Satisfactory Academic Progress
Frequently Asked Questions
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the evaluation of students' academic history
in order to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds. Students must
make satisfactory academic progress in an eligible curriculum as a degree seeking
student. The student's entire academic history is reviewed for this process regardless
if the student received aid for the course work or credit hours attempted, regardless
if the work transfers into UNO or towards a change of major, or regardless to how
long ago the courses were attempted at UNO or another school.
Why are you required to evaluate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is to ensure students are able to complete their
academic program in a timely manner while achieving a minimum academic standard. In
an age of increasing accountability of the use of Federal Student Aid funds (and other
Federal, State, and Institutional funds), institutions and students must demonstrate
that financial aid funds are being used to assist students in completing their academic
goals in the most efficient way.
What classes or credit hours count in the attempted hours limitation and completion
ratio review? Do you count the classes I attempted even if I did not receive Federal
For the purposes of Federal Student Aid, all course work and credit hours are counted
in attempted hours regardless if aid was received or how long ago you attempted the
course or credit hours. This includes, but is not limited to, UWs, XFs, P, U, S, repeated
courses, grade suspended courses, audit courses, remedial course work, CLEP, AP, military
course work for degree purpose, graded and non-graded courses, courses that do not
apply to change of major or did not transfer into UNO.
How does dropping classes or resigning affect my financial aid eligibility?
The Federal Dept. of Education requires Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards
the student's degree in order to qualify for Federal Student Aid (grants, loans, and
work-study). If a student withdraws, fails, repeats or grade suspends a course it
will lower his/her completion ratio. Students must maintain a 70% completion ratio
on all work attempted; transfer students must make continual progress towards their
degree at UNO and as a result must maintain a 70% completion ratio on UNO work attempted,
as well. If a student falls below the require ratio(s), he or she will lose his or
her eligibility for Federal Student Aid. We are required to check SAP at the end of
each semester, after all grades are posted. We cannot perform mid-semester SAP reviews
because grades are still pending and can affect the completion ratio (i.e. grade suspensions,
repeated course work, or Fs).
If I do not meet SAP, can I still take out student loans?
When a student does not meet SAP that student cannot receive any type of Federal Student
Aid, including Federal grants, Federal Direct Loans, or Federal work-study. The student
may, however, apply for Private Loans through a lender of his/her choice, which does
not require SAP. Private Loans differ from Federal Direct Loans in that the lender
will check the student's credit history and may require a co-signer.
How does Scholastic Amnesty affect my financial aid eligibility?
Scholastic Amnesty hours are reviewed for SAP eligibility and are not excluded from
the GPA, Pace, or Maximum Timeframe calculations for the purposes of Federal Student
Aid. Students admitted on Scholastic Amnesty do not qualify for a Financial Aid Warning
Period, however they may submit a SAP Appeal if they are able to explain and document
extenuating circumstances that affected their prior academic performance.
Are graduate students who are seeking a Master's Degree allowed to receive financial
aid for research credits?
For financial aid purposes, students may receive aid only for courses or credit hours
that apply directly towards the degree attempt. Only six credit hours of research
can be applied toward the completion requirements for a Master's degree. If a student
has to withdraw from the research hours due to extenuating circumstance, the student
may submit a SAP appeal to explain and document the circumstances.
What happens if I don't receive my degree before reaching 180 hours?
If a student cannot successfully complete his/her degree requirements before reaching
180 attempted hours, the student will no longer qualify for Federal Student Aid. However,
the student will be allowed to submit an appeal to have his/her eligibility considered
Why do I have to submit a letter from my College indicating how many hours I have
remaining to graduate?
If a student has not graduated from his or her degree attempt by their program requirements,
the student will be notified to submit a letter or email from his/her College (academic
advisor) indicating how many hours he/she has remaining before completing the degree
If I am a double or triple major, do you waive the 180 attempted hours limit?
No we do not. Students must officially graduate before reaching 180 attempted hours.
Upon officially graduating from the first degree attempt, a student may then be considered
for aid as a Post Baccalaureate Student. Federal regulations prohibit a student from
receiving grant funds for more than one four-year degree.
What if I am scholastically dropped from the University, but I have been re-admitted
to UNO. How do I get my financial aid back?
Students who are scholastically dropped from the University must submit a SAP appeal
to the Financial Aid Office to have the aid eligibility considered for reinstatement.
Although UNO may allow you to return to school it does not guarantee that your SAP
Appeal will automatically be approved.
May I appeal a denial from the Committee?
The SAP committee's decision is final. However, if an appeal is denied due to lack
of supporting documentation or because the appeal did not reflect the student's academic
history, then the student may submit the appeal once again for the following semester
(fall and spring).
How many appeals may a student submit during his/her academic history at UNO?
Students may submit two SAP appeals during their academic history at UNO.
Who may qualify for a SAP warning period?
Continually enrolled students who have not met either the SAP GPA(s) or Pace requirements
(or both) may be able to qualify for a Financial Aid Warning Period.
The warning period will be for one semester only, including the summer sessions,
during the student's academic career at UNO. A student will not be eligible for a
Financial Aid Warning Period if it is not feasible for the student to meet the SAP
Requirements by the end of his/her next enrollment period, or if any of the following
occurred during the student's last semester of enrollment at UNO...
1.Student resigned or did not complete any of his/her courses.
2.If the student received two or more X/Fs, and/or U/Ws,.
3. Student was Scholastically Dropped.
Post Baccalaureate, Graduate students and students who have received Scholastic Amnesty
will not qualify for a warning period. Students who have reached the maximum allowable
hours or will not be able to complete their degree before reaching the maximum allowable
hours cannot qualify for a warning period.
How do I submit a SAP appeal? What kind of circumstances can be appealed?
Students may submit appeals for the fall and spring semesters. If the student will
be graduating during the summer sessions, the student may submit an appeal with the
Financial Aid Director's approval. A student's SAP Appeal must reflect the student's
entire academic history. If the student has more than one semester for which he/she
failed or dropped two or more courses or fell below a GPA of a 2.0, the student will
have to address and document the semester.
Students may submit an appeal for an unexpected medical illness, death in the immediate
family, military deployment, life altering event, or exceeding attempted hours limitation.
Examples of life altering events are natural disasters, unexpected court proceedings,
divorce, or other unforeseen circumstances that had a profound effect on your academic
Once the SAP Appeal is reviewed and a decision is made the student will be contacted
via an e-mail to the student's UNO email account.
What happens if I decide not to submit a Financial Aid Appeal?
If the student does not wish to submit a SAP Appeal, the student will not be considered
for financial aid for the returning semester. However, the Office of Financial Aid
will automatically review the student's eligibility at the end of each enrolled semester
to determine re-qualification for aid reinstatement. If the student is able to meet
all components of UNO's Federal SAP Policy, then financial aid will be reinstated
to the student for SAP eligibility for the following semester of enrollment.
Who is on the SAP Appeals Committee? Can I speak to them in person?
The SAP Committee members are anonymous and are made up of academic professionals
from the UNO Colleges and Administrative Offices on campus. Students do not address
them in-person; the documentation submitted with the appeal is used to support the
statements made by the student in his/her letter of explanation. The committee members
do not discuss appeal information outside of the committee meeting and as with all
financial aid documents, the student's SAP appeal is kept confidential and secure.
What is the approval rate for SAP Appeals?
SAP appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Approvals are based upon the documentation
the student submits with the appeal, the circumstances for which the appeal is being
submitted, and the academic history of the student.
What is an Academic Plan (formally known as Conditional Appeal)?
Students who are granted an approved appeal for more than one semester are placed
on an Academic Plan to ensure they will continue to meet progress towards graduation.
As long as the student continues to meet the requirements (conditions) of his/her
plan, then they will be able to receive their eligible Federal Student Aid until they
meet UNO's Federal SAP Policy on their own academic merit or for the length of the
How does a grade suspension or repeating classes affect my completion ratio?
A grade suspension will lower your completion ratio if you made a D or higher in the
repeated course. For the purpose of Federal Student Aid, both classes will count in
the attempted hours, but earned credit will only be awarded once towards the degree.
For a typical 3-credit course that earned a D or higher, this would mean the student
attempted the course twice (6-credit hours), but would earn only 3-credit hours.
How does an incomplete grade ("I") affect my financial aid eligibility?
In order for our office to complete the required Federal SAP eligibility review for
the purpose of Federal Aid, an "I" grade will be considered as an "F." Students who
continue to meet the minimum SAP requirements will continue to receive their eligible
funds. Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements will be given an opportunity
to submit a SAP Appeal through the allowed published deadline dates.
If a student resolves the incomplete grade and the grade is posted on WEBSTAR, the
student must submit a SAP Re-Calculation Review Form to our office to request a second
review. The request must be received by all applicable financial aid processing deadline
dates. A second SAP review request is manually processed and may take up to 7-10 business
days to complete. The review request will be processed in the date order received
by our office.
How long may I sit out of school before I can regain my Federal Student Aid eligibility?
The Federal Dept. of Education does not allow the Financial Aid Office to reinstate
eligibility based on the fact a student has not attended for any length of time. If
the student does not meet the SAP Policy, then only an approved appeal will allow
the student to receive Federal Student Aid. If the appeal is approved for more than
one semester, then the student will need to meet his/her Academic Plan requirements
to continue to receive Federal Student Aid.
How does a University Appeal or grade change affect my SAP eligibility?
An approved University Appeal (UA) may affect a student's SAP eligibility, but it
is usually for future semesters. If a student believes that his/her approved UA or
posted grade change has made him/her eligible for aid during the semester, the student
will need to submit a SAP Re-calculation Form to our office for a manual review.
If I do not meet the SAP requirements, how long do I lose my financial aid eligibility?
We cannot pre-determine a student's future SAP status because there are too many different
variables that could affect the final results, such as failing/dropping courses, repeating
courses, or grade suspension. We will automatically review SAP eligibility standings
at the end of each payment period and student enrollment at UNO, and reinstate the
SAP eligibility for those students who meet the SAP requirements for the following