Satisfactory Academic Progress


Satisfactory Academic Progress


Students applying for and those receiving Federal, State and UCCS financial aid from are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree. Maintaining SAP requires that students meet completion rate, maximum fundable credit hours, and minimum grade point average requirements. The chart below outlines the minimum SAP requirements:

Minimum Requirements for UCCS Students
Academic Career Grade Point Average (GPA) Completion Rate
Undergraduate 2.0 67%
Graduate 3.0 67%

The complete SAP policy is detailed below:

Academic progress of aid recipients is reviewed at the end of each semester students on warning or suspension will be emailed this information. Students who do not meet the minimum requirements for the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements will be given one warning semester. After that warning semester, if the student is not above the minimum requirements, the student will be considered ineligible for financial aid and placed on financial aid suspension.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to continue receiving federal financial aid. Academic progress standards are measured in the following three ways:

1. Qualitative Standard: A Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • The Financial Aid Office will use the cumulative University of Colorado GPA for all students regardless of whether or not the student has used financial aid previously.
  • Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum of 2.0 cumulative GPA in the CU system.
  • Graduate and Doctoral students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the CU system.

2. Quantitative Standard: A Minimum Completion Rate

Completion rates are calculated by the number of completed credit hours divided by the number of attempted credit hours. All students must have successfully completed at least 67% of all hours attempted. This SAP calculation only includes classes taken at UCCS.

NOTE: Credits hours attempted at UCCS are defined as the credits hours a student is enrolled in on the day following the census date (as published in each terms class schedule).

Withdrawals after the census date, repeated courses, failures, and incomplete courses all count as attempted credit hours.

All transfer credit hours are included with credit hours attempted in the CU system as the total attempted credit hours. Transfer credit hours (from schools other than the CU system) affect the cumulative completion percentage requirement and affect maximum credit hours.

For example, a student who attempted 50 credits and completed 45 credits has a 90% completion rate.

  • Incompletes, withdrawals, and failing grades all count as attempted but not completed credit hours.
  • If a student repeats a course, both the original and the repeated courses will count toward attempted credit hours but only one of the courses (if a passing grade is earned) will count toward earned credit hours. Students may receive financial aid one time only for courses they are repeating to improve a course grade.

3. Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

In addition to the above GPA and completion rate requirements, all students must complete their programs of study by attempting no more than 150% of the hours normally required for completion. For example, if a program of study is normally completed with 120 credit hours, financial aid eligibility will be suspended once a student has attempted 180 credit hours or more.

Repeated courses are considered in the maximum time frame requirement.

Transfer credit hours accepted as part of a student’s degree program will be counted as both attempted and completed hours towards their maximum time frame for degree completion. A student in a Bachelor’s degree program may attempt up to 180 credits before the student is considered to have exceeded the Maximum Time Frame. This 150% rule is also applicable to students who have changed majors or who seek a dual or second degree.

A student in a graduate/doctoral student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 200 percent of the minimum number of credit hours required to complete their current degree program.

A warning letter will be sent to the student when the student is within two semesters (12 credit hours) of this limit.

Graduate students may submit a SAP appeal to be considered for additional credit hours beyond 200%.

Please note: All courses attempted at UCCS, regardless of the length of time that has passed since the last date of the student’s enrollment will be factored into a student’s SAP calculation.

Warning Period

A student will be given a SAP warning period if they do not meet their SAP eligibility requirements for the first time. This SAP warning period will be for one semester only. A student is eligible to receive financial aid during their warning period. If the student is still not meeting the SAP eligibility requirements at the end of the warning period, they will be ineligible for financial aid for their next semester.

In order to be considered for any further financial aid the student must fix their SAP eligibility requirements at their own expense or the student may appeal their ineligibility to the Financial Aid Advisory Committee (FAAC). If the appeal is approved, financial aid may be reinstated according to the approval conditions of the FAAC, which will be outlined in the email sent to the student.

Loss of eligibility due to lack of satisfactory academic progress:

A student who has lost eligibility to participate in student aid programs for reasons of academic progress will be notified at their UCCS email address of their ineligibility for financial aid until they are meeting or have successfully appealed their Satisfactory Academic Progress.  

Please note: Students who have been academically suspended from the university but who are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal, state, or institutional aid programs. Admissions decisions are separate from funding decisions.


Students always have the right to appeal any decision regarding financial aid ineligibility. Students who are ineligible for financial aid due to failure to meet the SAP Policy may appeal such decisions to the Financial Aid Advisory Committee (FAAC).

  • Processing of an appeal will occur within two weeks of receiving your complete packet. It is your responsibility to submit all necessary documentation supporting the circumstances of your appeal.
  • Failure to supply all supporting documentation can seriously delay and/or affect the final appeal decision. Submitting this appeal is not a guarantee that your eligibility will be reinstated.
  • Please type your personal statement on the attached/following form. Your personal statement must include an explanation of extenuating circumstances for each semester you are in violation of the SAP policy and proof of resolution to that circumstance or a detailed plan of action explaining what will ensure your future academic success. If this appeal is maximum attempted hours please attach a copy of your degree audit to this appeal.

If the appeal is approved, the student will be emailed at their UCCS email address the conditions the student must meet each semester they are enrolled to maintain financial aid eligibility until they are above the minimum requirements as listed above. For example, the student will need to complete 100% of their courses enrolled and achieve a minimum of a 2.5 GPA for each enrolled semester.

If the SAP appeal is not approved by the FAAC the student will be emailed at their UCCS email address this decision along with a SAP Final Appeal Form, which may be submitted to the Financial Aid Director. An appeal to the Director will be the final decision as there is no recourse for further appeals.

If you do not have grounds for an appeal, or if your appeal is denied, you may still be able to regain your eligibility for future semesters. This is done by enrolling in courses at UCCS at your own expense and meeting SAP standards.

How to Appeal

If your financial aid eligibility has been suspended due to low GPA, completion rate and/or maximum timeframe, you must request reinstatement by submitting the following form and any supporting documentation to the UCCS Financial Aid Office. Please allow a minimum of two to three weeks for processing. Students will be notified via email of the result of their appeal.

The Satisfactory Academic Appeal Form should be always be used if you are not meeting SAP.  Please complete the following steps:

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Forms
  2. For maximum hours appeals only:
    1. A copy of your UCCS degree audit
  3. Any documentation supporting the circumstance explained in your appeal

Appeal Deadlines

The office HIGHLY recommends that you submit your appeal as soon as you receive notification of SAP ineligibility. If you wish to know your eligibility status BEFORE the semester payment due date, you must submit your appeal by the first day of class that your SAP ineligibility has been determined to have a response by the UCCS census date (payment due date). Please remember, tuition is due regardless of whether or not your appeal status has been reviewed.