skip to content

Catalog search



Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

To maintain satisfactory academic progress and qualify for Title IV federal financial aid, a student must (1) satisfy the academic requirements of the university and specific program requirements, and (2) make satisfactory academic progress, as required by federal law. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is measured using qualitative and quantitative standards, including periods during which federal financial aid was not received. Qualitative progress is measured by cumulative grade point average. Quantitative progress is measured by completion rate and maximum timeframe.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

  • A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) as calculated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Table in this policy. If a student is enrolled in an educational program of more than two academic years, the student must have a CGPA of a 2.0 or higher at the end of the second academic year.
  • Satisfactory (S), Unsatisfactory (U), Withdrawal (W), and Withdrawal-Fail (WF) grades are not used in calculating CGPA. Credits earned by examination or transferred from another institution are also not used in calculating CGPA.
  • When a student repeats an NAU course, the highest grade achieved in that course is used in calculating CGPA.

Completion Rate

  • In addition to maintaining a minimum CGPA, a student must successfully complete 66.67% of all credit hours attempted, including those attempted in remedial and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.
  • Credits transferred from another institution are included as credits attempted and completed for the purpose of calculating completion rate.
  • The grades of A, B, C, D, and S indicate successful course completion for purposes of this policy. The grades of F, W, WF, and U indicate a lack of successful course completion.

Maximum Timeframe

  • A student must complete his/her academic program within a maximum of 150% of the published length of the education program as measured in credit hours. For example, a student completing a bachelor's degree requiring 186 credit hours may attempt 279 credit hours to complete that degree. (186 x 1.5 = 279)
  • Credits transferred from another institution are included as credits attempted and completed for the purpose of calculating maximum timeframe.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Status

The satisfactory academic progress of each student is evaluated for the purpose of determining federal financial aid eligibility. SAP is evaluated by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee at each campus once per quarter. Students who have received an incomplete grade will be evaluated for SAP after expiration of the incomplete grade period and the determination of a final grade.

Good Standing – A student is in good standing status if the student has: (1) successfully completed a minimum of 66.67% of the credit hours attempted; (2) maintained at least the minimum CGPA; and (3) not exceeded the maximum timeframe.

Warning – A student will be placed in warning status if the student’s CGPA falls below the minimum or the student fails to successfully complete at least 66.67% of the credit hours attempted. A student in warning status will be given one quarter to return to good standing status. A student who does not return to good standing status within such time period will be placed in suspension status. Federal financial aid is available to eligible students in warning status.

Suspension – A student in warning status who does not return to good standing status after one quarter, or who exceeds the maximum timeframe, will be placed in suspension status. A student in suspension status is not eligible to receive federal financial aid, but may continue to attend classes if the student makes other payment arrangements. This status continues during periods of non-enrollment. A student may re-establish eligibility for federal financial aid as set forth in the following section entitled Re-Establishing Federal Financial Aid Eligibility.

Probation – A student in probation status has been granted such status by the SAP Committee in accordance with the following section entitled Re-Establishing Federal Financial Aid Eligibility. Federal financial aid is available to eligible students in probation status for one quarter, or longer, if the student meets the terms of an academic plan approved by the SAP Committee. If the student fails to return to good standing within one quarter or fails to meet the conditions of the academic plan, he/she will be returned to suspension status and will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.

Students who have been placed in or removed from warning, suspension, or probation status, or who have exceeded the maximum timeframe, will receive notification letters stating their academic and financial aid status.

Re-Establishing Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

A student in suspension status may re-establish eligibility for federal financial aid if:

  • The student continues to attend classes and improves his/her CGPA and/or completion rate to minimum standards without federal financial aid, or
  • The student appeals the suspension and demonstrates that extenuating circumstances caused the student to be unable to make satisfactory academic progress, such as the death of a relative, serious injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. The student must also explain what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.
    • The student must submit an Appeal of Academic Suspension Form no later than the last day of add/drop week of the quarter for which the student wishes to enroll.
    • The appeal form must be submitted to the academic dean of the campus at which the student intends to enroll, regardless of whether the student has previously attended another NAU campus.
    • A student may appeal no more than three times.

A student who has exceeded maximum timeframe cannot re-establish eligibility for federal financial aid.