Satisfactory Academic Progress
To receive Title IV aid, federal regulation requires that a student must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP). All students enrolled at the University of Arkansas who receive financial aid through the Title IV Assistance Programs must meet the following SAP requirements.
Satisfactory academic progress is deemed to have been made by any undergraduate student who meets both the quantitative and qualitative requirements indicated below.
Changes to SAP Policy Effective for 2023-2024 Calculation
In line with federal regulations, the GPA used for the SAP qualitative requirement will include all grades within a student’s current career (undergraduate, graduate, law, or aglaw). This is a change from calculations conducted for aid eligibility in 2022-2023 and prior that used the academic GPA on record with the Registrar’s Office. The calculation now includes all earned grades. Federal regulations for SAP do not have an allowance for university sanctioned grade exclusions from the GPA calculation. The calculation must include U of A grades a student may otherwise choose to exclude from their GPA through academic bankruptcy, grade forgiveness, grade exclusion, or other means. Grades of A, B, C, D, F, and XF will be included in the financial aid GPA calculation. Grades of I, AU, CR, R, S, W, P, PD, and NC do not have grade points associated with them for SAP calculations or the academic GPA.
This change is effective beginning with the calculation occurring at the end of the spring 2023 semester to determine students’ SAP status for the May 2023 Intersession, Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Spring 2024 semesters. Please see below for the full policy.
There are two quantitative requirements to remain eligible to apply for federal financial assistance. First, the student must successfully complete and earn credit from, at a minimum, 66.6̅6% of the credits attempted while attending the university. For the purpose of the 66.6̅6% rule, grades of 'W', 'I', ‘F’, ‘XF’, and 'NC' are not considered passing grades. The completion percentage is truncated after the first decimal place and rounded to the nearest whole number. Secondly, the student will remain eligible to apply for federal student aid as long as the number of credits attempted is not more than 150% of the number of credits required for the student's published primary degree plan. Courses that have been forgiven or excluded through academic bankruptcy, grade forgiveness, grade exclusion, or other means will be included in the quantitative calculations for SAP purposes as credit hours that have been attempted but not successfully completed.
A student may have earned credits at another school that will count toward his or her degree at the University of Arkansas. Class credits transferred to the University of Arkansas and classes taken for remediation at the University of Arkansas are used in both the 66.6̅6% and 150% calculation.
The determination of each student's meeting the quantitative requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be made annually following the conclusion of the spring semester. If a student fails to pass at least 66.6̅6% of the credits attempted or has attempted more than 150% of the number of credits required for graduation, the student must appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.
The qualitative requirement for satisfactory academic progress for financial aid requires a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater as calculated for all courses attempted at University of Arkansas for a student’s current academic career. Grades that have been excluded from the GPA on record with the Registrar’s Office through academic bankruptcy, grade forgiveness, grade exclusion, or other means will be included in the GPA calculation for SAP purposes per federal regulation. Academic work transferred from other schools does not affect University of Arkansas GPA per University policy.
By default, students who have only earned grades of 'W', ‘PD’, ‘CR’, ‘R’, ‘P’, or 'NC' will pass the qualitative requirement. The determination of each student's meeting the qualitative requirement for satisfactory academic progress will be made annually following the conclusion of the spring semester.
Additional Information About SAP Calculations
Dual majors and degrees are calculated at 150% of the total unit requirements of the primary plan. Changing of major will mean future SAP calculations will use the new primary plan or degree but all previous completed and attempted hours will still be used in SAP calculations. All transfer hours will add into calculations as completed and attempted. Once an undergraduate degree is earned, students are only eligible for direct loans whether the degree is indicated by graduation or not. For second degrees, the calculation will monitor progress from the date of the previous degree (excluding technical certificates and associate degrees).
Graduate and Law Students
Satisfactory academic progress for graduate and law students is determined as described above with two exceptions. 1.) In order for course credits to be counted as part of the completion percentage for the 66.6̅6% requirement, graduate and law students must pass each course with a grade of C or better while attending the university at the graduate level. 2.) In order to meet the qualitative requirement, graduate students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.85 or higher at the time of evaluation.
Satisfactory Academic Policy Appeals
When a student loses federal aid eligibility because they failed to make satisfactory progress, they may appeal because of their injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances. Their appeal must explain why they failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. The only way to regain aid eligibility without a successful SAP appeal is by meeting the SAP criteria above. Full instructions and conditions of the appeal process are detailed in the SAP Appeal Form.
Students who fail to meet the above requirements will be notified that their financial aid has been denied. Each student denied aid will automatically be given an option to appeal to the Student Aid Committee. The Committee will review each appeal on an individual basis to determine whether there are circumstances beyond the student's control that prevented him or her from maintaining satisfactory progress. The decision of the Committee is final in appeal matters.
The University of Arkansas provides many resources and services to promote student success. Some of these resources are listed on the last page of our appeal form and many more are offered through the Division of Student Affairs. A complete directory of those offices and their services is available at Student Affairs.
The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is here to support your academic recovery. If you have questions about which resources may be most beneficial to you or need assistance with the appeal process, walk-in appointments are available Monday through Friday. For additional access to help from our office, please visit finaid.uark.edu.
The effective date of this policy is May 2023