Definitions and Terminology

Terminology Related to Academic Credit

Attempted Credit Hours

All credit-bearing course hours, including:

  • Accepted transfer credit (regardless of whether you received aid for the courses, and regardless of their treatment in your current DePaul degree requirements)
  • Credit earned through study abroad consortium or other consortium agreement is treated as transfer credit
  • Test credit
  • Other types of academic credit
  • Repeated courses

Required minimum cumulative GPA

The policy requires that a student maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) in order to remain eligible for financial aid. 
a) Undergraduate Students:  The required minimum cumulative GPA requirement is 2.0.  
b) Graduate/Professional Students:  The required minimum cumulative GPA is 2.0, or higher if required by the college or academic program.  

Required minimum completion rate

The quantitative component (or “pace”) requires students to complete at least two-thirds (66.67%) of all attempted credit hours. For example, if a student attempts 16 hours a term, the student is expected to complete at least 11 hours.

Required minimum term GPA

A student who is in a financial aid probation status, or who is completing a financial aid academic plan, is expected to maintain a minimum term GPA of at least 2.0.  In some cases, a higher term GPA may be stipulated in order to meet SAP.

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.

Special note:

  • 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.  We review your SAP status quarterly, immediately following the submission of the final grade. Students wishing to appeal their SAP status based on an Incomplete or In progress grade change before the SAP review process must notify the SAP Committee of the grade change by emailing OFA_SAP@depaul.edu.
  • Withdrawal grades (W, WA, and FX): All withdrawal grades are considered to be not successfully completed, and negatively impact quantitative (pace), maximum timeframe, and GPA measures. W and WA grades are not calculated in the grade point average; an FX, is calculated in the GPA as an F.

Repeated Courses

Repeated courses are counted in the “hours attempted” calculation for financial aid purposes and the repeat grade is treated in the cumulative GPA in accordance with university policy. Repeats are counted in total attempted hours, regardless of their treatment.

See: Treatment of Repeated Coursework for Financial Aid Disbursement.

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 academic progress.

Non-Credit Developmental Courses

Non-credit 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

A student is eligible to receive aid in this status.  Financial aid “warning” is assigned to a student who has fallen below the minimum thresholds of SAP:

  • cumulative GPA is below 2.0 (or higher if required by the student’s college or academic program), or
  • completion rate is below 66.67% (the student has completed fewer than 66.67% of hours attempted).

Financial Aid Suspension

A student in financial aid suspension is not eligible to receive federal, state, and most institutional financial aid. “Suspension” status means that a student has an “unsatisfactory SAP status.” The status is assigned when:

  • a student fails to meet their progress requirements after a warning, probation or academic plan status
  • a readmitted student or first-time aid applicant whose prior coursework does not meet SAP thresholds
  • an undergraduate student who exceeds the maximum timeframe
  • an undergraduate student who is unable to demonstrate that they can complete their undergraduate degree within the 150% timeframe

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, your aid may be suspended. You can appeal this status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal

A SAP appeal is an online or written student appeal, required after aid is suspended because of a financial aid unsatisfactory academic progress status.

Please review the Appeal Financial Aid Suspension section for more information.

Financial Aid Probation/Reinstatement

A suspended student who has successfully appealed is reinstated for aid on a probationary status. During probation, which lasts one term, a student is expected to complete 100% of all courses with the minimum term GPA required by the SAP committee. 

A student who successfully meets SAP at the completion of their probationary term will maintain their aid eligibility and be required to meet the minimum SAP requirements moving forward.

A student who is not meeting SAP at the completion of their probationary term, but met the probationary academic plan requirements (completes 100% of all courses and meets the GPA set by the SAP Committee), will maintain their aid eligibility and continue onto Academic Plan 1 and, if needed, SAP Academic Plan 2. During these two terms, a student is eligible to receive aid and expected to continue to meet the terms of their academic plan. By the end of the Academic Plan 2, the student is must fully be meeting the minimum SAP requirements or will not have financial aid eligibility.