Satisfactory Academic Policies (SAP)

and Title IV Financial Aid on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis

Background

Federal regulations require that students receiving federal Title IV financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). On the Danforth Campus at Washington University in St. Louis, SAP is evaluated at the end of the spring term. If you are not maintaining progress you will notified by your school’s Dean’s office.  You will be ineligible for aid for future terms unless you appeal your status and your school’s Dean’s office approves your appeal.  Your school’s Dean’s office will provide you with instructions on how to appeal your SAP status. In order to be considered to be maintaining SAP, and thus be eligible for financial aid, you must maintain minimum requirements for cumulative grade point average (GPA) and pace. You must also complete your degree within the maximum time frame allowed for your program.

Grade point average requirements

The minimum semester and cumulative GPAs needed to meet the SAP requirement are set by your school and are dictated by your program of study. You should consult your school’s bulletin to determine your minimum GPA requirements. If you are not achieving the minimum GPA requirements when the SAP review is performed, you are not considered to be maintaining SAP.

Pace requirements

The pace requirement for maintaining SAP requires you earn credit for at least 67% of the credits you attempt. Pace is defined as the number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted. Credits attempted include all courses you have enrolled in, with the exception of classes with a grade of incomplete (e.g., grade of ‘I’), classes where no final grade has yet been assigned and classes that are dropped within what the school has determined to be the official drop / add period.  All other classes where a student can earn credit are considered to be attempted. This includes credits attempted with and without financial aid. Transfer credits accepted toward your program requirements are included as both credits attempted and credits earned. If you are below the 67% pace requirement when the SAP review is performed, you are not considered to be maintaining SAP.

Maximum time frame

To maintain eligibility you must be able to complete your program by attempting no more than 150% of the credits required to complete your program. For example, if your program requires 120 credits to complete, you must be able to complete your program by attempting no more than 180 credits.  This includes credits attempted with and without financial aid. To determine how many credits are required to complete your program, you should consult your school’s bulletin. If you reach a point where you cannot complete your program without attempting more than 150% of the credits required to complete the program, you become ineligible for financial aid.

SAP for medical students

Information about SAP for medical school students can be found in the Medical School Bulletin.

Penalties for drug law violations

Washington University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthful environment for members of the university community by promoting a drug-free environment as well as one free of the abuse of alcohol. Violations of this policy will be handled according to existing policies and procedures concerning the conduct of faculty, staff and students.  The complete university’s Drug and Alcohol Policy is published on the WashU website.

Federal Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Violations

The following notice provides information about the Title IV federal financial aid penalties associated with drug-related offenses under section 484(r) of the Higher Education Act. It also describes how to regain eligibility for such financial aid after conviction of a drug-related offense.

As prescribed in Section 484(r), a student convicted of any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment when he or she was receiving any grant, loan, or work assistance under Title IV will be ineligible to receive such assistance for the following period of time:

  • For one year from the date of conviction for the first offense involving the possession of a controlled substance
  • For two years from the date of conviction for the second offense involving the possession of a controlled substance
  • Indefinitely from the date of conviction for the third offense involving the possession of a controlled substance
  • For two years from the date of conviction for the first offense involving the sale of a controlled substance
  • Indefinitely from the date of conviction for the second offense involving the sale of a controlled substance

A student whose eligibility has been suspended under the previous provision may resume eligibility before the end of the prescribed ineligibility period by one of the following means: 

  • The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria the Secretary of Education prescribes and includes two unannounced drug tests.
  • The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects student information.