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. Your official academic record maintained by the Office of the Registrar is reviewed each semester to determine compliance with the SAP requirements. This policy applies to all periods of enrollment whether or not students receive 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 your academic record conducted by various academic departments. We look at your academic records based on your academic level (undergraduate, graduate, law, etc.). Changes in major or degree objective have no effect on SAP calculations.  Academic records are reviewed 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. Grades of S, U, CR, NC, PS, PP, NP, PZ, and PX  or W are reported on the official university transcript but are not included in the GPA since grade points are not assigned to these letter grades.  For students receiving an Incomplete (I) or deferred (DFR) grade, the course is not counted in the initial cumulative GPA, however once a final grade is entered, the SAP Cumulative GPA will be recalculated at the next SAP evaluation based upon the new grade.

Students transferring credit hours from other institutions: if there is an associated grade with the transferred credit hours, it will be counted in the grade point calculation.

Students enrolled in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the College of Veterinary Medicine are required to maintain a pass rate of at least 70%.

Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if they have regained eligibility due to a grade change and their SAP status will be re-evaluated.

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 includes all hours you’re registered for on the 10th business day of fall and spring semesters and the 5th business day of summer and winter semesters plus any additional hours you’re registered for after these deadlines.

Attempted credit hours include completed courses (including transfer courses) with passing grades as well as courses that weren’t completed, failed, dropped, withdrawn, or reported as incomplete. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign does not offer non-credit remedial courses.

Completed credit hours include all courses (including transfer courses) graded as satisfactory, credit earned, or deferred (DFR), or with a passing letter grade. Incomplete grades are not considered satisfactory and will therefore negatively impact your pace. For repeated coursework, the initial course and repeated course are included in all SAP Calculations: GPA, Pace, and Maximum Time Frame. For a student pursing a second Bachelor’s degree all graded undergraduate courses count in the GPA calculation.

Example of how pace is determined:

 Fall Semester Spring Semester Total Hours
Completed Hours12+8=20
Attempted Hours15+12=27
Pace12/15 = 80% 8/12 = 67% 20/27 = 74% Cumulative Pace

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). Periods of enrollment for which a student doesn’t receive Title IV aid, Summer and Winter Term enrollments, and transfer hours from other institutions accepted by the university will count toward this limit.

The credit hour maximum time frame counts all attempted credit hours including those from which you drop after the add/drop deadline, withdraw or receive an incomplete, regardless of how many times you change majors or if you’re pursuing multiple majors, degrees, or a second Bachelor’s degree. 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
  • Medicine—18 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 in UI-Integrate Self-Service. Please contact the Office of the Registrar to change or remove email addresses listed on your student record.

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.

Students who do not meet the maximum time frame requirement will be sent an email notifying them that they are approaching the maximum time frame requirement, however they are not given a warning period. Once the maximum time frame has been reached the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

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 by completing an SAP Appeal form that can be found in the forms section of the OSFA website. 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 or grade changes). Also, moving forward, indicate how you will improve your academic performance. Outline the changes you might have made in your personal, social, or economic situation that will allow you to improve your future academic success. The SAP appeal process also requires you to meet with your college academic advisor to discuss your academic progress and to review your academic plan. Your academic advisor is required to complete a section of your SAP appeal form. The appeal must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid. The priority deadline to submit an appeal is Friday of the first week of class and the final deadline to submit an appeal is Wednesday of the 13th week of the semester for the fall or spring semester. The actual dates are specified on the appeal form. The summer appeal form must be submitted by the final date to apply for summer financial aid which is usually mid-June.

You are required to submit a written SAP Appeal form for each semester that you wish to be considered for financial aid until you meet the SAP requirements. Students will be notified via email of the status of the appeal within two weeks of the date of receipt. This notification will indicate if the appeal has been approved, denied, or if additional information is needed. The Student Financial Aid Administrator who has been assigned the responsibility of managing the SAP program and the Senior Assistant Director, Senior Associate Director or Director of the Office of Student Financial Aid reviews all SAP appeals. Students may appeal the decision to the SAP appeals committee.

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.