Loyola University Maryland

Office of Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require students who are receiving financial aid to make deliberate and measurable progress toward their degree to continue to receive financial aid. This requirement is referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress or SAP. At Loyola, SAP standards apply to all federal programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Direct Loans (Student and PLUS), as well as assistance from the state and university need-based funds.

The Office of Financial Aid evaluates SAP annually upon completion of the spring semester, after grades are entered. The review is based on the entire academic record, even if a student did not receive financial aid for previous semesters of enrollment. SAP applies to all students: full-time, part-time, degree and certificate candidates. 

SAP measures academic performance based on three standards: cumulative grade point average (GPA), pace, and maximum timeframe. To be eligible for financial aid, students must comply with all three requirements.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

SAP requires a cumulative GPA of 1.8 or better for students completing their first year at Loyola and a 2.0 or better each year thereafter. 

Pace

SAP requires students to complete at least 66.67 percent of attempted credits.

  • To calculate pace, divide the cumulative number of credits successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted. 
  • For example, if a student attempts 16 credit hours in a semester, at least 11 credit hours must be completed successfully ( 11 / 16 = 69% )

Maximum Time Frame 

SAP requires students to complete a bachelor’s degree in no more than 150% of the stated number of credit hours for an academic program. 

  • For example, undergraduate students must complete the 120 credit hours for their baccalaureate degree with no more than 180 attempted hours

Treatment of Grades and Courses

  • Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, and F are counted in cumulative GPA
  • Completed credits include grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, P, and S
  • Attempted credits include completed credits and grades of F, W, I, NC, U, NG, NR, and GL 
  • Transfer credits are included in the completion requirement
  • Courses taken because of a change in major or degree program result in all courses considered in the completion and maximum timeframe requirements
  • Courses for which a student receives grades of all W while placed on an approved leave of absence, including medical, count as credits attempted
  • Students may repeat a previously passed course (D or better) once
  • Students may repeat a failed course until a passing grade (D or better) is received 
  • Classes taken for Audit are not eligible for financial aid and are not counted in SAP calculations

Appeals

Students who appeal their ineligibility due to not making satisfactory academic progress have the right to have their situation reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid. Approval of a student’s financial aid appeal will be based on extenuating circumstances outside the normal school activities that have an impact on the student’s ability to achieve the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress. Cases to consider may fall into the following categories:

  • Student becomes seriously ill
  • Student is severely injured
  • Student’s relative dies

Other cases may be considered if they are determined to have caused physical or psychological stress on a student. Each situation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. An appeal may not be based upon the need for funds nor the lack of knowledge that eligibility for aid was in jeopardy.

Appeals Process

Submit the following to the Office of Financial Aid:

  1. Formal appeal letter describing extenuating circumstances. You must describe why progress was not made, and what has changed that will allow for progress to be made at the next evaluation.
  2. A copy of your academic plan created with and signed by your academic advisor demonstrating how you will achieve SAP by a specific point in time. Your academic plan should reflect realistic and attainable goals and may include necessary courses to achieve satisfactory academic progress standards. Your academic plan could take you to completion of your program rather than meeting SAP standards at a specific point in time as determined by your advisor.

To expedite your appeal, submit all documents together and be as detailed as possible in your personal statement.

Deadline to Appeal:

  • September 15 to receive aid in the fall
  • January 30 to receive aid in the spring

Appeal Decision

The Office of Financial Aid SAP Committee will review all required documentation once submitted. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation and will be eligible to receive financial aid for one semester.

  • If the student is meeting SAP at the end of the probationary semester, the probationary status will be removed, and the student will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid. 
  • If the student is not meeting SAP at the end of their probationary semester, but they are meeting the terms of their academic plan, their academic plan is rolled over to the next semester and the student will continue to be eligible for financial aid.
  • If the student is on probation and does not meet the SAP requirements or the terms of their academic plan, they will be suspended from receiving financial aid in future semesters. If aid is suspended after probation, the student may submit another appeal.

If the SAP appeal is denied, the student may continue to attend courses at Loyola without the assistance of federal, state, or institutional need-based funding.

Please note that the SAP policy applies to financial aid eligibility and is separate from the academic standards required by the University for continued enrollment. However, if a student is academically suspended or placed on academic probation, the student is also considered to have failed SAP.

Students will be notified of their appeal decision vial their Loyola email account.

A student may regain financial aid eligibility by meeting the SAP standards or the conditions set forth in their academic plan.

STUDENTS RETURNING AFTER A YEAR OR MORE

If a student previously left Loyola after failing to make satisfactory academic progress and returns, the student is required to submit an appeal and an academic plan to determine financial aid eligibility. 

All information is subject to change based on changes to federal law, regulation, or university policy and procedure. If changes are made, students must abide by the new policy.