Satisfactory Academic Progress

As a person receiving financial aid, you must remain in good academic standing with the University and make satisfactory progress toward your intended degree objective.

Satisfactory progress

Students receiving financial aid must meet the following:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  2. Complete their degree within the maximum time frame allowed
  3. Maintain progress towards completing their degree at a minimum cumulative pace.

Federal and Institutional Aid are both reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress annually at the end of Spring Quarter. SAP requirements are the same for all students receiving financial assistance regardless of their level of enrollment or program of study, unless stated differently.

Washington State Aid is reviewed at the end of each quarter for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Washington State Aid has separate requirements, please refer to the Washington State Aid section in the policy document.

Grade Point Average (Qualitative)

Regulations require that all students maintain a minimum GPA that would ensure they complete their degree. This is referred to as a qualitative measurement.

  • Undergraduate Students are required to maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA by their 6th quarter of attendance. Students who do not achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be ineligible for future financial aid until the required GPA is achieved. (Note: A higher minimum GPA may be required for scholarship recipients. Refer to the Grant and Scholarship Limitations and Renewal page for specific renewal criteria.) 
  • Graduate and Doctoral Students are required to maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA by the end of each academic year (with the exception of Seminary students, who have a 2.5 GPA requirement). Students who do not achieve a minimum 3.0 cumulative SPU GPA will be ineligible for further financial aid until the required cumulative GPA is achieved.

Maximum Time Frame

Regulations require an established maximum timeframe for degree completion. The maximum time frame is 150% of the published length of the program. This calculation will include any transfer credits.

Pace (Quantitative)

Regulations require students to maintain progress towards their degree completion at a minimum rate of 70%. This completion rate is determined by dividing the number of credits a student has earned by the number of credits a student has attempted at the end of each academic year. Financial aid recipients who complete less than 70% of all attempted credits will be ineligible to receive continued financial assistance and placed on suspension. The student will be ineligible for further assistance until enough credits have been completed to bring the student back into compliance.

Each accepted transfer credit will be considered as both an attempted and a completed credit. The calculated percentage will be rounded up to the nearest full-credit hour. Completed credits are defined as classes that have received a grade of A, B, C, D, or P at the end of the academic term. Grades of E, W, G, I, or N do not receive any credit; therefore they do not count as completed credits each quarter.

If a student has a grade change after being placed on SAP, it is the student's responsibility to notify their SFS Counselor of the grade change and ask for a recalculation of their eligibility.

A student may repeat a course for credit twice. Repeat credits are counted the same as other courses. Once a course is repeated, the first attempt will show as attempted hours but not earned hours. The second attempt will reflect as attempted and earned. This is reflected in the maximum time frame and pace calculation.


Students are responsible for being aware of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy as stated above. SFS will notify students who become ineligible for financial aid due to lack of satisfactory progress; however, it is the student's responsibility to monitor progress.

Consequences of unsatisfactory progress

A student who does not maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (minimum GPA, completed credit requirements, and completed degree within the maximum time frame) will be ineligible for financial aid.

Options for Reinstatement of Aid

  1. Students may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal, see Appeals.
  2. Students may complete one quarter successfully without financial assistance. After completion of one quarter the students must contact their SFS Counselor to ask for their SAP to be re-evaluated. Once SAP has been re-evaluated, financial assistance will be reinstated if the student is eligible.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Students have the right to appeal their eligibility for financial aid. Written appeals due to special circumstances (death of a relative, illness or injury of the student, or other special circumstances) should be submitted to the student’s financial services counselor. Please note that some financial aid programs may have different requirements than those listed above. 

Results of appeals

If a Satisfactory Academic Process Appeal is approved, the student is place on a probationary status. The student will be notified through email and placed on an academic plan (if required), financial aid will be reinstated, and their academic progress will be reviewed quarterly until they meet SAP requirements again.

If a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal is denied, the student will be notified through email and provided alternative options for re-instatement of aid. The student's status will remain as Suspension.

Academic Dismissal from SPU

A student who is academically dismissed may not receive further Title IV assistance. If an academically dismissed student is re-instated, they must be in compliance with 80% of attempted credits earned (includes transfer credits) and/or a cumulative GPA of 2.00 (cumulative) or above, or be approved to be placed on probation before they can again receive Title IV assistance.