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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that students adhere to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards to maintain eligibility for financial aid at Dillard University. Beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year, the following policy has been implemented. This policy is subject to change. Last update was the 2017-2018 award year.


Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as passing a required number of hours and achieving a required grade point average (GPA) during any semester or academic year. Dillard University minimum progress standards will be reviewed once at the end of every semester. All semes­ters will be factored in the SAP review process including all credits accepted and transferred to Dillard in order to make a satis­factory progress determination, regardless of whether or not the student received aid in a given semester. NOTE:  Academic Progress through Academic Affairs and Financial Aid SAP are independent and separate from one another. Please see the Office of Academic Affairs for the poli­cy on Academic Probation.


There are three components to the University’s SAP policy:                             


Component 1: Qualitative Standard (GPA)


Each student must meet the cumulative grade point average to remain eligible for federal aid: 


Earned Hours

Required GPA

First-Year Students

0 through 29



30 through 60


Juniors & Seniors

61 and above






The student’s career (cumulative overall) GPA is reviewed at the end of each semester to determine SAP eligibility.

IMPORTANT!  Regardless of hours attempted and earned, every student must have earned a cumulative 2.00 grade point average by the end of their second academic year.


Component 2: Quantitative Standard (Ratio)

Each student must successfully pass a minimum of 70% of their credit hours attempted during the pre­ceding semester at the University (rounded to the next highest number).  Ratio will be evaluated at the end of the given semester.  All grades are counted when calculating ratio, including: “W” Withdrawals, “I” Incompletes, F, WF, FA, repeated and P for non-credit/remedial coursework will be counted toward the hours attempted. Transfer credits are also used in determining compliance with the University’s SAP Policy at the end of the student.


Component 3: Maximum Time Frame

Students are expected to complete degree requirements within a reasonable time-frame based on the average length of their program. Students must complete graduation requirements in no more than 150% of the average length of their program: For example: students requiring 124 credits to graduate from a program may not attempt more than 186 hours and still receive aid. In the event the student elects to change his/her major, all attempted hours, including transfer hours, will be counted in the evaluation of the 150% time- frame.


Sanctions:  Warning, Probation (Probation with an Appeal or Continued Probation) and/or Suspension


WARNING:  Students who fail to maintain the required SAP standards will be granted a WARNING.  During the warning period, student may still receive Financial Aid. 


PROBATION:  If after the “Warning” period and the student does not improve their SAP status, then the student will be placed on SAP status of PROBATION. During the probation period the student is not eligible for financial aid.

  • Probation with an Appeal:  Students who are on PROBATION are able to submit a SAP Appeal. The basis for a SAP appeal is based on extenuating circumstances that the student encountered which has caused him/her not to meet the SAP Policy. The student may submit a letter of APPEAL to be seek reconsideration for reinstatement of financial aid.  If the SAP Appeal is approved then the aid can be reinstated. If an appeal is approved, during the probationary period, the student may receive aid and must achieve an acceptable GPA for his/her career (grade level) and successfully pass 70% of the hours attempted during this period.
  • Continued Probation:  If the appeal is approved knowing the student is unable to meet the SAP requirements at the end of the semester for which the appeal is approved, the committee will provide requirements and an academic plan must be submitted. Therefore, at the end of the Probation with an Appeal, the student will be placed on Continued Probation. If the required standards for SAP are not met after the Continued Probationary period with an appeal, the student will be placed on financial aid SUSPENSION.

SUSPENSION:  Students who fail to meet SAP requirements after being placed on Warning, Probation and if applicable Probation with an appeal and/or Continued Probation, then the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.  During the Suspension period, a SAP Appeal cannot be filed*. Students must meet SAP requirements on his/her own in order to regain aid eligibility.

*Only under extreme circumstances during the suspension period that a student may submit an appeal for reconsideration. These will be extreme conditions/situations beyond the student’s control which prohibit the student from regaining eligibility during the approved semester. This appeal request must be authorized by the Financial Aid Director before being considered and/or submitted to the appeal’s committee.


SAP Appeals

Students with extenuating circumstances may appeal to have financial aid reinstated. All students who failed to maintain SAP, has been placed on Probation but demonstrated an extenuating circumstance, may submit a SAP Appeal. The Appeal Form must be submitted along with a written statement explaining their circumstance and appropriate documentation which substantiate the nature of the appeal.


Generally, there is only one (1) appeal granted to a student during their academic enrollment at Dillard. However, only due to extreme circumstance will an additional appeal can be considered. Therefore, students can be granted a maximum of two (2) approved appeals during the student’s enrollment. 


Examples of extenuating circumstances include the student's prolonged illness, under doctor’s care or an accident requir­ing hospitalization or prolonged absence from class. Death of an immediate family member or prolonged illness of the student’s parent or dependent child may be considered grounds for an appeal.



  1. The student must obtain, complete and submit the SAP Appeal Form.
  2. The student must write a detailed letter explaining their circumstance and submit it along with the SAP Appeal Form.
  3. The student must obtain and submit all documentation to substantiate the basis of their appeal. Documents must be submitted along with the SAP Appeal Form and written statement.

No appeal will be accepted, reviewed and/or considered without documenta­tion. Students will be notified in writing of the out­come of appeals and any additional procedures. The appeal committee's decision is final. However, if the student believes his/her appeal was unfairly evaluated, then the student may submit a written request to the Financial Aid Director to have their appeal re-evaluated.  Justification will be required along with additional supporting documents.


The SAP Appeal's Form is located under the Documents & Forms tab to the left on the Financial Aid webpage.


REGAIN/RE-ESTABLISH ELIGIBILITY:  Student can regain eligibility by meeting the SAP criterion on their own merit.


Students must achieve the acceptable grades and/or credit progression to get back into compliance with SAP.


Students may be required to meet the following criteria (subject to change):

  • Complete coursework at your own expense and meet the minimum semester hours and GPA.
  • Complete an Academic Success Action Plan.
  • Submitting a Degree Audit.


NOTE:  Staying out of school a semester will not change your eligibility status. Also, transferring additional credits from another institution will not change your eligibility if the Registrar’s Office does not accept the transfer credits. 


For more informa­tion on Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.






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