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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy & Procedures

A review of student Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward an eligible degree or certificate is required by federal, state, and institutional rules as one condition for financial aid eligibility.  Students that are not meeting the standards for satisfactory academic progress are not eligible to receive financial aid funding.  There are opportunities to appeal.  SAP is reviewed at the end of each term.  Appeal procedures and deadline information are posted on the Financial Aid website.  All appeal decisions are final.

Please see below for the following information about Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies and Procedures:

  • General Requirements
  • SAP Policy and Appeal Forms
  • Maintaining Eligibility
  • SAP Statuses and Implications
  • SAP Appeal Process and Examples


General Requirements

Students who do not meet the SAP requirements cannot receive financial aid until regaining eligibility. There are two ways to regain eligibility:

  1. Improve your academic performance until you meet the minimum SAP requirements.
  2. Submit a SAP appeal and the appeal is approved

Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and reserves the right to deny an appeal.

Satisfactory completion of coursework means that a student has received a grade of A, B, C, D or CR in a class.   Course grades of F, NC, I, W, RD, WU, RP, or AU will not be counted as satisfactory completion of units in relation to financial aid eligibility. 

Academic Standing

Students are required to remain in good standing according to academic standards consistent with the University’s requirements for graduation, probation and disqualification which are published in the University Catalog.  Students academically disqualified by the University are also ineligible for financial aid and subject to automatic cancellation of financial aid awards.  Students are not eligible for financial aid until after an official re-admittance to Fresno State. Re-admitted students, who meet all SAP requirements, must notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office they are no longer in academic disqualification.  Re-admitted students who also fail to meet the SAP requirements may regaining financial aid eligibility through one of two ways referenced above in the General Requirements section. 


SAP Policy and Appeal Forms

Fresno State's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy: Detailed information on the Fresno State SAP Policy.

Fresno State's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy (2022-2023 and prior): Detailed information on the Fresno State SAP policy.


2022-2023 SAP Appeals: For the 2022-2023 academic year, SAP appeals will be accepted on our Student Forms portal. If you have a To Do item on your Student Center indicating that you did not meet the SAP requirements, you may appeal. You can find more information in the details of the To Do item, but you will be able to log in and/or create your account at where you will be able to submit your SAP appeal electronically!

  • Fall 2022 Deadline: December 1, 2022
  • Spring 2023 Deadline: May 1, 2023
  • Summer 2023 Deadline: July 1, 2023

2023-2024 SAP Appeals: For the 2023-2024 academic year, SAP appeals will be accepted on our Student Forms portal. If you have a To Do item on your Student Center indicating that you did not meet the SAP requirements, you may appeal. You can find more information in the details of the To Do item, but you will be able to log in and/or create your account at where you will be able to submit your SAP appeal electronically!

  • Fall 2023 Deadline: December 1, 2023
  • Spring 2024 Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Summer 2024 Deadline: July 1, 2024


Maintaining Eligibility

To maintain financial aid eligibility, students must meet the requirements of ALL four SAP components:

  1. GPA
  2. Pace of Progression
  3. Maximum Unit Limitation
  4. Other Provisions

A cumulative GPA is used for Undergraduate students to determine continued financial aid eligibility. Both term and cumulative GPA’s are used for Post-Baccalaureate students.  Based on career type, students must meet the minimum GPA required in order to successfully meet the GPA component.

The minimum required GPA components are:

  • Undergraduate - 2.00
  • Credential -  2.50
  • 2nd Bachelor's - 3.00
  • Graduate – 3.00

Fresno State's Financial Aid Office assesses the acceptable pace of progression as a ratio of all Fresno State attempted units and all Fresno State earned units.

  • Undergraduates must complete 67% of all attempted units.
  • Post-Baccalaureates must complete 67% of all attempted units.

Grades of A, B, C, D, or CR are counted toward earned units and grades of F, NC, I, W, RD, RP, AU or WU, will count toward attempted units, but not earned units. Pace is calculated by taking your Fresno State attempted units and dividing them by your Fresno State earned units. Since attempted units include grade substitutions and courses with grades of F, NC, I, W, RD, RP, AU or WU the total units attempted and earned may not match the units reported on your transcripts.

Per Federal regulations, students are expected to complete their program/degrees within an allotted time frame. The Maximum Unit Limit is set for a student to complete their program/degree within a percentage of the published unit requirements. Maximum Unit Limits are based on one program/degree per career. Multiple programs/degrees in the same career will need to go through the SAP appeal process.

Students are limited to 150% of the published required units attempted for their program. Once students get to the maximum units allowed, they will be placed on warning for one term to complete their program. Student are expected to complete all their majors and minor within the allotted time frames. Completing a second major or minor is not a sufficient reason to not complete a program within the allotted time frame. Students that change majors, or pursue a second program, may find themselves reaching their unit and time limit maximums. Students in this situation will need to submit an appeal and their case will be reviewed on an individual basis for continued funding consideration.

  • Students with an academic history showing patterns of enrollment inability or unwillingness to progress, such as several Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals, withdrawals, repeats, incompletes, or enrollment inconsistent with the student's educational objective, may be regarded as ineligible for future financial aid. Units for which the student withdrew (official or unofficial) are subject to all the provisions of this policy.
  • Transfer units that are accepted towards the students educational program will count as both attempted and earned units when calculating GPA and Maximum Unit Limit for SAP.
  • Students who complete all undergraduate or post-baccalaureate program/degree course requirements, but do not graduate (for ANY reason) are not eligible for additional funding. Reasons not acceptable for further funding include, but are not limited to: Raising GPA to meet graduation requirements, needing to pass the Writing Proficiency Exam, wanting to complete a minor or a second major (double majors).
  • Academic progress can be reevaluated at any time throughout the year, as identified by a member of the Financial Aid office. 


SAP Statuses and Implications

Each semester we review your SAP eligibility and determine your SAP Status. If you are maintaining eligibility, you will not be notified as you are in an OK standing for SAP. However, if you do not meet one or more of the SAP requirements, you will be notified of your SAP status. If it is your first semester not meeting the SAP criteria, you will be placed in a Warning status. Please read below for more information on the different SAP statuses.

The first term that student fails to meet the GPA and/or pace of progression standards will be placed on warning status. Student on a one semester/term warning period are not required to appeal to receive aid. Students with a warning status will be able to receive financial aid. However, student must meet SAP standards by the end of the warning period/term to continue receiving financial aid. Student that do not meet SAP standards by the end of the warning period/term, will be disqualified and may be eligible to file a SAP appeal for the following term.

Maximum Unit Limit Warning

All students who have attempted the maximum allowable units for their program/degree will be placed on warning. Student with a warning status will be able to receive financial aid. Students on warning status are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to ensure completion of their program/degree.

If a SAP appeal is approved for one term, a student will be placed on probation.  A student must show improvement in their academic performance during this probation period. If at the end of the probation period, the student does not meet all SAP requirements, financial aid will not be extended. Students who are approved for a final term SAP appeal, will be placed on probation status.


If it is determined that a student needs more than one probationary period to regain and meet all four SAP requirements, the student may be placed on an SAP plan.  SAP plans will have specific stipulations for successful SAP progress during subsequent semester/term(s) within a specific time frame.  SAP plans may require student to complete specific coursework, certain GPA/grade standards, and/or successful completion of a specific number of units.

Students with a SAP plan must not deviate from the SAP plan unless they have prior approval from the Financial Aid Office.  Deviation without prior approval may result in immediate cancellation of financial aid awards. All SAP plans must be monitored up to a specific point in time and the plan must include the student completing the program within the maximum unit limit for their program/degree. Failure to meet the SAP plan requirements may result in loss of financial aid eligibility, until the student is able to re-establish SAP eligibility on their own.

If an appeal is denied or a student was not eligible to file an appeal, a student may have their financial aid reinstated.  Students who successfully complete future sufficient units and meet GPA requirements, in coursework relevant to their degree objective, without the benefit of receiving financial aid may re-establish their eligibility for financial aid.  It will be the student's responsibility to present documentation of completed units to the Financial Aid Office with a written request for their SAP to be recalculated.


A student is required to report any late changes that may affect their SAP status after the end-of-semester/term SAP has been calculated.  Examples include: late grade change, a change in units earned, changing grades from an incomplete to complete, and/or completing units without receiving financial aid. Please contact our office if you meet this criteria.

NOTE: Some grade changes and/or unit changes may not result in a change to a student’s SAP status.


SAP Appeal Process and Examples

Students disqualified for failing to meet any of the four SAP components will be notified in writing (by campus email) of their disqualification. Exceptions to the SAP policy may be appealed on a case-by-case basis when a student feels there were circumstances unforeseeable and beyond their control.  A student cannot use the same reason for multiple appeals.

SAP Appeals must include ALL of the following:

  1. A completed Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal on your Student Forms Portal
  2. A one page statment, which gives details about each of the following questions:
    • What was the serious and compelling circumstance that occurred during any term which caused you to not meet the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress, including prior terms and/or years?
    • How have your circumstances changed since then, so your failure of the situation will not occur again?
    • What steps have you taken to ensure you will make Satisfactory Academic Progress in the future?
    • FOR MAXIMUM UNIT SAP Appeals, also include the circumstances that contributed to your excess units.
  3. Written documentation or evidence that supports the reason(s) given in your statement:
  4. For Maximum Unit SAP Appeals and/or 2nd SAP Appeals, a copy of your graduation plan or graduation evaluation, signed by your academic advisor on department letterhead.

  • If the SAP appeal is approved, student is eligible for financial aid. Financial aid awards will depend on availability of funding.
  • If the SAP appeal is submitted AFTER the deadline, processing may not be possible.
  • If a student does not appeal by the listed SAP appeal deadline(s) AND was already awarded financial aid, all awards may be canceled.
  • If your SAP appeal is approved AFTER the financial aid awards were canceled, reinstatement of the awards will depend on the availability of funding.  Financial aid awards will be processed in date and/or priority order.
  • If a student has a pending SAP appeal, they are responsible for paying their fees due to the University. Enrollment is not protected by financial aid until your SAP appeal has been reviewed, processed and approved by the Financial Aid Office.
  • If the SAP appeal is denied, student is not eligible to receive financial aid funding.

Please be advised that the disclosure of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence, stalking or abuse of a minor will be referred to the appropriate campus of legal authorities. Your statement will remain private to the extent possible but subject to disclosure by the Financial Aid Office as required by applicable executive orders and federal and state laws.

If you have been a victim of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence or stalking, please find more information about your rights and options at

Below are examples of conditions that may justify a SAP Appeal. SAP Appeals are not limited the reasons below.

  • Your own serious illness or injury that led to a complete/partial medical withdrawal from the University or extensive hospitalization, chemotherapy or other ongoing treatment
  • Death of a parent/guardian, spouse, sibling or child during the academic year
  • The serious illness or injury of a parent/guardian, spouse or child that required you to be primary caregiver
  • You have an approved medical withdrawal
  • You experienced extreme change in financial or legal circumstances
  • You took part in compulsive military duty

Below are examples of conditions that DO NOT justify an appeal:

  • A situation that could have been anticipated 
  • Multiple changes of major or addition of a major or minor, unless required by the major department
  • Dissatisfaction with course material, instructor, instructional method, class intensity
  • Lack of motivation, change in academic interests, or academic overload
  • Participation in extracurricular activities (i.e. clubs, sororities, fraternities, sports, band)

There is currently no limitation on the number of appeals that a student can submit, but the
extenuating circumstances cannot be the same as previously approved appeals. A student who
has consistently not followed their SAP appeal approval conditions or not made progress towards
degree will not be approved.