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Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress-SAP

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 

Federal Law requires that institutions of higher education monitor the academic progress of students who receive federal financial aid. In order to remain eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, students must comply with the Upper Iowa University standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). All undergraduate and graduate students will be evaluated for SAP at the end of every semester. The components of Upper Iowa University’s Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for financial aid are as follows: Grade Point Average (GPA), Pace (66.7% Rule), and Maximum Time Frame (150% Rule).  

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form


Financial Aid Warning – A status a school [Upper Iowa University] assigns to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress. The school reinstates eligibility for aid for one payment period and may do so without a student appeal.  

Financial Aid Suspension – An undergraduate or graduate student who fails to meet SAP requirements after Financial Aid Warning, is placed on Financial Aid Suspension and is not eligible to receive financial aid without a successful appeal.  

Appeal – A process by which a student who is not meeting SAP standards petitions the school’s SAP Appeals Committee for reconsideration of their eligibility for financial aid funds (Title IV).  

Financial Aid Probation – A status a school assigns to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress and who successfully appeals. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one payment period.  

Maximum Time Frame – A period no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the program.  

Payment Period – Is the length of a semester. Example, Fall Semester (August – December) 

Frequently Asked Questions about SAP

What are my options if I want to continue taking classes but am suspended?

  • Alternative Loans (some lenders require eligible SAP statuses)  
  • Payment plans through Student Accounts  
  • Paying out of pocket 

What if I want to repeat a course?

Federal regulation limits the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive financial aid for that course.  

  • A student may receive aid when repeating a course that was previously failed regardless of the number of times the course was attempted and failed.  
  • A student may receive aid to repeat a previously passed course only one additional time.  
  • This policy applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course.  
  • Aid is not available for repeated courses in the Self-Paced program. 

What is an Academic Plan?

This is a plan developed with the assistance of your Academic Advisor to allow you to successfully achieve the federal SAP standards. If you have exceeded the maximum timeframe allowed this plan would not apply.

Where do I submit the appeal form?

The appeal form, along with your extenuating circumstances documentation and academic improvement plan can be submitted to [email protected]

What is the difference between SAS and SAP?

SAS is the Standards for Academic Standing and is based on your grade point average. SAP is the Standard Academic Progress and measures, grade point average, maximum timeframe and percentage of completed coursework. These require separate appeals and are viewed by different committees.

What if I have a disability?

Students who are aware of learning disabilities are advised to contact the Disability Services Office so that appropriate accommodations can be made. A student with a documented disability and functional limitations is still held to the same academic expectations as other students. If the student is registered with the Disabilities Services Office and receiving appropriate accommodations, the student should be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility purposes.