What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Oregon State University is required to establish standards for measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students to be eligible for Title IV (federal) aid in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress. A student must meet the requirements of the financial aid SAP policy to be eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid assistance at OSU. Below will is a general overview of the policy. For complete Satisfactory Academic Policy details, please review our complete SAP Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress requires financial aid recipients to meet the following five criteria. You are held to this standard regardless of whether you have received financial aid in the past:

  1. Meet minimum cumulative OSU grade point averages (GPA).
  2. Satisfactorily complete at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted (Pace).
  3. Complete a degree/certificate program within the maximum time frame of credit hours allowed (MTF).
  4. Consistently complete: A student that does not successfully complete at least one (1) credit for two terms in an academic year will be considered ineligible for further aid even if they are meeting Pace and GPA requirements.
  5. A student that is suspended then reinstated at any time by the University will be considered ineligible for further aid even if they are meeting all other requirements.

Grade Point Average (qualitative)-You must meet the OSU minimum GPA of 2.0 undergraduate/post baccalaureate, 2.25 DVM, 2.5 PharmD, and all other Graduate Programs 3.0 in order to retain your eligibility. This is based on your OSU GPA, not your overall GPA. If you are in the Degree Partnership Program be advised that coursework completed at the community college WILL NOT impact your GPA for Satisfactory Academic Progress purposes. Also, the OSU grade received for the third retake of a course is excluded for GPA improvement purposes. See the Academic Regulations Repeated Courses Section for more information.

Completion Rate/PACE (quantitative)-You must complete at least 67% of ALL attempted coursework (including courses from the community college). Your PACE is the your EARNED HOURS/TOTAL ATTEMPTED HOURS. For example, 67 earned/120 attempted=55.8%.Your pace of completion will go down if you withdraw from courses, take remedial coursework (non-college level classes like MTH 95), retake a previously passed course, or retake a course for a third time. See the Academic Regulations Repeated Courses Section for more information.

Maximum Timeframe-You have 150% of the published time it takes to receive your degree to complete it and remain eligible for financial aid. For example a Bachelor’s Degree requires 180 credit hours to complete, which means you would have a TOTAL of 270 hours to complete your degree before you are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. 

Appealing for an MTF extension does not impact the federal aggregate aid limits. Once the aggregate limits are reached an MTF extension would have no impact on extending federal aid eligibility. Find more on our Aid Limits for Undergraduates page.

Maximum Timeframe Completion Chart:

Degree Program Maximum Time Frame
First Bachelor’s Degree 270
Biology, Chemical, or Environmental Engineering 288
International or Education Double Degree 318
Forest-Civil Engineering Double Degree 348
2nd or 3rd Bachelor’s Degree 135
Sustainability Double Degree 324
Innovation Management Double Degree 324
Computer Science Double Degree 360
Master’s Degree 127
Ph.D.   210
Ph.D. College of Science 285
Doctor of Pharmacy 246
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine 265

In MyOSU under the Paying for College Tab, go to the Financial Aid Requirements section and select Progress. After selecting the current aid year, you will be able to find all of this information under the Academic Progress Tab.

*Please review our Repeating Coursework Page for additional information on how repeats impact Pace and GPA.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is monitored at the end of each term and students will receive an email to their OSU student email address regarding their status for the upcoming term. The current SAP status will also be available to you through MyOSU. Students meeting the GPA and Pace components of the SAP policy are considered to be in GOOD standing and retain their aid eligibility (except as noted below).

You will be placed on financial aid WARNING if you were meeting the requirements in the prior term but are now not meeting the GPA or PACE measures of this policy. If you are on financial aid warning, you may continue to receive financial aid for one term. If you fail to meet the SAP standards by the end of your warning term you will be placed in an INELIGIBLE status. If you are in an INELGIBLE status you will be sent notification that future financial aid disbursements will be terminated. Students in the following status at any time will become INELIGIBLE for financial aid:

  • Zero credit hours are completed for two terms (in which aid is received) in an academic year
  • Suspended by the University
  • Exceeded maximum time frame for degree

You may submit an appeal for review of your circumstances to reinstate your financial aid eligibility, or you may attend without the benefit of financial aid until you reach the SAP policy standards.

Is there a deadline to submit an appeal?

A complete appeal must be received no later than the end of week 7 for current term financial aid reinstatement consideration. Appeals received after week 7 will be considered for future term reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.

How can I appeal?

You will need to submit a SAP appeal along with the required documentation. Most appeals require a corresponding MyDegrees academic plan that has been approved and locked by your academic advisor. If you will require more than one term to reach the required Pace or GPA, you will need to create a multi-term plan that shows the courses you will be taking. After you have created your plan, make an appointment with your academic advisor to review and lock it for your appeal. *

For a Maximum Timeframe (MTF) Appeal we will need to know the total number of remaining credits you must take to achieve your 1st Bachelor’s degree. Those courses must be included in an academic plan from your advisor as part of your appeal. We CANNOT consider coursework needed to earn a minor or double major for an MTF extension. In most cases only one extension may be granted. Second MTF appeals are only considered in the most extenuating circumstances.

*Repeated coursework must be identified on all academic plans. Please review our Repeating Coursework Page for additional information on how repeats impact Pace and GPA.

**See the Office of Registrar’s Video Tutorial page for help with using MyDegrees.

What if My Appeal is Approved?

If your GPA/PACE appeal is approved it will either be:

  • PROBATION-If your appeal is approved for 1 term it will be defined as on PROBATION and you may receive aid for one term. After that term you must be meeting the SAP policy in order to receive future terms of aid. If you fail to meet SAP policy after a term on PROBATION will become aid ineligible until such time as you meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  • ACADEMIC PLAN-If it will take you more than 1 term to meet SAP standards you must submit an appeal that includes an Academic Plan approved by your academic advisor. The term by term and overall conditions of the approval will be outlined in the approval email you receive from the financial aid advisor who reviewed your appeal.

What if I Fail to Meet the Conditions of a Previously Approved Appeal?

Students who have failed to meet the conditions of a probationary term or academic plan that was approved as part of a prior SAP appeal are subject to additional requirements in a subsequent appeal. The new appeal must include a new statement letter. The appeal must also have a new corresponding My Degrees academic plan for SAP that has been approved and locked by an academic advisor. An academic plan is required even in cases where only a single term is needed to meet SAP requirements when the appeal is for failure to meet the terms of the prior appeal. Only appeals that include significant new information will be considered.

Part A- Describe what happened:

In one or two paragraphs, briefly explain the issues that prevented you from meeting the federal academic standards in the prior terms.

In this statement be sure the take personal responsibility for your academic performance.

Part B-Describe what has changed to resolve the previous issue:

In one or two paragraphs, briefly explain the resolutions to the issues you had in prior terms. Specifically cite what will be different going forward that will allow you to achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

If you received medical treatment or will be using resources like CAPS, DAS, or tutoring, be sure to cite that in you statement and provide documentation if you have it.

Example of SAP Appeal Personal Statement*

*This is just one example of how to write your statement letter. Your statement must be in your own words and must not be a copy of this example.

Date: 1/4/2019

Name: John Smith

Student ID: xxxxxxxxx

RE: SAP Appeal Personal Statement

What happened:

On 8/10/18 I was in a bicycle accident. The back and shoulder injuries from this accident required 3 months of intensive physical therapy to treat. During this treatment period, I struggled to attend class and complete assignments. I did my best to complete the term but received multiple failing grades that severely impacted my GPA.

What has changed:

The physical therapy has treated my injuries. I have made a full recovery and am ready to be successful in my classes. To get back on track and improve my GPA, I have worked with my academic advisor and am scheduled to retake the failed courses. To keep me on course I will also be using the tutoring services at the Academic Success Center. The MyDegrees SAP plan that was approved by my academic advisor shows that I will easily be able to reach the required 2.0 GPA as long as I maintain a 2.5 or better GPA for the next 3 terms.

Attached is documentation that verifies that I was injured and my treatment was successful:

  • A hospital bill from my 8/10/18 injury.

A statement from my physical therapist confirming I am physically ready to return to school.

1. Find your current Pace and GPA by going to MyOSU under the Paying for College Tab, Financial Aid Requirements>Progress>select current aid year>Academic Progress Tab

2. Find out how many credits you will need to reach the required GPA or Pace.

A.  If your OSU GPA is below 2.0 (the required undergraduate GPA) use the GPA Advice Calculator in MyDegrees. This tool will help determine how many credits you will need in order to raise your OSU GPA to 2.0.

Be sure that the grade expectation is reasonable. If you have never had a term with a 4.0 GPA, do not create your MyDegrees plan with that expectation. Your appeal may be considered incomplete if the anticipated grades in the plan are not consistent with your academic history.

B. If you are not meeting Pace, you will need to calculate how many credits are required to reach 67%. Credits/Overall Attempted Credits=Pace of Completion. For example, if you have a pace of 50% (10 credits completed divided by 20 attempted) you would need to successfully complete 10 more credits to reach 67%. 20 credits completed divided by 30 attempted would round up to 67%.

Keep in mind that your pace of completion will go down if you withdraw from courses, take remedial coursework (non-college level classes like MTH 95), retake a previously passed course, or retake a course for a third time. Courses retaken a third time and partner school courses taken in the Degree Partnership Program are also excluded from your OSU GPA.

C. Once you know how many credits you need, you can create an academic plan.

3. Use MyDegrees to create a plan that includes the current term and spans the number of terms needed for you to meet SAP GPA and Pace requirements. Make the course plan as accurate as possible and mark any courses that are repeats. More information on how to create a MyDegrees plan may be found here: http://oregonstate.edu/registrar/video-tutorials

4. Make an appointment with your academic advisor to review and lock your multi-term plan. Be sure that the plan is labeled for the SAP appeal and that any excluded repeat courses are noted.

*If your program does not use MyDegrees a paper SAP plan signed and approved by your advisor will be acceptable.