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.

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 a student repeats may be included when determining a student’s enrollment status for Title IV-federal student aid purposes as long as 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 a student registers 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.

SAP Definitions:

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 SAP 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 completing the SAP Appeal Form and submitting it to the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee at OSFAS@uky.edu by the published deadlines.

The appeal, which must be typed, includes the following student requirements:

  1. A completed and valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline dates specified below.
  2. Detailed explanation for failure to meet SAP standards for each payment period the student failed to perform satisfactorily.
  3. Documentation to support the reason for failure.
  4. Detailed explanation of what has changed that will now allow the student to comply with SAP standards, a statement of academic objectives, and corrective action plan.
  5. Student Plan of Study indicating which courses apply to the degree and which courses remain to complete the program of study.

SAP Appeal Deadlines:

Semester/Term

Date

2021 Summer Term

End of Award Year (June 30, 2021)

2021 Fall Semester

Last day to add classes (August 27, 2021)

Spring Semester

Last day to add classes (January 14, 2022)

2022 Summer Term

End of Award Year (June 30, 2022)

SAP Appeals Committee and Decision:

The SAP Appeals Committee is comprised of representatives from the Office of Student Financial Assistance, Academic Advising and Student Success. 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.

SAP Notification:

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 2020-21 to view summer 2021, view academic year 2021-22 to view fall 2021, spring 2022, and summer 2022 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 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.