Satisfactory academic progress (SAP)

To be eligible for federal, state, and some types of institutional financial aid, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, or SAP, standards. Nondegree-seeking students are generally ineligible for federal financial aid.

The Financial Aid & Scholarships office has established guidelines based on federal regulations for evaluating your progress. These guidelines take into consideration your cumulative KU GPA, the cumulative number of hours you have attempted and completed (known as your completion rate), and the maximum attempted hours for completing your degree.

These standards will be reviewed at the end of each enrollment period. Financial aid SAP standards are not identical to the academic standards of the university, or of any department or professional school. Permission to enroll is not synonymous with financial aid SAP.


Minimum SAP standards

Undergraduate and pharmacy students are considered to be meeting SAP standards when they have been admitted into a degree-seeking program. Graduate and law students are considered to be meeting SAP standards on their first day of enrollment in a degree-seeking program.

Students may continue to receive financial aid while meeting these minimum SAP standards:

  • Maintain at 2.0 cumulative KU GPA, with the exception of pharmacy students (2.5) and graduate students (3.0). Your KU GPA includes all courses taken within your KU career graded A-F.
  • Successfully complete a minimum of 67% of all hours attempted. Your completion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of successfully completed hours by the number of attempted hours. All courses within your career will be evaluated.
  • Complete your degree within the time limit allowed for your degree program:
  • Complete your 4-year undergraduate degree within 180 attempted hours. The maximum hour limit includes hours attempted at KU, hours that have successfully transferred from any other postsecondary institution, and test credits regardless of whether you received financial aid for any/all of those hours.
  • Complete your subsequent degree within 240 attempted hours. Your prior degree must be conferred in order to be eligible for the subsequent degree maximum time frame.
  • Complete your Professional Master of Architecture program within 270 attempted hours. The maximum attempted hour limit for this program includes undergraduate and graduate hours.
  • Certificate-only students must complete the certificate within 150% of the credit hours required for the program 
  • Complete your Master’s degree within 7 years of your first day of enrollment.
  • Complete your Doctoral degree within 8 years of your first day of enrollment.
  • Complete your Juris Doctor (JD) degree within 5 years of your first day of enrollment.
  • Complete your Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree within 8 years of your first day of enrollment.
  • Complete your LL.M Program in American Legal Studies within 3 years of your first day of enrollment.
  • Certificate only students must complete the certificate within 150% of the credit hours required for the program
  • Complete the Pharmacy program within 312 attempted hours (students who are enrolled in the BSPS degree program only and not seeking the Doctor of Pharmacy have a limit of 180 attempted hours). The maximum hour limit includes hours attempted at KU, hours that have successfully transferred from any other postsecondary institution, and test credits regardless of whether you received financial aid for any/all of those hours.

SAP review process

Your SAP status will be reviewed at the end of each term of enrollment, including summer. Courses you are enrolled in on or after the first day of the 50% refund period are reviewed. Courses marked “F,” “incomplete,” “no credit,” “dropped,” “withdrawn,” “no grade,” “waiting on grade”, “no progress,” and unposted grades are considered courses attempted, although not successfully completed. Courses successfully transferred from any other postsecondary institution, as well as test credits, are calculated as attempted and completed courses. Repeated coursework will affect academic progress as indicated in the University of Kansas Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog. Courses academically forgiven or retroactively withdrawn will continue to be evaluated as courses attempted, although not successfully completed. 

If you fall below the minimum GPA or completion rate standards for the first time, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one term. During the Financial Aid Warning term, you will continue to be eligible for financial aid. If you are still not meeting the minimum GPA or completion rate standards at the end of your second term you will lose eligibility. If you exceed the maximum attempted hours allowed for your degree program, you will lose eligibility without a warning term. An email notification will be sent to your registered KU email account informing you of your SAP status. You may also check your status in Enroll & Pay using the Satisfactory Academic Progress link under Accept/Decline Financial Aid Awards on the Student Center page. There is a Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process for students who lose eligibility. 


Example SAP scenarios

  • You have attempted 114 hours at KU. Out of the 114 hours attempted, you have successfully completed a total of 87 hours (76% of the coursework attempted). You also have a 2.5 KU GPA. You are meeting the minimum SAP standards.
  • You have attempted 84 hours at KU. Out of the 84 hours attempted, you have successfully completed a total of 70 hours (83% of the coursework attempted) and have a 1.8 KU GPA. You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because you have not maintained a 2.0 KU GPA.
  • You have attempted 51 hours at KU. Out of the 51 hours attempted, you have successfully completed a total of 33 hours (64% of the coursework attempted). You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because you have not successfully completed 67% of your attempted hours.
  • You are working on your first 4-year undergraduate degree. You have attempted 170 KU credit hours. You recently transferred in an additional 15 credit hours that are accepted by KU and apply to your undergraduate degree. You now have 185 attempted hours. You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because you have exceeded the maximum time frame allowed for your degree. 
  • You have attempted 60 hours as a graduate student at KU. Out of the 60 hours attempted, you have successfully completed a total of 38 hours (63% of coursework attempted). You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because you have not successfully completed 67% of your attempted hours.
  • You are a student in the School of Law and it has been four years since your first day of enrollment. You have a 1.8 KU GPA. You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because you have not maintained a 2.0 KU GPA.
  • You are a graduate student working on a Master’s degree and it has been eight years since your first day of enrollment. You have a 3.5 KU GPA. You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because you have exceeded the time allotted to complete your degree. If your academic department grants a time frame extension, please instruct your department to fill out a Graduate Time to Degree form online or submit another form of documentation to FAS. No appeal is necessary when the department extends the time frame for completing your degree.
  • You have attempted 114 hours in the Pharmacy program (including transfer hours) and successfully completed a total of 87 hours (76% of the coursework attempted). You have a 2.4 KU GPA. You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because your GPA is below a 2.5.
  • You have attempted 160 hours in the Pharmacy program (including transfer hours) and successfully completed 142 hours (88% of the coursework attempted). You have a 2.5 KU GPA. You are meeting the minimum SAP standards.
  • You have attempted 65 hours in the Pharmacy program (including transfer hours) and successfully completed 32 hours (49% of the coursework attempted). You have a 3.8 KU GPA. You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because your completion rate is below 67%.
  • You have attempted 300 KU credit hours in the PharmD program. You recently transferred in an additional 15 credit hours that are accepted by KU and apply to your degree. You now have 315 attempted hours. You are NOT meeting the minimum SAP standards because you have exceeded the maximum attempted hours allowed for your degree.