All graduate students who file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will evaluate your SAP status every year you apply for financial aid.

SAP requirements apply to state and federal financial aid programs.  In addition, if specified by the donor or program administrator, institutional grants and scholarships may be subject to this policy.  Generally, academic or performance-based merit aid, which has no need component, does not include a SAP requirement.

It is your responsibility to be aware of SAP requirements.

Explanation of Requirements

The university measures your academic performance based on three standards: grade point average (GPA), pace and max time. See below for a detailed description.

Grade Point Average: A student cannot graduate with a GPA below 3.0. You will be dismissed from the degree program if you receive an "F" or "U" in any graduate course or a total of three "C" grades in your graduate program. In addition, you will receive a notice of academic warning upon receiving a grade of "C" in any two graduate courses or if your GPA falls below 3.0. (Monitored by: The Graduate School)

Pace: You must earn credit for at least 67% of the hours you attempt. This calculation is performed by dividing the number of credit hours earned by the number of credit hours attempted. (Monitored by: Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships)

Maximum Time: You must complete all requirements of the graduate program and The Graduate School within six calendar years (masters and education specialist degrees) or eight years (doctoral degrees). All students enrolled in graduate degree programs must enroll each regular semester for a minimum of one graduate credit hour. (Monitored by: The Graduate School)

Explanation of Attempted Hours for Pace Calculation

In compliance with federal regulations, financial aid developed procedures for evaluating pace. In addition to the hours you completed for a letter grade, we will count the following types of credit.

•  Credit by Examination (CR)
•  Transfer credit
•  Incomplete (I)
•  Withdrawal (W)
•  Withdrawal while passing (WP)
•  Withdrawal while failing (WF)
•  Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U, or SAP)
•  Repeat

Non-credit (NC) or audited (AU) courses do not count toward the calculation of attempted hours.

Opportunity to Appeal

If you were unable to meet the pace requirement, the financial aid office will send you an email message regarding this matter. In addition, a reminder will appear on your “To Do List” in MyMadison.  (No information will appear in MyMadison regarding SAP until you have filed your FAFSA and received an email explaining that you are not eligible for financial aid.)

If extenuating circumstances led to your noncompliance with the SAP requirements for Pace you may submit an appeal for review.  The Graduate School will monitor your compliance with GPA and Maximum Time requirements.

Contact us if you have any questions.

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