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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy


Policy Summary

In order to receive financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the U.S. Department of Education and Ohio University. Our definition of SAP is different from the University's definition of academic standing. All Ohio University students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and wish to be considered for federal, state, and institutional financial aid must meet the criteria stated in the policy regardless of whether or not they previously received aid. Programs governed by these regulations are:


  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG)
  • Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Grant (PHEAA)
  • All Ohio University grants
  • Some Ohio University Long-term Loan and Short-term Loan Programs



SAP Standard for Students:


Accumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): A first-year undergraduate must have a 1.75 GPA by the end of his or her first year.  This requirement does not consider the number of terms or courses taken.  For example, if a first year student begins attendance in the spring semester, he or she must earn a 1.75 at the end of that semester because it ends the academic year.  Continuing undergraduate students must earn a 2.00 GPA at the end of all remaining years.  A graduate student must have a 3.00 GPA at the end of each year.


Maximum Time Frame (MTF): The required length of time it will take a student to complete a degree program or certificate based on the appropriate enrollment status. Federal regulations allow a student to be eligible to receive aid up to 150% of the time that it would normally take to complete a degree. All credit hours in which a student enrolls or transfers to the University are included in the maximum time frame calculation, regardless of the number of degrees a student chooses to obtain. Grades that are considered hours attempted and completed in the calculation of maximum time frame include: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, FS, FN, CR, NR, F I, I, I*, PR, WP, WF, W, P, PS, S, T, TP or TD. For example, an undergraduate student seeking an associate’s degree requiring 60 credit hours may remain eligible for financial aid through the first 90 semester hours attempted (associate's degree in nursing is aid eligible through 111 hours), an undergraduate seeking a Baccalaureate Degree requiring 120 credit hours can have up to 180 hours to complete a degree and a graduate student in a program requiring 60 credit hours can hae up to 90 hours to complete a degree.

Minimum Completion Percentage: The percentage of coursework that a student must earn during enrollment. Ohio University requires students to earn passing grades in 67% of the hours in which they enroll during the evaluation period. Grades that are considered hours earned include: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, CR, P, PS, S, T, TP and TD.


Students are reviewed annually at the end of the academic year. A student who is found to be deficient in one or more components is ineligible for any future financial aid. A student who is ineligible has the right to appeal if there are extreme extenuating circumstances that contributed to the deficiency. Students wishing to appeal are encouraged to review the SAP Appeal Procedures. Appeal forms can be obtained online.


SAP Appeal: The process by which a student who is not meeting the institution's standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student's eligibility. Students are evaluated at the close of spring term annually. At this time, any student not meeting all SAP components will be ineligible for any further financial aid. Students may submit an appeal to be considered for reinstatement on a probationary status of no more than one term to resolve all deficiencies. Students who appeal, but for whom it would be mathematically impossible to resolve all deficiencies in one term, will be placed on an academic plan. Per Federal Regulations, Ohio University can only consider appeals based on the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstance. Appeals must provide documentation of circumstances on which the appeal is based. Appeals must also specify why the student failed to satisfy SAP requirements and what has changed in the student’s situation.

Transfer Work from Military Experience: Transfer work accrued while on active duty in the armed forces may cause a student to exceed the maximum timeframe for the degree program. Students in this situation must appeal. However, in the appeal process, students should indicate the number of transfer hours accrued during active duty military service. These hours will be exempted for appeal consideration. Students who meet maximum timeframe by excluding these hours and meet all other SAP criteria will be approved.

SAP Probation:  A status assigned to a student who fails to satisfy SAP requirements, who has successfully appealed and had eligibility for aid reinstated. Reinstatement of aid during this probationary period may be no longer than one term. Additional periods of probation are determined by performance during previously approved probationary periods.


Academic Plan:  Students may be placed on an academic plan upon submission of a successful appeal. If it is mathematically impossible for a student to resolve all deficiencies during on term of attendance and the student’s reason for appeal is appropriate according to federal regulations, the student may be placed on an academic plan with the end goal being to resolve all deficiencies. An academic plan varies in length and is determined by the SAP committee. It does not have to equate to the exact number of terms it would take a student to resolve all deficiencies. Students granted aid eligibility through an academic plan may receive aid for up to one year before conducting a review of the student’s performance. If the student is meeting the criteria identified in the SAP appeal approval at the annual review, the student’s academic plan may be extended.


Reinstatement:  The act of removing all SAP deficiencies reinstating aid eligibility. Reinstatement is defined as removing all deficiencies acquired during all period of enrollment or caused by transfer credits. Reinstatement is not a status granted in regard to an appeal.

For complete SAP policies and procedures, please visit