Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Learn more about Rutgers Satisfactory Academic Progress as it relates to financial aid, how to file a SAP appeal, and what to do if you are unable to meet SAP standards.

What is academic progress for financial aid?

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is a requirement for all students receiving federal, state, or university assistance while enrolled at Rutgers. Financial aid recipients must meet both a qualitative and a quantitative standard to maintain eligibility for aid. In addition, the student must complete the program within the maximum timeframe.

The qualitative standard is determined by the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) at a specific grade level.

The quantitative standard is based on a student’s completion rate, or the successful completion of a minimum number of credits of the total credits attempted.


How is academic progress measured?

How completion rate is calculated:

RU completed credits + accepted transfer credits / RU attempted credits + accepted transfer credits

Academic Status Table: Credit Completion & GPA Requirements
If Cumulative Credits Completed EqualsPercentage Rate of Cumulative Attempted Credits Completed Must BeCumulative GPA (standard calculation)
90 and over75%2.00


Academic progress is measured at the end of the spring semester of a full academic year and includes all terms of enrollment or for the spring term only for spring students admitted in spring, including winter and summer sessions. Your entire academic record is included in the determination of satisfactory academic progress, whether or not you received aid.

Incomplete and withdrawal grades do not earn credits to meet the academic standard or influence the GPA in the term the course was attempted, but they do count as attempted credits. Repeated courses will count as part of the attempted credits, but will not be duplicated in the completed credits.

Students who are not meeting satisfactory academic progress at the end of the spring term may not be eligible for summer aid if an appeal and academic plan is not available, which includes the summer term.

Students who are not meeting the completion rate standard but who can graduate within two terms can submit an appeal, and if approved, can continue toward graduation if the student’s adviser or dean writes a plan detailing the expectation of the student during the two terms through graduation.

Students readmitted to Rutgers must be evaluated prior to receiving financial aid. If the student was not meeting satisfactory academic progress when they last attended Rutgers, they must (if qualified) file an appeal and obtain an academic plan.

Maximum Timeframe

Students cannot receive financial aid for credits in excess of 150% of the required credits for graduation in their degree program. For example, if your program requires 120 credits for graduation, you may not receive aid for more than 180 attempted credit hours (120 x 150%). This policy is in effect even if you change your major or are pursuing a second baccalaureate degree.

If you exceed the maximum time frame, you may appeal to your regional director of financial aid for a one-time extension of aid eligibility only if you are within 24 credits of completing your degree program and meeting the minimum GPA (2.0) standards. Confirmation of your ability to graduate within 24 credits must be provided by your academic adviser or dean.

Students not meeting the minimum standards will be deemed ineligible for any future terms unless they successfully appeal.

What aid programs are affected by academic progress?

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work Study Program
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal William D. Ford Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan
  • New Jersey State Aid Programs: Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), Distinguished Scholarships, Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), NJCLASS Loans
  • University Grants and Scholarships

How do I appeal for financial aid probation?

Important Info

  • If you are readmitted to Rutgers, your academic progress will be evaluated before you are awarded financial aid.
  • If you transferred to Rutgers, credits transferred will be added to both the total attempted and completed credits.
  • If you are a new student, any advanced placement credits will be added to both the total attempted and completed credits.
  • Federal student aid will pay for a maximum of 30 remedial credits (excluding ESL courses).
  • All students must make satisfactory progress toward a degree and meet the minimum cumulative GPA required by your college of enrollment.

To begin the appeal process, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Appeal for Financial Aid Probation form.
  2. Prepare a statement explaining: (1) the cause of the failure to meet satisfactory academic standards; and (2) changes to your situation that will allow you to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress going forward.
  3. Submit the form and statement to your academic adviser within 30 days of receiving your academic progress ineligibility notice from the Office of Financial Aid.

The appeal will require an academic plan constructed by your dean or academic adviser. The academic plan will ensure that you are able to meet SAP standards by a specified time if you follow the plan. The dean or academic adviser will submit the plan and appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid, and if approved, your probation period will begin with your next semester of attendance and you may continue to receive aid while on probation as long as you meet the terms of the plan.

However, if it is determined that mathematically you cannot regain compliance with SAP requirements, you will no longer be eligible for financial aid unless you later come back into standard. There are two exceptions to this policy: graduating students not meeting completion rate standards, and graduating students not meeting maximum time frame standards.

If your adviser provides an acceptable plan with your appeal, here’s what happens:

  • Your financial aid will be approved initially for the first term, and then for subsequent terms during the probation period upon review of your progress at the end of the previous term. If you are meeting the terms of plan, you will continue to receive financial aid.
  • Failure to meet any of the terms of your academic plan will result in the immediate loss of your aid eligibility.
Note:NOTE: Students enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences in New Brunswick must submit their appeal forms no later than October 1.

I do not meet the academic progress standards. What are my options?

If your appeal for financial aid probation is not approved, you fail to meet the requirements of your approved academic plan, or you choose not to appeal, then you must make alternative arrangements to finance your education.

You may choose to apply for a private loan during this period, as some lenders allow students who are not making satisfactory academic progress to borrow from their educational loan programs.

Be sure to monitor your academic progress as it relates to financial aid eligibility.

The Office of Financial Aid assists by annually measuring progress for aid recipients at the end of the spring term and notifying students who have not met the minimum standards for continued eligibility.

Notify the Office of Financial Aid of a grade change made after the official posting for any semester.

If you discover discrepancies on your academic transcript, contact the Office of the Registrar.

Information for Academic Advisors

Special Cases

Students who fail their plan due to a death in the immediate family or a documentable medical condition that caused the student to be unable to conform to the terms of the academic plan will be permitted to obtain a new plan.

The new plan will only allow the student one additional term at the end of the academic plan if they successfully appeal. A student with a pre-existing condition will not be eligible for an extension.

A student who successfully completes the terms of their academic plan and regains SAP status, but who later fails to meet SAP again will be eligible for a new plan.

In all cases, the student must meet again with their academic advisor or Dean for the new plan.