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Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students must meet general eligibility requirements for receipt of federal student aid. As regulated by the Higher Education Act, at CSULB we also apply this rule to state and institutional aid.

 

The SAP Standards

SAP monitors your academic progress in three categories: GPA, Pace of Progress and Maximum Time Frame. SAP is evaluated at the end of every semester, once grades have been finalized and posted.

 The minimum SAP requirements are listed in the chart below.

SAP Standards Information

Academic Objective (Degree)

Minimum Cumulative GPA

Minimum Cumulative Pace of Progress

Maximum Time Frame of Aid Eligibility for Degree Completion

Undergraduate (1st Bachelors)

2.0

67%

150% of published degree length – measured in attempted units

Teaching Credential, Certificate, Additional Bachelors’ Degree

2.5

67%

150% of published degree length – measured in attempted units

Graduate Degree (Master’s, Doctorate)

3.0

67%

150% of published degree length – measured in attempted units

Cumulative GPA – includes all courses transferred into the university and taken at CSULB

Pace of Progress – measured by comparing the total number of credits that you have completed by the total number of credits attempted. Pace is a rounded measurement. For example, if your Pace is at 66.5% and above, your Pace percentage will be rounded up to 67% and you will  be considered to be meeting the Pace of Progress. If your Pace percentage is below 66.5%, you will be considered to not meet the Pace of Progress.

                Completed Credits include the following grades: A, B, C, D, RP, or CR

                Attempted Credits include the following grades: W, WU, F, I, NC, and RD (audits, military credit, test credits and WE grades are not included)

  • The first time you fail to meet any either the Pace or GPA Standard, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for your next semester of enrollment.  This warning status still allows you to receive aid for that next semester of enrollment, while attempting to correct the deficiency in your GPA and/or Pace.

Maximum Time Frame – a student is eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum number of overall attempted credits for their primary program of study. 

Exclusions to Maximum Time Frame: remedial / pre-baccalaureate coursework, WE grades (withdrawal by exception), test credits

Please note: a maximum of 70 units of transferable credit from a 2-year institution may be accepted by CSULB.   

Changing Majors and Impact of Additional Academic Objectives

If you change majors, the credits you earn under all majors will be included in all three SAP Standards.

Changing majors does not “re-set” your SAP.

The pursuit of additional academic objectives (majors, minors, certificates) and the receipt of financial aid must be completed within the units allowed for the ‘primary’ academic major.   

Information Specific to Post-Baccalaureate Students

Dual Academic Objective

For students that are officially pursuing a financial aid eligible credential or certificate concurrently with a Master’s Degree program, the Maximum Time Frame Standard will be based on the combined sum of the minimum units required of each program you are officially pursuing and multiplied by 150% to  determine your new Maximum Time Frame.

Impact of Lower Division (100 – 200 Level Courses) on SAP

Students who are pursuing a Credential, Certificate, Additional Bachelor’s Degree, or a Graduate Degree may be required to complete lower division coursework to resolve pre-requisites or other necessary activities to complete their program of study.   These lower division courses impact the three SAP Standards in the following ways:

GPA

Your GPA is calculated based upon 300-level or higher coursework taken after completion of your bachelor’s degree.  Lower division coursework will not be factored into your cumulative GPA.

Pace of Progress

Any courses attempted at the 100 or 200-level will be considered "attempted" units, but not "completed" irrespective of your final grade, as only 300-level and higher coursework are considered for degree credit.  This will negatively impact your PACE measurement.

Maximum Time Frame

Calculated using the published minimum degree requirements. If lower division coursework (100 or 200 level courses) is required to complete your program of study it is expected that it will be accomplished within the 150% maximum timeframe.

To receive financial aid in any term, students must be enrolled at least half-time in courses required to meet their degree or credential requirements as specified in the catalog.

SAP Evaluations and SAP Statuses

SAP is monitored at the end of every semester, once grades have been finalized and posted.  You will receive an email notification after each evaluation, notifying you of the results and your SAP standing.

The results of the evaluation, as well as your current status, can also be viewed on MyCSULB. To view your SAP standing on your CSULB, navigate to “SAP for Financial Aid” under the Academics section of your Student Center.

SAP Statuses Information

SAP Status

Description

Action Options

Impact on Aid Eligibility

Meets SAP

You meet all SAP Standards

No Action Required

Eligible for Aid

Warning

You did not meet one or more of the SAP Standards after a semester of Meets SAP.

No Action Required -
* Warning Status is for next semester of enrollment

Eligible for Aid

Not Meets SAP
(Financial Aid Disqualified)

You did not meet one or more of the SAP Standards (GPA, Pace) after a Warning Semester

OR

You have exceed the Maximum Time Frame

* Submit an Appeal

OR

* Continue to enroll without aid & work to improve SAP Status through academic work

Not Eligible for Aid

Probation
(Financial Aid Probation)

SAP Appeal Approved

* Probation status is for next semester of enrollment

Eligible for Aid

Not Meets SAP
(After Probation Semester)

You did not meet one or more of the SAP Standards (GPA, Pace) after your Probation Semester

* Submit an Appeal – which must include an Academic Plan

OR

* Continue to enroll without aid & work to improve SAP Status through academic work

Not Eligible for Aid

Probation
(Financial Aid Probation with Academic Plan)

SAP Appeal with Academic Plan Approved

* Probation status is for next semester of enrollment
* Follow Academic Plan requirements

Eligible for Aid

Meets SAP (with Academic Plan)

You are on an Approved Academic Plan as part of your last SAP Appeal.  Although not meeting the SAP Standards, you are adhering to the terms of your Plan.  all SAP Standards

* Follow Academic Plan requirements

Eligible for Aid

Not Meet SAP
(Did not Adhere to Academic Plan)

You were on an Approved Academic Plan as part of your last SAP Appeal.  You did not follow the requirements of the Academic Plan and are not meeting the SAP standards.

* Continue to enroll without aid & work to improve SAP Status through academic work

Not Eligible for Aid

Reinstatement of Financial Aid / Regaining Eligibility

A student that fails to meet the SAP requirements and has a SAP Status of "Not Meets SAP," will have financial aid eligibility reinstated when he or she meets all three SAP standards, or submits a SAP Appeal that is successfully approved.

Paying out of pocket for classes or sitting out a semester is not grounds for reinstatement of aid. Students must bring their academic progress back into compliance or have an appeal approved to have aid reinstated. 

SAP Disqualification and Eligibility

SAP Disqualification has no impact on your ability to register. You may still enroll in classes and pay out-of-pocket or with private loans.

You may regain financial aid eligibility after a SAP Disqualification by either meeting the standards through your academic work in future semesters OR by having an approved SAP appeal.

Students with a status of Not Meets may appeal their status to the CSULB Financial Aid Office. An appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances.  Supporting documentation may be requested and/or required as part of your appeal (depending on your circumstances). Appeals are available under FA Forms and is linked in the email notification.

Appeals must be received within 4 weeks of the date of being notified about not meeting standards.

Please note: 4 weeks do not equate to 30 calendar days.

Academic Plans

There are times when your appeal may require the submission of an Academic Plan.  This generally occurs for the following:

  • If you are appealing your status after failing to meet SAP during your SAP Probation semester.
  • If, when reviewing your appeal, it is determined that even if your appeal is approved you will not be able to meet the GPA or the Pace Standard at the end of your Probation semester.

Following this plan successfully allows you to either regain aid eligibility by meeting SAP standards or by continuing to follow your plan through completion of your program of study.

While on an academic plan, you must:

  • Maintain a minimum term GPA of:
    • 2.0 for Undergraduate Degree Students
    • 2.5 for Credential, Certificate, or Additional Bachelor Degree Students
    • 3.0 for Graduate Degree Students
  • Only take courses listed on your Academic Plan for each semester
  • Complete ALL Courses attempted each semester

Progress is reviewed by the Financial Aid SAP Office at the end of each semester. If, at the end of the semester, you make progress as stipulated in your academic plan, your new SAP status will be Meets SAP (based on your adherence to your academic plan).

If you are not making progress as stipulated in your academic plan, your new SAP status will change to Not Meets SAP (did not adhere to plan).  Your aid eligibility will be suspended immediately, and you will not have an opportunity to appeal your status.   Once you have failed to meet the terms of your Plan, you can regain eligibility for financial aid only by meeting the standards through your academic work in future semesters.

University Resources

The Financial Aid Office encourages any student experiencing academic difficulties to utilize academic services available at CSULB. These are valuable resources that can assist you if you are struggling to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Full SAP Policy

To review CSULB’s Official SAP Policy, please go to: