Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student's successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree.  Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) to monitor the progress of each student toward certificate/degree completion.  Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal and state aid, and university aid administered by the OSFA.

Go to the Frequently Asked Questions page of the OSFA web site for more information on Satisfactory Progress.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress in 1986, mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of "Satisfactory Progress" for students receiving financial aid.  To receive financial aid at Pittsburg State University, a student must:

  1. enroll in at least six credit hours (only 3 credit hours required for certain types of grant aid),
  2. be in good academic standing, and 
  3. make satisfactory progress.       

If you received federal student aid for the first time on or after July 1, 1987, and you're enrolled in a program that is longer than two years, you must have a "C" average by the end of your second academic year of study (60 credit hours attempted).  At Pittsburg State University, financial aid includes the following programs:

  1. Grants, including PELL, TEACH, etc.
  2. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  3. Kansas Comprehensive Grant
  4. Perkins Loan
  5. College Work-Study
  6. Stafford Loan
  7. Nursing Loan
  8. Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS)
  9. State of Kansas Scholarship
  10. Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship
  11. Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship
  12. Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship
  13. Career Technical Workforce Grant (formally Vocational Educational Scholarship)


  1. Any one of the following conditions will be grounds for discontinuance of financial aid.
    1. Academic Dismissal - A student whose accumulated hours and grade points show a deficiency of 20 or more grade points on hours attempted will be dismissed for poor scholarship.
    2. Failure and/or withdrawal from all courses taken during any semester of a given academic year.
    3. Failure to complete the following minimum numbers of hours of course work in one academic year (Fall and Spring).
      1. Full-time enrollment: Undergraduate -18 credit hours; Graduate -14 credit hours.
      2. Three-fourths time enrollment: Undergraduate -14 credit hours; Graduate -11 credit hours.
      3. Part-time enrollment: Undergraduate -9 credit hours; Graduate -9 credit hours.
    4. Failure to complete the following minimum numbers of hours of course work in one semester.
      1. Failure to satisfactorily complete 6 credit hours if enrolled in 12 credit hours or more.
      2. If enrolled in less than 12 credit hours for which you received financial aid, failure to satisfactorily complete a minimum of one-half of the credit hours enrolled.      (Example: 9 credit hours enrolled, must complete 5 credit hours; or 6 credit hours enrolled, must complete 3 credit hours.)
    5. Failure to meet the academic requirements of "C" average by the end of your second academic year of study (60 credit hours attempted).
    6. Withdrawal from the University and, if required, failure to repay federal funds received.
    7. Default on a previous educational loan, or owe a repayment on a federal grant.
  2. Time limitation students may receive aid according to the following maximum credit hours received from all post-secondary institutions, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.


Undergraduate Students 186 credit hours
Technical Education Students 90 credit hours
M.S. Graduate Students 48 credit hours
Ed.S. Graduate Students 48 credit hours


A transfer student eligible to receive financial aid at Pittsburg State University will follow the same standards for satisfactory academic progress and maximum time frame limits as all other students.

Students whose aid has been discontinued may apply for reinstatement of financial aid when they have met the qualifications for satisfactory academic progress and/or have been reinstated by the University.  Academic reinstatement by the University does not necessarily assure reinstatement of financial aid.

  1. A student who had been denied financial aid must complete, without financial aid, 12 credit hours as an Undergraduate student or 9 credit hours as a Graduate student, with a letter grade of "C" or better for each class enrolled and successfully completed.
  2. Appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee.

Students who have had their financial aid reinstated must receive a 2.0 GPA or better for the hours enrolled during the reinstated semester, or will again be denied financial aid for the following semester.  Students who are again awarded federal funds for the spring semester of the same academic year, after having been denied financial aid, will be reprocessed for only those funds which are available at that time.

Students not meeting SAP standards will be notified by the OSFA, in writing, at the end of the semester of non-compliance.

A.  A two-step mentoring process will be required the first time a student does not meet SP standards and is placed on Financial Aid Suspension status. The student will be instructed in the letter of notification to come to the OSFA to confirm they qualify for the mentoring process, and to pick up the appropriate forms.  This process must be completed within specified deadline dates for each semester.

B.  Upon failing to meet SP standards for a second and/or succeeding semester, the student may appeal the suspension of aid by completing and submitting a written appeal form, an unofficial transcript and supporting documentation to the OSFA for presentation to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. Deadline dates for appeals will be provided in the student's letter of notification. Students are allowed to appeal when they believe unusual, mitigating circumstances prevented them from meeting SP standards.

All appeals must be submitted as outlined in section VI.  Appeal dates are set by the OSFA, and the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee will meet no later than the first week of classes each semester.  The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee will notify each student, in writing, of the decision.

Students who have received a passing grade of "D" may retake the course for a higher grade one time for financial aid.  Courses in which a grade of "F", "W" (withdrawal), or "NC" (no credit) is recorded, do not count as credit hours completed and may be repeated one time for financial aid.

Students who plan to enroll in at least 6 credit hours for a summer session (only 3 credit hours required for certain types of grant aid) may be considered for financial aid.  Financial aid for 9 hours or more will be based on a maximum enrollment of 9 credit hours.  To be considered for summer aid, you must be making satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of your academic degree.  Satisfactory progress is determined by an annual review of each student's financial assistance file immediately following spring semester.  This means you must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on all prior work, and complete 75% of coursework during the previous year for which you received aid.  If credit hours are necessary to meet academic deficiencies from the fall/spring terms, you will not be eligible for summer financial aid.

Students who did not successfully complete the number of credit hours for which they received summer financial aid will not be considered as making satisfactory academic progress.  Students must complete the same number of credit hours without receiving further financial aid, or appeal their situation to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee.