Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal Regulations require that The University of Akron review the academic progress of students applying for and/or receiving federal Title IV student financial aid. This rule applies to all students applying for aid, whether financial aid has been received previously. Students’ progress is checked prior to the initial receipt of financial aid and at the end of each semester (fall/spring/summer). If it is determined that you are not making satisfactory academic progress toward your degree, you will no longer be eligible to receive federal Title IV student financial aid based on the policies and procedures that follow. There are quantitative (maximum time frame/completion rate) and qualitative (grade point average) measures in determining satisfactory academic progress for federal Title IV student financial aid programs.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) To remain eligible for federal and state aid, students must maintain three standards of satisfactory academic progress:

  1. minimum hours completed,
  2. minimum grade point average, and
  3. maximum time frame.


Minimum hours completed (Pace review)

Pace is calculated by dividing the total number of hours completed by the total number of hours attempted. To meet pace, your pace must be equal to or greater than 67%. For example:

Hours attempted Hours completed Pace calculation Standards determination
12 8 8/12 = 67% Meeting pace
16 11 11/16 = 69% Meeting pace
50 32 32/50 = 64% Not meeting pace
48 40 40/48 = 83% Meeting pace
  • For undergraduates, successful completion of a course, for the purposes of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standard, are grades A, B, C, D, or CR. All other grades, including withdrawals (W, WD) and in-progress are incompletes and will not be counted as successful completion.
  • For graduate and law students, successful completion of a course, for the purposes of the Satisfactory Academic Progress, is determined by your college and/or program.
  • In the quantitative analysis (PACE) we include all transfer credits accepted by The University of Akron; as well as, all passing grades, in-progress grades, incompletes grades, repeated course, remedial, and withdraw credits while attending the University of Akron in the calculation denominator.

Minimum Grade Point Average (G.P.A.)

  • Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 GPA.
  • For graduate students, your grade point average must be equal to, or higher than, the standard established by your academic department. A minimum 2.3 cumulative G.P.A. is required for the Law School; and a minimum 3.0 is required for the Graduate School.
  • Transfer credits do not count in the cumulative GPA calculation for the qualitative analysis. Only University of Akron courses count in this calculation. For repeated classes we count the last attempt of the course in the calculation.
  • Since we assign aid for remedial coursework, we count them in our Standards Cumulative GPA calculation. We assign a GPA to these classes and count them in the Standards Cumulative GPA calculation. The University of Akron does not count remedial classes in a students’ standard degree Cumulative GPA as they do not count toward degree completion requirements.
  • Incompletes and in-progress grades do not count in the calculation until a grade is reported for those courses.

Maximum time frame

  • Undergraduate students are required to complete their degree requirements by the time they have attempted 150% of the hours normally required for the completion of that degree. For example, a program that normally requires 128 credit hours must be completed by the time the student has attempted 192 credit hours (128 x 150%).
  • For transfer students, academic progress will be reviewed to determine the program's maximum time frame. All credits including accepted transfer credits are included in the Maximum Time Frame calculation.
  • Graduate students must complete their degree program within the following time frame:
Graduate School Master's degree 6 years
Doctorate degree 10 years
Law School Day school program 5 years
Evening school program 6 years

Progression of Standards

All students initially start at an Eligible Status. If a student does not meet academic standards, upon their initial violation they will be placed in a Warning Status and will be eligible for aid for one semester only. If student does not meet standards again, they will be moved to Ineligible Status and have the option to appeal.

Students whose appeals have been approved by the Committee will be placed on Financial Aid Probation Status for one semester. Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress while on Financial Aid Probation Status will again lose all eligibility for federal Title IV student financial aid. Although students my utilize the Appeal Process again if this occurs, in most cases, the same mitigating circumstances used in previous appeals may not be used again. The Committee will also take the number of prior appeals submitted into consideration when reviewing subsequent appeals.

At the Appeal Committees discretion, a student could also be placed on a Standards Academic Plan. The Standards Academic Plan is for student who had mitigating circumstances, and it will take several semesters to raise Cumulative GPA and/or Completion Rate (PACE). Once placed on the Standards Academic Plan the student will remain on the plan until they bring their Cumulative GPA and/or Completion Rate (PACE) up to the minimum federal standards or will be removed if violate the terms of the Standards Academic Plan.

Standards of Academic Plan Guidelines:

  1. The student may not withdraw, fail, receive an incomplete, or in progress in any class.
  2. The student must maintain a 2.0 GPA for each term while on the plan. Students whose appeals are not approved or not placed on a Standards Academic Plan will be placed in Ineligible status.

How to appeal

If you are in violation of the standards policy and you have mitigating circumstances that occurred during the semester, you may file an appeal with the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Standards appeal process

  • Students who are below the required G.P.A., have reached the maximum timeframe to receive financial aid, and/or have completed less than 67% of attempted credit hours may complete a Standards Appeal Form to explain and document the circumstances under which the violation(s) occurred.
    • Describe the circumstances that affected your academic progress and resulted in you not meeting SAP.
    • Describe how your situation has changed to allow you to meet SAP.
  • Students attach third party documentation to support your appeal if applicable (e.g., medical/doctor’s statement, birth/death certificate, police report etc.).
  • Students may be in violation of more than one Academic Progress Standard. In these cases, an appeal should document and discuss how the multiple violations were affected by the situation(s) described.
  • After documentation is reviewed, you will be notified if your appeal has been granted or denied. If you are denied, there is no further appeal. Notification of the decision will be sent to your UA email.
  • Please allow up to ten business days, from the time that you submit your appeal, for the review to be completed.
  • If you are denied, contact us when your academic progress has been restored to see if you have regained aid eligibility.

Note: Not all appeals are granted. Appeals are granted based on the merit of the situation and the supporting documentation. The appeal process takes 10 business days after all documents have been received.

More information about the standards of satisfactory academic progress, and the appeal process: