Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal and state regulations require us to verify that aid recipients are making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of their degrees. Students who violate these requirements may lose their eligibility to receive additional federal, state, and institutional aid.

SAP Policy versus Academic Standing Policy

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for financial aid recipients is different from TU's Academic Standing Policy.

  • The SAP Policy only affects eligibility to receive financial aid.
  • The Academic Standing Policy applies to all TU students and violations can lead to dismissal from the University. For more information on the Academic Standing Policy, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog or the Graduate Catalog.

Affected Aid Programs

The following aid programs require students to meet these SAP standards: 

  • Most federal aid programs including Federal Pell and SEOG Grants, Federal Work-study funds, and Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans.
  • Most aid programs from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).
  • The TU "Institutional Grant" and some other TU funded aid programs.

SAP Policy Cumulative Requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students must meet all three of these cumulative requirements to remain eligible to receive the aid programs above. 

(These revised requirements apply to Spring 2020 and beyond.)

1. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must meet the minimum GPA below based on your cumulative earned units at TU (including your transfer units, test units, and all your graded TU courses).

Cumulative earned TU and Transfer Units Minimum Cumulative GPA
Undergraduate Students with 1–29.5 units 1.50
Undergraduate Students with 30–59.5 units 1.75
Undergraduate Students with 60 units and above 2.00
All Graduate Students 3.00

2. Minimum Course Completion Rate (Pace) = 67%

You must pass at least 67% of your cumulative attempted units. Completion Rate Formula = Cumulative Completed Units / Cumulative Attempted Units.

Example:  If you attended TU for 3 semesters, and attempted a total of 30 units, but only passed 12 of those units, then your completion rate would = 12 / 30 = 40%

3a. Maximum Attempted Units for Undergraduate Students

You must complete all your graduation requirements before you reach 180 attempted units.

3b. Maximum Time Frame for Graduate Students

The TU graduate school monitors and enforces the following time limits for students pursuing graduate certificates, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees:

  • All requirements for certificate or master's degree must be completed within a seven-year period.
  • All requirements for terminal or doctoral degrees must be completed within a 10-year period.
  • The seven and ten-year time clock begins with the earliest course applied toward the degree program.

To appeal for time extensions, please follow these procedures from Section I of Appendix F of the Graduate School Catalog:

Time Limit for Completion of Degree and Certificate Requirements – Students are to abide by TU policy for completion of degree and certificate requirements. Students are to contact the Registrar's Office and provide documented evidence related to health problems or extenuating circumstances to petition for a time extension. Petitions for time extensions beyond one year require documentation of substantive health problems or extenuating circumstances. The Registrar makes the determination regarding the extension based upon documented evidence and in consultation with the student’s academic department and program director. When students have a dispute with the determination made by the Registrar, they may appeal to the dean of the academic college, then the Graduate Studies Committee. The decision of the Graduate Studies Committee is final.

SAP Policy Unit Definitions

Attempted units include all accepted transfer courses and test credits and all TU courses that you don't drop by the change of schedule (drop/add) deadline.

Completed units include accepted transfer courses and test credits and TU courses with any of the following letter grades (A, B, C, or D) or pass grades (S, PE, PS, or CRD). 

Uncompleted units include all attempted units that were not successfully completed including all of the following grades:  AU (Audit), F or FX (Failure), I (Incomplete), NCR (No credit), U (Unsatisfactory), or W (Withdraw).

Repeated Courses:  If you repeat a passed course, it will only count as completed units once. All other attempts will count as uncompleted units.

Developmental courses:  TU excludes the following courses from the completion rate formula and Maximum Attempted Unit calculations:  DVMT (math), DVRD (reading), and DVWR (writing).

Tips on Avoiding SAP Violations

If you officially drop a course before the term's change of schedule deadline, it will not count as an attempted unit, and will not harm your completion rate.

Remember that you reduce your completion rate every time you withdraw from a course after the change of schedule deadline, do not earn a passing grade, audit a course, or repeat a course that you have already passed.

Aid Restrictions for Repeat Attempts of Passed Courses

  • Before we can disburse aid for any term, we have to count how many units you are taking that term, but we can only count units from courses that are eligible for aid.
  • To receive that term’s aid disbursements, your total aid units for that term must meet the minimum enrollment requirements for each of your financial aid awards. (For example, student loans require at least 6 units per term.)
  • Federal aid regulations only allow students to receive aid for one additional repeat attempt of a passed course.
  • If you choose to repeat a course a second time after you have already passed it; TU must ignore that course when calculating your total aid units for that term.
  • In the context of this policy, D grades will always be treated as passing grades.


A student has already completed MATH-115 with a “D” grade, but repeats it two more times. During the term that he repeats it for the second time, he also takes one other 3-unit course.

Because we must exclude the MATH-115 units, we can only count 3 aid units for that term. If he has any aid that requires more than 3 units, we must cancel those aid disbursements for that term.

Maximum Developmental Course Units

If you reach 30 attempted units from developmental courses, you will become ineligible to receive any additional aid based on units from developmental courses, but could still be eligible for aid for others courses.

SAP Evaluation Process

Evaluation Cycle

All students are evaluated at least once per year in June. 

Students with prior violations who are currently on SAP probation status or SAP Academic Plan status are also evaluated in January.

SAP Suspension

If you have violated any of the cumulative SAP standards, we will suspend your eligibility to receive financial aid for all future terms at TU.

Suspended students are not eligible to receive any federal student and parents loans; state scholarships; federal work-study funds; or federal, state, and institutional grants.

SAP Appeal Process

Suspended students may appeal to request aid for additional terms.  If you have received a financial aid SAP suspension notice from the TU Financial Aid Office, to appeal your suspension, you must use this Online SAP Appeal Form

The Financial Aid Office will review the appeal and will email the appeal decision to the student’s TU email account.

Denied SAP Appeals

If your appeal is denied, you will remain permanently ineligible for financial aid at TU unless you continue to attend TU without aid and improve your overall record enough to meet all of the required cumulative SAP standards.

Graduate Student Academic Policy References

For additional information on graduate student academic policies, please see the following sections of the Graduate Catalog:

  • Academic Standing
  • Graduation Requirements:  Time Limitation for Completion of Degree, Certificate Requirements
  • Appendix F: Student Responsibilities and Rights > Section I. Graduate Student Appeals Process for Academic Issues > Time Limit for Completion of Degree and Certificate Requirements


Office of Financial Aid

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