Satisfactory Academic Progress FAQ-archive

Q.           I need to submit a SAP appeal.  What are the chances it will be approved?

What percentage of appeals submitted to SFAO are approved?

A. SAP appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  For each appeal, SFAO looks for each appeal to include a signed appeal form; a personal statement outlining the hardship and resolution; a Max Time Frame worksheet if applicable; and supporting documentation.  Appeals are never guaranteed to be approved, even if including all requirements.  All appeals submitted with no documentation will be denied, no exceptions.


Q.           What kind of financial aid is affected if I don’t meet SAP?

A.            The following types of financial aid require a student to meet SAP for continued eligibility:

Federal Aid State Aid
Pell Grant CAP Grant
SEOG KHEAA Teacher Scholarship
Federal Work Study

Early Childhood Development Scholarship

TEACH Grant Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship
Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
Direct PLUS Loan (Parent and Graduate Student)


Aid NOT affected by SAP include scholarship aid (institutional and outside) and third party authorized aid.  If you are receiving any kind of scholarship or third party aid you should contact the organization about requirements for meeting SAP to continue to receiving payments.


Q.           When is SAP evaluated?

A.            Annual SAP evaluations will be completed at the conclusion of each academic year, at the end of the spring semester.  Students cannot be evaluated until they are fully graded, meaning that the student cannot have any blank grades for terms of UofL enrollment after fall 1999.

Furthermore, students who are on financial aid probation are also reviewed at the end of the probation term to determine if he or she is meeting the standard SAP requirements or requirements outlined in the appeal approval.


Q.           I never used financial aid before.  Why are you looking at my previous semesters; or, I am a transfer/2nd degree student.  Why are you counting those hours?

A.            Per federal regulations we must evaluate students for SAP based on cumulative academic history, regardless of whether the student is a first time applicant or no financial aid was used for those previous terms.



Q.           My reason for not meeting SAP is very personal.  I don’t feel comfortable providing detail about my situation to people I don’t know.

The documentation I would need to submit includes medical information that I feel is very private and I don’t feel comfortable providing that to people I don’t know.

A.            Please be assured that the SFAO understands that a student’s reason for not meeting academic progress can be very personal and private.  However, the office has very strict guidelines and regulations to follow in order to insure that students provide sufficient explanation and documentation when submitting an appeal to regain eligibility when not meeting the standards of the SAP policy.

Information and documentation included in a SAP appeal is kept secure in the office until reviewed.  Review is only conducted by select members of the SFAO.  After review the documents are scanned for electronic access and originals are shredded.  Only members of SFAO management and the SAP coordinator have access to SAP appeal information once it is scanned.

You should feel comfortable providing any information and details to explain your reasons for not meeting SAP knowing that limited access is made to your information once reviewed; your personal information is kept secured electronically.  You are welcome to submit your appeal documents in a sealed envelope clearly marked with your name, student ID, and labeled confidential.

Regarding the submission of medical information; SFAO does not require, and in most cases does not want, your medical records.  For most appeals that include reasons of a medical nature a signed statement on letterhead from your medical professional that verifies your date(s) of treatment, recovery time, time required to miss school and/or release to return to school is sufficient.  In most cases we do not require the medical professional to verify a diagnosis, medical treatment or prescription list.  Sometimes we may need the medical professional to verify a change in patient treatment, especially if the student has explained that a change in prescription medication or treatment was a reason for not meeting SAP.


Q.           My appeal was approved for the summer.  I received my summer aid and accepted my aid for the fall and spring semesters.  After the summer semester ended I got an email that my fall and spring aid was cancelled.  I don’t understand what happened.

A.            The cancellation of aid after the probation term is likely due to the student not meeting the requirements outlined in the approval of the appeal.  When students are approved for a SAP appeal he or she receives a detailed list of any requirements set forth for the appeal approval.  If the student does not meet the outlined requirements he or she will not meet SAP and future aid will be cancelled.  The student does have the right to submit a new appeal that explains and documents the new hardship that prevented the student from meeting the requirements outlined.


Q.           I was held for SAP after the spring semester.  I earned hours and paid for them during the May term of the summer semester.  I just submitted an appeal to get my aid back for the 2nd term of the summer semester.  My appeal was approved, but it said I can’t get my aid back until the fall.  I don’t understand.

A.            The summer is divided into different terms, but all the terms are still part of one summer semester.  The SAP policy states that a student cannot self-correct a SAP issue during a semester and regain eligibility for that same semester.


Q.           I submitted my appeal on August 10th for the fall semester.  I need to know before school starts if it will be approved so I know whether or not to drop my classes.

A.            Appeals are reviewed in the order that they are received.  Priority dates are listed for each term.  Appeals that are submitted by the priority date are guaranteed a decision before the 100% drop date for each term.  If the appeal is submitted after the priority there is no guarantee that you will know the decision on your appeal prior to the 100% drop date.  It can take up to 15 business days for an appeal to be reviewed and a decision posted.


Q.           My appeal was approved on Monday.  I saw the decision posted on ULINK and I got my email.  But I haven’t been offered any aid yet.  When will I be able to accept my aid?

A.            You should check your To Do List on ULINK to ensure that your financial aid is complete.  If your file is complete and you still have not been awarded there may just be a timing issue.  Awarding of financial aid does not happen every day.  Generally, awarding takes place at the end of the week and often on a biweekly basis.  You should continue to monitor your student email and ULINK account for updates.


Q.           SFAO calculated my Pace wrong.  I enrolled in 12 hours each semester and only failed one class my first semester.  My Pace should be 62% (15/24) not 50%.

A.            Pace is a calculation of comparing all cumulative earned hours to cumulative attempted hours.  In the fall you attempted 12 hours and earned 3.  You had 3 hours of C, 3 hours of F and 6 hours of withdrawal.  In the spring you attempted 12 hours and earned 9.  You had 3 hours of B, 6 hours of C and 3 hours of withdrawal.  Your Pace is 12/24 or 50%.

Cumulative Earned Hours

Cumulative Attempted Hours

3 C Fall

3 C Fall

3 B Spring

3 F Fall

6 C Spring

6 W Fall


3 B Spring


6 C Spring


3 W Spring

Total Cumulative Earned hours= 12

Total Cumulative Attempted hours= 24

Attempted hours include:

o    All credits for courses in which a student is formally enrolled as of the census date for the term (this includes credits taken at the undergraduate, graduate or professional degree levels and credits taken during enrollment as a non-degree student).

o    All credits that a student drops or adds at any point in the semester. (except during the 100% drop period at the beginning of each term)

o    All credits for course in which the student enrolled, but subsequently withdrew or failed.

o    Transfer credits from another school that are accepted by the University of Louisville.

o    Credits earned through exam and credit by portfolio assessment.


Earned hours include:

o    All credits completed with grades of ‘D’ or better as well as Satisfactory or Pass grades.

o    Transfer credits from another school that are accepted by the University of Louisville.

o    Credits earned through exam and credit by portfolio assessment.



Q.            I graduated from WKU several years ago with a business degree.  I lost my job recently and have enrolled at UofL to complete a nursing degree and begin a new career.  I got an email that I don’t meet Max Time Frame.  I don’t understand what this means.

A.            All cumulative attempted hours are included in the SAP calculation for Max Time Frame.  This will include all transfer hours accepted by UofL from another school.  So, all hours you earned at WKU that are now reflected on your UofL transcript, are included in your total cumulative attempted hour calculation.


Q.            Why do I need to submit the Max Time Frame worksheet?

A.            When a student is held for Max Time Frame we ask him/her to meet with the advisor and complete the Max Time Frame worksheet in order to help guide the SFAO in the back end processing of the student’s account if the appeal is approved.

If a student’s Max Time Frame appeal is approved SFAO has to input a new maximum number of allowable hours for each of the student’s remaining semesters for program completion.

Susie submits an appeal with the Max Time Frame worksheet that outlines that she needs 24 additional hours to complete her program and that she is expected to graduate at the end of the Fall 2017 term.  If her hours exceed 230 hours and/or she continues to enroll after the Fall 2017 term, she will no longer meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and will not have financial aid eligibility in any future semesters.


Q.            I submitted an appeal in August and it was deferred for additional information.  I came in today (October 1) to submit my additional information and was told that my appeal was cancelled and now I have to submit a whole new appeal.  I don’t understand.

A.            Students who have a deferred appeal are given a deadline of 30 days (sometimes fewer if the initial appeal is submitted closer to the end of the term).  If the additional information is not submitted by the deadline, the appeal is cancelled.  If the appeal deadline has not passed for the term, the student can submit a new appeal.


Q.            At the end of the spring semester I was held for SAP because I did not have a 2.0 GPA.  On May 13th my professor changed the failing grade that was incorrectly recorded to a C+.  I now have a 2.0 GPA.  Can you remove the SAP hold on my account?

A.            Federal regulations prohibit an automatic clearance; therefore, we cannot remove a SAP hold even for students who self-correct a SAP.  Students who would like their eligibility reviewed before the next annual SAP evaluation (end of the next spring semester) must submit an appeal.


Q.            I don’t meet SAP.   If I transfer to another school will I be eligible for aid there?

A.            SAP does not transfer from school to school.  So, if you have a SAP hold at UL, you will not necessarily have a SAP hold at another school.  You should be proactive in researching the policies of the other school’s Financial Aid Office.


Q.            If my appeal isn’t approved do I have to withdraw?

A.            It is not required that a student be eligible for federal or state need-based aid in order to remain enrolled in classes.  As long as you are academically eligible to continue enrollment you can do so.  You will have to settle your balance with the Bursar’s Office with funds other than federal or state need-based aid.  You can apply for a credit-based Alternative Loan or make cash payments to the Bursar’s Office. Feel free to review alternative loan options on the SFAO website.  Please be aware that even some alternative loan options require students to meet SAP. If you have a scholarship or third party authorized aid you may continue to receive those payments, but you should review the terms of the aid to ensure you met the specified requirements for eligibility.

Q.            Do I have to complete a FAFSA as part of my SAP Appeal?

A.             Yes, SAP will not be evaluated for the current academic year until the FAFSA is submitted.

Priority dates are listed on the appeal form.  Completed appeals submitted by the posted priority date for each term are guaranteed a decision before the term census date. You are not guaranteed to be offered aid.



Deadline dates are the last day an appeal can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office for aid consideration in that semester.  Appeals should only be submitted for semesters you are enrolled, intend to enroll and have posted deadlines on appeal form.