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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Requirements for Financial Aid Eligibility

The Office of Student Financial Aid at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is required by federal regulations to monitor that all enrolled students are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards completion of their degree.  All students are monitored for SAP regardless of their eligibility or intent to receive financial aid.  Students who do not meet the SAP requirements may lose their eligibility to receive federal, state and institutional financial aid.  This review by the Office of Student Financial Aid is independent from any review of a student’s academic record conducted by the various academic departments.

New students are considered to be meeting SAP requirements when they are admitted into a degree program.  The academic records of all students are reviewed at the end of every term to determine if SAP requirements are being met. A student who does not meet any one of the eligibility criteria (stated below) is determined to not be making SAP towards completion of their degree.

Students may continue to receive financial aid by meeting all of the following criteria which have been established as the minimum standards for making SAP at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This policy replaces all previous SAP Policies and is effective Summer Semester 2011.

SAP Eligibility Criteria

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Requirement

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (2.0 = C) or better on a 4.0 scale as determined by the University and described in the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students.

Minimum Cumulative Pace Requirement (Credit Hour Completion Rate)

Students must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted hours by the end of each term. 

Attempted credit hours is the total number of hours the student has been enrolled and includes all hours the student is registered for on the tenth (10th) business day of Fall and/or Spring semesters and the fifth (5th) business day of Summer semester plus any additional hours registered for after these deadlines.  Attempted hours include completed courses with passing grades as well as courses that were not completed and failed.  Additional information on the appropriate deadline dates each term is available at

Completed credit hours include all courses graded as satisfactory, credit earned, DFR, or with a passing letter grade.

Maximum Time Frame Requirement

Undergraduate Students:
Students may not be eligible for financial aid if they have attempted more than 150% of the credit hours required to receive a first undergraduate degree (i.e., 120 hours required x 150% = 180 maximum allowable hours attempted for financial aid eligibility). Transfer hours from other institutions accepted by the University will count toward the maximum attempted credit hour limit.  The credit hour maximum timeframe will apply regardless of how many times a student changes majors or if he/she is pursuing multiple majors or degrees.  Students not meeting the Maximum Time Frame requirement will have an automatic suspension of their financial aid eligibility.  

The Aviation Professional Pilot Certificate program is normally completed within two years (60 semester hours on a full-time basis). The maximum allowable time to complete this certification and receive consideration for financial aid is 90 hours (150% of the credit hours required). Students who are pursuing both a Professional Pilot Certificate and a bachelor’s degree are allowed a maximum of 150% of the credit hours required to receive a first undergraduate degree.

Graduate/Professional Students:
Students may not be eligible for financial aid if they have attempted more than 150% of the program’s published length in accordance with the standards established by the Graduate College and the student’s department. This requirement is measured in semesters of enrollment.  Students not meeting the Maximum Time Frame Requirement will have an automatic suspension of their financial aid eligibility.  The maximum number of semesters allowed for financial aid eligibility is as follows:

Master’s                       22 semesters
Doctorate                     31 semesters
Veterinary Medicine   12 semesters
Law                               9 semesters

SAP Statuses, Appeals and Notification

Financial Aid Warning

The first time students do not meet the grade point average and/or cumulative pace SAP requirements, they are placed on financial aid warning for the following term.  Students are eligible to receive financial aid during their warning period.  At the end of the warning period, students will be reviewed for compliance of SAP eligibility criteria (listed above) and if found to be in compliance will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for the following term. Students that do not meet the maximum time frame requirement are not provided a warning period. 

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who have previously been given a Financial Aid Warning status and who do not meet the SAP eligibility criteria at the end of the term will have their financial aid eligibility suspended. These students may continue to attend the University of Illinois at his/her own expense until the student once again meets SAP criteria or submits an SAP Appeal that is approved. 

Satisfactory Progress Appeals

Students placed on Financial Aid Probation may file a written appeal. The student must clearly explain the extenuating circumstances why SAP requirements were not met and provide proper documentation to support extenuating circumstance(s). Students must contact OSFA in writing if they believe they have regained eligibility due to submission of late grades, grade changes, etc. 

Students will have the option of attending/enrolling in classes when an appeal is necessary. However, financial aid eligibility will not be calculated and released unless the appeal is approved. If the appeal is denied, the student is responsible for any balance owed to the University. The appeal must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) by the deadline specified on the appeal form.

Students are strongly encouraged to work with their academic advisors to develop a plan that successfully meets the requirements of both their academic program and the SAP financial aid policy.


Students will not be notified if they continue to meet all SAP requirements. Students who do not meet all SAP requirements will be notified of their SAP status by email.  It is the student’s responsibility to keep all email addresses updated via UI Integrate Self-Service.