Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) denotes a student's successful completion of coursework toward a degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor the progress of each student toward degree completion. Students who fall behind in their coursework, fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average or fail to complete classes in a maximum timeframe, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal and state aid and university aid administered by the U-M Office of Financial Aid.

On this page



To maintain SAP, a student must:

 Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) – The minimum for undergraduates is based upon the academic level and ranges from a 1.6 at the end of the freshman year to a 2.0 by the end of the senior year.  (GPA requirements for scholarships may be higher.)  For graduate students, minimum grade point requirements are defined by their academic unit. The GPA will be reviewed annually, after the posting of Winter semester grades and the overall GPA must be equal to or greater than the required minimum for the student's academic level at the end of each Winter semester.

 Complete at least 67 percent of all attempted credit hours – This will be reviewed annually at the end of each Winter semester and the aggregate percentage of coursework attempted and passed must equal 67 percent or greater at each review. (For example, an undergraduate student who enrolls for 12 credit hours and completes only 8.5 credit hours has completed an acceptable percentage of attempted credit hours, 67 percent or greater.)

 Complete a degree program in a maximum timeframe of no more than 150 percent of the average length of the program - For example, the average number of credit hours it should take to complete a Literature, Science and the Arts (LS&A) undergraduate degree program is 120 credits. Using that average, 150 percent would equal 180 credit hours which would be the maximum number for which an LS&A student could receive financial aid (assuming the above requirements are also met). The 150 percent standard applies to graduate students based on average program length as defined by a student’s academic unit.

 For transfer students: The number of transfer hours accepted at the point of admission will be used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility under the 150 percent calculation and will be included in the quantitative calculation which includes number of credits attempted and completed.

For second undergraduate degree students: Second-degree students will be given 150 percent of stated credit hours required for the second degree program.

For graduate students on detached study: Detached study semesters will count as the equivalent of 8 credit hours attempted and completed when calculating both pace and 150 percent of program length completion.

Note:  University of Michigan Grant is available to eligible U-M students during the first 10 terms of enrollment in a college or university. This includes U-M or any other institution. 


At the end of each Winter Term, the U-M Office of Financial Aid reviews each student's progress. Students who have not met all three of the requirements listed above (for all terms enrolled, not just those terms that the student received aid) will be notified in writing that their aid eligibility has been terminated. These students lose their eligibility for financial aid.

A student may appeal if extenuating circumstances prevented normal academic success or successful completion of the terms of SAP. To appeal, students must complete the SAP Appeal Form, which allows a student to explain and document circumstances and develop an Academic Recovery Plan in consultation with an academic advisor.

Examples of extenuating circumstances include personal or family critical illness (both physical and mental), natural disaster impacting the student or family's home, and assault, etc. If an SAP appeal is approved, the student will be placed on SAP financial aid probation.

 (return to top of page)


Financial aid probation means you have one semester (or as specified by the Academic Recovery Plan) to meet the SAP requirements in order to remain eligible for financial aid. You will be asked to sign a term-by-term SAP Probation Agreement that will explain the terms and requirements of your probation.

Students on SAP financial aid probation will be monitored for improvement and adherence to probationary terms including the Academic Recovery Plan.  While on probation, an undergraduate student is expected to complete all courses for which he/she is registered with a GPA of 2.0 or better in every class. (For graduate-level students, the minimum GPA requirement as determined by his/her academic unit would apply.)

Students on probation must also follow the terms of their Academic Recovery Plan. Students continue to receive aid while on financial aid probation.  Students placed on SAP financial aid probation will be monitored.

A student will be removed from SAP financial aid probation once he/she has successfully completed his/her Academic Recovery Plan as demonstrated by obtaining a  GPA consistent with the minimum requirement for his/her academic level and is completing an aggregate percentage of 67 percent or more of all attempted credit hours.

Note: Any student who is placed on academic probation by his or her School or College is also considered to be on financial aid probation under SAP. The student is expected to comply with the requirements of both the college or department and OFA. See note below regarding academic holds.


Students who fail to adhere to the terms of financial aid probation are not eligible for aid in any subsequent semester. A written notification is sent to all students who fail to comply with the terms of their probation. 


A student can regain eligibility by doing these three things and notifying the U-M Office of Financial Aid when they have been accomplished:

  Complete a minimum of 12 credit hours or 8 credit hours for graduate students at U-M (or as specified in the Academic Recovery Plan) without the benefit of financial aid. Students may take the credits at another institution of higher education if approved by their academic advisor; and

  Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates (for graduate students, the GPA requirements of their academic unit); and

  Complete 100 percent of attempted credit hours.

Note: A student who has lost eligibility may not automatically regain it by paying out-of-pocket for the enrolled classes or sitting out (not attending) for a semester.

 (return to top of page)


Contact a financial aid advisor if you have been notified that your financial aid eligibility has been terminated and you believe you have special circumstances that relate to your SAP.  With proper documentation of circumstances (i.e., doctor's notice, letter from academic advisor, etc.), you may appeal by completing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.  Also contact your academic advisor to help you develop a plan for achieving good academic standing.



Only courses for which the student received a grade of A, B, C, D, I or P are acceptable. Students who fail to complete at least 67 percent of attempted credit hours because of incomplete grades or who withdraw from all classes will have their financial aid terminated.


A student may receive financial assistance for a course that was repeated and for which a non-passing grade was received. A student may not receive financial aid to repeat a class for which a grade of W, I, NR or X was received that was not completed within the maximum time frame stipulated by the course instructor. U-M will allow students who receive a passing grade to repeat a class once. (However, repeating classes that will not result in additional hours or Michigan Honor Points (per university policy) will not improve the students' completion rate.)


Non-credit classes are not eligible for financial aid. 


Students will be asked to verify attendance during a term in which all grades received are unacceptable (as defined above).  Failure to verify attendance in each class will result in cancellation of all aid for the term.


Academic holds are used by U-M schools and colleges to prevent future registration by students who need to resolve academic issues. If you have an academic hold, OFA will not determine your financial aid eligibility or release financial aid funds to you until the academic hold is removed from your record by your school or college. To resolve academic hold situations, contact your school or college academic advisor.

(return to top of page)

SITE MAPDISCLAIMERFEDERAL SCHOOL CODE 002325CSS PROFILE CODE 1839© 2015 Regents University of Michigan
Office of Financial Aid * 2500 Student Activities Building, 515 E. Jefferson, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316 * Tel 734-763-6600 * Fax 734-647-3081 *