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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In addition to maintaining all general aid requirements, all students receiving Title IV (federal) and state grant funds must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to continue receiving these funds. Federal law requires that Lander University evaluate all students’ academic progress on a regular basis. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) evaluations must take into consideration ALL periods of enrollment, including enrollment at other institutions and periods in which the student did not receive financial aid.

An excellent tool to assist in overall GPA and completion ratio calculations and scenarios is available here.




The Satisfactory Academic Progress standards require that progress must be measured in three distinct ways: quantitatively, qualitatively, and in terms of a time frame. These three methods of evaluation are as follows:

1. Quantitative Evaluation (Completion Ratio)

The quantitative evaluation requires that all students pass a percentage of ALL attempted hours. *The percentage is calculated by dividing the overall passed hours by the overall attempted hours. (Passed ÷ Attempted = Ratio). Passed hours include transfer hours for which a student may, or may not, receive earned hours toward graduation at Lander. This standard is designed to ensure students may reasonably complete their degree within the required maximum time frame. The minimum standards are outlined below:

Overall Hours Attempted

Minimum Completion Ratio Required









*Attempted hours include Pass/Fail courses, withdrawals, repeated courses, and failed courses. Summer hours are included. All transfer hours attempted from all institutions (including withdrawals or failing grades) and hours for which a student did not receive financial aid are counted. Courses which are dropped during the regular Drop/Add periods and are not reflected on the academic transcript are not counted.

2. Qualitative Evaluation (GPA)

The qualitative evaluation requires that students maintain a minimum level of academic achievement. The current minimum levels of academic achievement are provided below:

Cumulative Hours Passed

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required









3. Time Frame Evaluation

The time frame evaluation limits the length of time that undergraduate students can receive federal and state funding to complete degree requirements. An undergraduate student cannot be eligible for federal or state aid after attempting more than 187 credit hours. A student who cannot mathematically finish their program within the maximum time frame is not eligible for aid. For example, a transfer student has attempted 150 credit hours but still needs 60 hours to complete their degree requirements at Lander; they are not eligible because they only have 37 credit hours remaining before reaching the 187 maximum.

This standard applies to all undergraduate degree candidates, including second-degree students and includes transfer hours from ALL prior institutions. See #1 above for a definition of hours counted as attempted hours. Undergraduate students who are enrolled in a program of study requiring more than 125 hours for completion of the degree may appeal for an extension of the time frame.

Graduate students must complete all degree and graduation requirements within 54 credit hours.

SAP Evaluation Procedure

Evaluation is conducted after spring grades are official each academic year. Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluations must take into consideration ALL periods of enrollment, including periods in which the student did not receive financial aid. Students who do not meet the criteria at the end of an academic year will no longer be eligible for aid – THERE IS NO WARNING PERIOD. Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are not eligible for federal or state aid until such time as they meet the standards or are approved through the appeal process. Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be notified by the Financial Aid Office. Information on the appeals process will be included with the notification.

Evaluation for the Time Frame criteria will be conducted throughout the year. Students will be notified if they are not eligible to receive funds in future terms or warned if they are approaching the time frame limits. Transfer grades and credits are evaluated at the time of receipt for students transferring into Lander University. ALL transcripts from ALL prior institutions must be received and articulated before any financial aid or Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals can be processed. Transfer students must meet the same SAP Policy standards as currently enrolled students to be considered eligible for aid.

Appeals to SAP Decisions

All students who are denied aid due to failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress may appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Office. Completed appeal forms must be received by the date specified in the notification to the student. If the Financial Aid Office determines that mitigating circumstances prevented a student from maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress and those circumstances have been resolved, the student may be allowed to continue eligibility for one probationary term at a time or until the student is making satisfactory progress.

Students who are enrolled in a program that requires more than 125 hours to complete the degree may appeal to receive an extended time frame. The extended time frame may vary depending upon the program, but will not exceed 150% of the program length as published in the catalog or documented by the department chair.

All appeals must include an academic plan (signed by an advisor) detailing an anticipated graduation timeframe and in some cases students may be restricted to specific courses or enrollment loads.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form can be found here under "General".