Federal policy requires that schools have Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies and procedures to measure the academic progress of its students in meeting their degree requirements in a timely manner. If at any point it’s clear the student will not be able to meet the standard for graduation, the student becomes ineligible for aid. SAP is minimally measured once each academic year for every aid recipient. Schools are required to include all coursework attempted (including accepted transfer credits) even if aid was not received. The following components must be measured:

1. Qualitative: The measure of a student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). This measurement is outlined below:

Credits Attempted GPA requirement
0-12 1.5
12.01-24 1.7
24.01-53 1.9
53.01+ 2.0

2. Quantitative: The measure of a student’s attempted vs. completed coursework over a minimum timeframe. The University uses the following scale:

Credits Attempted Percentage Passed
0-12 24%
12.010-24 50%
24.010 -54 55%
54.010-75 62%
75.010 + 67%

3. Maximum Time Frame:  150% of the published length of the program.  Example:  120 hours needed to obtain a bachelor’s  degree x 1.5= 180 total number of credits that can be attempted in order to have received the degree.

New SAP Policy in effect beginning July 1, 2011

Changes in U.S. Department of Education SAP policy eliminates the automatic probationary period which existed under the old regulation. Any student not making SAP is not eligible for financial aid.

At the end of each academic year, the student’s academic standard will be reviewed to determine if the minimum requirements are being maintained.  Any student who appears not to meet any of the measured standards after the spring, will be suspended from further receipt of aid at UMA and all awarded financial aid will be cancelled. This suspension is permanent until the student has:

  1. Completed sufficient coursework on their own, without benefit of aid to re-establish their eligibility.  The student must notify the UMA Financial Aid Office that additional coursework has been completed so that eligibility can be reviewed; or,
  2. Successfully appealed.

Not attending classes or sitting out semester(s) will not re-establish eligibility. Suspension of aid does not affect the student’s enrollment.  This is a financial aid action only and not an academic action.  (See Academic Action.)


UMA Financial Aid Office encourages students to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form with supporting documentation after notification of suspension if the circumstances were beyond the student’s control. Federal regulations provide limited flexibility based upon appropriate documentation of circumstances including the major disruption of family life, such as divorce, death, or serious prolonged, illness in the immediate family; Student’s serious illness or medical complications; or, other situations beyond the control of the student. Students must request an appeal from the Financial Aid Office. If the financial aid office determines that the student will regain compliance with the SAP policy within one semester, the appeal may be granted resulting in one probationary semester of financial aid eligibility. Students not meeting the minimum standards after the probationary period will be suspended from further aid eligibility and any aid issued for the next semester will be cancelled.

All appeals must be submitted with all supporting documentation and a clear future academic plan, which includes a degree audit. Any incomplete applications will not be processed. All students who submit appeals will receive a determination within 14 days of receipt of the completed appeal packet.