Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Financial aid is offered from federal, state, private, and UAA and while eligibility conditions are unique to each program, one common student responsibility that applies to all federal, state, and UAA awards is the requirement to remain in an "ELIGIBLE" Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status.. Students who are not meeting SAP will not be eligible for most types of financial aid programs without having an approved appeal or by reinstating themselves through specific student actions.  Regularly meeting with your academic advisor will help you to develop a plan to consistently meet the SAP requirements. 

What is SAP?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the federal requirement that students make real and measurable progress toward their degree in order to be eligible to receive federal aid. SAP was created due to increasing accountability for the use of federal, state, and institutional student financial aid funds. Universities and students are required to demonstrate that financial aid funds are being used to assist students in efficiently completing their academic goals. In order to remain eligible for federal, state, and most institutional financial aid, students must comply with the SAP standards represented in the University of Alaska SAP Policy.

All students are monitored for SAP whether or not they applied for or received financial aid during prior semesters. Students are not eligible for federal, state, or institutional financial assistance if they do not meet SAP requirements.

  • What Does my SAP Status Mean?

    To view your SAP status...

    1.      Go to UAOnline,

    2.      Click on the Financial Aid tab,

    3.      Select UAA,

    4.      Select Financial Aid Status,

    5.      Select the appropriate Academic Year

    6.      Review your overall financial aid status.  Your SAP (academic progress) status will be listed.


    What does my SAP status mean?



    The student is meeting all SAP standards and is eligible to receive financial aid.

    125% Early Alert

    The student is meeting all SAP standards and is eligible to receive financial aid. This is an informational status to advise students they are approaching the 150% maximum timeframe for their primary degree program.


    The student has been placed on financial aid warning for one semester after they failed to meet the GPA and/or the cumulative completion rate standards.

    This warning status allows students to receive financial aid for one additional semester of enrollment without need for appeal or any other action. This gives students an opportunity to rectify their academic progress for the next semester. Students must meet ALL SAP standards by the end of the warning term or have financial aid eligibility suspended.


    The student has been suspended from receiving financial aid if they did not meet the GPA or cumulative completion rate by the end of their warning semester. The student may have also been suspended for failing to complete their program by the established maximum timeframe.

    Students on financial aid suspension are ineligible for federal, state, and institutional aid. The financial aid suspension affects only financial aid and does not prevent a student from enrolling and paying for classes on their own. Suspension will persist until the student either reinstates their eligibility or successfully appeals for an exception to policy.


    The student was on financial aid suspension but successfully appealed. Students on probation are eligible for financial aid disbursements but must meet the requirements of their academic plan and the conditions of their appeal until they can reinstate their eligibility. Students who fail to meet the requirements of their academic plan or the conditions of their appeal will be placed back on financial aid suspension.
  • What are the minimum requirements to be in a status eligible for financial aid?
    • 1. Cumulative GPA
      Cumulative grade point average measures quality of course completion by evaluating 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. All credits taken at other UA campuses (UAA, UAF, UAS, & PWSC) are included in this calculation.
    • 2. Cumulative Completion Rate

      Cumulative completion rate measures pace of completion to ensure students making steady progress toward their degree by completing 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. All credits taken at other UA campuses (UAA, UAF, UAS, & PWSC) are included in this calculation.

      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.

      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.

    • 3. Maximum Timeframe (150% rule)

      The maximum timeframe standard, also known as the 150% rule, stipulates that students will be eligible to receive financial aid only if their attempted credits is equal or less than 150% of the length of their primary degree program. This is measured based on the number of attempted credits the student has taken compared to the number of credits required for their degree. If students changes their degree program, their 150% maximum timeframe determination may also change. All credits taken at other UA campuses (UAA, UAF, UAS, & PWSC) are included in this calculation, even if they do not apply toward the student's current degree program.

      The examples shown in the chart below represent minimum requirements for the degree programs listed, and the corresponding maximum attempted credits allowed for purposes of student financial aid eligibility. 

      Degree Program

      Credits Required

      Maximum Credits


      60 credits

      90 credits


      120 credits

      180 credits

       Certificates and OEC (Occupational Endorsement Certificates) are based on the same requirement that student eligibility is dependent on maintaining the 150% rule.


  • When does evaluation and notification happen?

    Frequency of Evaluation

    UAA evaluates SAP at the end of each semester after grades are posted. Students are evaluated to determine their financial aid eligibility for the upcoming semester.

    Every student who receives financial aid must be making SAP, regardless of whether they are a first-time applicant or have received financial aid in the past. First-time freshman with no prior post-secondary coursework are presumed to be meeting the SAP standards for their first semester of enrollment and will be eligible for financial aid.

    Enrollment Status

    SAP evaluations are based on the student’s enrollment status.  Undergraduate students will have only undergraduate coursework counted in their SAP evaluation.  Similarly, graduate students will have only graduate coursework counted in their SAP evaluation.


    Shortly after SAP is evaluated, Financial Assistance staff 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.

    SAP status can also be found on UAOnline under the "Financial Aid" tab under "Eligibility".

  • Are there classes, programs, or rules could make me ineligible for financial aid?
    • Occupational Endorsements: Some occupational endorsement certificates do not qualify for financial aid under federal, state, and UAA rules. Check with the UAA Financial Aid Office to make sure you are admitted into an eligible program.
    • Audit Grade Mode Classes: Classes taken in "audit" grade mode are not eligible for financial aid. Students must be taking a class for credit, actively participate, and earn a successful grade at the conclusion of the course in order to avoid violating several federal aid eligibility rules.
    • Repeat Courses:  Students may receive financial aid funding once for repeating a previously passed class; a failed course may be repeated until it is passed.
    • Remedial Coursework:  Students who enroll in remedial coursework (less than 100 level) may receive financial aid.
    • eLearning and Distance-Delivered Courses:  These courses count toward the credit hour load and may be used to fulfill credit hour requirements for financial aid if the courses are required for a student’s degree program. Note: Students are still required to complete these classes within the term that they enroll (year-long correspondence courses are NOT eligible for financial aid).
    • Challenge courses and 500-level courses:  These courses are NOT fundable by any type of financial aid.
    • Institutional Funds: Students receiving most scholarships, grants, or tuition waivers from UA are expected to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements listed in this document.  Please be advised, however, that some scholarships and waivers require a higher GPA for continued receipt.
    • Other Sources of Aid: Students receiving scholarships or financial aid from such sources as State of Alaska, BIA, regional and village corporations, civic groups, and private organizations will be evaluated under the requirements of the funding agency.
    • 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 had failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress.   
    • Financial Aid Warning: A student in good standing who fails to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements will be placed on Warning for the first semester s/he falls below the cumulative 67% standard and/or who fails to meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement.
    • Financial Aid Suspension:  Financial aid suspension will result from:
      1. Failure to complete the minimum percentage of credits and/or cumulative GPA required after being on Financial Aid Warning.
      2. Academic Disqualification, Dismissal, or removal from program as defined by the academic catalog.
      3. Exceeding 150% of the maximum number of credits required for graduation from the student's program.
      4. Failure to meet the requirements of an appeal approval and/or academic plan.
  • How can I appeal my current status or regain eligibility for financial aid?

    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 in the Student Union building or from the UAA Financial Aid Forms website.

    • How can I reinstatement my eligibility without filing an appeal?

      Students placed on financial aid suspension for failing to maintain the SAP GPA or cumulative completion rate minimums may regain their financial aid eligibility by bringing themselves back into compliance with the SAP Standards.

      Students who have exceeded the 150% maximum timeframe requirement cannot regain eligibility through the reinstatement process.

      Also note that students may not re-establish their financial aid eligibility by successfully completing a few classes or by leaving school for a period of time. However, students may appeal their SAP status based on exceptional circumstances or take action to reinstate their SAP eligibility by succeeding with coursework sufficient to meet the minimal SAP standards.

    • 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 assist them in creating a strategy to help them return to good standing. This may include putting the student in contact with the various Student Resources<http://www.uaa. academic/resources/> available at UAA
        • Creating a degree plan which will be saved into DegreeWorks for later reference
        • Establish 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.
      1. 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
    • Acceptable Circumstances

      It is the responsibility of the student to demonstrate that his or her 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.

    • Unacceptable Circumstances

      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

    • Appeal Time frame

      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.

      Students are responsible for satisfying any tuition and fees that are due prior to the results of your appeal. Approval is not automatic and not guaranteed. It is in your best interest to submit the appeal form and required documentation as soon as possible.

    • If your 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 done.

    • If your 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:

      • Fax to: (907) 786-6122, Attention Director of Financial Aid

      • Scan and email to, Attention Director of Financial Aid

      • Mail to: University of Alaska Anchorage, Attn: Director of Financial Aid, 3211 Providence Drive, ESC, Anchorage, Alaska 99508

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
    • Why am I receiving a SAP letter if I didn't use financial aid?

      Because we cannot predict each student’s need for financial aid, we monitor all enrolled UAA students for SAP, whether or not they applied for or received financial aid. This is done to assist students to maintain an awareness of their SAP status and their ability to receive financial aid in the future should they need it.

    • 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 the 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.

      *All terms combined

    • If I withdraw from ALL OF MY classes, how will that affect my 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 Student Financial Assistance 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.)

    • What does it mean to "complete your program within a 150% timeframe"?

      One of the main components of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the "150% rule." When you attempt more than 150% of the credits required for your primary degree program, you can no longer receive financial aid. For example, if you are in a baccalaureate program, you must complete the program before attempting 180 credits or else your financial aid will be suspended. Many students who return to UAA for a second degree will be considered in violation of the 150% rule. Students in violation of the 150% rule may appeal your suspension of their financial aid through the SAP appeal process. 

    • I’ve got a class that I can’t finish on time and my Professor has agreed to give me an Incomplete. How will this affect my SAP status?

      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 Student Financial Assistance when this is done so we may update your SAP status to reflect the finished coursework. 

    • I’ve already received my award notice and I am already registered for the fall semester. Why am I just now learning about the SAP issue?

      Satisfactory Academic Progress is checked after each semester’s grades become official. During the spring and summer semesters, financial aid is being awarded for the upcoming academic year so students can prepare for their financial needs. If your SAP status changed after your 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.

    • I need to know if I can still apply for student loans if my eligibility for financial aid is suspended? I had a couple horrible semesters. Can I still take out a student loan so I can keep going to school?

      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 find that the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal process is appropriate for your circumstances.

    • If I appeal, what are the chances that 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 into in a degree 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 toward 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.

    • I’ve had to repeat several classes, does that affect SAP?

      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.

    • I’m thinking about changing my major, will that 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.

    • What 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.

      Completed appeal forms and documentation should be submitted generally no later than two weeks prior to the end of the semester for which you are appealing. 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 a student withdraws during a semester in which they are 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 required classes 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 or not.

      Similarly, financial aid and appeals will not be approved for students who have completed thee 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 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 toward 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.

    • I have been thinking about pursuing a second degree, how will that 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.