Undergraduate Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Effective July 1, 2011, new Federal Regulations require that, in order to be eligible for assistance from any Federal Higher Education Act Title IV student aid program (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan, Federal PLUS Loan) a student must be making satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. Eligibility for GU Scholarship will also require students to adhere to this policy.

Please note that these standards do not replace or supersede GU’s academic regulations or individual schools’ regulations and procedures. GU’s student financial aid SAP policies for undergraduate students are similar, but not identical, to the university’s Academic Regulations published in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Students should review both sets of policies and ask for clarification as needed. Questions regarding the student financial aid SAP policy should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services; questions regarding the university’s academic regulations should be directed to the student’s respective Dean’s Office.

The Federal SAP standards for undergraduate students require the following components:

1. Qualitative Standard: Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of their sophomore year, and at the end of each semester thereafter.

2. Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion: Students must be completing credits at a rate which would enable them to complete the bachelor’s degree in a maximum time frame of 150% of a normal time frame to complete the degree. Undergraduates are expected to graduate in four years after completing a minimum of 120 credits. Therefore, undergraduates must complete their degree in 6 years or 12 semesters in order to meet the Federal SAP standards.

3. Quantitative Standard: Students must complete at least two thirds of courses attempted. At GU, standard enrollment is 12-15 credits per semester. Transfer credits and AP credits that have been accepted as part of the degree program will count as both attempted and completed hours toward degree completion. Incompletes (until resolution), withdrawals (after the add/drop period), and failing grades all count as attempted but not completed credit hours. 

Satisfactory academic progress of financial aid recipients must be tracked from the first date of enrollment regardless of whether or not financial aid was received. Additionally, transfer credits and repeated courses must be counted as attempted courses and must also count toward the maximum time frame to complete degree. 

Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester, including the summer session. If students meet the SAP standards, they remain eligible for federal and university financial aid. Otherwise, they may be placed in either a Financial Aid Warning status or a Financial Aid Ineligible status.

SAP Statuses

Financial Aid Warning
Students who do not meet the SAP standards for the first time will be given a Financial Aid Warning for their next semester of enrollment. Students will be notified via their GU email address of this status within a month of the end of the semester. Students are not required to take any action during this warning semester. The Financial Aid Warning status is for one semester. Students who fail to meet the SAP standards for a second semester become ineligible for Federal Title IV financial aid and university aid unless they request an appeal and the appeal is approved.

Financial Aid Ineligible
Students who fail to meet the SAP standards during the Financial Aid Warning semester and do not have an approved appeal will enter a Financial Aid Ineligible status. Students in this status are not eligible for Federal Title IV financial aid or university aid. In some cases, financial aid may have disbursed prior to the notification of Financial Aid Ineligible status. When this situation occurs, the financial aid will be cancelled and removed from their Student Account.

Appeal Process
Students have the right to appeal any decision of ineligibility to continue to receive financial assistance. The appeal may not be based upon financial need for the assistance OR lack of knowledge that assistance was in jeopardy. An appeal would normally be based upon some unusual situation, condition or other mitigating circumstances which prevented the student from passing courses, or which necessitated that a student withdraw from classes. Examples of possible situations include documented serious illness, severe injury, or death of a family member. Additionally, an explanation of what has changed that will allow the student to meet SAP standards in the next evaluation should be provided. Appeals can only be approved if the Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines:

  • That the student will be able to meet minimum SAP standards after the next payment period; or 
  • That the student has agreed to follow an academic plan established by his/her Dean’s office that if followed, will ensure that the student can meet minimum SAP standards by a specific point in time.

If a student does not have grounds for an appeal, or if the appeal is denied, a student may still be able to regain eligibility for future semesters. This is done by providing to the Office of Student Financial Services, in advance, an academic plan that outlines the conditions under which eligibility may be restored as determined by the Dean’s office.

Undergraduate SAP Appeal Form

Students will be notified via their GU email account regarding the results of the appeal. 

Financial Aid Probation
Students whose appeals are approved will receive financial aid on a conditional basis for one semester. The conditions will be outlined in a letter emailed to the student at his/her GU email address. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review each student's record at the end of the following semester to determine his/her status for future semesters. Students who fail to meet the conditions outlined in their individualized academic plans during their conditional semester will not be eligible to submit a subsequent appeal.

Sibling Enrollment Verification
 

If you reported on your financial aid application that your sibling(s) will be enrolled in college, that enrollment must be verified. If Georgetown needs your assistance to verify sibling enrollment, we will email you a form that must be completed by the school(s) at which your sibling(s) is/are enrolled. To be included in the number in college for the academic year, sibling(s) must be enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree granting college/university. Siblings in graduate level programs are considered independent and should not be included in the number in college.

If the enrollment status of your sibling(s) is different from what you originally reported on your financial aid application, your financial aid award may be revised.

Federal Verification
 

Based on information you provide on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your financial aid application may be selected for a process called federal verification. If you are selected, we will request additional information from you, which we will use to confirm the information reported on the FAFSA. The required documentation will be listed in MyAccess. Click on the link in MyAccess to find out what steps you need to take to complete the request

We recommend that you submit your verification documents as soon as possible after being notified. If you are a first year or transfer student,your financial aid will not disburse until federal verification is complete. If you are a returning student, you will not receive your financial aid award until federal verification is complete.