Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Aid to monitor the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of undergraduate and graduate students. SAP is a Federal financial aid policy, and SAP policies may be different than your College’s academic warning or probation policy.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Undergraduate Students
The SAP policy includes the following components
Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA at Iowa State University.
Undergraduate students must not fail all of their semester credit hours attempted. Failing grades include F grades, Non-Passing (NP) grades, and Incomplete (I) grades.
Pace of Progression
Undergraduate students must pass at least 67% of the credit hours they attempt. The pace of progression is calculated by taking the number of credit hours completed, divided by the number of credit hours attempted.
- Completed credit hours include all the transfer credit hours, credit hours taken for college credit in high school (dual credit and AP if high enough score earned), and all credit hours passed with a grade of D- or higher at Iowa State University.
- Attempted credit hours include all transfer credit hours, credit hours taken for college credit in high school (dual credit and AP if high enough score earned), all credit hours at ISU passed with a grade of D- or higher, all classes dropped, all credit hours with non-passing grades (F grades, NP grades, and/or Incomplete grades), all academic renewal credit hours, and all credit hours attempted during a withdrawn semester.
Undergraduate students must graduate before reaching 150% of their published program length, as measured in attempted credit hours. The maximum timeframe is calculated by taking the student’s published program length times 150%.
The published program length is available on the student’s degree audit. For example, if a program of study requires 120 credit hours, the student will exceed their maximum timeframe once they have attempted 180 or more credit hours.
If a student is working on multiple degrees, the timeframe calculation will only look at the primary degree published program length, regardless of how many credit hours are required to complete all degrees.
All attempted credit hours, including credit hours taken away from ISU with no transfer equivalency, credit hours taken from a prior degree, credit hours not passed, and credit hours dropped or withdrawn count towards the maximum timeframe calculation.
Students returning from another bachelor’s degree after having already obtained one or more bachelor’s degrees will be limited to no more than 90 credit hours towards their next bachelor’s degree or 270 attempted credit hours. The student will exceed their maximum timeframe once they have attempted 90 credit hours towards their next bachelor’s degree or have attempted more than 270 credit hours towards all degrees.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements
Undergraduate students not meeting one or more of the requirements below will be placed on SAP warning:
- Earn less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA
- Earn less than 67% cumulative pace of progression
- Approach the maximum timeframe to complete their degree
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Warning
Students are placed on SAP Warning for one semester if one or more SAP requirements are not met during the most recently completed semester. Students will be notified via targeted message in AccessPlus if they are on SAP warning and the reason why they are on warning. Students will receive financial aid during the warning semester but must still check with their scholarship donors on eligibility requirements as those may be different from the SAP eligibility requirements. At the end of the warning semester, SAP requirements will be checked again. If the SAP issue is resolved, the student is no longer on SAP Warning but should still check with their scholarship donors on eligibility requirements.
If the student does not resolve the SAP issue at the end of the warning semester, they will be on SAP suspension.
Undergraduate students not meeting one or more of the requirements below will be placed on SAP suspension:
- Earn less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of the SAP warning semester
- Earn less than 67% cumulative pace of progression at the end of the warning semester
- Withdraw during the warning semester
- Exceed the maximum timeframe to complete their degree
- Earn all failing, Non-Passing (NP), or Incomplete (I) grades at the end of any semester
- Did not meet plan requirements of a previously approved SAP appeal
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Suspension
Students on SAP Suspension must appeal for the reinstatement of their financial aid. Approval of the appeal is not guaranteed. Students will be notified about the SAP suspension reason and appeal deadline via a targeted message in AccessPlus, and an email will be sent to students directing them to AccessPlus to view the targeted message. Students receiving scholarships must check with their donors as scholarships may have different eligibility requirements.