Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress, or SAP, is a federal regulation requiring the U-M Office of Financial Aid to monitor the progress of each student who is receiving financial aid as they move toward completing their degree.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average or fail to complete classes in a maximum time frame, may lose eligibility for all types of federal, university and state aid administered by our office.


To maintain SAP, a student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) – The minimum for undergraduates is based upon academic level and ranges from 1.6 at the end of freshman year to 2.0 by the end of the senior year (GPA requirements for scholarships may be higher).  For graduate students, minimum GPA are defined by academic unit. The GPA is reviewed annually, after winter semester grades are posted; the overall GPA must be equal to or greater than the required academic level minimum at the end of each winter semester.
  2. Complete at least 67 percent of all attempted credit hours – This is reviewed at the end of each winter semester and the aggregate percentage of coursework attempted and passed must equal 67 percent or greater at each review. (For example, an undergraduate student who enrolls for 12 credit hours and completes 8.5 credit hours has completed an acceptable percentage of attempted credit hours, 67 percent or greater.)
  3. Complete a degree program in a maximum timeframe of no more than 150 percent of the program's average length – Example: The average number of credit hours it should take to complete a Literature, Science and the Arts (LS&A) undergraduate degree program is 120 credits. Using that average, 150 percent would equal 180 credit hours which would be the maximum number for which an LS&A student could receive financial aid (assuming the above requirements are also met). The 150 percent standard applies to graduate students based on average program length as defined by a student’s academic unit.

Transfer students: The number of transfer hours accepted upon admission is used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility under the 150 percent calculation and will be included in the quantitative calculation which includes number of credits attempted and completed.

Students returning to college for a second undergraduate degree will be given 150 percent of stated credit hours required for the second degree program. They are eligible to receive only loan funds.

Double majors/minors will be funded with aid based upon a 150 percent of one major program.

Graduate students on detached study: Detached study semesters will count as the equivalent of 8 credit hours attempted and completed when calculating both pace and 150 percent of program length completion.

Note:  University of Michigan Grant is available to eligible U-M undergraduate students who are enrolled in their first bachelor's degree during the first 10 terms of enrollment in a college or university. This includes U-M or any other institution. 


At the end of each winter Term, our office reviews each student's progress. Students who have not met all three requirements (for all terms enrolled, not just those terms that the student received aid) will be notified in writing that they have lost eligibility for financial aid.

A student may appeal if there are extenuating circumstances. Examples of these include personal or family critical illness (both physical and mental), natural disaster impacting the student or family's home, and assault, etc. If an SAP appeal is approved, the student will be placed on SAP financial aid probation. To appeal, students must complete the SAP Appeal Form, which allows a student to explain the situation, document circumstances and develop an Academic Recovery Plan with an academic advisor.


If you are put on financial aid probation, you have one semester (or time as specified by the Academic Recovery Plan) to meet SAP requirements and remain eligible for financial aid. You will be asked to sign a term-by-term SAP Probation Agreement that will explain the terms and requirements of your probation.

Students on SAP financial aid probation will be monitored for improvement and adherence to probationary terms including the Academic Recovery Plan.  While on probation, an undergraduate student is expected to achieve a semester grade point average of 2.0 or above,  not receive an "I" in any coursework and receive a "P" in each Pass/Fail course. (For graduate-level students, the minimum GPA requirement is determined by the academic unit.)

Students on probation must also follow terms of their Academic Recovery Plan. They continue to receive aid while on financial aid probation but will be monitored.

A student will be removed from SAP financial aid probation once successfully completing the Academic Recovery Plan. This is demonstrated by obtaining a  GPA consistent with the minimum requirement for his/her academic level and is completing an aggregate percentage of 67 percent or more of all attempted credit hours.

Any student who is placed on academic probation by his or her School or College is also considered to be on financial aid probation under SAP. The student is expected to comply with the requirements of both the college or department and OFA. See note below regarding academic holds.


Students who do not meet the terms of financial aid probation are not eligible for aid in any subsequent semester. A written notification is sent to all students who fail to comply with the terms of their probation.


A student can regain eligibility by doing these three things and notifying the U-M Office of Financial Aid when they have been accomplished:

  1. Complete a minimum of 12 credit hours or 8 credit hours for graduate students at U-M (or as specified in the Academic Recovery Plan) without the benefit of financial aid. Students may take the credits at another institution of higher education if approved by their academic advisor; and
  2. Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates (for graduate students, the GPA requirements of their academic unit); and
  3. Complete 100 percent of attempted credit hours.

Note: A student who has lost eligibility may not automatically regain it by paying out-of-pocket for the enrolled classes or sitting out (not attending) for a semester.

Contact a financial aid advisor if you have lost your financial aid eligibility and you believe you have special circumstances that relate to your SAP.  With proper documentation of circumstances (i.e., doctor's notice, letter from academic advisor, etc.), you may appeal by completing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. Also, contact your academic advisor to help you develop a plan for achieving good academic standing.



Only courses for which the student received a grade of A, B, C, D or P are acceptable. A grade of E, F, ED, W, NR or X is not acceptable. Students who fail to complete at least 67 percent of attempted credit hours because of incomplete grades or who withdraw from all classes will have their financial aid terminated. A student may receive financial assistance for a course that was repeated and for which a non-passing grade was received.

Repeated  & Not-for-Credit Classes

A student repeating a course and receiving a non-passing grade may receive aid for that course. A student may not receive aid to repeat a class for which a grade of W, I, NR or X was received that was not completed within the maximum time frame set by the course instructor. Students who receive a passing grade may repeat a class once. (However, repeating classes that will not result in additional hours or Michigan Honor Points (per university policy) will not improve the students' completion rate.) Not-for-credit classes are not eligible for financial aid. If you are repeating a course, take care that your School or College has not designated it as not-for-credit. If so, you may be required to repay some of your already disbursed financial aid.  

Terms with All Failing Grades

Students will be asked to verify attendance during a term in which all grades received are unacceptable (as defined above).  Failure to verify attendance in each class will result in cancellation of all aid for the term.


Academic holds are used by U-M schools and colleges to prevent future registration by students who need to resolve academic issues. If you have an academic hold, our office will not determine your financial aid eligibility or release funds to you until the academic hold is removed by your school or college. To resolve academic hold situations, contact your school or college academic advisor.