Satisfactory Academic Progress

Various federal and state regulations governing student financial assistance require that an institution develop standards to measure academic progress toward a degree. Students applying for financial aidMoney provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self help aid (loans and work). will be monitored for satisfactory academic progressA student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to continue to receive financial aid. Students must maintain a certain qualitative standard (i.e. cumulative GPA) in addition to maintaining a quantitative standard (i.e. successfully completing a required number of credit hours). Students must also complete their degree or certificate program within a maximum timeframe, which may vary according to the student’s status and program. If a student does not maintain the required standards, the student may lose their financial aid eligibility.   whether or not financial aid was applied for or received during any academic period in which the student was previously enrolled. You will not be eligible for financial assistance if you do not meet the academic progress requirements. Minimum standards, including qualitative and quantitative measures of progress, must be achieved by the end of any given enrollment period at UNT.

UNT monitors Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each term. You must be meeting at least the minimum standards for SAP by the end of any given enrollment period at UNT to maintain financial aid eligibility.

For more information, see our current Satisfactory Academic Progress handout

Helpful Terms to Understand Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

  • Pace of Progression: an ongoing measure that ensures a student is on track to complete their program in the maximum timeframe.
  • Meets SAP: a status assigned to you if you are in good standing and meeting all SAP requirements.
  • Warning: a status assigned to you if you failed to meet SAP requirements (qualitative and/or pace of progression). You will still be allowed to receive financial aid during a warning status.
  • Not Meets SAP: a status assigned to you if you are not meeting SAP requirements (qualitative, pace of progression and/or maximum hours). You will not be eligible for financial aid with this status.
  • AppealThere are situations that may lead to a students' desire to file an appeal with the Financial Aid Office. Student appeals must be provided in writing. SFAS has specific appeal processes in place for appeals on Satisfactory Academic Progress, Special Circumstances, Dependency Overrides and Scholarships.: the process for a student who failed to meet SAP requirements to petition the school for a reconsideration of financial aid (see appeal process for more information).
  • Financial Aid Probation: a status assigned to you if you failed to maintain SAP but successfully appeal, permitting you to receive financial aid for one term.
  • Financial Aid Academic Plan: a status assigned to you if an additional appeal is approved while on financial aid probation. This is developed in cooperation and agreement with your academic department/advisor

Qualitative Requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress

The minimum cumulative UNT grade point averageThe GPA is an average of a student's grades. Grades have been converted to a 4.0 scale, with 4.0 being an A, 3.0 being a B, and 2.0 being a C. for undergraduate students is 1.8 for the first term of enrollment and a 2.0 for all subsequent semesters. The minimum cumulative UNT grade point average for graduate students is 2.67 for the first term of enrollment and a 3.0 for all subsequent semesters.

Remember: When you apply and are accepted to graduate school, your satisfactory academic progress will be measured according to graduate student classification, whether or not a bachelors degree has been earned..

Pace of Progression Requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted credit hours. Attempted hours include repeated, failed, incomplete, withdrawn from, and transfer credit hours.

Pace of Progression is measured by dividing the cumulative number of hours successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours attempted as shown below:

Pace = Cumulative # of hours successfully completed ÷ Cumulative # of hours attempted

Maximum Hour Limit

Federal regulations require an institution to establish a maximum number of credit hours to complete a degree or certification while also remaining eligible for federal, state or institutional financial assistance. Consideration of eligibility includes all terms of enrollment, whether or not federal, state or institutional aid is received. Undergraduate students cannot exceed hours above 150% of their required degree plan at any institution of higher education, to include all registered, earned or attempted hours. In addition, university withdrawal, dropped, duplicated or never completed hours are counted as well as hours earned in the Armed Forces.  Any hours excluded under the Academic Fresh Start option are included as attempted hours for financial aid purposes.

For a graduate program (master’s or doctoral), the maximum timeframe cannot exceed the published length of the program measured by the number of years at UNT.

Post baccalaureate programs will be monitored for maximum timeframe based on their twelve month or twenty-four month period of aid eligibility. Post Baccalaureate graduate non-degree and preparation programs are not eligible for aid. A brochure is available in Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office containing specifics for post baccalaureate students.

Non-degree Graduate Academic Certificate programs will be monitored for maximum timeframe based on their twelve month period of aid eligibility.

Students Who Receive All Failing Grades

If you receive all failing grades (any combination F's, WF's and NP's), attendance in all classes will be reviewed. If attendance cannot be confirmed via official UNT Registrar records, Student Financial Aid and Scholarships personnel will apply the federally mandated calculation for the return of financial aid funds. Unearned Title IV funds (aid) will be returned to the programs from which the money was paid to you (or your parent) and it is possible that you will owe a repayment to the university.

Appeal Process

If you fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and consequently lose financial aid eligibility, you may submit a written appeal with supporting documentation for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility if you had mitigating circumstances.

Mitigating circumstances include:

  • Serious injury of the student and/or the student's immediate family
  • Serious extended illness of the student and/or the student's immediate family
  • Death of the student's relative

If you have had mitigating circumstances, please visit the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office on the first or second levels of the Eagle Student Services Center to pick up an appeal form. The appeal forms are also available in the Forms section of this website.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for the appeal to be processed. If your appeal is denied, please visit with Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for other funding opportunities.  Appeals must be submitted by the midpoint of the semester.

Repeated Coursework

Per Federal Regulation, a student is not eligible for Title IV (federal) financial aid for any course they repeat more than once if they have previously passed the course.

Example:  Student took BIOL 101 in Fall 2010 and earned a D.  The student can retake the course once and receive financial aid for that course.  If the student attempts to retake the course again, no federal financial aid funds can be used to help pay for the class.