Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require institutions to monitor the academic progress of financial aid recipients. Grand Valley's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is to provide financial aid to students capable of remaining in good academic standing and who make adequate progress toward a degree.  Adequate academic progress required to maintain eligibility for financial aid is defined below.

Use our GPA Calculator to determine minimum grades needed to maintain financial aid eligibility.


Terms & Conditions

Undergraduate Students

  • Maintain a minimum 1.5 cumulative GVSU GPA for 0-24 credits completed
  • Maintain a minimum 1.8 cumulative GVSU GPA for 25-54 credits completed
  • Maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GVSU GPA for 55+ credits completed
  • Complete and pass a minimum of 2/3 of all attempted credit hours (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester)*
  • Complete all degree requirements within 150% of the minimum number of credit hours required to graduate (based on 120 credit hours required to graduate x 1.5 = 180 attempted cumulative credit hours)

Second Undergraduate Students

  • Maintain a 2.0 cumulative GVSU GPA
  • Complete and pass a minimum of 2/3 of all attempted credit hours (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester)*
  • Complete all subsequent undergraduate degree requirements within 270 attempted cumulative credit hours
    • An additional 90 credits will be allowed for a subsequent undergraduate degree. First bachelor degree students must not exceed 180 attempted cumulative credit hours, which are 150% of the minimum requirement to obtain an undergraduate degree.

Graduate Students

  • Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GVSU GPA
  • Complete and pass a minimum of 2/3 of all attempted credit hours as a graduate student (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester)*
  • Complete all degree requirements within 150% of the minimum number of credit hours required to graduate (based on 60 credit hours required to graduate x 1.5 = 90 attempted cumulative credit hours)

Doctoral Students

  • Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GVSU GPA.
  • Must complete and pass a minimum of 2/3 of all attempted credit hours as a doctoral student (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester)*
  • Complete all degree requirements within 150% of the minimum number of credit hours required to graduate (based on 120 credit hours required to graduate x 1.5 = 180 attempted cumulative credit hours)

*Note: For all students, the following will be considered as hours attempted, but not considered as successfully completed credits:

  • ‘F’ – failing grades
  • ‘I’ – incompletes
  • ‘W’ – withdrawals
  • ‘NC’ – no credit
  • ‘X’ – deferred

Appeal Process for All Students

  • Students who fail to meet the SAP eligibility requirements will be placed on SAP financial aid warning for one semester.  Students receive a warning status after having been in a SAP eligible status.
  • If a student is unable to regain eligibility by meeting the minimum SAP requirements after one semester (while on warning status), they have the option of completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. All appeal forms should be turned in to the financial aid office by the last day of the fourth week of classes to allow the committee time to review the request prior to the end of the drop/add period of the semester which the appeal is being requested. The form is available on the financial aid website.  Students must submit he form, an Academic Plan (myPath), and a statement explaining why the student failed to meet the requirements, what steps the student has taken to be successful, and the student’s goals for the future.
  • A student may submit an appeal based on the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstance.
  • If an appeal is approved students will be placed on SAP financial aid probation for one semester and complete the terms (as listed in definition). At the end of the semester, financial aid will review students to determine eligibility for the following semester.
  • If students are unable to regain overall eligibility within the one semester probationary period, but were able to meet the requirements of their SAP probation status they will automatically be placed on an Academic Plan status and their eligibility will be reviewed at the end of each semester to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of their academic plan. While in an Academic Plan status students will be required to earn a 2.5 semester GPA or a 2.0 cumulative GPA (i.e. 3.0 Semester GPA or cumulative GPA for Graduate/Doctoral) and complete all enrolled credits (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester). At the end of each semester students will be reviewed to determine eligibility for the following semester.
  • If students were unable to meet overall eligibility or the minimum requirements of their Probation or Academic Plan status they will not be eligible to receive aid for subsequent semesters without an additional appeal, which may require a meeting with a financial aid administrator who will determine the appropriate course of action to assist the student in determining how to successfully meet SAP requirements.
  • If an appeal is denied students may regain financial aid eligibility by taking courses and achieving the minimum SAP requirements at their own expense or taking classes at another institution and transferring them successfully.

Definitions

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) — Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are federally regulated requirements which specify the minimum cumulative GPA and completion rate a student must maintain to qualify for federal financial aid funds.  At the end of each semester, students will be reviewed to ensure that they are maintaining eligibility to receive financial aid.
  • SAP Warning Status — A student that is not meeting SAP requirements will be given a warning status code to allow them one semester to regain eligibility by meeting the minimum cumulative GPA and completion rate requirements listed under Terms and Conditions. Students are only given a warning status after having been in an SAP eligible status.
  • SAP Ineligible Status — Students that are unable to meet and maintain the minimum overall SAP standards are ineligible for financial aid.  This status also applies to students unable to meet the terms of their SAP Probation or Academic Plan. 
  • SAP Probation Status — Students that were placed on a SAP warning status that were unable to meet the minimum requirements will be given the option of appealing to the SAP Appeals Committee to request an exception to receive financial aid for one additional semester. While on probation a student must meet the following requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility:
    • Undergraduate Students & 2nd Undergraduate Student
      1. Earn a 2.5 semester GPA or a 2.0 cumulative GPA
      2. Complete all enrolled credits with a passing grade (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester).
    • Graduate Students & Doctoral Students
      1. Earn a 3.0 semester GPA or a 3.0 cumulative GPA
      2. Complete all enrolled credits with a passing grade (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester).
  • Academic Plan Status — Students unable to regain and meet overall SAP standards after having been on Warning and Probation status may be placed in an Academic Plan status.  An Academic Plan is intended to support and encourage students to successfully progress toward earning their degree, and can be met by:
    • Undergraduate Students & 2nd Undergraduate Students
      1. Earn a 2.5 semester GPA or a 2.0 cumulative GPA
      2. Complete all enrolled credits with a passing grade (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester).
    • Graduate Students & Doctoral Students
      1. Earn a 3.0 semester GPA or a 3.0 cumulative GPA
      2. Complete all enrolled credits with a passing grade (will include only credits enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop/add period each semester).

Based upon the discretion of the SAP Appeals Committee, students who have had continuous struggles with regaining and maintaining the minimum overall SAP standards may have an individualized Academic Plan created which outlines additional requirements that must also be met. Individual Academic Plans will be documented and agreed upon by the student and a financial aid administrator.  Students placed in an Academic Plan status will be reviewed each semester to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their Academic Plan.  If a student is unable to meet the minimum requirements of their Academic Plan they will be ineligible for financial aid.


Policy Provisions & Information

  • SAP will be determined at the end of each semester for all enrolled students regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.
  • Students repeating courses may be eligible for financial aid; however, repeat classes increase the total attempted hours, but do not increase the total number of credits completed.
  • All courses, including incomplete credits, repeated credits, and remedial credits are evaluated for completion rate.
  • Credit hours earned by testing or other non-standard means will be included in the maximum timeframe calculation of 150% required for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.
  • All credit hours attempted through international programs and through concurrent enrollment agreements count in the SAP calculation.
  • If a student notifies the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships that a grade from a prior-term course has been changed retroactively, we will conduct a review of the student’s SAP status in light of the updated grade information.
  • If a student elects to double major, complete more than one degree at a time, and/or start a degree and then change majors, all classes previously taken will still be used in the evaluation of SAP. Each time a degree is conferred the student’s SAP status resets and only classes taken from that point forward are included in SAP calculations.
  • Transfer credits accepted at GVSU are used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility under the maximum time frame and included in the completion rate calculation. Transfer credits accepted at GVSU are counted as both attempted and earned in the calculation of completion rate. Transfer courses are not used in the calculation of cumulative GVSU GPA.

NOTE: Refer to the Academic Policies and Regulations for the Academic Review Policy. These are separate from and different than the financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements discussed previously.



Page last modified October 5, 2018