Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require the University of Missouri to establish, publish, and apply standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid eligibility. The purpose of measuring and enforcing these standards is to ensure financial aid recipients make progress toward graduation. The U.S. Department of Education establishes that reasonable standards must include qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-based) components. SAP standards listed by student group are available below.

Students who fail to meet the SAP requirements are ineligible to receive financial aid, which can be reinstated in one of two ways: (1) the student becomes compliant with SAP requirements or (2) the student successfully appeals and is eligible for aid on a probationary status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress takes into consideration the cumulative official University of Missouri grade point average (GPA), the cumulative number of credits attempted and completed at the University of Missouri, and credits that have successfully transferred from any other postsecondary institution.

Note: The financial aid SAP standards are not the same as the academic standards of the University or of any academic department. Financial aid SAP status does not prevent a student from enrolling in classes.

SAP Evaluation and Appeal

Academic progress of each financial aid recipient is reviewed annually after the spring semester.* Students who fail to meet the SAP criteria receive a notification with information regarding the opportunity to appeal for financial aid eligibility.

*Academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each term for:
1. Students enrolled in a primary program whcih is scheduled to last 12 months or less; and
2. Students in any program who fail to earn any credit for the given term (considered an unofficial withdrawal).

SAP Standards for Undergraduate Students

  • Earn passing grades in 67 percent of all credit hours of graded coursework attempted*
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative MU grade point average of 1.67 (for students who have attempted fewer than 60 credit hours) or 2.00 (for students who have attempted 60 or more credit hours)
  • Attempt fewer than 180 total credit hours of coursework

SAP Standards for Graduate Students

  • Earn passing grades in 75 percent of all credit hours of graded coursework attempted*
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative MU grade point average of 3.00

SAP Standards for Graduate Certificate Students

  • Earn passing grades in 75 percent of all credit hours of graded coursework attempted*
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative MU grade point average of 3.00
  • Attempt fewer than 19 total credit hours of coursework for a graduate certificate

SAP Standards for Graduate Professional Students

Satisfactory Academic Progress for graduate professional students are determined and monitored by the professional schools:

*Attempted Credits

Attempted credit hours are defined as any credit hour in which a student is officially enrolled on or after the beginning of the first day of classes in any given semester through the last day of finals. This includes any courses at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree levels that are completed, incomplete, in progress, withdrawn, dropped, transferred, repeated, etc. Earned credits include all credits completed with a grade of D or better (as well as Satisfactory and Pass), transfer credits accepted by MU, and credits earned through examination.

Student Aid Programs Impacted by SAP

Most federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs have individual eligibility requirements and conditions beyond SAP. Refer to the individual program’s criteria to determine eligibility. SAP standards serve as a minimum eligibility requirement to determine progress toward a degree.

All Federal Title IV financial aid programs are impacted by SAP, including but not limited to, the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Federal Graduate PLUS Loans, and the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program. State of Missouri programs are also impacted by SAP, including but not limited to, the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program, the Bright Flight Program, the Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Scholarship, the Minority Teaching Scholarship, the Public Service Officer or Employee’s Child Survivor Grant Program, the Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant Program, and the Wartime Veteran’s Survivors Grant Program. The University of Missouri (MU) Grant is also impacted by SAP. Some alternative loans are impacted by SAP (inquire with the lender).

Programs not impacted by SAP include, but are not limited to, tuition remission for MU employees or dependents of MU employees, athletic aid, some University scholarships, some outside scholarships, some alternative loans, and student wage payroll earnings (except for Federal Work-Study).

Additional SAP Information

  • Undergraduate students working on a second or subsequent bachelor’s degree must attempt fewer than 225 credit hours to maintain financial aid eligibility.
  • The SAP review does not align with the standard academic year. Students who fail SAP standards at the end of spring but were meeting previously are not eligible for summer aid.
  • Students who unofficially withdraw for a term are reevaluated before the beginning of the next term.
  • Students attempting more than one major at a time are not provided a higher threshold of attempted credits for the SAP evaluation.
  • Students who have requested a Revision of Records through the Office of the University Registrar are evaluated by SAP in the same manner as any other student and must complete the SAP appeal process, if applicable, in order to be considered for financial aid eligibility.
  • Students who were previously dismissed or withdrew from the University and appealed for readmission are evaluated by SAP in the same manner as any other student and must complete the SAP appeal process, if applicable, in order to be considered for financial aid eligibility.
  • Repeat coursework will count in the SAP evaluation as each attempt made for the course. If a grade replacement is approved by the Office of the University Registrar, only the official grade will calculate as part of the grade point average for the SAP evaluation.
  • Coursework attempted is included in the SAP evaluation, regardless of a student changing his/her academic major.
  • Credits successfully transferred from any other postsecondary institution are considered as both attempted and completed credit hours, yet do not affect the cumulative MU grade point average.
  • Programs that are not eligible for financial aid because they are non-degree seeking are not considered in the SAP evaluation process.