Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to determine if a student is making acceptable progress toward a degree or certificate. At the end of each payment period/semester, a review of a student’s progress is conducted. A student’s failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (for all terms enrolled, not just those terms that financial aid was received) may result in loss of federal financial aid eligibility.
Please be advised that SAP standards are utilized solely to determine federal financial aid eligibility. SAP financial aid eligibility standards do not cancel, modify or override The Graduate School’s academic standards and policies.
The following SAP standards must be met:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)—Qualitative Component
- A student must be in good academic standing to receive federal financial aid. This means a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (UB’s GPA only).
- Minimum Completion Rate for Attempted Credit Hours—Pace (Quantitative) Component
- A student must demonstrate progress by accumulating academic credits at a rate that indicates graduation in a timely manner. A student who is not progressing toward graduation at the defined Completion Rate will not receive federal financial aid regardless of GPA.
- A student must complete at least 75 percent of all cumulative attempted credit hours in order to be eligible for federal financial aid. The cumulative attempted credit hours include all transfer credits accepted by the University at Buffalo and noted on the academic transcript.
- The following designations are considered to be attempted credit hours but are not considered to be successfully completed: W, I, J, R, U and F grades.
- Courses repeated for any reason will be counted as attempted credit hours. Repeated courses with passing grades will not be counted as completed/earned credits unless they would also appear on the official transcript.
- Degree Completion Maximum Time Frame
There is no specific federal financial aid policy regarding maximum time frame for degree completion for graduate and professional students. However, the Graduate School has established its own policy: Time Limits for Degree Conferral.
A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA and/or meet Pace (Completion Rate) standard is automatically placed on Federal Financial Aid Warning for the next registered semester.
- A student will receive an electronic notification to their UB email address regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards that must be met by the end of the warning period in order to retain eligibility for future federal financial aid.
- If the student is still not making Satisfactory Academic Progress after the warning period, he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid until all SAP standards are once again met.
A student will receive email notification to their UB email address regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards that must be met by a specific term in order to retain eligibility for federal financial aid.
Any student that does not meet the minimum requirements for SAP at the end of the Financial Aid Warning payment period/semester will be ineligible for federal financial aid. Students will receive an electronic notification detailing the appeal process for mitigating circumstances. A student has the right to appeal the loss of financial aid eligibility if mitigating circumstances (events totally beyond the student’s control) occurred during the preceding payment period/semester:
Some examples of appealable circumstances include: serious illness or injury of the student; serious illness, injury or death of an immediate family member; being victim of a violent crime or house fire.
- The student must submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form and supporting documentation by the deadline date listed on the form. Appeals received after the deadline can be automatically denied.
- A student can only submit an appeal for the semester directly following their Warning period.
- Appeals are only granted once per a student’s academic career.
- A student must be registered for courses during the semester/term they are submitting the appeal for. Appeals will not be considered for students that have dropped or resigned all courses prior to the financial aid census date.
- A student is responsible for all tuition and fee charges at the time the balance is due, even if they are planning to appeal or are waiting for a response from the SAP Appeal Committee.
- The decision of the SAP Appeals Committee is final and students will receive an electronic communication to their UB email address regarding the outcome.
- A student who successfully appeals the loss of his/her financial aid termination will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for the following payment period/semester. The student will receive an electronic notification to their UB email address regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards that must be met by the following payment period/semester in order to retain financial aid eligibility. Should the student not meet the SAP standards at the conclusion of the financial aid probation period, he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid until SAP standards are met.
- If it is determined that it will take more than one semester in order to regain good SAP standing, a student may be placed on an Academic Plan, or Federal Financial Aid Contract for Satisfactory Academic Progress. This contract will outline what milestones must be met each semester in order to retain federal financial aid eligibility. The signed contract must be returned before any federal aid can be reinstated.
Information is subject to change without notice due to changes in federal, state and/or institutional rules and regulations. Students must complete a FAFSA every year. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive financial aid.