Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
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Office of Financial Aid
May Hall, Room 111
Any part of this policy may be changed or revoked without notice.
Download the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
To be eligible for Federal Student Aid, the U.S. Department of Education requires all Dickinson State University degree (or eligible certificate) seeking students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). SAP requirements apply to all terms, including summer, and to (both aid and non-aid recipient) students, regardless of enrollment status. SAP requirements measure grade point average (GPA) that a student must achieve at each evaluation and pace of progression (to ensure completion within the 66 2/3% maximum time frame).
Note: Incompletes, withdrawals, repetitions, and transfer hours accepted toward completion of a student’s program count as hours attempted.
To meet the minimum requirements of SAP with respect to GPA, you must have an academic standing required for graduation from your program at the end of the first, second, and third semesters.
If your GPA is lower than 2.0 at the end of the first or second semester, you’ll receive an information letter. If your GPA is lower than 1.75 at the end of the third semester, you’ll be placed on Financial Aid Warning. You may continue to receive aid for one payment period; no appeal is necessary. At the end of the fourth semester of attendance, you must have a 2.0 or better GPA regardless of enrollment status or program.
Your cumulative GPA (including transfer credits) will be used to determine eligibility. If you don’t have a 2.0 GPA, you will be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification*.
Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of each semester.
To meet the minimum requirements of SAP with respect to credits attempted, you must complete 66 2/3% of the credits you attempt. This percentage will be calculated for cumulative credits (including transfer credits). For example: The maximum time frame for an associate degree program is 96 credits (64 credit hours x 150%); 64/96 is the pace of 66 2/3%. The maximum time frame for a bachelor’s degree program is 192 credits (128 credit hours x 150%); 128/192 is the pace of 66 2/3%. The maximum time frame for two four-year/double degree (not double major) program is 240 credits or as per catalog (160 credit hours x 150%). The maximum time frame for a graduate program is 51 credits (34 credit hours x 150%); 34/51 is the pace of 66 2/3%.
You must complete 66 2/3% of the credits attempted, regardless of enrollment status or program. When you are approaching the maximum timeframe, you will receive an information letter. If you don’t complete 66 2/3% credits attempted, you will be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification*.
If you’ve been placed on Financial Aid Disqualification due to an extenuating circumstance (i.e., a medical condition, military service, etc.), you may appeal by requesting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. You can get the form from the Financial Aid office or on the website here. Appeals are evaluated on an individual basis. If an appeal is approved, you will be placed on either Financial Aid Probation or Plan of Study status. Students under these statuses are eligible for financial aid.
- Financial Aid Probation will be granted when it’s reasonable to expect that the student will be able to meet the minimum SAP standards within one semester. If the student does not meet SAP at the end of their probation term, they will return to Financial Aid Disqualification.
- Financial Aid Plan of Study (POS) will be granted in situations where it may not be possible to meet SAP in one semester and/or the student has exceeded the maximum credit limit for their program. Students must meet with an Academic Advisor or other designated official to create a POS. Students on a POS must follow the conditions of their POS each semester to maintain eligibility. The Director of Financial Aid reviews compliance with the POS at the end of each semester. Failure to meet the conditions of the POS will result in Financial Aid Disqualification.
*Financial Aid Disqualification means no longer eligible for all federal aid and most other types of aid. (This is different from academic suspension.) Federal Student Aid includes Pell Grant, Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG), TEACH Grant, Work Study, Perkins Loan, Direct Loans, and Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan. Nursing Student Loan, most institutional aid, and other agencies, such as Vocational Rehabilitation, the ND State Grant, and several private/alternative loans also require students to maintain SAP.
Students placed on warning, disqualification, or probation may be notified by email or in writing; the information is also available for students to view under Tasks and Communications in Campus Connection. Collaborative, consortium, Study Abroad, and remedial credits are evaluated independently. Therefore, the initial results are subject to change.