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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
(Effective Fall 2011)
Federal regulations require that all students make satisfactory
academic progress in a program of study to maintain eligibility for
financial aid. SAP requirements are different for Undergraduate and Graduate students. View the separate policies below:
Undergraduate Policy | Graduate/Professional Policy | Non-Degree Policy
The information below applies to all students and should be reviewed.
Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility
SAP will be evaluated at the end of every semester, including summer. The first violation will result in the student receiving a warning. The second violation will result in loss of financial aid eligibility. All notifications will be sent to the student's official university email address.
Students will lose financial aid eligibility if they do not complete all of their coursework before the maximum timeframe allotted. Students will receive a notification when they get close to their limit.
Students are only given one warning for their entire career at CU-Boulder, even if they did not receive financial aid during the semester they did not meet the minimum academic requirements.
If a student has extenuating circumstances that prevented them from making academic progress toward a degree, an appeal may be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as the student receives official notification or no later than 3 weeks before the end of the semester.
A complete appeal will include the following:
- SAP appeal form
- Personal statement explaining the circumstances that prevented academic progress toward a degree/certificate and a plan to ensure future academic success
- Supporting documentation (Examples: letters from professors, medical documentation, etc.)
- Degree Audit Form for students who have exceeded the maximum timeframe requirement
NOTE: To expedite your appeal, submit all documents together and be as detailed as possible in your personal statement.
Each appeal will be reviewed by a committee. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation and will be eligible to receive financial aid for a period of one term and will be issued an academic plan by email. The academic plan will provide conditions the student is required to meet for that term.
- If the student is not meeting SAP at the end of their probationary semester, but they are meeting the terms of their academic plan, their academic plan can be rolled over to the next semester and the student will be aid eligible for that semester as well.
- If the student is on probation and does not meet the SAP requirements or the terms of their academic plan, they will be suspended from receiving financial aid in future semesters.
If a decision is made to deny the appeal, the student may request a second review by the committee only if the student can provide new information and documentation that may have been omitted from the initial appeal.
A student can regain financial aid eligibility by meeting the SAP standards or the conditions set forth in their academic plan.
Not all scholarships are subject to this appeal process. Contact the scholarship donor for specific requirements.
Scholarship recipients are also expected to meet SAP. In addition to SAP, a scholarship may have more rigorous requirements and/or a separate appeal process. Refer to your original scholarship award notification for specific requirements.
In the event a student fails to meet the SAP requirements, Scholarship Services will contact either the private scholarship donor or the university department to notify them. It is then their decision to determine if the student is still eligible for the scholarship. If the scholarship is cancelled, the student may appeal directly to the donor or department.
The following definitions apply to the terms used in this section:
- Warning: A warning semester is given to every student the first time they violate one of the SAP requirements. Students are still eligible to receive financial aid while in warning status.
- Probation: If a student has received their warning semester and is still in violation of the SAP requirements, the student will be suspended from receiving financial aid. The student may appeal this decision and if the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on a probation semester, emailed an academic plan and will be eligible to receive financial aid for this semester.
- Appeal: Personal statement and supporting documentation asking for financial aid to be reinstated based on an extenuating circumstance that prevented the student from meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. Appeals that are approved will allow a student a probationary semester and require that the student sign an academic plan.
- Academic Plan: If a student appeals their financial aid suspension and is approved they will be assigned an academic plan detailing the academic performance and necessary measures required to maintain financial aid eligibility until meeting SAP.
- Completion Rate (Pace of Completion): All students must complete at least 67% of the credit hours they attempt. The rate is calculated by dividing the number of successfully completed credits by the number of attempted credits.