Jasmine Q., Class of 2019

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Jasmine Q. Class of 2019

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires National University to develop and enforce standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) prior to awarding any federal financial aid funds to students. Standards of satisfactory academic progress were established to encourage students to successfully completed courses for which federal financial aid is received, and to progress satisfactorily toward degree completion. Successful completion of a course for undergraduates is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D or S. Successful completion of a course for graduate students is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B- or C, S.

The standards apply to state and federal financial aid programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Graduate PLUS Loans, and Federal TEACH Grant.

These financial aid standards of academic progress are separate from, and in addition to, academic standards required by the University for continued enrollment. The criteria used to determine academic progress are cumulative grade point average, cumulative completion rate (or pace), and maximum time frame to complete the degree.

At the end of payment period ending in June of each year, the Office of Student Financial Aid review students’ academic progress. All periods of enrollment are reviewed, including semesters during which no financial aid was received.

Qualitative Requirement – Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Undergraduates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Quantitative Requirement – Completion Rate (Pace)

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% (two-thirds) of cumulative units attempted (attempted units are units for which a tuition charge was incurred). This is measured annually and on a cumulative basis. Transfer hours accepted by the University toward the student’s degree requirements are included as credits attempted/earned but not in the GPA according to NU Academic Standards Policy.

Maximum Time Frame for Completion of Educational Objective

Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the published length of their degree program. The following standards of attempted units are applied to determine when a student has exceeded the maximum time frame for completion of their degree program.

Degree Required Units for Degree Maximum Attempted Units
Associate 90 135
Bachelor’s 180 270
Master’s 60 90

For example, if a major requires 180 credit hours to graduate, a student could not receive financial aid beyond 270 credits attempted (including transfer hours) whether or not financial aid was received for those credits.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades are calculated as an ‘F’ until the incomplete grade is changed to a complete grade.

Multiple Retakes – Repeated courses affect academic progress as follows:

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average – Only the most recent grade counts in the student’s Cumulative GPA.
  • Cumulative Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame – When a course is repeated, each course attempt will be counted as attempted hours.

Remedial Coursework

Remedial courses are treated the same as other courses for satisfactory academic progress purposes.

Transfer Hours

Transfer hours that are accepted toward the student’s academic program count in the overall maximum time frame calculation and in the cumulative completion (pace) calculation. Transfer hours have no effect upon the cumulative grade point average.

Changes of Major/Degree Program

Students who change majors or change programs are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule but is only credits applying to the new major or degree program are evaluated. The 150% maximum limit will be measured based on the number of credits required for the new major/program.

Second Bachelor’s Degrees

Students who enroll in a second bachelor’s degree program are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule. However, only the credit hours from the first degree which apply to the second degree will be counted as attempted hours.

Timing of Reviews

Current active students will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of the payment period that is closest to July 1. Beginning in April each year, students ending a payment period will be evaluated automatically for SAP. SAP is evaluated once each aid year at the University.

New financial aid recipients (i.e., those students who had never previously applied for aid) or students reactivated for enrollment at the University will have their academic progress reviewed when the Financial Aid Office receives the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

At the time of the review students who are not meeting the minimum requirements will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who are placed on financial aid suspension are ineligible for financial aid for subsequent enrollment periods. During suspension students may be permitted to attend National University at their own expense to demonstrate academic progress.

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Students who choose to attend National University or another institution while on financial aid suspension at their own expense will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon seeking reinstatement. When seeking reinstatement, students must be meeting the academic progress standards in order to regain eligibility for subsequent enrollment periods.


Appeal is a process by which a student who is not meeting the institution’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student’s eligibility for Title IV, HEA program assistance. Students on financial aid suspension may appeal the loss of aid if extenuating circumstances prevented the students from making satisfactory progress. Circumstances which are considered extenuating are those which are unusual and/or unforeseen at the beginning of the enrollment period, such as: injury or illness of the student, death of a close relative, or other situations which were unexpected and beyond the student’s control. Allowances may also be made for students who have a documented disability or other adjustment difficulties. The appeal must include what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. Appeals must be made in writing to the Office of Financial Aid’s Standards of Academic Progress Appeals Committee. Students are notified in writing of the results of their appeal. The possible appeal results are listed below.

Approved Appeals – Probationary Status

Students who appeal may be granted a probationary period. At the end of a probationary period, students must be meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements or must be successfully meeting requirements of an academic plan in order to continue to receive financial assistance.

Denied Appeals – Reinstatement of Eligibility

Students who choose to attend National University while on suspension, at their own expense, will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon seeking reinstatement. Students must be meeting the academic progress standards in order to regain eligibility for subsequent enrollment periods. A minimum of six units earned at National University must be completed in order to be considered for reinstatement.