Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Effective July 1, 2011

Federal regulations require that all students receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid funds maintain standards of satisfactory academic progress in the pursuit of their degree or certificate. Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is defined as meeting the GPA Requirement, Percentage of Completion Requirement, and the Maximum Time Frame Requirement. Federal regulations require that a student's entire academic history be considered. This includes semesters or terms during which the student did not receive financial aid.


Satisfactory academic progress shall be monitored each aid year. An aid year includes a fall, spring, and summer term. Notification will be sent after the spring term to those not enrolled in the summer term and after the summer term to those that are enrolled in the summer term. Students reaching Maximum Time Frame after the spring term will be notified at that time.


This policy provides the framework for monitoring the standards for satisfactory academic progress for students to be eligible to participate in the Federal Title IV financial aid programs. To remain eligible, a student must:

  1. Maintain the required cumulative grade point average (GPA)

  2. Maintain the required percentage of completion

  3. Complete the degree or certificate within the maximum allowable time frame


Transfer Students

Transfer students must meet the minimum GPA requirements for Admission and be within the maximum time frame in order to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress upon entering the University.


GPA Requirement

  1. Freshman must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.75

  2. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

  3. Graduates and Post Graduates must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0


Percentage of Completion Requirement

Students must progress toward completion of their declared degree/certificate while maintaining a minimum 67% completion rate. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours earned by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted.


Maximum Time Frame Requirement

To be within the maximum time frame and be eligible for financial aid, credit hours attempted must not exceed the following:

Associate Degree Program

90 credit hours attempted

2nd Associate Degree Program

45 credit hours attempted beyond 1st Associate Degree

Bachelor Degree Program

180 credit hours attempted

2nd Bachelor Degree

60 credit hours attempted beyond 1st Bachelor Degree

Alternate Teacher Certification

45 credit hours attempted beyond 1st Bachelor Degree

Master Degree Program

48 credit hours attempted beyond Bachelor Degree

2nd Master Degree Program

25 credit hours attempted beyond 1st Master Degree


60 credit hours attempted beyond Master Degree or 7 years


Other considerations for maximum time frame are as follows:

  • The above limits are based on averages for the University's certificate and degree programs. If a student is enrolled in a program that requires a greater number of hours, the additional hours will be considered.

  • A student who has reached the maximum time frame of hours attempted without earning a degree will not be eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs.

  • Students seeking double majors must complete their degree program for the primary major within the limits set for that major. Students requiring more hours to complete their double major program of study may appeal for extended hours.

  • Students seeking a third bachelors or masters degree will not be eligible for federal financial aid.


Financial Aid Suspension

Students who fail to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students placed on Academic Suspension will automatically be placed on financial aid suspension. Students on financial aid suspension are NOT eligible to receive federal financial aid. The mere passage of time will not restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory academic progress. The student may appeal the Financial Aid Suspension if unusual circumstances beyond their control prevented them from meeting satisfactory academic progress (see appeal process).


Please Note: If an SAP review makes it clear that a student cannot mathematically complete his/her declared degree/certificate program or cannot raise his/her cumulative GPA to the minimum within the maximum time frame allowed, the student will be placed or will remain on financial aid suspension.


Appeal Process

A student may appeal the loss of financial aid eligibility if extenuating circumstances interfered with the ability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. In order to appeal the loss of financial aid eligibility, the student must submit an appeal form explaining the extenuating circumstances that resulted in the lack of academic progress and documentation to support extenuating circumstances. To complete the appeal process, the student may be required to submit an academic plan provided by the student's department or may be assigned an academic plan by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee or designee.

Circumstances must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Prolonged illness, medical condition, or injury to student or immediate family member

  • Death of an immediate family member

  • Extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control

Appeal must include the following information:

  • Completed appeal form (

  • Circumstances and how the circumstances affected academic performance

  • Dates and time periods involved

  • Explanation of how your situation has changed and the steps you are taking to resolve the circumstances

Documentation may include:

  • Physician's letters and hospital records (must include dates of illness and recovery time)

  • Death certificate or obituary

  • Court or police documents

  • Letters from third party professionals on his/her letterhead

Students who have exceeded the maximum time frame must include additional information:

  • Explanation of why you were unable to complete your program within the time frame allowed for your degree

  • Number of hours needed to complete current degree and intended graduation date

  • Copy of your academic degree plan listing all remaining classes needed to graduate


ATTENTION: In order to be eligible for financial aid for a semester in which the financial aid has been suspended, an appeal must be approved prior to or during that semester. To ensure that an appeal is reviewed, students must submit their appeal no later than two weeks prior to the end of the semester. Appeals will NOT be considered for a semester that has already ended. No appeal will be accepted without supporting documentation. The appeal may not be based upon the need for financial aid assistance or the lack of knowledge that the financial aid assistance was in jeopardy. It is the responsibility of the student to pay all outstanding balances on his/her account while waiting for an appeal decision.


Appeals may be mailed to The Financial Aid Appeals Committee, Southeastern Louisiana University, SLU 10768, Hammond, LA 70402, or faxed to 985-549-5077.


Appeal Decisions

  • Requires approximately 10 business days

  • Notification will be mailed to the student's financial aid address currently on file

  • If approved, financial aid will be awarded on a probationary period for one semester


Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid eligibility can be re-established after the student improves their academic record to meet the minimum standards required by the SAP Policy, without the assistance of financial aid funds. Similarly, financial aid eligibility can be re-established by successfully appealing your suspension.


Approved Appeals and Satisfactory Academic Progress Probation

For approved appeals, the student will be placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress Probation. (Financial Aid SAP Probation is for financial aid purposes only and is separate from academic standing probation.) While on Satisfactory Academic Progress Probation, certain conditions for academic performance will be set and monitored. Students with approved appeals will be informed of the probationary conditions.


Students placed on 'Probation' regain eligibility for financial aid if:

  • The student meets ALL of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of one subsequent period of enrollment; or

  • The student is placed on an academic plan leading to graduation that, if followed, ensures that the student is able to meet ALL of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress by a specific point in time.


Students who meet all of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress while on 'Probation' will be placed in 'Meets SAP' at the conclusion of the period of enrollment or academic plan period. Progress in an academic plan is measured at the end of each period of enrollment. Students who do not meet all of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress or academic plan requirements while on 'Probation' will be placed on 'Suspension.'




Attempted Credit Hours includes all hours (courses) enrolled in which a grade was received, including W, P, NC, U, I, F. Also included are non-credit remedial, repeated, transferred, academic renewal and ESL course hours. The standards apply to all students applying for federal financial aid, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.

Cumulative Grade Point Average is computed on all hours attempted including repeated course work and all transfer work accepted by Southeastern.

Probation is the SAP status of students that have been placed on 'suspension' and have an approved appeal.

Academic Plan is a plan developed by the student's department, Financial Aid Appeal Committee or designee as a plan of action for the remainder of the student's academic career or a minimum of four terms unless graduating.