Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations mandate that all students demonstrate satisfactory progress toward a degree or certificate to be eligible for financial assistance under the Title IV programs. To monitor this statutory requirement, Ave Maria University (AMU) has developed a policy which includes three required measures of progress; 1).Maximum Time Frame, 2). Pace of Completion, and 3).Qualitative Measure of Progress.

SAP Policy

Ave Maria University Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress measure a student’s performance in the following three areas in order to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress:

Standard 1: Maximum Time Frame
Obtain a First Bachelor’s Degree within 192 attempted credits

Standard 2: Pace of Completion
Satisfactorily complete a minimum cumulative completion rate of 66.67% of all attempted credits

Standard 3: Qualitative – Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

The AMU Satisfactory Academic Progress policy will be applied consistently to all financial aid applicants regardless of whether they had previously received financial aid. Compliance with policy requirements will be checked at the end of each term of enrollment. Due to the short time period between academic years (summer ends the academic year, fall begins the academic year), if it is determined that you are not meeting the policy requirements you may not receive written notification until classes begin for the new term. For this reason, it is important that you understand the measures of the policy and how it relates to your academic record at AMU.


 Students in undergraduate programs requiring 128 hours for graduation will be eligible for financial aid during the first 192 (12 semesters) attempted hours as an undergraduate, including transferred hours accepted for credit toward the student’s current program.  Except for extraordinary circumstances, this limit will not be extended if the student changes majors or seeks additional degrees. Graduate students in the Masters of Theology Program will be eligible during the first 72 attempted hours; and doctoral program, 120 attempted hours.  Eligibility for financial aid ends once students reach this maximum time frame.


At the end of each semester, students must have earned a minimum of 66.67% of cumulative attempted credits. This completion percentage is applicable to both undergraduate and graduate students. Successful completion of courses is defined as having received a grade of A, B, C, D or P. Unsatisfactory grades are “F,” “WF,” “W,” or “I.” Courses audited may not be used to qualify for financial aid and are not counted toward the attempted and earned hours. Transfer credits that count toward the student’s current program are calculated in cumulative pace of completion (as both attempted and completed hours).


  • Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (CPGA) determined by the number of attempted hours:
  • Students who have attempted 1 to 31 credit hours must meet a minimum of 1.7 CGPA.
  • Students who have attempted 32 to 63 credit hours must meet a minimum of 1.9 CGPA.
  •  Students who have attempted 64 or greater credit hours must have a minimum of 2.0 CGPA.
  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum of 3.0 CGPA for all coursework attempted.


  • Warning:  Students who do not meet one or more of the requirements for all three standards will be placed on financial aid warning until the next review.  If a student fails to earn at least one credit during the semester in review, the student will not be eligible for the warning period and will be placed on suspension.
  • Suspension: Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic standards of progress at the end of the warning term will be placed on suspension and will be ineligible to receive federal aid until they meet the minimum GPA and completion rate requirements. (A student may be eligible for institutional aid provided the student is placed on Academic Probation.)
  • Financial Aid Probation:  If a student submits a Petition for Reinstatement based on mitigating circumstances (as explained below), and the petition is approved, the student may be granted one semester on a probationary status in which financial aid will be disbursed to the student. The student’s progress will be reviewed at the end of the term.  If the student meets the minimum GPA and completion rate, the student will be eligible to continue receiving federal aid.  If the student failed to meet the minimum GPA or completion rate, the student will be ineligible to receive federal aid until he or she meets the minimum GPA and completion rate requirements.
  • Financial Aid Probation with Academic Plan:  If a student submits a Petition for Reinstatement based on mitigating circumstances (as explained below), and it is approved, but the committee determines the student will require more than one term to meet the progress standards, the student will be placed on probation with an  academic plan.  The student’s progress will be reviewed at the end of each term as required of a student on probation status, to determine if the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan. If the student is meeting the requirement of the academic plan, the student is eligible to receive federal aid until the next review.


Mitigating Circumstances

  • Students who do not meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements may request reinstatement of their eligibility based on any of the circumstances listed below. Request for reinstatement must be made in writing (see Petition section). Approval is NOT guaranteed.
    • Death/Illness of an immediate family member
    • Personal injury/illness
    • Physical disability
    • Other extraordinary/extenuating circumstances
  • Petition: Students seeking reinstatement of their eligibility to receive financial aid must complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Petition of Reinstatement and attach all required supporting documentation. Notification of action taken by the Office of Financial Aid Reinstatement Committee will be made by mail within 15 days of the request. The Reinstatement Committee decisions cannot be appealed to another source.

Note: Financial Aid for the current academic year will be awarded at the time of reinstatement, provided funds are still available. All costs of attendance incurred during the period of time in which a student is suspended are the sole responsibility of the student.



Students who withdraw from school while receiving financial aid will be subject to the provisions of the Refund and Repayment Policy and may be required to repay part or all of the aid received. In addition, withdrawals will affect the pace measure of progress. Students who enroll at least half time and fail to complete any courses in any given semester (0% completion rate) will be placed on Financial Aid suspension.

Incomplete Courses:

Grades of Incomplete (I) are counted as hours attempted and not earned.  However, if the student is able to complete successfully the incomplete course by the end of the following term, their progress will be reevaluated at that time.

Repeated Courses:

  • Students may receive federal aid for retaking a course that they failed or from which they withdrew. Also, students are allowed to receive federal aid one time only for retaking a course that they have completed with a passing grade.
  • All courses designated as repeated for grade improvement count as hours attempted, but only count once if passed as hours earned. The last grade earned stands as the official grade and is used in calculating the CGPA