Satisfactory Academic Progress

Institutional Policy | Appeals |

UMB students who wish to be considered for financial aid must maintain satisfactory progress in their selected course of study as set forth in this policy. 

Federal regulations require the University to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory progress for the purpose of the receipt of financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

The law requires institutions to develop policies regarding satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Each institution must design criteria, which outline the definition of student progress towards a degree and the consequences to the student if progress is not achieved.

Institutional Policy

The Office of University Student Financial Assistance evaluates student academic progress at the beginning of each award year.  Students are evaluated on the basis of grade point average (G.P.A.), credit hour completion, and maximum time frame limitation.

Minimum Cumulative Grade-Point Average

  • Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00*
  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00**

Credit Hour Completion

Students are required to meet a measure of incremental progress.  This means that students must complete more than 67 percent of attempted credits per semester.

Maximum Time Frame Limitation 

Undergraduate students are subject to a quantitative measure of progress.  Students must complete requirements for degree within 150% of standard time frame (for instance, s student enrolled in a two-year program may take no longer than three years to complete it or a student enrolled in a four-year program may take no longer than six years to complete it).  (For example, the student must complete their program after attempting a maximum of 180 credits for a 120-credit program.)

Graduate students must complete their program of student within seven consecutive years; student enrolled in dual programs must complete both degrees within seven years.  Federal regulations require that UMB track the academic progress of financial aid recipients from the first date of enrollment at UMB, whether or not aid was received.

Institutional Procedures

Students are notified of the SAP policy in the UMB Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs. 

**Some professional degrees have GPA requirements below a 3.0; please check with your school/program for specific GPA requirements.


An undergraduate student who is identified as not meeting the minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA standard or fails to complete at least two-thirds of cumulative credits will lose their eligibility for financial aid.  The student will be notified by email to their university issued email account to schedule an appointment with their dedicated financial aid counselor.  During this appointment, the dedicated financial aid counselor will explain the appeal process to the student.  

Appeal Process

Students can appeal the decision by providing documentation of any extenuating (special) circumstances such as an injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other circumstances or conditions beyond the students’ control. The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satis­factory progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation.   Please note that all appeals should include third –party documentation to support your claim.

The appeal must be in writing and provided with documentation to the dedicated financial aid officer within three weeks from the initial counseling session.

Appeal Approved

A student who has their appeal approved will be placed on probation for one semester.  Students on probation may or may not have to adhere to an educational plan during the probationary period.  The use of an educational plan is determined during the appeal process.

After one semester, the students’ status is reviewed.  If the student has the required GPA by the end of the probationary semester and has completed more than fifty percent of the attempted credits, the probationary status is removed.

If after the probationary semester the student‘s GPA is below the minimum requirements or the student does not complete fifty percent of their credit load per semester, they lose their eligibility for financial aid.

Appeal Denied

Undergraduate students who are denied their appeal are not eligible to receive financial aid.