Overview of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

There are three parts to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy:

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA)
  2. Cumulative (Overall) Progress
  3. Academic Program completion:
      a. Maximum Timeframe for completion of degree (applies to undergraduate students)
      b. Timely Completion of degree or aid-eligible non-degree graduate program (applies to graduate and professional students)
      c. Degree Completion Requirement (applies to all students)

You need to comply with all requirements to remain eligible for aid, as explained in the following:

1. Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requires that you maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) in order to remain eligible for financial aid.

  1. Undergraduate Students: The minimum cumulative GPA requirement for undergraduate students is 2.00.
  2. Graduate/Professional Students: The minimum cumulative GPA requirement for graduate or professional students is 2.0, or higher if required by your college or academic program
  3. If you drop below a cumulative GPA of 2.0, you will be placed in financial aid warning. Once you are in financial aid warning, you may continue to receive financial aid, but you will be expected to meet the minimum standards (2.0 cumulative GPA and a minimum 66.67 percent overall completion rate) by the end of your warning term in order to continue to receive financial aid. Failure to meet the minimum standards after your warning term will result in financial aid suspension.

    2. Quantitative Standards — Cumulative (Overall) Progress

    The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy contains a quantitative component, meaning that you are required to make steady progress toward your degree or aid-eligible non-degree graduate program by completing at least two-thirds (66.67 percent) of all your attempted credit hours. For example, if you attempt 16 hours per term during the academic year (48 cumulative attempted hours), you would be expected to satisfactorily complete at least 32 of these hours in order comply with the minimum quantitative standards.

    If you do not successfully complete at least 66.67 percent of all attempted credit hours, you will be placed in financial aid warning. Once you are in financial aid warning, you may continue to receive financial aid, but you will be expected to meet the minimum standards (2.0 cumulative GPA and a minimum 66.67 percent overall completion rate) by the end of your warning term in order to continue to receive financial aid. Failure to meet the minimum standards after your warning term will result in financial aid suspension.

    3. Academic Program Completion

    a) Undergraduate Students: Maximum Timeframe

    The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy contains a maximum timeframe component, which specifies that the number of credit hours for which you may receive federal financial aid may not exceed 150 percent of the credit hours required for graduation with an undergraduate degree. For most undergraduate programs, the maximum is considered to be 288 credit hours.

    If you change majors, you are still expected to complete your program within the maximum timeframe. In limited circumstances appeals will be considered.

    b) Graduate and Professional Students: Timely Completion of Degree

    The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy includes an expectation that you complete your graduate/professional degree or aid-eligible non-degree graduate program in the timeframe stipulated by the Graduate/Professional School for your particular program of study. Graduate students whose enrollment appears to exceed the stipulated timeframe may be required to submit a degree completion plan to the Office of Financial Aid in order to continue to qualify for federal financial aid. The degree completion plan must outline the specific requirements remaining for degree completion. The plan must be signed by an academic advisor and be submitted to the Academic Progress Committee for review.

    c) All Students: Degree Completion Requirement

    Undergraduate Students

    Federal and state financial aid is limited to the pursuit of your declared degree. Once it has been determined that you have completed the requirements for your degree and/or have no further enrollment requirements, you are no longer eligible for federal or state financial aid, and your options for institutional assistance are limited, based on the terms and availability of your institutional aid program. This is true even if you have not applied for graduation and/or your degree has not been officially conferred.

    Undergraduate students who are pursuing a double major or an additional minor: Once you have completed the degree requirements for your first undergraduate degree, you are no longer eligible for federal or state financial aid awards that are restricted to the first undergraduate degree. For more information, see "Special Situations" below.

    Graduate and Professional Students

    Federal financial aid is limited to the pursuit of your declared graduate or professional degree or eligible non-degree graduate program. Once it has been determined that you have completed the requirements for your graduate or professional program and/or have no further enrollment requirements, you are no longer eligible for federal financial aid. This is true even if you have not applied for graduation and/or your degree has not been officially conferred.

    What Happens If You Fall Below the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements?

    You will be notified by email if you fall below the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. You may also check your satisfactory academic progress status at any time in Campus Connect > "View My FA Academic Progress."

    Financial Aid Warning

    You are considered to be in financial aid warning if you fail to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for one or more of the following reasons:
      a. You are below the 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement (GPA requirement); and/or
      b. You are below the 66.67 percent minimum course completion rate (quantitative requirement).

    Once you are in financial aid warning, you may continue to receive financial aid, but you will be expected to meet the minimum standards (2.0 cumulative GPA and a minimum 66.67 percent overall completion rate) by the end of your warning term in order to continue to receive financial aid. Failure to meet the minimum standards after your warning term will result in financial aid suspension.

    Financial Aid Suspension

    Your financial aid is suspended when you fail to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for one or more the following reasons:

      a. You have been assigned a warning status, a probation status, or you are in a monitoring term after your probation, and you fail to meet the requirements of your warning status or academic plan.
      b. You are a readmitted student or a first-time applicant whose prior coursework is below the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress threshold, and because of this you are considered suspended and ineligible unless you successfully appeal.
      c. You have exceeded the maximum time frame limits for your degree.

Special Situations

Readmitted Students

Readmitted students are required to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. If you are returning to DePaul after an absence, and your former coursework would indicate that you are below the minimum progress requirements, you will need to appeal for reinstatement for your student aid eligibility by submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form for Readmitted Students (PDF) explaining:

  1. You must explain the circumstances that kept you from meeting the satisfactory academic progress standards in the past.
  2. You must explain your plan for corrective action — that is, tell us what changes you have made that will allow you to be successful in the future.
  3. You must describe your current educational objective and your plan for successfully achieving this goal at DePaul University. If you are transferring in new academic credit, please explain how the transfer credit relates to your current educational objective at DePaul.

First-Time Financial Aid Applicants

Current students who apply for financial aid are required to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. If you are a currently enrolled student and you are applying for financial aid for the first time, and your coursework does not meet the minimum academic progress requirements, you will need to complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal, as explained in the appeal process above.

Undergraduate Students Who Exceed the Maximum Timeframe

In general, accepted transfer credit hours are included in SAP measurements regardless of the treatment of courses in the student's current DePaul degree requirements. However, a student approaching the maximum timeframe because of transfer hours that do not apply to his/her DePaul degree program may appeal for a maximum timeframe review: in these situations, a student's cumulative attempted hours may be recomputed based on the transfer hours that apply toward the student’s DePaul degree. If you are an undergraduate student and you wish to submit a maximum timeframe appeal, you should complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process, as explained in the appeal process above.

Students Who Withdraw or Who Consistently Fail to Demonstrate Progress

The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to suspend students who officially or unofficially withdraw, or fail to earn credit in any coursework -- in consecutive terms of attendance, or in two or more terms within two consecutive academic years. If you fail to demonstrate progress in this manner, your financial aid may be subject to review and/or suspension, and you will then be required to follow the financial aid appeal procedures outlined in this policy.

Undergraduate Students Pursuing a Second Major or Additional Minor

Undergraduate students pursuing a second major or an additional minor are subject to the Program Completion Requirements explained in the Overview of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (above, Requirement 3). A student who has completed the requirements for a first bachelor’s degree (even if the student has not applied for graduation and/or the degree is not officially conferred) is no longer eligible for federal and state financial aid programs that are restricted to one undergraduate degree. These include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP Grant).

For more detailed information, please see our Satisfactory Academic Progress FAQ.

Second Undergraduate Degree

Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree are eligible only for federal student loans at the undergraduate level. Students seeking a second undergraduate degree are subject to the maximum timeframe component for undergraduate study. In general, this is 288 credit hours. Students who reach this timeframe and wish to appeal should follow the maximum timeframe appeal explained in Section Three. Once it has been determined that a student pursuing a second undergraduate degree has fulfilled the enrollment requirements for the second undergraduate degree, the student is no longer eligible for federal or state financial aid. See Program Completion Requirements, explained in the Overview of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (above, Requirement 3).