Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) indicates your successful completion of coursework towards a degree or certificate.
- According to federal regulations, students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree or certificate will lose their ability to receive Federal Student Aid (FSA).
- This regulation applies to all students applying for financial aid, including those that have not previously received financial aid.
- During the first evaluation where a student has failed to meet SAP, they may qualify for a “warning” semester during which they may retain their eligibility to receive FSA.
- Students who lose their aid may appeal the loss provided there are mitigating circumstances that inhibited their academic progress.
- If an appeal is approved, the student’s FSA eligibility is reinstated for one probationary semester.
- If mitigating circumstances do not exist, students may take classes at their own expense to demonstrate improvement for a future appeal.
- To otherwise restore eligibility students must achieve the GPA and hours target as defined in the policy.
SAP is evaluated based on grades posted at the end of each semester and prior to the beginning of the upcoming semester (defined as a 16-week period of academic study), as well as prior to the student receiving FSA for the first time at APUS.
- The criteria used to measure Satisfactory Academic Progress:
- Cumulative grade point average (qualitative)
- Credit hour completion/Program Pace (quantitative)
- The requirements of each criterion must be met and are described in detail below.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)
- Cumulative GPA is the qualitative measure of SAP, meaning that it looks at the quality of the grades that each student earns in their courses.
- Cumulative GPA is calculated after 6 undergraduate credits or 6 graduate credits are completed at APUS.
- Evaluation thereafter occurs in the segments listed in the table below; only credits completed at APUS with a final grade of A through F are included in the Cumulative GPA calculation.
- To meet SAP requirements, students must maintain a Cumulative GPA that meets or exceeds our minimum as shown in the chart below.
- Students who fail to meet CGPA requirements also fail to meet SAP requirements and will be denied FSA (information on Loss of FSA Eligibility is located under Policies and Procedures for Award of FSA).
SAP Criteria on Cumulative GPA (CGPA) and Credits Completed
(Effective April 1, 2015 for terms that begin May 2015 and after)
| ||Total Credits Completed|
(including transferred credits*)
|Minimum CGPA Required|
for Financial Aid
|Undergraduate Students ||6-12 ||1.50 |
*Credits transferred in from another college or university via an official Transfer Credit Evaluation are factored into the calculation of how many credits a student has completed in determining the minimum Cumulative GPA threshold from the chart. For example:
- An undergraduate student with no transfer credits must have a minimum Cumulative GPA of 1.5 once they have completed their first 6 credits at APUS.
- A student who transferred in 9 credits, and then completed 6 credits at APUS, must have a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.00 (9 transfer credits plus 6 credits completed equals 15). As noted in the chart above, any student with more than 13 credit hours must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. The calculation of a student's CGPA only includes grades from courses completed at APUS.
Credit Hour Completion/Program Pace
- Credit hour completion is the quantitative measure of SAP, meaning that students must complete a certain percentage of their courses to maintain eligibility for Federal Student Aid.
- Each academic program within our university system has a defined number of credit hours required for completion.
- A student must complete their program within 150% of the published credits.
- For example, if your program requirements are 120 credits, you must satisfy all requirements of your program without having to attempt more than 180 credits.
- For example, if your program requirements are 18 credits, you must satisfy all requirements of your program without having to attempt more than 27 credits.
- Courses with a final undergraduate grade of A through D- or a final graduate grade of A through C will be counted towards credits completed.
- Final grades that fall below the minimums (D- for undergraduates, C for graduates) are not counted as credits completed but will be used to determine credits attempted.
- Students who withdraw from a course are considered as having attempted the course. Students who drop a course are considered as having not attempted the course.
- Courses with grades of incomplete (“I”) will not be counted as attempted until a final grade is earned by the student or the Registrar or instructor converts the “I” grade to an “F.”
- Courses that are dropped prior to the course start date or during the add/drop period in Week One will not count towards attempted credits. Please note: All students are required to log into each of their courses during Week One and to submit a class discussion board post of at least 250 words. Students who do not submit this assignment during the first week of class will be automatically dropped from any courses in which this assignment has not been completed. Detailed information on classroom attendance can be located in the Student Handbook.
- Remedial courses do not count towards attempted credits.
- Any course in which the student remains beyond Week One will count towards attempted courses regardless of the grade received.
- Repeated courses will count as attempted courses.
- To maintain SAP, students must achieve a minimum percentage of credits earned versus credits attempted.
SAP Criteria Based on Credits Attempted versus Credits Completed
| ||Credits Attempted||Credits Completed %|
Credits transferred from another college or university are included in determining the credits completed percentage for the quantitative measure - completed hours divided by attempted hours. Likewise, the total of APUS and transfer credits that a student has from another college or university will be added to determine where they fall on the chart above.
Example 1: A student registers for 12 credits as an undergraduate student at APUS. The student also has 12 transfer credits from College A. At the end of the semester, here are the grades for the student:
|Course 1 (3 credits)||W|
|Course 2 (3 credits) ||F|
|Course 3 (3 credits) ||B|
|Course 4 (3 credits) ||C|
- This student has attempted 12 credits at APUS, but has only successfully completed 6 of those credits (Course 3 and Course 4).\
- The credits completed at APUS would be added to the credits transferred (6 credits plus 12 credits), and the credits attempted at APUS would be added to the credits transferred (12 credits plus 12 credits).
- The credits completed percentage would be 75% (18 completed hours divided by 24 attempted hours).
- The next step is to look at the chart above and determine what percentage is needed to make SAP.
- You then find where 24 credits attempted falls on the chart above, and you will see that the student needs to have completed 60% of their courses to make SAP.
- In this example, the student is making SAP and will be eligible for their Federal Student Aid.
Example 2: A student registers for 15 credits as a graduate student at APUS and has 3 transfer credits. The student drops 3 credits during add/drop week of the semester. Here are the grades for the student at the end of the semester:
|Course 1 (3 credits)||W|
|Course 2 (3 credits) ||DP|
|Course 3 (3 credits) ||B|
|Course 4 (3 credits) ||F|
|Course 5 (3 credits)||F|
- This student has attempted 12 credits at APUS, but has only successfully completed 3 of those credits (Course 3).
- Dropped courses do not count toward attempted courses.
- The credits completed at APUS would be added to the credits transferred (3 credits plus 3 credits), and the credits attempted at APUS would be added to the credits transferred (12 credits plus 3 credits).
- The credits completed percentage would be 40% (6 completed hours divided by 15 attempted hours).
- Again, look at the chart above and determine what percentage is needed to make SAP.
- You then find where 15 credits falls on the chart, and you will see that the graduate student needs to have completed 60% of their APUS courses to make SAP.
- So this student is not making SAP, and will no longer be eligible for their Federal Student Aid.