• According to federal regulations, students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree or certificate will lose their ability to receive Federal Student Aid (FSA).
  • This regulation applies to all students, including those that have not previously received financial aid.
  • Students who lose their aid may appeal the loss provided there are mitigating circumstances that inhibited their academic progress.
  • If mitigating circumstances do not exist, you may take classes at your own expense to demonstrate improvement for a future appeal.
  • To otherwise restore eligibility students must achieve the GPA and hours target as defined in the policy.

We evaluate SAP at the beginning of each semester (defined as a 16-week period of academic study), and prior to the student receiving FSA for the first time at our university.

  • The university may grant administrative waivers or probationary terms (i.e., grades are not posted before the start of the next term in consecutive terms).
  • There are three criteria used to measure Satisfactory Academic Progress:
    • Cumulative grade point average (qualitative)

    • Credit hour completion (quantitative)

    • Program deadline

    • The requirements of each criterion must be met and are described in detail below.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

  • Cumulative GPA is the qualitative measure of SAP, meaning that it looks at the quality of the grades that each student earns in their courses.
  • Cumulative GPA is calculated after 6 doctoral credits are completed at APUS.
  • Evaluation thereafter occurs in the segments listed in the table below; only credits completed at APUS with a final grade of A through B- and F are included in the Cumulative GPA calculation.
  • To meet SAP requirements, students must maintain a Cumulative GPA that meets or exceeds our minimum as shown in the chart below.

Students who fail to meet CGPA requirements also fail to meet SAP requirements and will be denied FSA (information on Loss of FSA Eligibility is located under Policies and Procedures for Award of FSA).

SAP Criteria on Cumulative GPA (CGPA) and Credits Completed (Effective April 1, 2015, for terms that begin May 2015 and after)

Class Level Total Credits Completed Minimum CGPA Required for Financial Aid
Doctoral Students 6+ 3.0

Credit Hour Completion

  • Transfer credits are not accepted in the Doctoral program.
  • Credit hour completion is the quantitative measure of SAP, meaning that you must complete a certain percentage of your courses to maintain eligibility for Federal Student Aid.
  • Each academic program within our university system has a defined number of credit hours required for completion.
  • A student must complete his/her program within 150% of the published credits.
    • For example, if your program requirements are 58 credits, you must satisfy all requirements of your program without having to attempt more than 87 credits.
  • Students who withdraw from a course are considered as having attempted the course. Students who drop a course are considered as having not attempted the course.
  • The grades of A through B- will be counted towards credits completed.
  • Final grades that fall below the minimums (B- for doctoral) are not counted as credits completed but will be used to determine credits attempted.
  • Doctoral students who withdraw will be removed from the cohort and courses that are not completed will count as attempted credits.
  • Doctoral students are required to log into their courses during the first week of each course and complete a post or assignment as directed. Students who have not done so will be prompted to complete these activities or request a program hold to withdraw from the term.  
  • Courses with grades of incomplete (“I”) will not be counted as attempted until a final grade is earned by the student or the Registrar or instructor converts the “I” grade to an “F.”
  • Courses that are dropped prior to the course start date or during the add/drop period in Week One will not count towards attempted credits. 
  • Any course in which the student remains beyond Week One will count towards attempted courses regardless of the grade received.
  • Repeated courses will count as attempted courses.
  • To maintain SAP, students must achieve a minimum percentage of credits earned versus credits attempted.

SAP Criteria Based on Credits Attempted versus Credits Completed

Class Level Credits Attempted Credits Completed %
Doctoral Students 6-9 67%
10+ 75%

Program Deadline

Program deadline start dates are determined when the student completes Week One of their initial course(s). Students must complete their program within the time frame allowed as follows:

Doctoral Degree: 7 years from start date