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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that colleges establish minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving federal student aid. Students receiving federal aid are expected to achieve satisfactory grades and progress toward the completion of their program in a reasonable period of time and within a reasonable number of credit hours. It is the responsibility of students to be aware of their Satisfactory Academic Progress status for financial aid eligibility. Progress will be reviewed at the end of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.  SAP standards are based on a student’s GPA (qualitative), the number of credits completed vs. credits attempted (quantitative), and require students to complete their academic program within a specified timeframe.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA: Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  • Credits Earned: Students must successfully complete 67% of all credit hours attempted; attempts are classes in which you received a grade, withdrawals, and incompletes
  • Maximum Time: Students must complete their within 150% of the length of their academic program; for example, if a student’s program is 60 credit hours in length, they must complete the program within 90 earned credits

How Different Types of Courses Affect Satisfactory Academic Progress

✅ Affects Satisfactory Academic Progress
❌ Does not affect Satisfactory Academic Progress

Course TypeCumulative GPACredits EarnedMaximum Time
Credit by Exam
Curriculum Courses
Incomplete Courses
Pre-Curriculum Courses
Repeated Courses*
Summer Courses
Transfer Credits
*Students are permitted to a one-time repeat of a previously passed course and still receive financial aid for that course. If a student does not pass a course, they may repeat the course as many times as necessary receive a passing grade and still receive financial aid for that course. When a course is repeated the most recent final grade will be used to determine the assigned grade for GPA purposes. The previous attempts to pass the course are counted as credits attempted when reviewing SAP completion rate and maximum time frame.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Evaluation

A student’s academics are reviewed at the end of each Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.  Based on the results of the review, students are placed in one of the following statuses:

  • Satisfactory: Students who are in their first term at Davidson-Davie or those who have attended and meet or exceed the SAP requirements are considered in satisfactory status for financial aid purposes.
  • Financial Aid Warning: The first term a student fails to meet SAP, the student will be notified that he or she has been placed on financial aid warning for the next academic term. The student may continue to receive financial aid during the warning term, but must improve GPA and/or completion rate to prevent progressing to financial aid probation.
  • Financial Aid Suspension: The second or subsequent term a student does not meet SAP, the student will be notified their financial aid has been suspended.  Students do have the opportunity to submit an appeal if an extenuating circumstance prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements.
  • Probation on Appeal: Students who successfully appeal due to extenuating circumstances are able to regain their eligibility for financial aid.  These students must agree to an Academic Plan, completed with their Academic Advisor, which requires them to meet certain course completion and GPA requirements.  Students remain on an Academic Plan until they meet the SAP requirements or complete their academic program.
  • Financial Aid Termination: Students on an Academic Plan and fail to meet the required conditions are no longer eligible to receive financial aid.  If an extenuating circumstance exists which prevented the student from meeting the conditions of the Academic Plan, they may submit an appeal.  However, the appeal cannot include the circumstances they submitted in their previous appeal.

Submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Students with a status of Financial Aid Suspension or Financial Aid Termination may submit an appeal if an extenuating circumstance prevented them from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.  An extenuating circumstance is defined as a situation outside of the student’s ability to control.  Examples include:

  • The death of an immediate family member or close relative (i.e. mother, father, grandparent, sibling, or immediate family such as a related aunt or uncle)
  • A serious injury or illness (physical or mental) that required medical intervention
  • Significant, unanticipated family obligations due to medical issues or illness
  • A catastrophic loss due to fire, flood, or natural disaster that affects the student’s academic attendance or performance
  • An involuntary call to active military duty
  • An unsafe or abusive environment
  • Any undue hardship that prohibits the successful completion of coursework

In the appeal, the student must explain why they did not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and what has changed to allow them to successfully complete their academic program.  Documentation of the extenuating circumstances cited in the appeal must be provided.  Students are also required to meet with Academic Advisor to develop an Academic Plan.  The Academic Plan must provide an obtainable path for the student to either meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements or successfully complete their academic program within a specified timeframe.

Students waiting for their appeal to be reviewed are responsible for any enrollment charges. Financial aid will not be available, nor will students’ school charges be held. Students will receive notification of their appeal approval or denial through their Davidson-Davie email account.  Students not satisfied with the result may appeal the decision following the process outlined in the College’s General Complaint Policy, beginning with Step 2.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form

Changing Academic Programs

Students may change their academic program up to two times and maintain their eligibility for financial aid.  Any additional changes before the completion of an academic credential (associates degree, diploma, or certificate) could impact your eligibility for financial aid.  Please speak with your Academic Advisor and the Office of Financial Aid for more information.