Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) indicates your successful completion of coursework towards a degree or certificate.

  • 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 applying for financial aid, including those that have not previously received financial aid.
  • During the first evaluation where a student has failed to meet SAP, they may qualify for a “warning” semester during which they may retain their eligibility to receive FSA.
  • Students who lose their aid may appeal the loss provided there are mitigating circumstances that inhibited their academic progress.
  • If an appeal is approved, the student’s FSA eligibility is reinstated for one probationary semester.
  • If mitigating circumstances do not exist, students may take classes at their 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.

SAP is evaluated based on grades posted at the end of each semester and prior to the beginning of the upcoming semester (defined as a 16-week period of academic study), as well as prior to the student receiving FSA for the first time at APUS.

  • The criteria used to measure Satisfactory Academic Progress:

    • Cumulative grade point average (qualitative)

    • Credit hour completion/Program Pace (quantitative)
  • The requirements of each criterion must be met and are described in detail below.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

GPA is the qualitative measure of SAP, meaning that it looks at the quality of the grades that each student earns in their courses.

  • GPA for financial aid eligibility is reviewed after 6 undergraduate credits or 6 graduate 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 F are included in the GPA calculation.
  • To meet SAP requirements, students must maintain a GPA that meets or exceeds our minimum as shown in the chart below.
  • Students who fail to meet GPA requirements also fail to meet SAP requirements and will be denied Federal Student Aid (Information on Loss of FSA Eligibility is located under Policies and Procedures for Award of FSA.).

*Credits transferred in from another college or university via an official Transfer Credit Evaluation are factored into the calculation of how many credits a student has completed in determining the minimum GPA threshold from the chart.

SAP Criteria Based on Cumulative GPA (CGPA) and Credits Completed

Class Level Total Credits Completed (including transferred credits1) Minimum CGPA Required for Financial Aid
Undergraduate Students 6-12 1.50
13+ 2.00
Graduate Students 6-8 2.50
9+ 3.00
RN to MSN 6-8 2.50
9+ 3.00
Doctoral 6+ 3.00
  • An undergraduate student with no transfer credits must have a minimum Cumulative GPA of 1.5 once they have completed their first 6 credits at APUS.
  • A student who transferred in 9 credits, and then completed 6 credits at APUS, must have a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.0 (9 transfer credits plus 6 credits completed equals 15). As noted in the chart above, any student with more than 13 credit hours must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. The calculation of a student’s CGPA only includes grades from courses completed at APUS.

Credit Hour Completion/Program Pace

Credit hour completion is the quantitative measure of SAP, meaning that students must complete a certain percentage of their 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 their program within 150% of the published credits. Examples:
    • If your program requirements are 120 credits, you must satisfy all requirements of your program without having to attempt more than 180 credits.
    • If your program requirements are 18 credits, you must satisfy all requirements of your program without having to attempt more than 27 credits.
  • Courses with a final undergraduate grade of A through D- or a final graduate grade of A through C will be counted towards credits completed.
  • Final grades that fall below the minimums (D- for undergraduates and C for graduates) are not counted as credits completed but will be used to determine credits attempted.
  • Students who withdraw from a course are considered as having attempted the course.
  • Students who drop a course are not considered as having attempted the course.
  • Courses that are otherwise dropped prior to the course start date or during the add/drop period in week one will not count towards attempted credits. Please note: All students are required to log into each of their courses during week one and submit a class post/assignment of at least 250 words. Students who do not submit this assignment during the first week of class will be automatically dropped from any course(s) in which this assignment has not been completed. More information can be located in the Student Handbook.
  • 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.”
  • Remedial courses do 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 %
Undergraduate Students 6-12 50%
13-24 60%
25-36 65%
37+ 67%
Graduate Students 6-9 50%
10-18 60%
19+ 67%

Credits transferred from another college or university are included in determining the credits completed percentage for the quantitative measure - completed hours divided by attempted hours. Likewise, the total of APUS and transfer credits that a student has from another college or university will be added to determine where they fall on the chart above.