Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

University and federal regulations require that a student be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree to be eligible for financial aid.

SAP is reviewed at the end of each semester, however the calculations are cumulative. SAP consists of two components of measurement: qualitative and quantitative.  The qualitative component is administered by the individual schools and colleges, while the quantitative component is monitored by financial aid.

Effective the Summer 2017 semester!

There will be an earlier deadline of when Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals must begin.  The due date aligns with the add/drop period for most courses.  In order to be considered for an appeal, you must begin the appeal process with a Financial Aid Advisor no later than 10 business days into the semester that you are looking to regain eligibility for.  If you begin the appeal process after 10 business days, the appeal may not be reviewed until the following semester.  You can review the entire Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy below.

All students should become familiar with the SAP requirements.  General SAP Information can be found here. Take a look at the following links to learn more specifics about the SAP policy at UWM. Because this policy differs slightly depending on your academic career, be sure to select the appropriate option:

Undergraduate Students
University and federal regulations require that a student be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree to be eligible for Federal and State financial aid. SAP consists of two components of measurement: qualitative and quantitative. A student’s SAP is reviewed on a semester by semester basis. The following regulations govern all aid administered by the University, including all Federal Title IV aid as well as State funds.

Quantitative Measure

 1) Timeframe

All students are expected to finish their program within a maximum timeframe that cannot exceed 150% of the number of credits required to complete a degree. All credits are counted in Timeframe, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid. The following is a list of the maximum number of credits in which a student is expected to complete his/her degree for financial aid purposes.

Academic Classification Required Credits Maximum Timeframe
Undergraduate Baccalaureate Degree 120 180
Special Certification Program 15 22
Education Non-Degree Teacher Certification 36 54
Second Baccalaureate Degree 120 180

2) Pace

Student financial aid recipients must demonstrate measurable progress toward earning a degree by successfully completing at least 66.67% of all attempted credits at UWM. While pace is measured at the end of each semester, it is a cumulative calculation.

Pace = Total # of Completed Credits in Academic Career /
Total # of Credits Attempted in Academic Career

Attempted Credits Determination: For the Fall and Spring semesters, attempted credits are based on enrollment as of the tenth day of classes. If a student withdraws on or prior to the tenth day of classes, attempted credits are determined as of the day of disbursement.

Summer: Attempted credits are based on any credits that a letter grade was assigned. If a student withdraws on or prior to this day, the student’s attempted credits are determined as of the day of disbursement.

UWinteriM: The three week UWinteriM session is treated as an extension of the Fall semester. SAP is evaluated after the three week UWinteriM period has ended.

Transfer Credits: Transfer credits accepted toward the student’s program are counted as both credits attempted and credits completed for each of the 66.67% pace and timeframe totals.

Remedial Credits: Remedial credits are counted in both the 66.67% pace and timeframe totals.

Repeated Coursework, Incomplete Courses, and Withdrawals: All repeated, incomplete, and withdrawn courses and their grades are counted in both the 66.67% pace and timeframe totals.

Consortium Credits: Credits taken as consortium courses are counted as attempted credits in both the 66.67% pace and timeframe totals. The credits do not count as successfully completed credits until an official transcript is received by the Registrar’s Office and the grades are entered on the student’s academic transcript.

Changing Majors: All attempted and completed credits are counted in both the 66.67% pace and timeframe totals. Students who change majors are at risk of exceeding timeframe before obtaining a degree.

Study Abroad Credits: Credits taken as study abroad courses are counted as attempted credits in both the 66.67% pace and timeframe totals. The credits do not count as successfully completed credits until an official transcript is received by the Registrar’s Office and the grades are entered on the student’s academic transcript.

Qualitative Measure

Financial aid recipients are governed by the performance standards of the school or college in which they are enrolled. Failure to meet the required performance standards may make a student ineligible to continue enrollment; therefore, ineligible for financial aid.

  • Students with Junior standing must also have a 2.0 grade point average, its equivalent, or have academic standing at that point in the program that is consistent with the institution’s requirements for graduation.
  • Academic cancellation by the student’s school or college will cause the student to become ineligible for financial aid.
  • Further information may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Students and the Dean’s Office of the student’s school or college.
  • Students are required to repay all of the financial aid received (excluding federal work-study earnings) if the academic cancellation occurred after the disbursement of financial aid.
  • If a student is academically reinstated, s/he must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately.
  • Treatment of course withdrawals, incomplete(s)/not reported, repeated courses and remedial courses:
    Withdrawals (W):
    Courses dropped after the add/drop period for which the student receives a “W” grade is not included in the cumulative GPA.  If you failed to officially withdraw from a course and received a grade F0-F15, the “F” grade is included in the cumulative GPA.

    Incompletes (I) or Not Reported (NR): As there is no current grade in the system, these courses will not be included in the cumulative GPA determination at such time.  Once a letter grade (A, B, C, D, and F) is assigned, it will be factored into the GPA determination the next time SAP is evaluated.
    Repeated courses:
    For courses repeated, only the most recent grade is included in the cumulative GPA.

    Remedial courses: Non-credit (NC) remedial courses are not included in the cumulative GPA.

Financial Aid Warning Status

A student who enrolls, and then does not meet the requirements for making satisfactory academic progress, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning status for the subsequent semester. A student on Financial Aid Warning may continue to receive financial aid for that one semester. At the completion of one semester on Financial Aid Warning, if the student meets the requirements for satisfactory academic progress, they will be returned to Good Standing. If they do not meet the requirements, they will be placed in an Ineligible Status.

Ineligible Status

If a student does not meet the requirements for academic progress after one semester of Financial Aid Warning, the student is placed in an Ineligible Status. Students are not eligible for financial aid while in an Ineligible Status. In order to regain eligibility, the student must either meet the requirements for academic progress, (i.e., attempt and complete enough credits to be meeting the pace requirement), or successfully appeal and be placed on Financial Aid Probation.

Financial Aid Probation Status

Students may be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester with an approved appeal. A student on Financial Aid Probation may continue to receive financial aid for that one semester. At the completion of one semester on Financial Aid Probation, the student must either meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress again, or be placed back into Ineligible Status.

Appeals

In order to be considered for an appeal, you must begin the appeal process with a Financial Aid Advisor no later than 10 business days into the semester that you are looking to regain eligibility for.  If you begin the appeal process after 10 business days, the appeal may not be reviewed until the following semester.

Students may appeal their Academic Progress status by documenting the following:

  • Extenuating circumstance(s) which prevented the student from meeting the academic progress standards. The extenuating circumstance(s) must be non-academic in nature. Examples of extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to:
    • Work-related issues
    • Medical conditions
    • Death of a loved one
    • Family circumstances
    • Military Services
    • Loss of residence (evictions, natural disasters, etc)
    • Legal issues
  • Information regarding why the student failed to make SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow SAP to be demonstrated at the next evaluation.

An appeal may be approved only if it is reasonable to assume the student is able to make SAP standards after the subsequent semester. If a student cannot make SAP after one subsequent semester, a student must have an approved appeal and, in addition, have an Academic Plan completed. The appeal policy permits no more than one appeal for the same non-academic circumstance. To be considered for eligibility for aid, complete appeals must be turned in prior to the end of that semester. There are no retroactive appeals. Based on departmental determination, there may be limitations set for the amount of appeals allowed.

An Academic Progress Appeal Form can be obtained from a Financial Aid Advisor. Completed appeals should be submitted to a Financial Aid Advisor. The student will be notified of the appeal decision in writing. If the appeal is denied, a second request may be made to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. A personal interview with the committee may be scheduled. Further appeal may be made to the Financial Aid Director.

Financial Aid Advisors will submit appeals that require a third academic plan to regain aid eligibility to a specific Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee to review.  Financial Aid Advisors may also send any SAP appeal to the committee for further evaluation.

If the appeal is denied, a student may continue enrollment without the use of Financial Aid funding.  If a student would like the denial re-reviewed or have additional information or documentation for your appeal, the denial notification will specify what action is needed.  A second request to re-review your appeal must be petitioned to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee or the Financial Aid Director, depending on who most recently denied the appeal.  A personal interview may be scheduled.

Academic Plans

If the student has an approved appeal and is unable to meet SAP by the end of the subsequent semester, an academic plan may be developed. Academic plans are developed on a student-by-student basis and are designed in a way that, if followed, the student will be meeting academic progress standards by a specified point in time.

The student must meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss whether an academic plan is required in addition to his/her appeal. An Academic Plan Form can be obtained from a Financial Aid Advisor and the student must then meet with his/her Academic Advisor to develop the plan. The student is responsible for returning the Academic Plan Form to a Financial Aid Advisor.

A student on an Academic Plan may continue to receive financial aid as long as the student is meeting the requirements in the plan. Students must be enrolled in the exact amount of credits indicated on the Academic Plan in order for aid to disburse. Academic plans will be monitored at the end of each semester. Financial aid disbursements will not be released until the status is verified. If the student does not meet the objectives set in the plan, the student will return to an Ineligible Status. In order to revise an Academic Plan, the student is required to meet with a Financial Aid Advisor and have a new appealable reason for not meeting the Academic Plan.

Regaining Eligibility

A student can re-establish eligibility for financial aid only by taking action that brings the student back into compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the SAP standard. Some options of re-establishing eligibility is as follows:

  • Paying for charges associated with enrollment via personal funds or a private loan until qualitative and/or quantitative measurements are met.
  • A student may also take credits outside of UWM and transfer them back to UWM, possibly increasing SAP eligibility components. A student should confirm with his/her academic advisor that credits taken outside of UWM applies to degree requirements.
  • Successfully completing courses that are currently “Incomplete”

A student’s SAP status is reviewed and updated at the end of each semester. While a student may regain eligibility for financial aid, he/she is reminded that most financial aid programs have lifetime aggregate limits. All other rules and regulations governing Federal and State financial aid programs still apply.

Graduate Students
University and federal regulations require that a student be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree to be eligible for Federal and State financial aid. SAP consists of two components of measurement: qualitative and quantitative. A student’s SAP is reviewed on a semester by semester basis. The following regulations govern all aid administered by the University, including all Federal Title IV aid as well as State funds.

Quantitative Measure

1) Timeframe

All students are expected to finish their program within a maximum timeframe that cannot exceed 200% of the number of credits required to complete his/her degree. To determine your timeframe, review your graduate study requirements in the Graduate Catalog. All credits are counted in Timeframe, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid.

2) Pace

Student financial aid recipients must demonstrate measurable progress toward earning a degree by successfully completing at least 50% of all attempted credits at UWM. While pace is measured at the end of each semester, it is a cumulative calculation.

Pace = Total # of Completed Credits in Academic Career /
Total # of Credits Attempted in Academic Career

Attempted Credits Determination: For the Fall and Spring semesters, attempted credits are based on enrollment as of the tenth day of classes. If a student withdraws on or prior to the tenth day of classes, attempted credits are determined as of the day of disbursement.

Summer: Attempted credits are based on any credits that a letter grade was assigned. If a student withdraws on or prior to this day, the student’s attempted credits are determined as of the day of disbursement.

UWinteriM: The three week UWinteriM session is treated as an extension of the Fall semester. SAP is evaluated after the three week UWinteriM period has ended.

Transfer Credits: Transfer credits accepted toward the student’s program are counted as both credits attempted and credits completed for each of the 50% pace and timeframe totals.

Deficiency Credits: Credits taken to make up for deficiencies are counted in both the 50% pace and timeframe totals.

Repeated Coursework, Incomplete Courses, and Withdrawals: All repeated, incomplete, and withdrawn courses and their grades are counted in both the 50% pace and timeframe totals.

Summer: Attempted credits are based on any credits that a letter grade was assigned. If a student withdraws on or prior to this day, the student’s attempted credits are determined as of the day of disbursement.

Consortium Credits: Credits taken as consortium courses are counted as attempted credits in both the 50% pace and timeframe totals. The credits do not count as successfully completed credits until an official transcript is received by the Registrar’s Office and the grades are entered on the student’s academic transcript.

Changing Majors: All attempted and completed credits are counted in both the 50% pace and timeframe totals. Students who change majors are at risk of exceeding timeframe before obtaining a degree.

Study Abroad Credits: Credits taken as study abroad courses are counted as attempted credits in both the 50% pace and timeframe totals. The credits do not count as successfully completed credits until an official transcript is received by the Registrar’s Office and the grades are entered on the student’s academic transcript.

Qualitative Measure

Financial aid recipients are governed by the performance standards of the school or college in which they are enrolled. Failure to meet the required performance standards may make a student ineligible to continue enrollment; therefore, ineligible for financial aid.

  • Academic cancellation by the student’s school or college will cause the student to become ineligible for financial aid.
  • Further information may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Students and the Dean’s Office of the student’s school or college.
  • Students are required to repay all of the financial aid received (excluding federal work-study earnings) if the academic cancellation occurred after the disbursement of financial aid.
  • If a student is academically reinstated, s/he must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately.
  • Treatment of course withdrawals, incomplete(s)/not reported, repeated courses and remedial courses:
    Withdrawals (W): Courses dropped after the add/drop period for which the student receives a “W” grade is not included in the cumulative GPA.  If you failed to officially withdraw from a course and received a grade F0-F15, the “F” grade is included in the cumulative GPA.

    Incompletes (I) or Not Reported (NR):
    As there is no current grade in the system, these courses will not be included in the cumulative GPA determination at such time.  Once a letter grade (A, B, C, D, and F) is assigned, it will be factored into the GPA determination the next time SAP is evaluated.

    Repeated courses:
    For courses repeated, only the most recent grade is included in the cumulative GPA.

    Remedial courses:
    Non-credit (NC) remedial courses are not included in the cumulative GPA.

Financial Aid Warning Status

A student who enrolls, and then does not meet the requirements for making satisfactory academic progress, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning status for the subsequent semester. A student on Financial Aid Warning may continue to receive financial aid for that one semester. At the completion of one semester on Financial Aid Warning, if the student meets the requirements for satisfactory academic progress, they will be returned to Good Standing. If they do not meet the requirements, they will be placed in an Ineligible Status.

Ineligible Status

If a student does not meet the requirements for academic progress after one semester of Financial Aid Warning, the student is placed in an Ineligible Status. Students are not eligible for financial aid while in an Ineligible Status. In order to regain eligibility, the student must either meet the requirements for academic progress, (i.e., attempt and complete enough credits to be meeting the pace requirement), or successfully appeal and be placed on Financial Aid Probation.

Financial Aid Probation Status

Students may be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester with an approved appeal. A student on Financial Aid Probation may continue to receive financial aid for that one semester. At the completion of one semester on Financial Aid Probation, the student must either meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress again, or be placed back into Ineligible Status.

Appeals

In order to be considered for an appeal, you must begin the appeal process with a Financial Aid Advisor no later than 10 business days into the semester that you are looking to regain eligibility for.  If you begin the appeal process after 10 business days, the appeal may not be reviewed until the following semester.

Students may appeal their Academic Progress status by documenting the following:

  • Extenuating circumstance(s) which prevented the student from meeting the academic progress standards. The extenuating circumstance(s) must be non-academic in nature. Examples of extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to:
    • Work-related issues
    • Medical conditions
    • Death of a loved one
    • Family circumstances
    • Military Services
    • Loss of residence (evictions, natural disasters, etc)
    • Legal issues
  • Information regarding why the student failed to make SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow SAP to be demonstrated at the next evaluation.

An appeal may be approved only if it is reasonable to assume the student is able to make SAP standards after the subsequent semester. If a student cannot make SAP after one subsequent semester, a student must have an approved appeal and, in addition, have an Academic Plan completed. The appeal policy permits no more than one appeal for the same non-academic circumstance. To be considered for eligibility for aid, complete appeals must be turned in prior to the end of that semester. There are no retroactive appeals. Based on departmental determination, there may be limitations set for the amount of appeals allowed.

An Academic Progress Appeal Form must be obtained from a Financial Aid Advisor. Completed appeals should be submitted to a Financial Aid Advisor. The student will be notified of the appeal decision in writing.

Financial Aid Advisors will submit appeals that require a third appeal to regain aid eligibility to the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee to review.  Financial Aid Advisors may also send any SAP appeal to the committee for further evaluation.

If the appeal is denied, a student may continue enrollment without the use of Financial Aid funding.  If a student would like the denial re-reviewed or have additional information or documentation for your appeal, the denial notification will specify what action is needed.  A second request to re-review your appeal must be petitioned to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee or the Financial Aid Director, depending on who most recently denied the appeal.  A personal interview may be scheduled.

Academic Plans

 If the student has an approved appeal and is unable to meet SAP by the end of the subsequent semester, an academic plan may be developed. Academic plans are developed on a student-by-student basis and are designed in a way that, if followed, the student will be meeting academic progress standards by a specified point in time.

The student must meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss whether an academic plan is required in addition to his/her appeal. An Academic Plan Form can be obtained from a Financial Aid Advisor and the student must then meet with his/her Academic Advisor to develop the plan. The student is responsible for returning the Academic Plan Form to a Financial Aid Advisor.

A student on an Academic Plan may continue to receive financial aid as long as the student is meeting the requirements stated in the plan. Students must be enrolled in the exact amount of credits indicated on the Academic Plan in order for aid to disburse Academic plans will be monitored at the end of each semester. Financial aid disbursements will not be released until the status is verified. If the student does not meet the objectives set in the plan, the student will return to an Ineligible Status. In order to revise an Academic Plan, the student is required to meet with a Financial Aid Advisor and have an appealable reason for not meeting the Academic Plan.

Regaining Eligibility

A student can re-establish eligibility for financial aid only by taking action that brings the student back into compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the SAP standards. Some options of re-establishing eligibility is as follows:

  • Paying for charges associated with enrollment via personal funds or a private loan until qualitative and/or quantitative measurements are met.
  • A student may also take credits outside of UWM and transfer them back to UWM, possibly increasing SAP eligibility components. A student should confirm with his/her academic advisor that credits taken outside of UWM applies to degree requirements.
  • Successfully completing courses that are currently “Incomplete”

A student’s SAP status is reviewed and updated at the end of each semester. While a student may regain eligibility for financial aid, they are reminded that most financial aid programs have lifetime aggregate limits. All other rules and regulations governing Federal and State financial aid programs still apply.

*For SAP purposes, students enrolled in anything not considered a Graduate degree program are considered Undergraduates.

Students wanting to improve their academic performance and college success are encouraged to take advantage of the services offered by Panther Academic Support Services (PASS).