Skip to main content Skip to main content

Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal and State Satisfactory Academic Policies (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies require all students receiving federal, state, and/or institutional aid to meet and maintain specific academic standards. All forms of financial aid are affected by this policy except for some externally funded scholarships and some private alternative loans.

Your academic record, all transfer credits and all credits attempted while you are not receiving financial aid are subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Your academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester in which you attend school, and it will be reviewed before any disbursement of financial aid funds for a new semester. Graduate-level financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at MSU Denver is evaluated using three categories.  Please note that, in order to remain enrolled in an academic program, students must meet academic standards specific to their degree programs, and these standards may not be tracked by the Office of Financial Aid.

Students who are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy will not have their financial aid awards packaged until they have been approved on an appeal, even though they may have completed all other necessary requirements on their file.

Academic Status

You are considered to be in good standing for your program:

  • By maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.
  • By maintaining a cumulative completion rate of 75% or higher.

"SAP – Not Making Satisfactory Academic Progress"
You will be placed on SAP status and will not be eligible to receive financial aid at MSU Denver for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Your cumulative GPA is below 3.0. To obtain good standing, you must raise your cumulative GPA to 3.0 without the benefit of financial aid. You may also appeal. Appeal letters must document extreme extenuating circumstances to warrant approval of your appeal and must include a plan for future academic success.  Usually, for an appeal to be approved, your last semester GPA must have been at least 3.0, and you must have shown dramatic improvement and potential for a 3.0 cumulative GPA within one more semester.
  • You fail to complete at least three quarters (75 percent) of the cumulative total number of credit hours you have attempted at MSU Denver. To obtain good standing, you must attain a cumulative completion record equal to three quarters (75 percent) without the benefit of financial aid. You may also appeal and document the reason you were unable to complete at least three quarters of the total credit hours you attempted.

Appeal Process

If you are placed on financial aid SAP, you have the right to submit a written appeal to our office. Appeals must be based on extenuating circumstances that prevent you from meeting the requirements of this policy. Extenuating circumstances can be defined as medical problems, a death in the immediate family, and/or extreme personal problems. Documentation of these circumstances must be submitted with the appeal. The appeal must also explain why the circumstances no longer exist and what you will do to ensure meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy in the future.

There have been changes in our SAP appeal process, we will no longer be accepting on-line appeals. You can submit an appeal by dropping it off, mailing it, or faxing it. Please visit our office or our forms page to retrieve a SAPGR form to attach to your personal statement and supporting documentation.

The appeal will be reviewed by a financial aid counselor. You will be notified via email of the result of the appeal. If the appeal is denied, you may submit additional documentation in writing to the Professional Judgment Committee or pay for a semester on your own and re-appeal after earning a semester GPA of at least 3.0, in a graduate course for your Master’s program. If you have an appeal approved, your status will be updated to Probation and you will be expected to complete 100% of your attempted credits with at least a 3.0 semester GPA until you are meeting SAP requirements.

Things you Should Know about the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

  • If you are not making financial aid SAP, all financial aid is suspended, including student loans. A student on SAP will not be considered for any federal, state, or institutional awards at MSU Denver.
  • Starting in Fall 2013, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will no longer package students who are not making SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) .  Students on SAP will need to submit an appeal and have it approved before they will be awarded aid.

  • A grade notation of "W", "AW", "AP", "CC", "CL", "EX", “D”, "F", "I", "NC", "NR", "PL", "PP", "SA", "SN", "U", "SP", and "UE" does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for credit hour completion.
  • When an Incomplete or grade change occurs, the student has until census date of the following semester (counting from the term of when they initially registered for the course) to have the grade updated and must then notify the Office of Financial Aid to recalculate his/her SAP status.
  • Your entire academic record is taken into consideration when an appeal is reviewed. Please note that this does include any semesters where you paid for school without financial aid assistance.
  • Credits removed from your record due to an approved Tuition and Fees Appeal will be included when calculating your overall completion rate and attempted hours.
  • If you have completed a last grade stands request after retaking a course, the credits from your previous attempt can affect your cumulative completion rate. This is the result of your previous grade being changed to an "NC" and being replaced by the most recent grade earned. If you have any questions regarding the "Grade Replacement Policy", please visit Office of the Registrar.
  • If you are awarded in error while on SAP, you will be responsible for repayment of funds received.

Edit this page