SAP Policy for Graduate Students
As required by regulations, the University of Kentucky (UK) must evaluate and determine whether a student meets Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to receive federal and state and certain institutional financial aid programs. SAP requirements comprise of qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame measures, and the standards are required to be as strict or stricter than UK’s academic policies.
SAP evaluation for graduate students occurs once an academic year, at the conclusion of the spring semester. In addition, regulations require a specific qualitative (grade point average) review of students’ academic records. The student’s entire academic history must be considered when determining SAP status irrespective of whether the student received financial aid. Because audited courses do not apply to the student’s degree and students cannot receive financial aid for these, they are not evaluated for SAP.
Requirements of the SAP Policy:
Qualitative (Grade Point Average)
The qualitative component measures the quality of the student’s SAP by conducting a review of the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA). Only grades that carry quality points are used to calculate a student’s GPA. To meet the qualitative requirement, the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0.
(Specific external and institutional scholarships, assistantships, and grants may require a different GPA for continued eligibility. Students should refer to the terms and conditions of these awards specified at the time of original offer.)
Quantitative Measure (Calculating Pace or Completion Ratio)
The quantitative component corresponds to the pace at which the student must progress through his or her program of study. This evaluation is to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe permitted and provides for the measurement of the student’s progress at the end of each period of enrollment. Pace or completion ratio is calculated by determining the cumulative number of credit hours the student has successfully completed divided by the number of cumulative credit hours the student has attempted.
To meet the quantitative requirement, the student’s completion ratio must be 66.67% or higher. To determine the completion ratio percentage, earned credit hours are divided by attempted credit hours.
Maximum Time Frame Measure
The maximum timeframe is a period of no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the education program as measured in credit hours. The maximum time frame measure for subsequent degrees does not combine total attempted credit hours from previously earned degrees. The maximum time frame measure commences at the start of each of the graduate degrees.
UK Academic Policy Requirements:
Academic Probation or Academic Suspension
Students who are placed on Academic Probation or Academic Suspension by his or her college based on academic policy are deemed ineligible for financial aid.
Students who are placed on academic suspension and who wish to appeal that status must contact their individual college on the procedures. Students’ whose admission is reinstated after being academically suspended do not automatically gain financial aid eligibility reinstatement. For consideration of financial aid eligibility reinstatement, academically suspended students whose admission has been reinstated must follow the SAP Appeal procedures and deadlines prescribed below.
Treatment of Pre-requisite Courses
Pre-requisites or preparatory courses are those in which a student must complete to meet admission requirements into a degree program but do not count toward the student’s degree requirements. Pre-requisites or preparatory courses are evaluated according to the quantitative and qualitative rules set forth in this policy.
Treatment of Repeated Courses
If the student repeats a course, those credits are counted when calculating the quantitative and maximum timeframe measures.
(Courses that students repeat may be included when determining a student’s enrollment status for Title IV-federal student aid purposes when it is not a result of 1) more than one repetition of a previously passed course, or 2) any repetition of a previously passed course due the student failing other coursework. This rule is not related to SAP requirements but is a general financial aid eligibility requirement.)
Effect of Dropping or Never Attending Courses
Courses student register for but drops prior to the end of drop period are not included in the calculation of SAP. Courses in which the student registers but never attends (i.e., assigned a grade “N”) are not included in the calculation of SAP.
Effect of Withdrawn Courses
Credits for withdrawn courses (i.e., assigned a grade “W”) are counted as attempted credit hours in the quantitative and maximum timeframe measures but are not counted in the qualitative measure.
Effect of Incomplete Grades
Credits for incomplete courses (i.e., assigned a grade “I”) are counted as attempted credit hours in the quantitative and maximum timeframe measures but are not counted in the qualitative measure.
Effect of Change in Major
All the credits the student attempts toward any UK graduate degree are included in the evaluation of qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame measures.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
SAP is the term used to define successful completion of degree requirements to maintain eligibility for federal and state financial aid.
Financial Aid Probation
Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP and who has successfully appealed. A student who is placed on Financial Aid Probation may receive financial aid for one subsequent payment period. A student assigned a Financial Aid Probation status will be placed on a Financial Aid Academic Plan and is required to sign a Financial Aid Academic Probation Agreement. At the conclusion of the SAP Academic Probation payment period, the student must either meet the SAP standards or fulfill the requirements specified in the Financial Aid Academic Plan to receive financial aid for a subsequent payment period.
Financial Aid Academic Plan
The Financial Aid Academic Plan requires students to complete 80% of the attempted coursework (100% if the student failed the maximum timeframe measure) and earn a minimum 3.1 GPA for the payment period the student is on Financial Aid Academic Probation. If the student meets the requirements of the Financial Aid Academic Plan, the student will be assigned continued Financial Aid Probation for one subsequent payment period.
If the student fails to meet SAP standards or the requirements set forth in the Financial Aid Academic Plan, the student is deemed ineligible for financial aid, but may appeal again for a future payment period by published deadlines.
Continued Financial Aid Probation
Continued Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who was placed on Financial Aid Probation during the previous semester/term and at the end of the semester/term did not meet the standards of SAP but met the conditions of the Financial Aid Academic Plan.
SAP Appeal Procedures:
If a student fails one or more of the three measures (qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame) or is placed on Academic Probation or Academic Suspension, the student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid including grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Students failing SAP standards who have had mitigating circumstances (e.g., death in the family, illness, involuntary military leave), however, may request reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility by submitting their SAP Appeal and supporting documentation by the published Satisfactory Academic Progress deadlines. Students who are identified as not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are sent an email informing them of their ineligibility and are provided a link in which they can securely create their appeal and submit supporting documentation. The link is also available in the student’s myUK portal.
The appeal includes the following student requirements:
- A completed and valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline dates specified below.
- Detailed explanation for failure to meet SAP standards for each applicable payment period the student failed to perform satisfactorily.
- Documentation to support the reason for failure or justification for why documentation cannot be provided.
- Detailed explanation of what has changed that will now allow the student to comply with SAP standards, and, when warranted, a statement of academic objectives, corrective action plan, and/or plan of study indicating which courses apply to the degree and which courses remain to complete the program of study.
SAP Appeal Deadlines:
2022 Summer Term
End of Award Year (June 30, 2022)
2022 Fall Semester
Last day to add classes (August 26, 2022)
2023 Spring Semester
Last day to add classes (January 14, 2023)
2023 Summer Term
End of Award Year (June 30, 2023)
SAP Appeals Committee and Decision:
Students will be notified by email of the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee. The decision of the SAP Appeals Committee is final; however, the student may appeal again by the published deadlines for a future payment period.
Students are notified of their ineligibility for financial aid due to SAP and the decision of their appeal by email. Students may also refer to their myUK account to check the status of SAP and/or decision of the SAP appeal.
Viewing SAP Appeal Decisions via myUK Portal
Log into myUK.
Select Financials, then Financial Aid.
Select academic year 2021-22 to view summer 2022, view academic year 2022-23 to view fall 2022, spring 2023, and summer 2023 SAP statuses.
Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility:
A student who has a change made to his or her academic transcript (i.e., grade change) during the semester in which the student is ineligible or is on Financial Aid Probation, may request a re-evaluation of SAP.
Students who are ineligible because they do not meet SAP requirements or on Financial Aid Probation shall be re-evaluated at the conclusion of each semester/term in which they enroll to determine whether they have re-established financial aid eligibility.