Satisfactory Academic Progress

As a financial aid recipient, you are responsible to know there are limits to your eligibility to receive aid.
In this Section
Thumbnail of What does SAP stand for?

Federal and state regulations require UW‐Stout to establish reasonable standards for measuring satisfactory academic progress (SAP) of financial aid applicants. The guidelines used to determine progress for financial aid purposes include: 1) GPA Evaluation 2) Pace of Progression and 3) Timeframe.

*Failure to make satisfactory academic progress will 
result in the loss of financial aid eligibility.

Please review the following which is outlined in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.

Grade Point Average

  • Undergraduate students are required to maintain at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA
  • Graduate students are required to maintain at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA.


Pace of Progression (Minimum Credits Completed)

For Financial Aid purposes,  students must successfully complete a percentage of cumulative credits to show progression toward degree completion. The "attempted credits" is the number of credits enrolled on the 10th day of each semester. 

Undergraduate StudentsGraduate Students
67% of attempted credits must be earned  75% of attempted credits must be earned  
  • Incomplete grades ("I" or "P"), failing grades ("F","FN" and "FS"), withdrawn grades ("W", "WS" and "WU"), unreported grades, "no credit", or "audit" grades are counted as attempted credits, not not as completed credits. 
    • Transfer Credits are not included in the calculation.

 **Credits attempted count even during semesters where the student is not receiving financial aid**

Time Frame (Maximum Time Frame) 

If a student were to attempt more credits than were required for their degree, they will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid. "Attempted Credits" are defined above. Transfer credits are counted in this calculation. If additional majors or minors are added than what is required for your degree or if you change your major, a student is still held to the maximum time frame for financial aid eligibility. 

  • Undergraduates are eligible up to 150%
  • Graduates are eligible up to 125%
Examples of Max Time Frame Eligibility
ProgramCredits RequiredMaximum Credits Allowed
Undergraduate120180 (120 X 150%)
Post-Bac (Second Undergraduate)  195 (120 + 75)
Graduate4050 (40 X 125%)

Transfer students who transfer in with 90 or more credits should consult with a Financial Aid Counselor for eligibility. Post‐bac students (those who already have a bachelor’s degree and are seeking a 2nd degree) are eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 75 credits. If you fall in this category, you should confirm your aid eligibility with a Financial Aid Counselor. Please note these are examples. Actual program length may vary by program.

*Courses in which the student withdrew (W), Failed (F) or received an Incomplete (I) count towards maximum timeframe.

Levels of Financial Aid Progress:

Financial Aid Good Standing
Meeting all standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial Aid Warning Status
Student has not met requirements of SAP for 1 semester. On Financial Aid Warning, financial aid is eligible for one term. If the student meets the standards of SAP after that term, they will return to “Good Standing.” If they do NOT meet the standards of SAP, they will go to “Not Meets” and will not qualify for financial Aid.

Financial Aid Not Meets (Ineligible Status)
Student is not eligible for financial aid but can submit an appeal to be considered for reinstatement of eligibility. If appeal is approved, student will either be placed on an Academic Plan or Financial Aid Probation (see below for more).

Appealing SAP

If you were placed on Ineligible Status, you can appeal this by filling out the Appeal Form Located on our website.

If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on Probation or an Academic Plan:

Appeal ResultFinancial Aid StatusEligible for AidDefinition of the term
DeniedNot MeetsNoStudent will NOT be eligible for Financial Aid but can submit additional appeal material for reconsideration.
ApprovedProbationYesStudent is eligible for aid for the next semester but must meet SAP at the end of the semester to return to Good Standing.
ApprovedAcademic PlanYesThe Financial Aid Counselor will communicate the terms of the Academic Plan or may ask the student to provide a program plan that is signed by the academic advisor. The student must meet the terms of the plan each semester to remain eligible for financial aid. 

*The appeal policy is to grant no more than one appeal for the extenuating circumstance and not to approve more than three appeals in a student’s career. If you cannot appeal because you did not have extenuating circumstances, you can regain eligibility for financial aid by improving your academic progress and meeting the SAP standards.