Reasonable Academic Progress (RAP)

In order to be eligible to receive the financial aid, a returning student is required to have met certain standards of satisfactory
academic progress during his or her previous UK attendance, whether or not financial aid was received. Entering freshmen students and students transferring to U.K. from a school outside the University system are automatically eligible to receive the aid offered.

  • Satisfactory academic progress is usually determined in early June. A returning student who does not meet the required standards during his or her last enrollment period(s) will have any offer of aid canceled. A student may then either appeal in writing his or her denial of aid or make up the deficit by earning additional credits during another enrollment period. Detailed instructions on how to file an appeal will be sent to the student along with his/her notification of unsatisfactory progress or may be found on the RAP Appeals.
  • A complete text of the University of Kentucky satisfactory academic progress policy may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office or from the RAP Policy.

RAP Policy

  • Satisfactory academic progress standards apply to all undergraduate, graduate and professional students (other than medical and dental students) who receive federal and/or state need-based financial aid funding.
  • Federal regulations mandate that all students be required to make
    measurable progress toward a degree in order to receive financial
    assistance through Title IV federal financial aid grant, loan and work
    programs.  The University of Kentucky has adopted the following
    standards of satisfactory academic progress in order to comply with this
    federal requirement.  These standards are for financial aid purposes
    only and neither replace nor override University of Kentucky academic
    policies. Under normal circumstances, satisfactory academic progress
    will be evaluated once each year at the end of the spring semester.

Criteria for Meeting the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress


A. Minimum Credit Hour Completion Ratio All students (undergraduate and graduate) will be required to complete at least two-thirds (67%) of all cumulative credits attempted as expressed by the number of cumulative hours successfully completed divided by the number of cumulative hours attempted (with the result rounded up to the nearest whole percent).
For example: A student who attempts thirty (30) credit hours during an academic year must earn at least twenty (20) of those hours before he or she is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes.

* Credit Hours Attempted include all hours for which a student is registered as of the end of the add period during the first week of classes. Transfer credits hours that will be applied toward a student’s degree at the University of Kentucky will be counted toward the maximum number of attempted hours in the completion ratio calculation.

** Credit Hours Earned would be grades of A, B, C, D, or pass; unearned credit would be grades of E, F, W, Z, or Incomplete. Transfer credits hours that will be applied toward a student’s degree at the University of Kentucky will be counted toward the maximum number of earned hours in the completion ratio calculation.

*** Hours for courses with grades of ‘incomplete’ (I) will not be counted as hours earned until the credit is received, but will be counted as hours attempted.

B. Cumulative Grade Point Average In addition to the ‘minimum credit hour completion ratio’ requirement (See Section A), all financial aid students must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) that is consistent with the institution’s requirements for graduation. Specifically, the student must earn at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average to be eligible for student financial aid. Note: GPA calculations are based only on hours attempted at the University of Kentucky: this is the official GPA as calculated by the Registrar.

C. Maximum Time Financial Aid May be Received Each student has a maximum time frame during which they can receive financial aid. To remain eligible for financial aid at the University of Kentucky, students must complete their degree program requirements within 150 percent of the published length of their degree program. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received, or whether or not the coursework was successfully completed.

Undergraduate Students


  • An undergraduate student enrolled at the University of Kentucky should be able to complete his or her program of study in no more than one hundred and twenty (120) credits of academic work, including any transfer credits. Therefore, a University of Kentucky undergraduate student typically may not receive federal financial aid after attempting one hundred and eighty (180) credit hours. The maximum time frame for students enrolled in programs of study requiring completion of more than one hundred and twenty credits will be 150% of the credits required, e.g., programs requiring 130 credits will have a 195 credit maximum. (Note that changes in major and/or double majors do not increase the time frame allowed: once the allowed number of hours have been attempted, the maximum time frame is reached. By Federal regulation, if it is determined that the student has completed the requirements for a degree, regardless of whether the student has applied to receive the degree, the student will no longer be eligible to receive aid for that degree.)

Graduate and Professional Students

  • A graduate student enrolled at the University of Kentucky should be able to complete his or her program of study in no more than forty-eight (48) credits of academic work, including any transfer credits. Therefore, a University of Kentucky graduate student typically may not receive federal financial aid after attempting seventy-two (72) credit hours. The maximum time frame for students enrolled in programs of study requiring completion of more or less than forty-eight credits will be 150% of the credits required, e.g., programs requiring 50 credits will have a 75 credit maximum. Students in Law, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Physician Assistant programs are considered eligible as long as they are in good standing with their program requirements.

Note: The maximum time frame requirement may be adjusted for students pursuing a second undergraduate or graduate degree. However, before this occurs, the student will be required to file an appeal to document this situation. Generally, students will be allowed to attempt up to 150% of the additional credit hours required to earn the second degree.

D. Failure to Complete Enrolled Courses A student who enrolls at the University of Kentucky and fails to earn any credit for two consecutive terms, i.e., receives a 0.0 term GPA, or withdraws from all courses two consecutive terms (i.e., fall and spring semesters) is not eligible for future financial aid without an approved SAP appeal.

Special Grading Options and Situations:

  1. Repeat Courses taken during the year will automatically be considered in the following Spring review for progress. Note that a repeat option replaces only the credit hours earned for G.P.A. calculation; all attempts at a course are calculated in total hours attempted and in the completion ratio calculation.
  2. Academic Bankruptcy will delete an early academic record from the University of Kentucky G.P.A. but does not remove the attempted hours from the total cumulative hours nor from the completion ratio calculation.
  3. Audited classes, credits earned through CLEP testing, or non-credit courses are not considered in determining satisfactory academic progress. Hours earned on a ‘pass-fail’ basis or paid through a consortium agreement and accepted by the University of Kentucky will be used in determining satisfactory academic progress.
  4. Credits assigned to developmental (remedial) courses will be counted in calculating hours attempted; however, these courses are not used in calculating the grade point average (GPA).

Re-establishing Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who have failed to meet one or more of the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements are not eligible for financial aid; however, eligibility may be regained if the student enrolls at UK at his or her own expense in a subsequent term or terms and meets the standards according to the cumulative credit hours completion ratio and cumulative grade point average (see Sections A and B).  Note:  Once the maximum time limit has been exceeded, then aid eligibility ends, even if the student is in compliance with the other two standards.

Right of Appeal

Federal regulations allow for certain situations in which the Office of Student Financial Aid may waive the standards.  Appeals will be considered if a students failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards is due to extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control, which have since been resolved, and which will not affect future academic performance.

RAP Appeal

Procedures for Academic Progress (RAP) Appeals

A student determined ineligible to receive financial aid for failure to meet the University of Kentucky standards of satisfactory academic progress has the right to appeal these standards one time during his/her academic career/degree: exceptions to these progress requirements may be made in individual cases, if the student can demonstrate that

  • failure to meet the minimum standard was caused by extreme or unusual circumstances beyond his/her control,
  • which have been resolved, and
  • which will not affect his/her performance in the future.

To initiate an appeal, the student must (1) complete the Reasonable Academic Progress (RAP) Appeal Form, and (2) submit the appeal form with a letter and appropriate documentation, if required, containing the following:

  1. Mitigating or extraordinary circumstances beyond the student's control which may have adversely affected academic performance, preventing the student from earning the required grade point average and/or number of credit hours earned. These circumstances must have since been resolved and will not affect the student's performance in the future. Documentation of such circumstances should be included with the written appeal. OR The reason(s) for withdrawal (in cases where the student withdrew during the semester) along with documentation, if appropriate. Note that inability to attend class due to lack of funds is not an extenuating circumstance.
  2. Specify what measure(s) are being taken or have been taken to ensure that academic performance will improve if the appeal is granted, as well as any plans the student has developed with his/her academic advisor to address academic performance.

Appeals that do not detail these three components will be denied.

Each appeal will be individually evaluated, usually within fifteen working days, and the student will be notified by mail of the results or you may refer to your myUK account to see the status of your appeal. (Note submission deadline(s) on the Rap Appeal Form.) Appeals may be granted for one term of probation with specific academic requirements, after which time the student will be required to be meeting the cumulative standards or the probationary requirements, deferred for additional information, or denied. Students on probation will be advised of academic requirements they must meet while on probation, as well as consequences should they fail to meet those requirements. Please note that appeals are held in the strictest confidence with release only to the Assistant Director and, when appropriate, the Sub-Committee for Appeals. A student may request his or her appeal be referred to the sub-committee if it cannot be resolved to the students satisfaction by the Assistant Director of Student Financial Aid. Decisions of the committee are final.

NOTE: A student who is academically dismissed or placed on academic suspension and wishes to appeal that status, should contact the Office Admissions for instructions. Completing a Financial Aid Appeal will not correct academic standing. Likewise, being readmitted to the University or being academically in good standing in the student's chosen program will not automatically remedy the suspension of aid.
Complete the RAP Appeal Form and attach it you your appeal.

University of Kentucky