Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To be eligible for federal, state, or institutional financial assistance, students must meet federal SAP requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of these requirements, maintain SAP eligibility and regularly contact their advisor to confirm they are meeting criteria.

  UA SAP Policy (PDF)

On this page:


What is SAP?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a standard of academic performance created by the federal government to make sure students are continually making measurable progress towards their degree to be eligible to receive financial aid. If a student does not meet these requirements, they are subject to losing their federal, state and institutional financial aid awards.

SAP Requirements

SAP requirements are evaluated based on your enrollment status.

  • If you are an undergraduate student, only your undergraduate coursework will count toward your SAP evaluation.
  • If you are a graduate student, only your graduate coursework will count.

All credits from UA campuses including UAF, UAS, UAA and community campuses are combined and reviewed at the end of each semester. UAA is required to run this evaluation on all students, not just those receiving federal Title IV financial aid.

Cumulative GPA

The minimum cumulative GPA for undergraduate students is 2.0 (equivalent to a C average) and 3.0 for graduate students using a 4.0 scale.

Cumulative Completion Rate

Used to ensure students are making steady progress toward their degree, this rate measures the pace of completion and requires students to complete (earn) at least 67% of all their attempted credit hours. For example, a student who has attempted 16 credits must successfully earn at least 11 credits to meet the 67% required minimum completion rate.

Earned credits include:

  • All credits completed with grades of 'D' or better, excluding credits for repeated coursework.
  • All credits completed with a ‘P’ passing grade.
  • Transfer credits from another school that are accepted by UAA.
  • Credits earned through examination, testing, or other non-standard means that are accepted by UAA.

Attempted credits include:

  • All credits for courses in which a student is formally enrolled at the end of the add/drop period or after. This includes credits taken at the undergraduate, graduate or professional degree levels and credits taken during enrollment as a non-degree student.
  • All credits for courses in which the student enrolled but did not complete successfully. This includes incomplete grades, withdrawals, ‘F’s, and/or courses changed to audit after the add/drop period.
  • Transfer credits from another school that are accepted by UAA.
  • Credits earned through examination, testing, or other non-standard means that are accepted by UAA.

Maximum Timeframe (150% rule)

The maximum timeframe standard, also known as the 150% rule, means you will be eligible to receive financial aid only if your attempted credits is equal or less than 150% of the length of your primary degree program. This is measured by comparing how many attempted credits you’ve taken to how many credits are required for your degree.

For example, an associate degree program at UAA requires you to earn 60 credits. This means you have up to 90 attempted credits to earn the degree before your eligibility for financial aid is suspended. And for a bachelor’s degree program that requires you to earn 120 credits, you have up to 180 attempted credits.

If you change your degree program, your 150% maximum timeframe determination may also change. 

All credits taken at other UA campuses (UAF, UAS, and UAA community campuses) are included in this calculation, even if they do not apply toward your current degree program.

SAP Status

How do I view my SAP status?

To view your SAP status:

  • Go to UAOnline
  • Click on the Financial Aid tab
  • Select UAA
  • Select Financial Aid Status
  • Select the appropriate Academic Year
  • Review your overall financial aid status. Your SAP (academic progress) status will be listed.

What does my SAP status mean?

  • Eligible
    Eligible: You are meeting all SAP standards and are eligible to receive financial aid.
  • 125% Early Alert
    125% Early Alert: You are meeting all SAP standards and are eligible to receive financial aid. However, you are approaching the 150% maximum timeframe for your primary degree program.
  • Warning
    Warning: Your aid eligibility is at risk and must be resolved within one semester because you have fallen below the cumulative 67% standard and/or are not meeting the minimum cumulative GPA requirement. Under this status, you are allowed to receive financial aid for one semester without the need to file a SAP appeal. You must meet all SAP standards by the end of the warning term or your financial aid eligibility will be suspended.
  • Ineligible

    Ineligible: You are not eligible to receive financial aid and have been placed on financial aid suspension. This resulted from: 

    • Failure to complete the minimum percentage of credits and/or cumulative GPA required after being on Financial Aid Warning.
    • Academic disqualification, dismissal, or removal from program as defined by the academic catalog.
    • Exceeding 150% of the maximum number of credits required for graduation from the student's program.
    • Failure to meet the requirements of an appeal approval and/or academic plan.

    Under financial aid suspension, you are not prevented from enrolling and paying for classes on your own. You will remain in ineligible financial aid status until you reinstate your eligibility or successfully appeal for an exception to the policy.

  • Probation
    Probation: You were on financial aid suspension but successfully appealed. You are eligible for financial aid disbursements but must meet the requirements of your academic plan and the conditions of your appeal, through which you can reinstate your eligibility. If you fail to meet the requirements of your academic plan or the conditions of your appeal, you will be placed back on financial aid suspension.

When is SAP evaluated? 

At the end of each semester after grades are posted, UAA evaluates each student’s SAP for the upcoming semester. If your SAP status changed after your financial aid award was generated, you will no longer be eligible for the financial aid offered. Changing degree programs may also affect your SAP status and your eligibility for financial aid.

Shortly after SAP is evaluated, Financial Aid will notify students who fail to meet the minimum SAP standards. Staff will inform students via email to their preferred email address that they have been placed on financial aid warning or financial aid suspension. 

SAP is evaluated for each student within the UA system regardless of whether they are using financial aid or not. This is so students can check their SAP status in the event they may want to receive financial aid in the future should they need it.

Appeal SAP Status

Can I appeal my current Financial Aid status? 

UAA does not have the authority to waive SAP requirements. However, the UAA Office of Financial Aid may make exceptions to the requirements in individual cases, if the student can demonstrate his or her failure to meet the minimum standard was caused by exceptional or unusual circumstances beyond his or her control. To be eligible for an exception to policy, students must appeal their SAP status.

The Office of Financial Aid will email students notifying them of their status and advising them of their right to appeal while providing a link to the appeal form and instructions. Students may obtain additional copies of the appeal form at the UAA Enrollment Services Center or from the UAA Financial Aid Forms website.

Students may not re-establish their financial aid eligibility by successfully completing a few classes or by leaving school for a period of time. 

*Note about Disbursements: Appeals may be approved for current or future semesters only and cannot be approved for a prior term. Funds cannot be disbursed for prior semesters when a student has failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress. 

How to Appeal

If you are a student who would like to appeal your financial aid suspension you must complete the following process:                                                           

  1. Meet with your academic advisor. Your academic advisor will help you create a plan for success including a degree plan in DegreeWorks and will discuss with you how to complete the appeal form. Advisors will assist students by:
    • Reviewing and/or helping students to complete the appeal form
    • Helping students create a strategy for success by identifying the needs of the student and assisting them in creating a strategy to help them return to good standing. This may include putting the student in contact with the various Student Academic Resources available at UAA.
    • Creating a degree plan which will be saved into DegreeWorks for later reference
    • Establishing an ongoing relationship to support the student's continuing academic endeavors since it is critical that students meet with their advisor prior to withdrawing from a course, or otherwise altering their registration because this can impact their appeal and/or their status while on probation.
  2. Complete the appeal form (located by academic year under UAA Financial Aid Forms)
    • Students are required to clearly explain and document the reasons they failed to meet the minimum SAP requirements and to explain their plan for reinstatement. Required documentation depends upon each student's specific reasons for insufficient SAP and must originate from an objective "third party" perspective.
    • Be sure to read, initial and sign where appropriate.
    • Request that your advisor sign page 2 of the appeal form.
    • Include a detailed statement describing the reasons for failing to meet the minimum SAP requirements. Be specific and concise in your explanation since incomplete information may cause a denial or a delay in the review of your appeal.
    • Include a detailed explanation of the measures you have taken to ensure that your academic performance will improve and/or actions you have taken to correct the circumstances that prevented your prior lack of academic progress. For example, if you are appealing due to an illness, you must explain why the illness you experienced will no longer affect your ability to succeed.
    • You may use extra pages if necessary.
    • Attach supporting documentation. Documentation should confirm your circumstances and include some sort of time frame. Examples of documentation include:
      • Doctor's letters
      • Court documents
      • Death certificates
      • Obituary

Please note, letters of support from friends or family members are not sufficiently objective and will not be considered. 

Once completed, you or your advisor may submit the appeal packet in one of the following ways:

  • Fax to (907) 786-6122, "Attention: SAP Appeals"
  • Scan and email to 
  • Mail to the Office of Financial Aid, SAP Appeals, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, ESC, Anchorage, Alaska 99508

What qualifies as an extenuating circumstance?

It is the responsibility of the student to demonstrate that their failure to meet the minimum standard was caused by exceptional or unusual circumstances beyond his or her control. Examples of extenuating circumstances include:

  • Personal injury or illness
  • The death of a relative
  • Unexpected military deployment
  • Other special circumstances outside the student’s control

Students who choose to appeal and do so successfully will be placed on probation. Students whose appeals are not approved will continue on financial aid suspension and may need to consider other ways of funding their education.

What does not qualify as an extenuating circumstance?

Circumstances commonly experienced by most students will not constitute unusual circumstances and such appeals will not be approved. For example, the following scenarios are generally not extenuating circumstances and are not an acceptable justification for appealing:

  • Youthfulness, immaturity, or lack of focus
  • Difficult coursework or attempted too many credits and could not handle the workload
  • Conflicts between student and instructor(s)
  • Transportation issues
  • Poor time management
  • Financial aid processing late or delayed
  • Medical reasons that were known to the student prior to the start of the semester, unless he or she can document unforeseen complications
  • Work conflicts, unless the student can document an unexpected, unavoidable, and involuntary change to his or her work schedule that directly hindered academic success
  • Lack of childcare, unless the student can document an unexpected, unavoidable, and involuntary change to his or her childcare situation along with an explanation of how it prevented the student from succeeding and why it could not be resolved in a timely manner

When will I hear back about my appeal?

Allow 30 days from receipt of your completed appeal packet for the Office of Financial Aid to carefully review your appeal. You will be notified of the decision by e-mail to your preferred email account. Complete appeal forms and attached documentation must be received no later than two weeks prior to the end of the semester for which you are appealing. Incomplete appeals may result in processing delays or the denial of your appeal.

icon of black circle with exclamation markStudents are responsible for satisfying any tuition and fees that are due prior to the results of your appeal.


If my appeal is approved:

Students who successfully appeal their SAP status will be placed on financial aid probation and must comply with the requirements of their academic plan as stipulated in the UAA SAP Policy. Students must maintain:

  • A 100% semester completion ratio (i.e., successfully completing all classes attempted)
  • A minimum semester GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates or 3.0 for graduates

In addition, students are expected to comply with the conditions of their appeal:

  • Follow the degree plan saved in DegreeWorks
  • Meet with their advisor to update their degree plan as necessary
  • Take only courses required for their degree
  • Other conditions as stipulated

Students on probation will be evaluated each semester to ensure they are adhering to their academic plan. Financial Aid will not be disbursed until this is completed.

If my appeal is denied:

If a student’s appeal is denied, and he or she feels that their circumstances were not accurately represented and merit further review, the student may submit an appeal to the Director of Financial Aid within 30 days after their appeal was denied. It is the responsibility of the student to submit additional information that may assist with explaining the circumstances for which he or she was not able to maintain SAP. The Director will review the secondary appeal and notify the student of their decision. The decision of a secondary appeal is final.

Students who did not submit or receive an approved secondary appeal may continue enrollment at UAA without financial assistance or with the assistance of an alternative student loan from a private lender.

Secondary Appeals may be:

  • Faxed to: (907) 786-6122, Attention Director of Financial Aid
  • Scanned and emailed to, Attention Director of Financial Aid
  • Mailed to: University of Alaska Anchorage, Attn: Director of Financial Aid, 3211 Providence Drive, ESC, Anchorage, Alaska 99508

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If I withdraw from a class, how will this affect my SAP status and Financial Aid?

    Financial Aid recipients are required to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The consequences of withdrawing from a class vary, and can only be determined by looking at your current SAP standing and course load. Generally speaking, if you are currently making SAP, you must complete at least two thirds (66.6%) of your required credits and maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative* GPA.

    Example: During your first term of attendance you are enrolled in 12 credits. You would need to complete at least 8 of those credits to have completed the term at > 66.6% and have a 2.0 to be in good academic standing.  

    At the end of your second term you are again taking twelve credits and you only complete 6. Your cumulative (all terms combined) completion ratio would be 14 earned credits out of 24 attempted (58%). Because you have dropped below 66.6%, you will be placed on "warning". After your first semester of warning, if you do not meet the minimum GPA and completion ratio, you will become ineligible for future financial aid. It is therefore very important to pass all the classes you attempt. You can view your current academic progress status by regularly checking your  UAOnline account.

    Even if withdrawal doesn't affect your SAP, remember the importance of staying on track with your program and the personal consequences of paying for a class that you have not completed.

  • If I withdraw from ALL my classes, how will this affect my SAP status and Financial Aid?

    Financial Aid recipients are required to earn a passing grade in all federally-funded courses. Eligibility for aid must therefore be recalculated if you withdraw from or cease attending all of your classes prior to completing more than 60% of an enrolled term. Withdrawal from all classes not only affects your Satisfactory Academic Progress, but carries various other consequences based upon your “last date of attendance.” Recalculations in your aid may result in a debt and/or hold placed on your account, based on the percent of the term completed.

    *In this case, the Office of Financial Aid defines the "last date of attendance" as the latest recorded withdrawal on your student account during the semester. (e.g., If you register for two classes, withdraw from one on Monday, and another on Tuesday, then Tuesday is the official "last date of attendance" for that semester.)
  • I have a class in which I can’t finish on time and my professor has agreed to give me an incomplete. How will this affect my SAP score?

    Your professor may agree to issue an Incomplete grade if you’ve been doing well in your class but aren’t able to complete the class on time for unavoidable reasons. An incomplete grade simply indicates that you haven’t finished all the coursework required for a grade and the professor has agreed to give you until an established deadline to finish it. Unfortunately, until you’re able to finish the class, the incomplete grade will remain on your transcript as attempted but not earned and will count against your completion rate (67% rule).

    Once the outstanding coursework is finished, your professor will replace the incomplete grade with your new earned grade. You will need to notify the Office of Financial Aid when this is done so we may update your SAP status to reflect the finished coursework.

  • Can I still take out loans if my eligibility for financial aid is suspended? 

    At this time you are ineligible for Federal Direct Loans. However, you may be eligible for an alternative student loan from a private lender. Not all alternative loan lenders require that students be meeting satisfactory academic progress. Contact potential lenders for more information regarding their eligibility requirements. You may also appeal your financial aid suspension if you meet the qualifications.

  • What are the chances my appeal will be granted? 

    Because appeals are examined on a case-by-case basis we are unable to predict the outcome of your appeal. We recommend students consider appealing their status if they feel they have exceptional or unusual circumstances that affected their ability to meet the minimum SAP standards.

  • Do I have to be admitted in a degree seeking program to appeal my SAP status?

    Students who are non-degree seeking are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid. To have an appeal considered students must be actively seeking and enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program.

  • Will my transfer credits from other schools count towards my SAP status?

    Yes, credits from other institutions transferred to and accepted by UAA will count towards the Cumulative Completion Rate & 150% Maximum Timeframe SAP standards.

  • How will repeated courses affect my SAP status?

    Repeated courses often impact SAP. Some courses are repeatable for credit, but some courses are not. If a course is repeated for credit, it is counted as both attempted and earned equally. However, if a student repeats a course that is not considered ‘repeatable for credit’, then that course is only earned one time, no matter how many times it is attempted. If you have repeated one or more classes in which you had already received a passing grade (such as a D), the credits are only counted as earned or completed the first time you receive a passing grade. This can negatively impact the 67% completion standard.

  • When is the appeal deadline? 

    Since processing appeals takes several weeks, we highly encourage you to submit your appeal and documentation at least a month before the start of the semester, and as soon after meeting with your academic advisor, setting up a degree plan with them, and registering for only those courses your advisor recommends.

    Please review our Dates and Deadlines schedule to see the SAP Appeal Deadline for the semester in which you hope to receive financial aid.

  • What if I miss the appeal deadline?

    If your appeal is received after the appeal deadline, we recommend contacting your academic advisor to see if an updated appeal and degree plan is needed for the upcoming semester.

  • What happens if I withdraw while on financial aid probation?

    If a student withdraws during a semester in which they are on probation, the eligibility will be measured at the end of the semester and the student will be placed on “suspension” from financial aid.

  • I finished all the classes I needed for my degree last semester. Why can’t I receive financial aid this semester?

    Federal Regulations limit financial aid to the classes required for your current degree program. Once a student completes the academic requirements for a program they are no longer eligible for further financial aid for that degree program, whether or not they have received their degree.

    Similarly, financial aid appeals will not be approved for students who have completed the academic requirements for their program but are taking classes while ‘waiting’ to get into a new program or school.

  • My SAP appeal was just approved, why can’t I take all the extra “fun” classes?

    To meet federal regulations and to help students be successful while on probation, UAA requires that students limit their registration to only those classes required for their current degree program. UAA does this so that students may focus on meeting the stringent requirements of SAP probation.

  • I’m taking several ESL (English as a second language) classes. Will they count towards my SAP status?

    Yes, ESL classes are included in all SAP calculations. It’s important to note that such courses are included even though they may not apply toward degree completion requirements. This may negatively impact the 150% maximum timeframe standard.

  • What happens if I pursue a second degree? How will this affect my SAP status?

    When students change their degree program or major, all credits previously attempted (including those for any previous degree or major) will be counted in their 150% maximum timeframe calculation. This may mean that you have taken courses that no longer apply to your major but are still counted in your 150% calculation, preventing you from completing your degree within the 150% maximum timeframe for your new major.

Other Eligibility Requirements