Frequently Asked Questions About Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)


What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

SAP is satisfactorily progressing toward degree completion. The LHU Financial Aid Office is required by Federal Student Aid (FSA) regulations to complete this review. FSA includes all federal forms of financial aid: Grants, Work Study, and Loans. A student's SAP status will be reviewed at the end of each enrollment term (i.e. fall semester, spring semester, and summer session), after grades are transcripted by the Registrar's Office. All enrollment terms must be considered in the determination of SAP, even enrollment terms for which the student did not receive FSA. Winter Intersession grades will be added to Spring semester when being reviewed.

What are the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress?

  • Pace: Students must successfully earn 67% of cumulative, attempted credit hours
  • GPA:
    • Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.0.
    • Graduate students must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Maximum Time: Students must not exceed the specified maximum number of attempted hours to complete their degree programs.

What is Financial Aid Warning?

Financial Aid Warning means that you are not currently meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for FSA. Students are eligible for just one semester/session of financial aid warning as they work toward completion of their degree programs. If you are placed on warning, you should take steps to ensure that you are meeting requirements by the end of the warning semester/session. At the end of the warning semester/session, if you still are not meeting SAP requirements, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Can I still receive FSA while on Financial Aid Warning?

Yes, if you are otherwise eligible, you may receive aid for the semester/session you are on financial aid warning.

What is Financial Aid Suspension?

Financial Aid Suspension means that you have not met the requirements for satisfactory academic progress and are ineligible until you can either demonstrate to the Financial Aid Office that you are meeting the requirements or successfully appeal your FSA suspension status.

Is Financial Aid Suspension the same as Academic Suspension?

No. Academic suspension from the University is monitored by the Registrar’s Office. If you are uncertain whether or not you are on academic suspension, you should contact the Registrar’s Office. Financial aid suspension applies only to your federal financial aid.

Why am I not making Satisfactory Academic Progress when I have no failing grades?

Federal regulations require that the SAP review include all credit hours a student has attempted, including repeated, remedial, or withdrawn courses as reflected on your academic record. Although withdrawing from a class may help your GPA, a “W” is still considered a course that was attempted, but not completed, for determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

What financial aid is affected by Financial Aid Suspension?

Students on financial aid suspension are ineligible for all federal aid, including the Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, TEACH Grants, Federal Work Study, Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Parent and Graduate PLUS Loans.

How can I find out what my Satisfactory Academic Progress status is?

Financial Aid will notify you by U.S. mail and LHU email if you are placed on financial aid warning or suspension. Students may also consult with a Financial Aid Office staff member.

May I appeal my Financial Aid Suspension?

Students who have extraordinary, personal circumstances have the right to appeal their financial aid suspension. Acceptable circumstances are defined as:

  • the death of an immediate relative
  • a serious illness or accident requiring medical intervention
  • significant, unexpected family obligations
  • catastrophic loss (e.g. flood, fire, etc.)
  • extreme personal crisis

Students who wish to appeal must follow the appeal process described on the SAP Appeal form available on the Financial Aid website.

What kind of supporting documentation is required for an appeal?

1. A signed, type-written, personal statement that fully explains:

  • a summary of the circumstances that impacted your academic performance
  • measurable steps you have taken to prevent the problem from affecting your academic performance again
  • how those circumstances have improved or changed
  • evidence that your issue has been resolved

2. One letter of support from an objective, non-relative, adult professional that verifies the extraordinary, personal circumstances that are the basis for this appeal. Typically these letters come from clergy/minister, physician, police officer or other professional who has personal, first-hand knowledge of the student’s situation. The letter must include the professional’s contact information including name, address and phone number for verification purposes.

3. One letter from the student’s LHU academic advisor that summarizes the agreed upon academic plan going forward to address the current situation.

Do I have to be enrolled to appeal my Financial Aid Suspension?

No, you do not have to be currently enrolled to appeal your FSA suspension.

May I appeal my Financial Aid Suspension if I am on academic suspension?

No. If you are academically suspended, you cannot appeal your FSA suspension. Once you have been academically readmitted by the dean of your college, you may submit an appeal of your federal aid suspension.

If I successfully appeal my academic suspension to the college dean, does that mean my FSA eligibility will be reinstated?

No. A successful appeal of academic suspension does not result in reinstatement of a student’s FSA eligibility. Appealing one’s SAP suspension is a separate process. Students should also note that a successful appeal of academic suspension does not guarantee that a student may register for classes. Students who have past due account balances are placed on hold by the Student Accounts Office and are not permitted to register. Any student whose account is on registration hold must contact Student Accounts for assistance.

How will my appeal be handled?

All complete appeals will be reviewed and a decision will be rendered by SAP Committee members.

How will I be notified of the decision regarding my appeal?

Notification will come in the form of a letter to your home and LHU email address.

May I use next semester classes to remedy my Financial Aid Suspension?

Yes, if you are otherwise eligible to enroll, you may enroll at your own expense to make up your deficiencies. If you complete credit hours at another, accredited institution, they can only be considered for SAP review purposes after they have been added to your official LHU academic record as maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

I’m beginning a new level of study (i.e. going from undergraduate to graduate). Will my financial aid warningand/or suspension carryover to the new program?

No. If you begin a new level of study, you are in good standing as far as the satisfactory academic progress requirements for the new program are concerned.

How do incomplete grades affect Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Financial Aid must wait until all your grades are complete and recorded by the Registrar’s Office in order to determine your SAP status. You cannot receive federal aid for the following semester/session until all grades are complete and has been determined that you have made satisfactory academic progress. It is important to complete your incomplete coursework as soon as possible. You should contact Financial Aid upon completion of all incomplete courses to request a SAP review.

How does study abroad or consortium classes affect Satisfactory Academic Progress?

If you complete a semester abroad or have a consortium agreement with LHU and another university, the Financial Aid Office will wait until your grades have been recorded by the Registrar’s Office in order to determine your SAP status. You cannot receive federal aid for the following semester until a review of your grades from the other institution and has determined that you have made satisfactory academic progress. It is important to make sure your grades are recorded by LHU as soon as possible. Once your grades are recorded, you should contact Financial Aid to request a SAP review.


Contact Financial Aid Office

223 Ulmer Hall, Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA 17745
(570) 484-2424


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