When you receive federal or state financial aid, federal guidelines require that you make real and measurable progress toward your degree in order to continue to receive federal or state financial aid. This requirement is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy addresses your academic progress during all terms for which you are enrolled at DePaul, including summer, whether or not you receive financial aid during those terms. At DePaul, this policy applies to federal, state and need-based institutional aid.
Definitions and Terminology: SAP Policy
Terminology Related to Academic Credit
Attempted Credit Hours
All credit-bearing courses are calculated into your "hours attempted" for financial aid purposes. This includes:
- Accepted transfer credit (regardless of whether you received aid
for the courses, and regardless of their treatment in your current
DePaul degree requirements); note that credit earned through study
abroad consortium or other consortium agreement is treated as transfer
- Test credit
- Other types of academic credit
- Repeated courses
Successfully Completed Credit Hours
Any course with a passing grade (A, B, C, D or PA) is considered to be successfully completed.
Any course with a non-passing grade (F, W, WA, FX, R, IN or M) is considered to be not successfully completed.
- Incomplete (IN) and Research (R) grades: Grades
of IN and R are considered to be not successfully completed until the
final grade is submitted, in accordance with university grading policy.
Final grading is reviewed in the quarterly SAP review immediately
following the submission of the final grade. Students wishing to appeal a
grade change of an Incomplete or Research grade before the quarterly
SAP review process must do so through the Financial Aid Appeal process.
- Withdrawal grades: All withdrawal grades are
considered to be not successfully completed, and negatively impact
satisfactory academic progress. This includes official withdrawal grades
W and WA, which are not calculated in the grade point average, as well
the unofficial withdrawal grade of FX, which is calculated in the grade
point average as an F.
Courses Taken for Audit
Audited courses do not
earn academic credit and are not eligible for financial aid payment. As
such, they are not evaluated in the review of the student's satisfactory
Non-Credit Developmental Courses
development courses do not earn academic credit and are not eligible for
financial aid payment. As such, they are not evaluated in the review of
the student's satisfactory academic progress.
Terminology Related to Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses
Financial Aid Warning
Financial aid "warning" is a status assigned to a student who has fallen below the minimum
thresholds of satisfactory academic progress — that is, a student whose
cumulative grade point average is below 2.0, or whose completion rate is below 66.67 percent (the student has completed fewer than 66.67 percent of hours attempted). A student is eligible to receive aid in
Financial Aid Suspension: Financial Aid Unsatisfactory SAP status
A "suspension" status means that a student has "unsatisfactory SAP
status." Financial aid suspension is assigned when a student fails to
meet his/her progress requirements after a warning, probation or
academic plan status is assigned. Suspension may also be assigned to a
readmitted student or first-time applicant whose prior coursework does
not meet SAP thresholds (see sections below). Suspension may also be
assigned to an undergraduate student who exceeds the maximum timeframe
or to an undergraduate student who is unable to demonstrate that he/she
can complete his/her undergraduate degree within the 150 percent timeframe. As
explained above, the Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to
suspend students who completely withdraw — i.e., students who fail to
demonstrate any measurable progress within a given term. If you
withdraw completely or fail to complete all of your courses in a term,
you may be suspended and asked to appeal.
A student in financial aid suspension is not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid.
Academic Progress Appeal
A financial aid appeal
is an online or written student appeal, required after aid is suspended
because of a financial aid unsatisfactory academic progress status. In a
financial aid appeal, a student petitions for reinstatement of aid. An
appeal must be submitted online in Campus Connect, or via a paper
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form. An appeal must include, at
minimum, an explanation of the circumstances that caused the student to
fall below the minimum SAP thresholds, and it must also include a plan
for corrective action, as well as an academic advisor signature
certifying that the student has discussed this plan with his/her
academic advisor. Additional documentation may be requested in the
Financial Aid Probation/Reinstatement
student who has successfully appealed for reconsideration is reinstated
for aid in a probation status. During probation, which lasts one term, a
student is expected to complete 100 percent of all courses with a minimum term
GPA of 2.0. In some situations, more rigorous GPA requirements will be
stipulated in the probation terms. A student who successfully meets the
terms of probation will be continued on aid but will be expected to
continue to meet the terms of his/her academic plan to assure that the
student is fully meeting the minimum SAP requirements by the end of SAP
Academic Plan 2 (see below).
SAP Academic Plan 1 and SAP Academic Plan 2
Academic Plan 1 and SAP Academic Plan 2 occur after a student's
probation term. During these two terms, a student is expected to
continue to meet the terms of his/her academic plan by continuing to
complete all courses each term with a term GPA of 2.0 or higher so that
by the end of these terms, the student is fully meeting the minimum SAP
We encourage you to also review our Satisfactory Academic Progress FAQ.