Satisfactory Academic Progress Financial Aid Policy


Satisfactory Academic Progress Financial Aid Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Effective July 1, 2011

Revised April 3 2014


 In accordance with Federal Regulations that require schools to set standards that specifically adhere to federal student aid guidelines and develop the institutions Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, Morgan State University (MSU) has developed a revised Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. The university SAP policy measures Qualitative (grade point average), Quantitative (number of credits earned) and the Maximum Time Frame for completion of the program of study.

This policy must apply consistently to all educational programs and to all students that apply for financial aid. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy may slightly differ from the university’s Satisfactory Academic Performance requirements that are located in the university’s catalog.


The intent of the Morgan State Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is to ensure that all students that are recipients of financial aid in most funding programs are evaluated and are meeting the university’s SAP standards developed in conjunction with regulations and guidelines set forth by the Department of Education policies.

Students applying for financial aid through programs under the Title IV of Higher Education Act must meet SAP requirements in order to receive financial aid assistance from programs, such as:  Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Plus Loans, State Scholarships Programs, Institutional Scholarships and others that require SAP monitoring. 



Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined after each spring semester which is generally one year in length, unless otherwise stated and documented.

For financial aid purposes, to be eligible for financial aid students must be making satisfactory academic progress. The Office of Financial Aid will determine aid eligibility by using the following criteria.


Undergraduate Students

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements


Completion Rate Requirement:

To meet Sap requirements at Morgan State University students must successfully pass a minimum 67% of their attempted credits. The Cumulative Completion Rate is determined by the Office of Financial Aid annually by using the following formula.

Cumulative Completion Rate calculation: example: If a student attempts 16 credit hours, and earns 11 credit hours, per the Completion Rate calculation is (11/16 = 68%), therefore the number of earned credits divided by the number of attempted credits = the cumulative completion rate (68%)

All graded courses that are used when calculating attempted credits for SAP purposes include A, B, C, D, F and non-graded courses include PT, CS, E, I, AW, W, TW, developmental, audits, transfer credits and each repeated course to earn a higher grade.


Qualitative Standard Requirement:

At Morgan State University all Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement at the end of each academic year for SAP purposes. The following chart represent grade levels and the minimum cumulative grade point averages at each level:

Freshmen     0 – 24             2.00


Sophomore   25 – 55           2.00


Juniors          56 – 89           2.00


Seniors          90       +         2.00


All Transfer credits             =          2.00

Morgan State University’s undergraduate students must maintain the above academic standing to maintain aid eligibility for most forms of aid.


Maximum Time Frame Requirement:

To accurately measure a student’s progress in a program more than the completion rate and qualitative standards and are needed. A student who is maintaining a high GPA by withdrawing from every course they attempt after the first year would meet a qualitative standard (GPA) but would not meet the completion rate standard ( earning 67%), therefore would not meet the Maximum Time Frame standard of completion described below.

Undergraduate students must earn their 1st bachelor degree within the maximum time frame in which a student is expected to finish their program. The time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s program. For instance, if the published length of an academic program is 120 credit hours, the maximum credits attempted must not exceed 180 credits to complete the program example: (120 × 1.5= 180). Students that do not earn their first bachelor degree after attempting or completing 150% of their program will lose their financial aid eligibility even if they did not receive financial aid before but has finished their program length. Students attending less than full time the Completion Rate and GPA will be used to determine if students are meeting SAP requirements. 

Dual Degrees and 2nd Degrees evaluation:

Students seeking Dual and 2nd Degrees must obtain and submit a Financial Aid Credit Evaluation Form for Dual and 2nd Degrees that will identify credits that only apply to the educational programs that students are currently pursuing and will be counted as attempted credits for SAP purposes. Credit Audit Evaluation Forms are located from the Required Forms section

Transfer and Consortium Credits:

Transfer credits are added to the student’s university record, however for SAP purposes not all accepted transfer credits are applied towards the new program. Therefore, transfer students must obtain and submit a completed a Credit Audit Evaluation Form to the Office of Financial for use to determine the student’s maximum time frame calculation. Online form can be obtained from the Required Forms section.  Consortium Agreements credits are treated the same as transfer credits.

Repeating Courses as of 2012-2013:

The Department of Education has established regulations that affect students that repeat courses.  Regulations state that students can repeat a course that they have previously received a passing grade and received federal aid again for the same course only once. Therefore, students are eligible to receive federal financial aid for the same course twice.

In addition, regulations state that if a student fail or receive a lower grade for a previously repeated course and enroll in the same course a third time the student is ineligible to receive federal financial aid for that repeated course. 

Attempted repeated credits may impact the student’s financial aid eligibility whether or not the student previously received financial aid during prior semesters as SAP measurements are applied.

Graduate Students

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirement:

All graduate students must meet the Qualitative standard of the SAP policy by maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA.  In addition, students must meet the Quantitative standard earning a minimum 67% of the cumulative attempted credits at the end of the spring semester.  The maximum time frame is based on the stature of limitation required for each educational program. Graduate SAP policy under review policy may change.


Failing Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Procedure for Filing SAP Appeals

Students that fail the Financial Aid SAP requirements and lose their eligibility to receive financial aid at the end of the monitoring period after each spring semester (unless otherwise stated and documented) are required to obtain and submit the Appeal Request Form and follow the instructions and submit all documentation and completed forms to the Office of Financial Aid. Students can obtain an appeal form from the Required Forms section online by locating the Office of Financial Aid at


Financial Aid Probation Requirements

Upon the review of the student appeal request the Financial Aid Appeal Committee will render a decision and the student will be notified via MSU students’ email account. If financial aid probation is granted it is granted for one semester and only one time for the remaining semesters that the student is enrolled at the University. At the end of the financial aid one semester probation period students are required to pass all attempted classes without receiving grades of I, F or W during the one semester probation period. If students do not meet the requirements at the end of the one semester on probation they will be required to follow the instructions to participate in the Academic Plan for Success Program. Students that received financial aid probation because of special circumstances must follow the specific instruction per their contract.

Appeal Denied Process

If the first appeal decision is denied Financial Aid Probation students may submit a second appeal request directly to the Director of Financial Aid. If the Director grants financial aid probation for one semester the student is given a written agreement to sign and must adhere to directives before regaining eligibility for aid. At the end of the semester the student must be meeting Financial Aid SAP standards and if not the student must submit another appeal request to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee for consideration to participate in the Academic Plan for Success program.


Re-establishing Aid Eligibility with the Academic Plan for Success Program

 Students that lose financial aid eligibility because they are not meeting MSU Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards can regain eligibility by participating in the Academic Plan for Success Program. Students will meet with their designated faculty advisor, casa advisors or retention advisors to develop an academic plan or preferably obtain a plan template and financial aid contract from the Office of Financial Aid and meet with the academic advisors to develop an academic plan and submit a copy to the Office of Financial Aid Office. 

Once the Plan is developed students must demonstrate that they are academically progressing for 4 semesters. Students must demonstrate academic progression or meeting the SAP requirements by the end of the fourth semester. The Plan goals should be achievable that will allow students to take action that will bring them into compliance with the University’s Office of Financial Aid SAP standards. Students that do not demonstrate academic progression at the end of the fourth semester will be individually evaluated case by case.  Financial Aid Appeal Request and Academic Plan forms can also be obtained from the Required Forms section online at


Financial Aid Appeal Request and Academic Plan forms can also be obtained from the Required Forms Section.