Satisfactory Academic Policies (SAP)

Introduction:

Federal regulations (34 CFR 668.34) require that students receiving federal financial aid are measured on both a qualitative and quantitative scale towards their degree or certificate. On the Danforth Campus, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is evaluated at the end of the spring term. These standards are applied uniformly to all students when determining their eligibility for federal, state, or University administered funds and/or other funds regardless of whether a student has previously received these funds. 

Qualitative–Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements:

The minimum GPA requirements needed to maintain eligibility are dictated by your specific program of study. In each case, per the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 668.34(a)(4(ii), the program requires a minimum of a C average, but any specific program may have a higher minimum GPA.  You should refer to your school’s bulletin to determine your minimum GPA requirements. If you fall below the required GPA for your program when the SAP review is performed, you are not considered to be maintaining SAP. 

Qualitative–Pace requirements:

The pace standard 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 number of credits attempted. Credits attempted include all enrolled classes, 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 add/drop period. Transfer credits accepted towards your program requirements are included as both credits attempted and credits earned. If you fall below the required pace when the SAP review is performed, you are not considered to be maintaining SAP.  

Maximum time frame requirements:

To maintain eligibility, you must be able to complete your program by attempting no more than 150% of the credits required. For example, if your program requires 120 credits to complete, you must be able to complete your program attempting no more than 180 credits. To determine how many credits are required to complete your program, you should consult your school’s bulletin. If you cannot complete your program without attempting more than 150% of the credits required, you are not considered to be maintaining SAP.  

Changing majors, repeat and remedial coursework, incomplete coursework, withdrawals, and second degree coursework: 

For a student who changes degree programs, courses that do not contribute towards the new program do not count towards the 150% requirement.  

Any course where a student remained enrolled until past the add/drop period and a grade of W is included in the pace and maximum time frame requirement.  

Any non-credit coursework, repeat coursework, or coursework for which a grade of incomplete or withdrawn is given counts towards both the quantitative and qualitative measures for calculating SAP. An incomplete grade that is later changed to a letter grade will not result in a recalculation of either measure, but will be instead be counted in the next evaluation.  

Any student pursuing a second-degree program is subject to both the 150% requirement, and the minimum GPA requirement.  

Re-establishing aid eligibility:

A student who becomes ineligible for aid by failure to meet SAP requirements may not re-establish eligibility by not attending for one or more semesters. Students can re-establish eligibility by enrolling for one or more semesters without the assistance of financial aid funds to meet standards required by SAP policy.  

Appeals:

Students who fail to meet SAP requirements will be notified of their loss of aid eligibility by their departmental office via their Wash U e-mail address. A student who becomes ineligible for aid by failure to meet SAP requirements may also appeal to reestablish aid eligibility. Your appeal will be reviewed by your school’s Dean’s office. An appeal must contain the extenuating circumstances surrounding the failure to meet SAP, such as illness or injury, or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.

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.