Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal regulations require that a student must be making satisfactory academic progress in order to receive Title IV aid, regardless of whether he or she has previously received Title IV aid.   At Southern Arkansas University, all requirements as defined below must be met for a student to receive federal financial aid.

QUANTITATIVE REQUIREMENTS: There are two quantitative requirements that students must meet to be eligible for financial aid.  First, the student must successfully complete at least 66.67% of all courses attempted at SAU.  Successful completion of a course is defined as a passing grade.  Grades of W, WF, WN, F, NC or I are not considered successful completion.  Repeated courses are included in attempted credits and any courses with passing grades are treated as earned.  Audits are not included in attempted or earned credits.  A student’s official enrollment status will be determined on the 11th day of classes during fall/spring semesters and the 5th day of classes during summer terms.  If a student fails to pass at least 66.67% of the credits attempted, they will not be eligible to receive financial aid the following semester.  It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when a grade change has been posted to the official transcript.

Federal regulations require schools to establish a maximum time frame in which to complete a program.  By law, the maximum time frame for completion of an undergraduate degree cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program.  For undergraduate students at SAU the maximum time frame is 186 attempted hours for a baccalaureate degree.  For those seeking an associate degree, the maximum time frame is 105 attempted hours.  Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree at SAU will have a maximum time frame of 93 attempted hours.  For graduate students seeking a degree or licensure at SAU the maximum time frame is 90 attempted hours.  All enrollment periods count toward maximum time frames, regardless of a change in degree or major or whether or not aid was received.

Withdrawals, drops, repeated courses, and all accepted transfer hours are counted toward maximum time frame.  Remedial courses do not count toward the maximum time frame.

QUALITATIVE REQUIREMENTS: The cumulative grade point average (GPA) as posted on SAU’s transcript will be reviewed and must be a minimum 2.00 gpa for undergraduate students and a minimum 3.00 gpa for graduate students.

SAP will be evaluated at the end of spring semester.  Ineligible notices will be sent through campus email to students who failed to meet the standards to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

A student with extenuating circumstances may submit an appeal as indicated in Student Appeal Instructions.  Examples of extenuating circumstances include: Student suffered serious illness, injury, or disability or serious illness, injury or death of close relative; loss due to natural disaster; involuntary call to active military duty; victim of crime or abuse; or significant breakdown of family relationship.

All decisions of the Appeals Committee are final.  There is no further appeals process.

Unless an appeal is granted for extenuating circumstances, a student can regain eligibility only by coming into compliance with the standards of satisfactory academic progress.


If you have been denied aid due to lack of satisfactory progress any appeal you wish to submit must be done so in writing and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid.

  1. Submit a letter of appeal explaining the reason you have not met the satisfactory progress requirements to be eligible to receive aid.   (Why did you not complete the required number of hours or why did you not complete a degree within the maximum time frame?)

Provide copies of documentation to confirm any extenuating circumstances that prevented you from meeting the satisfactory progress requirements.

(You may provide letters of recommendation from faculty or others who are aware of your situation.)

  1. Provide copy of your application for graduation if filed and signed by Registrar.
  2. Sign and date your letter.
  3. At the bottom of your letter, include your printed name, student ID number, complete mailing address, and your anticipated graduation date.

The committee’s decision will be sent to the address on the appeals letter.

This is to help you determine the credit hours that you must complete to meet satisfactory academic progress.  You must complete at least 66.67% of your enrollment successfully.  To use the chart below, add the hours for which you enrolled in the summer, fall and spring semesters.  You must complete no fewer than the number of credit hours required to complete with a grade of A, B, C, or D to continue receiving financial aid.  Failure to do so will make you ineligible for financial aid.

Credit Hours AttemptedCredit Hours Required to Complete