cannot appeal this decision but may submit a subsequent appeal in a future semester to be reconsidered for financial aid. If a student's appeal was denied, the student may decide to pay out pocket, utilize other outside funding, or not attend for a semester. Nonetheless, taking any of those actions does not make a student eligible for financial aid and does not guarantee a future appeal will be approved.

Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance with any questions by email at

If a student has a change in major and is not meeting SAP requirements, only credits earned towards the current degree program will be included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress determination upon the official SAP evaluation. If it is determined that the maximum timeframe has been reached, but a change in major has occurred, the student may still appeal their termination of financial aid and will be evaluated based on the information submitted with the appeal.

All students must adhere to the SAP appeal deadlines listed below. If a student submits an appeal after the indicated deadline, it will be up to the administrator’s discretion to accept the documentation for the indicated semester. However, if an appeal is submitted after the ending of a semester, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid and will be evaluated for the most current/next semester.

SAP Deadlines
Semester/Term Date
Summer 2021 July 8, 2021
Fall 2021 November 1, 2021
Spring 2022 March 31, 2022
Take advantage of the different resources that are available on campus for you. Most students overlook the vast network of readily available resources colleges have and go through the semester on the bare minimum – attending classes alone. Make it a rule to frequent the campus libraries, tutoring and writing centers, computer labs and career centers for free, valuable information.
  • First Year Engagement
  • Tutoring Services
  • TRIO
  • Writing and Learning Center
  • Career Services
  • Mabee Library
  • Consumer Information
  • Talk to your academic advisor and faculty mentor.
    Make it a habit to meet with your advisor early and seek their opinion on which classes to take each semester and how to meet your academic goals. Your advisor can guide you to campus resources, inform you of important deadlines, familiarize you with college policies and procedures, and keep you posted on campus events and organizations that could benefit you.
  • Get to know your instructors.
    Your instructors are one of your greatest resource. Talk to them and ask for help. Your instructors have office hours for the sole purpose of assisting students outside of the classroom. They can give you great insight and tend to help those who come and seek out for help.
    • Introduce yourself early in the semester.
    • Ask questions!
    • Go to office hours or send an email.
  • Utilize DegreeWorks.
    DegreeWorks is available for students to monitor their academic progress toward degree completion. DegreeWorks allows students and their advisors to plan future coursework and run degree audits, easily identifying courses that have been completed and what courses are still needed in order to fulfill degree requirements
    DegreeWorks FAQ
  • Attend classes regularly and do not arrive late.
    It sounds easy enough. The classroom is where you will get most of the information you need for tests and quizzes. Instructors pay attention to the level of involvement students demonstrate throughout the semester. These will be the same teachers you will turn to for letters of recommendation. Keep a good relationship with your instructors and maintain good attendance.
    • Correspond class times with your friends and hold each other accountable.
    • If transportation is an issue, learn bus schedules or talk to friends about carpooling.
  • Budget your money.
    The financial aid office is a great resource not only for understanding your financial aid package, but also for financial literacy resources. While the idea of money management may seem difficult, it’s really not! Just like anything else, you just need to learn how to do it. Managing your money correctly will allow you to focus your efforts on your academics.
    • Office of Financial Assistance
    • Sign up for ECMC Learning

      • UIW believes that all of our students, families and alumni should have access to the most information possible to help them make wise decisions about financing and repaying their education. So, we’ve partnered with ECMC to provide financial wellness and loan repayment resources to students, alumni, and families.

      • When you sign up for ECMC learning you will have the ability to learn and improve your money management, career and student loan skills through the various self-pace courses, calculators and articles.

  • Manage your time.
    Starting college, working, and keeping up with your social life can seem overwhelming at first. Remember, you're here to get an education. Make anything that will help you with this goal a priority.
  • Purchasing textbooks.
    It can be difficult to study for a class or participate without the required textbook. There are options for purchasing textbooks to ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck!
    Be sure to look at the difference between purchasing and renting textbooks!