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Satisfactory Progress Policy



It is important for all students to review the Satisfactory Progress Policy -- particularly if you are just starting college. Every class that you enroll for -- even the ones that you may later drop or let pass into incomplete status -- will show up in a Satisfactory Progress review. Take time to understand the policy now, so that you can plan your academic career in a way that will keep you fully eligible for financial aid.

Federal regulations require that schools establish a Satisfactory Progress requirement establishing maximum number of hours allowable to achieve the degree program sought, and minimum progress requirements for continued financial aid eligibility. Florida State University evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes annually. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order receive Federal and State financial aid.

Academic Requirements
All students must maintain SAP standards and be in academic good standing with Florida State University in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. In order to meet standards a student must meet the following standards:

Qualitative Standard:

  • Undergraduate:  All students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA (4.0 scale
  • Graduate:           All Graduate students must have a 2.0 GPA (4.0 scale)
  • LAW:    
    • J.D - minimum GPA of 69 (100 scale)
    • L.L.M. – minimum GPA of 74 (100 scale)
    • J.M. – minimum GPA of 74 (100 scale)
  • Medical
    • Medical students do not have a GPA for the first two years of study (all courses are S/U).  Students in their third and fourth year must maintain a 2.5 GPA


Qualitative Standard:
                Maximum number of Hours

    • Undergraduates – Students must graduate within 150% of their degree program requirements.  Students will be considered ineligible when they reach 180 credits (150% of 120 credit requirement for most programs).  Students in programs which require more than 120 credits may be eligible upon review.  All hours attempted toward the degree (including transfer hours accepted toward the degree) will be counted.
    • Graduate, Law and Medical Students:
      • Master’s Level  -- 70 credit hours
      • Specialists Level – 100 credit hours
      • Ph.D. – 135 credits
    • LAW
      • J.D.  – 132  credit hours
      • L.L.M.  – 36 credit hours
      • J.M.  – 45 credit hours
    • MEDICAL – 263 credit hours

Percentage Completed:
                All students must complete 70% of credits attempted toward the degree (including transfer hours accepted towards degree).

Note:  All coursework accepted toward the degree (including transfer credit accepted) is included in the attempted and completed calculations including Withdrawals, Incompletes and Repeated Courses. Remedial Coursework or ESOL courses are not counted in Attempted or Earned calculations.


Note on Withdrawal - All courses attempted, including any withdrawal after the end of Drop/Add, retroactive withdrawals, term withdrawals and medical withdrawals, will be considered for Satisfactory Progress. Hours will be counted as attempted but not completed.

To officially withdraw from Florida State University, students must contact the Withdrawal Office, A4300 University Center (850-644-1741).


Appeal Process:

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form (please download form and read conditions below):

Financial aid will not be disbursed for any students on Satisfactory Academic Progress hold. If an appeal is approved, financial aid will be disbursed on a term by term basis.

Students who do not meet SAP standards may appeal the termination of their financial aid eligibility.  An SAP appeal form with an explanation of mitigating circumstances may be filed with the Office of Financial Aid for consideration of financial aid eligibility restoration. Appealable circumstances may include student or family medical circumstances, death of family member (or other significant person), or other special circumstances that would have impacted the student’s academic progress.   

The written appeal must explain why the academic progress standards were not met and what has changed that will allow the student to be successful in the future.  The appeal must include documentation to support the reason(s) that SAP standards were not met.  Appeals must include documentation to substantiate the circumstance. Incomplete appeals may be denied.

The appeal must also include an Academic Plan (AP), developed in conjunction with the student’s academic department(s) that provides documentation of an enrollment plan that will bring the student back into SAP compliance and / or result in the student’s graduation. The AP serves to outline coursework, GPA, hours, and other academic requirements which will lead to graduation.  Students should work with their advisor/department to develop a recommended academic plan and should make and keep a copy of the plan. It is important to note submission of an academic plan does not guarantee approval of the appeal. Appeals received with all supporting documentation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for adjudication.

Appeals for the Fall 2014 term should be submitted by August 1. Appeals may be accepted after this date, however, aid may not be available at disbursement as aid will be on hold pending decision of appeal. Additionally, awards may be cancelled after this date for any student who has not filed an appeal.

  • If an appeal is approved based on an Academic Plan that covers more than one term, the Academic Plan will be reviewed for compliance at the conclusion of each semester. If the Academic Plan is not fully complied with, continued financial aid awards will be terminated. An Academic Plan may be considered not having been complied with for several reasons, including:
    • failure to enroll in courses as required by academic plan
    • enrollment in courses other than those required by academic plan
    • withdrawal from courses required by plan
    • incomplete or failing grades
    • grade below degree standard for program

Students who fail to meet Academic Plan criteria may appeal, but the appeal must be based on a circumstance substantially different than the first appeal.

A second or subsequent SAP appeal may be considered for justifiable events that are well documented. A new appeal form should be submitted, along with a current academic plan.  A committee of OFA administrators will review and adjudicate the appeal.  Upon completion, students are emailed the final decision.


Re-establishing eligibility without approved appeal -

Students who lose eligibility may regain eligibility if, in the future, their academic performance meets the standards.

Example – Student “A” – In this example, the student appealed but appeal was denied:

  • Student attempted 30 credits, but passed only 18
  • Percentage rate = 60% (18/30 = .60)
  • If received B grades in 18 credits, and F grades in 12 credits: GPA = 1.80

The student can regain eligibility once he/she achieves the required percentage rate and GPA.

If the student takes 12 credits and passes all the credits with grades of “B” or better:

  • the percent rate would then move above 70%
  • GPA would move above 2.0
  • Important note - the student would not receive financial aid for the term that he/she was ineligible – the student must pay for the term on his/her own.

Last Updated August 8, 2014