Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

GPA and pace is evaluated for all students after the end of the spring semester. Students are notified by email if they become SAP ineligible after the spring semester. Duration is evaluated at the end of each semester. Students are also evaluated each semester to see if they can become eligible based on GPA and/or pace and are notified by email if they become eligible. Students who are on SAP probation are reviewed at the end of each semester to ensure probation requirements are met.

Students who lose financial aid eligibility due to not meeting SAP requirements may regain eligibility by:

  • earning the necessary GPA or semester hours to meet the minimum requirements while not receiving federal financial aid or
  • submitting a SAP Appeal Form in MyUI which is then reviewed by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

SAP Appeal Deadlines:  For the fall and spring semesters, SAP appeals must be submitted by the first Friday of classes.  For the summer semester, SAP appeals must be submitted by June 15.

Minimum Grade-Point Average (GPA)

Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 UI GPA. Some scholarships may require a higher GPA than the minimum required to remain in good SAP standing.


Minimum Pace Requirement

The minimum pace requirement is 67%. Use the formula below to determine your pace. Transfer credits that are accepted from another institution are included in the pace calculation and count as both attempted and completed hours.

Completed Semester Hours (grades of A, B, C, D, S or P)   divided by Attempted Semester Hours (completed semester hours plus grades of F, N, U, W, O or I)

Example: 

  Fall Semester + Spring Semester = Total
Completed Hours 6 + 10 = 16
Attempted Hours 12 + 12 = 24

16 ÷ 24 = .67 (67 %)


Duration of Eligibility

Federal guidelines limit financial aid eligibility to 150% of the semester hours of the intended degree program.  Transfer hours are included in the calculation of duration of eligibility. Nursing students are allowed five semesters of clinical rotation.

Teacher Certification students are limited to 150% of the program length as determined by the plan of study they submit to the Office of Student Financial Aid prior to receiving aid.

Your duration limit will be automatically updated if your major or degree changes and will be reviewed under those SAP standards during the next review period.

If you exceed the hours attempted (all hours taken including W, F, U, N, O, and I grades) listed below a SAP appeal will be required in order to receive financial aid.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences = 180 hours
Tippie College of Business = 180 hours
College of Education = 180 hours
University College = 180 hours
College of Engineering = 192 hours
College of Nursing = 192 hours
College of Public Health = 180 hours

If you exceed your duration of eligibility you must file the SAP Appeal Form in MyUI to be considered for extended eligibility.  If the appeal is accepted, each semester you must enroll in at least six semester hours of coursework required for the degree.


Eligibility After Completing First Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Based on federal SAP financial aid regulations, students who have met all degree requirements for their first bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa may no longer qualify for federal financial aid even if they have not officially applied for graduation. Information on this policy and answers to frequently asked questions are available on our Completed First Bachelor's Degree Requirements web page.


Second Bachelor's Degree or Teacher Certification

Students who are returning to earn a second undergraduate degree or teacher certification are held to the same standards outlined in the SAP policy for undergraduate students. The Office of Student Financial Aid will review enrolled hours to determine aid eligibility. 

  • Students returning to earn only an additional major after graduating from the University of Iowa are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Each semester students must enroll in at least six semester hours of coursework required for the second degree or teacher certification.
  • Students may be asked to complete a Plan of Study if OSFA cannot determine whether courses are required for the student's second degree or teacher certification.

Impact of Course Repeats, Withdrawals, Incompletes, Remedial, and ESL Courses

Email Satisfactory Academic Progress staff at finaid-sap@uiowa.edu if you have questions about course repeats (duplications), withdrawals, incompletes, remedial, or ESL courses.

Course Repeats: Students receiving an F in a course may repeat that course and receive financial aid for it until the course is passed. Students receiving a passing grade (D- or better) and retaking the course may only receive financial aid for that course one additional time. Repeated courses will be counted towards both the pace, GPA, and duration of eligibility components of SAP.

Course Drops after the add/drop period (W's): A withdrawn course will count as attempted hours but will not count as completed hours in the SAP pace calculation.

Semester Withdrawals: View our Impact of Student Withdrawal webpage.

Incompletes: An Incomplete will count as attempted hours but will not count as completed hours (therefore affecting pace). An incomplete may negatively affect a student's pace and aid eligibility. Once the work is completed a grade, passing or failing, is assigned and that grade will be incorporated into the next SAP review.

Retroactive Grade Changes: Grade changes that occur after the semester has started cannot be considered for SAP eligibility for that semester.  If you are SAP ineligible and your GPA and/or pace has improved due to a late grade change once the semester has started, you must still submit a SAP appeal for financial aid consideration.

Remedial Courses: All remedial courses are assigned a credit hour value, some of these courses are zero credit hours. Remedial courses that are zero hours do not count towards enrollment for financial aid purposes. Remedial courses that are one or more credit hours count as attempted hours and completed hours. Remedial courses assigned a grade of A-F will affect GPA, but remedial courses assigned a grade of S or U will not affect GPA.

ESL Courses:  Some students may qualify for federal financial aid for ESL courses. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for additional information.