Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that all recipients of student financial aid make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a Degree or Certificate program.  Students applying for assistance for programs that require completion of a Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must meet SAP requirements for current and continuing eligibility of financial Aid.  Even though all institutions administering financial aid must have a SAP policy, requirements may differ from one institution to another.   In addition, SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility and SAP requirements to maintain eligibility to register at UCO vary in some aspects.  Please refer to the UCO school catalog for SAP requirements to maintain enrollment eligibility.


The Financial Aid SAP Policy includes the following standards that comply with federal regulations.

Qualitative Standard

Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all credit hours attempted, including all coursework taken at other institutions regardless of whether financial aid was received for credits taken.

Quantitative Standard

Students are required to complete (pass) a minimum cumulative percentage of all the hours attempted, including coursework taken at other institutions regardless of whether financial aid was received for credits taken.

Maximum Timeframe

Students are expected to graduate from their program of study in a timely manner within 150% of the published length of the program of study.  All credits attempted are counted including change in majors, credits from other institutions and whether or not financial aid was received for credits taken.

These standards and cumulative requirements are summarized in the following chart:




Minimum Cumulative Requirements
Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students
Minimum GPA

 1-30    |   31+ 
credits   |   credits

1.7 GPA     2.0 GPA


3.0 GPA

Minimum Completion Rate/Pace


Maximum Time for Completion
(150% of published credits required)




For financial aid purposes, passing grades are A, B, C, D, S, and P.  A grade of F, I, U. X, T or W indicates the course was attempted but not passed or completed.  A reminder that these grades do count as credits hours attempted for the purposes of meeting  SAP standards for Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame requirements.

Repeated Courses

For Financial Aid eligibility, courses may be repeated one time.  For financial aid eligibility, failed courses that are required for program completion may be repeated until the course is passed.  This does not apply to courses where the content is spread across multiple terms, i.e. Piano courses for a Music Degree in the School of Music.  (Please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog for the Academic Policy for Repeated coursework.)

Dropped Courses During 100% Refund Period

Courses dropped within the 100% refund deadline, (drop and add) period of each semester, or courses taken as an audit, will not be counted in the credits hours attempted and have no bearing on SAP since financial aid is not processed or if processed, will be returned.

Special Note**

If financial aid funds were received (refunded or credited to the student’s account) and based on:

  • Enrollment that included courses later dropped as "No Record";
  • Courses that were later changed to Audit; or
  • Courses assigned an Administrative Withdrawal (AW) due to the student never attending the class.
The student may owe a repayment of a portion or all of funds received by the student.

Academic Reprieve Policy

Federal Student Aid regulations make no provisions to exclude courses from the cumulative GPA or Completion Rate/Pace.  Therefore, for purposes of evaluating SAP financial aid eligibility, all coursework applicable to the student’s major is a part of the SAP evaluation;  including coursework  excluded from a student’s academic record due to the UCO Reprieve Policy addressed in the Undergraduate Catalog, unless the courses fall under the UCO Repeated Course policy.



  • Evaluation of SAP occurs at the end of each term once grades are posted.
  • Students with previous coursework from other institutions will need to submit official transcripts to the Records Office.  Upon posting of grades, SAP evaluation will take place for consideration of financial aid eligibility.  Students with a poor academic history/SAP may be ineligible to receive financial aid.
  • All coursework attempted is evaluated whether or not financial aid was received for credits taken.

 Students not meeting Chart 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements for cumulative GPA and/or the cumulative Completion Rate/Pace will receive notification of the following SAP Statuses:

Warning Status

  1. Students who failed to meet SAP requirements as stated on Chart 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements at the end of an enrollment term will be placed on a "Warning" status (not to exceed one term) for the next term of enrollment.  Students at a "Warning" status are eligible to receive financial aid.
  2. Students who meet the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate/pace requirements by the end of the "Warning" term per SAP Standards and Requirement Chart will go off the "Warning" status.
  3. Students not meeting cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate/pace requirements by the end of the "Warning" term will be sent a Denial Notification and may not receive financial aid for the next term of enrollment.  Students have the opportunity to submit an Appeal of the denial.  See the Appeal Process in this section.

Exceeding Maximum Timeframe- Excessive Hours

SAP standards require that students complete their program of study in a timely manner within 150% of the published credit length of the program.  Students who have attempted credits exceeding the 150% maximum but have not graduated will receive notification for Denial of Financial Aid due to Excessive Hours.  Credit hours attempted includes ALL hours attempted at UCO regardless of change in majors and all other institutions attended regardless whether financial aid was received for coursework.  The 150% maximum timeframe allowed will be reduced for students working on their 2nd Bachelor's or 2nd Master's Degree.  Students on an Excessive Hour Denial have the opportunity to submit an Appeal of the Denial.  See the Appeal Process in this section for procedures.


Students who have received notification of a Financial Aid Denial and believe they had an extenuating circumstance that prevented them from meeting SAP standards may appeal their Denial status.  The Financial Aid Appeals Form is accessible at, under Financial Aid Forms.  Students should carefully read the instructions on the Appeal form, submitting the following with the Appeal to the Financial Aid Office.

  • Detailed statement from the student explaining why SAP was not met
  • Explanation of what circumstances have changed that will allow the student to meet cumulative standards/requirements for future terms.
  • Students with an Excessive Denial or students with 100 or more attempted credits must submit a Degree Evaluation from the Undergraduate Academic Advisement Office (please do not submit an online degree evaluation from UCONNECT).  Graduate students should submit a Plan of Study.
  A Financial Aid Appeal Committee composed of UCO Staff will review the Appeal and documentation.  Notification of the Appeal decision will occur within 10 working days of the Appeal deadline.

Appeal Deadlines

The 2nd Friday of each month.  Semester deadlines:  Spring (2nd Friday of April), Summer (2nd Friday of July), Fall (2nd Friday of November).

Approved Appeal SAP Status

Students who have submitted an Appeal of Denial for not meeting Chart 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements for GPA and/or Completion Rate/Pace that results in an approval may be placed on a “Probation” term, or an “Academic Plan”, depending on the cumulative GPA and Completion Rate/Pace provided in Chart 2 below.





Current Cum GPA is -
Probation Term
Academic Plan
1 - 30 hours
Less than 1.6
31 hours & higher
Less than 1.9
Grad student
Less than 2.9
Current Cum Completion Rate/Pace (all students) is -
Less than 65%

Probation- Students on a Probation term are eligible to receive financial aid for one term.  At the end of the Probation term, progress will be assessed to determine if Cumulative GPA and Completion Rate/Pace standards were met as listed on Chart 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements.

Academic Plan- Students on an Academic Plan are eligible to receive financial aid.  An Academic Plan is developed using the GPA Calculator also accessible to students at, under Academic Advisement.  The cumulative credits attempted, cumulative GPA, and the desired GPA is entered resulting in the credits and required GPA needed to reach the required GPA entered.

The Academic Plan will reflect student expectations for a required GPA for a designated number of semesters (based on 12 credits per term) in order to meet Chart 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements. A copy of the Academic Plan will be mailed to the student for acknowledgement, and must be signed and returned to the Financial Aid Office for the approved Appeal to be processed.

Excessive Hours

Students with an Appeal Approval of Excessive Hours will receive notification that notes the last semester which they may continue to receive financial aid.  It is important for these students to complete 100% of coursework taken, and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for undergraduates and a 3.0 cumulative GPA for graduate students; without any Fs, Ws, or AWs for the remaining terms allowed for financial aid eligibility as stated on the Appeal  Approval Letter sent to the student. 

Re-Establishment of Financial Aid Eligibility

       This is an option provided for students in the following situations:

  • Students at a Denial status who did not submit an Appeal for an Extenuating Circumstance.
  • Students whose Appeal was denied.

  1. The student must successfully complete all credits attempted (a minimum of 6 credits for undergraduate/5 credits for graduate students), without UCO financial aid and with a minimum term of 2.25 GPA for undergraduate students or a minimum 3.25 for graduate students.
  2. The student must complete an Appeal Form and provide an explanation of why they initially failed to meet SAP standards and what circumstances have changed that will allow them to meet SAP standards in future terms.
  3. Hours completed at UCO or another institution must be recorded on the UCO academic transcript.
  4. Upon review, students will be notified of the Appeal decision within 10 working days.

All notifications of financial aid SAP statuses are sent ONLY to the student’s UCO e-mail account.