Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal Title IV Aid Program

Federal regulations require that, in order to be eligible for assistance from any Federal Title IV student aid program (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct/PLUS Loan, and State Student Incentive Grant Programs) a student must be making satisfactory academic progress.

The standards which follow govern eligibility for Title IV programs only. Penn’s policy is to aid all enrolled students to the extent of their need; consequently, a student who may be ineligible for federal programs as a result of the application of these standards may continue to receive aid from other funds administered by the University. However, Penn will not replace with its own grant funds Federal aid for which a student may be ineligible.

Please note also that these standards do not replace or supersede individual schools’ regulations and procedures affecting academic standing, which are stated in the Undergraduate Academic Bulletin or individual school handbooks.

For the purpose of Title IV financial aid eligibility only, the standards of satisfactory academic progress for students enrolled in full-time or half-time undergraduate programs are as follows:

  1. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 at the end of the first academic year, and at the end of each term thereafter.
  2. The student must be completing credit units at a rate which would enable him/her to complete the requirements for the degree in a maximum time frame of 150 percent of the published length of the academic program. The maximum time frame will depend on whether the student is full-time or half-time.
  3. The student must successfully complete at least two thirds of courses attempted during their degree program.

Academic progress will be checked at the end of each term for which the student is enrolled (summer (both sessions) will count as a term). A student who fails to meet any of the standards at the end of the first term will be place on warning for the next term. At the end of the academic year the student will be evaluated again, if the standards are still not met the student will not be eligible for Title IV funding for the next academic year.

A student who becomes ineligible for Title IV assistance may appeal the determination. The appeal will be reviewed by a committee that shall be composed of individuals to be designated by the student’s school, and others to be designated by the Director of Student Financial Aid. The committee shall review the student’s progress in light of any extenuating circumstances that may be present and make a recommendation to the University Director of Student Financial Aid. The student may be placed on Title IV probation for an additional academic year. The school must also develop an academic plan for the student that, if followed, would ensure that the student is able to meet the school’s academic progress standards by a specific point in time.

The student may continue to receive Title IV aid during the probationary period. If the student has not met the academic progress standards or the requirements specified in the academic action plan by the end of the probationary period, he/she will be ineligible for further Title IV aid until such time as he/she meets the standards.

At the end of each term, the Office of Student Registration and Financial Service (SRFS) will notify students who have failed to meet the academic progress requirements as quickly as possible.

Return from Drop

A student who is readmitted after having dropped from the rolls and was determined to not be making satisfactory academic progress prior to the drop, will be required to have an academic action plan, and will not be eligible for Title IV funds immediately upon reenrollment. Consequently, that student would be ineligible for Title IV aid if he/she does not meet the academic progress standards or academic plan requirements.

Incompletes, Withdrawals, Noncredit Remedial Courses and Transfer Credits

Courses with grades of Incomplete or Withdrew will be counted as courses attempted but not completed. Noncredit remedial courses will be counted as neither courses attempted nor completed. Credits transferred from another institution shall be counted as both attempted and completed.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Veterans Receiving VA Educational Benefits

If you receive VA educational benefits, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in your chosen program of study, as defined in the above section. Veteran students will be ineligible for VA benefits for one term if they do not meet these standards. That means you will not receive your benefits for the term following such a determination. If a veteran or dependent is placed on Academic Suspension/Dismissal, Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits will be terminated immediately. Students may be re-certified for veteran's benefits ONLY after attaining the minimum required cumulative grade point average and submitting a request to the School Certifying Official (SCO) for re-certification.

Date last updated: 10/3/2019