Satisfactory Academic Progress

We’re required by federal regulations to ensure that all enrolled students are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completing their degree.

Requirements for Financial Aid Eligibility

All students are monitored for SAP regardless of their eligibility or intent to receive financial aid. Students who don’t meet our SAP requirements may lose their eligibility to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

Our review is independent from any review of a your academic record conducted by various academic departments. We look at your academic records at the end of every term to determine if SAP requirements are being met. You may continue to receive financial aid by meeting all of the following criteria, which have been established as the minimum standards for making SAP at Illinois:

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (which equals a C) or better on a 4.0 scale, as determined by the university and described in the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students.

Minimum Cumulative Pace (Credit Hour Completion Rate)

You must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted hours by the end of each term. Attempted credit hours are defined as the total number of hours you’ve been enrolled in and include all hours you’re registered for on the 10th business day of fall and spring semesters and the 5th business day of summer semester plus any additional hours you’re registered for after these deadlines.

Attempted credit hours include completed courses with passing grades as well as courses that weren’t completed and failed. Completed credit hours include all courses graded as satisfactory, credit earned, or deferred (DFR), or with a passing letter grade.

Maximum Time Frame

Undergraduate Students

You may not be eligible for financial aid if you’ve attempted more than 150% of the credit hours required to receive a first undergraduate degree (e.g., 120 hours required x 150% = 180 maximum allowable hours attempted for financial aid eligibility). Transfer hours from other institutions accepted by the university will count toward this limit.

The credit hour maximum time frame applies regardless of how many times you change majors or if you’re pursuing multiple majors or degrees. If you don’t meet this requirement, your financial aid will be automatically suspended.

Graduate & Professional Students

You may not be eligible for financial aid if you’ve attempted more than 150% of the program’s published length in accordance with the standards established by the Graduate College and your department. This requirement is measured in semesters of enrollment. If you don’t meet this requirement, your financial aid eligibility will be automatically suspended. The maximum number of semesters allowed for financial aid eligibility is as follows:

  • Master’s—22 semesters
  • Doctorate—31 semesters
  • Veterinary Medicine—12 semesters
  • Law—9 semesters

SAP Status

If you continue to meet all SAP requirements, you won’t be contacted. However, if you don’t meet all SAP requirements, you’ll be notified of your SAP status by email. It’s your responsibility to keep all email addresses updated through UI-Integrate Self-Service.

Financial Aid Warning

The first time you don’t meet the cumulative GPA or pace SAP requirement, you’ll be placed on financial aid warning for the following term. You’re still eligible to receive financial aid during this time. At the end of the warning period, you’ll be reviewed for compliance of SAP eligibility criteria once more. If found to be in compliance, you’ll continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for the following term.

Note that students who do not meet the maximum time frame requirement aren’t given a warning period.

Financial Aid Suspension

If you’ve previously been given a Financial Aid Warning status and still don’t meet the SAP eligibility criteria at the end of the term, your financial aid eligibility will be suspended. You may continue to attend Illinois at your own expense until you once again meet the SAP criteria or submit an SAP Appeal that’s approved. 

Written Appeal

If you’re placed on Financial Aid Suspension, you may file a written appeal. You must clearly explain why your SAP requirements weren’t met and provide proper documentation to support these extenuating circumstances (including if you believe you’ve regained eligibility due to submission of late grades, grade changes, and so on). The appeal must be submitted to us by the deadline specified on the appeal form.

When an appeal is necessary, you’ll still have the option of attending or enrolling in classes. However, financial aid eligibility won’t be calculated and released unless the appeal is approved. If the appeal is denied, you’re responsible for any balance owed to the university.

You’re strongly encouraged to work with your academic advisor to develop a plan that successfully meets the requirements of both your academic program and our SAP financial aid policy.