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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. 


Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid is defined as achieving a required grade point average (GPA) and passing a required number of hours 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. Students not meeting SAP will be notified of their SAP status at the end of each semester.


NOTE:  Academic Progress through Academic Affairs and the Financial Aid SAP process are independent of 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 (there is no rounding to the next highest number).  Ratio will be evaluated at the end of the given semester.  All grades are counted toward the hours attempted when calculating ratio, including: “W” Withdrawal, “I” Incomplete, F, WF, FA, R/*- Repeats/deletes for credit hour coursework. Transfer credits are also used in determining compliance with the University’s SAP Policy at the end of the semester for hours accepted by the University.


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.



  • 1st Offense:   Warning
  • 2nd Offense:  Probation: Probation with an Appeal* or Continued Probation* and/or
  • 3rd Offense:   Suspension


Warning:  Students who fail to maintain the required SAP standards will be granted a Warning.  During the Warning period, students 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.  However, students who have experienced extenuating circumstances which caused him/her not to meet the SAP Policy will be able to submit a SAP Appeal.  See SAP Appeals below.


  • Probation with an Appeal:  Students who submits a SAP Appeal and the appeal is approved, their SAP status will be converted to Probation with an Appeal.  During this phase, students can be considered for and receive Federal Student Aid. 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, and must achieve an acceptable GPA for his/her career (grade level) and successfully pass 70% of the hours attempted at the end of the semester in which the appeal was approved.

  • Continued Probation:  If a SAP Appeal is approved and it determined that the student will be unable to meet the SAP requirements at the end of the semester for which the appeal is approved, then the committee will provide requirements and an academic plan will be required. If this is the case, then at the end of the Probation with an Appeal semester the student will be placed on Continued Probation. If the required standards for SAP are not met after the Continued Probationary period then the student will be placed on financial aid SUSPENSION.


Suspension:  Students who fail to meet SAP requirements after being placed on Warning, 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 prohibited the student from regaining eligibility during the SAP Appeal approval semester. This appeal request must be authorized by the Financial Aid Director before being considered and/or submitted to the appeal’s committee.



Students with extenuating circumstances may appeal to have their 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 along with appropriate documentation which substantiate the nature of the appeal.  


Generally, there is only one (1) appeal granted to a student during the academic year of enrollment at Dillard. However, only due to extreme circumstance will an additional appeal can be considered. Therefore, students can be granted a maximum of three (3) approved appeals during the student’s academic 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.



  • The student must obtain, complete and submit the SAP Appeal Form.
  • The student must write a detailed letter explaining their circumstance and submit it along with the SAP Appeal Form.
  • The student must obtain and submit all documentation to substantiate the basis of their appeal.  Note:  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.


Students with an approved SAP Appeal must meet with a Financial Aid representative to discuss and certify the decision and requirements.


How do I REGAIN/RE-ESTABLISH eligibility?  Students 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 required GPA and semester hours.
  • 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. Transfer credits only factors into the ratio (quantitative measure) but not the GPA (qualitative measure).


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


*Special Note:  Due to the National Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), at the end of the Spring 2020 semester and beyond during the pandemic, students who are not meeting SAP under Probation and Suspension are being granted the provision to submit a SAP Appeal based on extenuating circumstance(s) which includes circumstances related to COVID-19.  


An appeal may include the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. Circumstances related to an outbreak of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the illness of a student or family member, compliance with a quarantine period, or the general disruption resulting from such an outbreak may form the basis of the student’s SAP appeal.







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