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Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements for the Renewal of Financial Aid Resources

Undergraduate Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

What is Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

It measures your semester GPA, cumulative GPA, and progress toward your degree. If you don’t meet all the requirements, you aren’t making SAP.  You then become ineligible to receive federal aid programs like Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans and Work-Study.  If you lose eligibility for Federal Work-Study, you can still work under the RIT Campus Employment Program.

If you have no interest in federal financial aid programs, then these requirements don’t apply to you. 

What are the requirements to be making SAP?

You must meet all of these requirements:

Measurement Requirement
Semester GPA 2.0 or greater
Cumulative GPA 2.0 or greater
Progress toward degree (total completed credits divided by total attempted credits) 67% or greater.  No rounding allowed.
Maximum Timeframe (credits required to complete your degree x 150%)

You must be able to earn your degree before meeting the maximum attempted credits.
Varies depending on program of study.

Example: 120 credit program x 150% = 180 maximum attempted credits. 

How do I find out if I’m meeting these requirements? How will I know if I’m not?

Review a copy of your unofficial transcript.  Look at your most recently completed semester.  It shows your semester GPA, cumulative GPA, your total credits attempted, and total credits completed.  Compare your transcript to the requirements above.  You can also contact your primary academic advisor.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) will review your academic transcript at the end of each semester you attend using information received from the Registrar.  OFAS will only notify you if you aren’t meeting SAP requirements or is unable to determine your SAP status. 

What happens if I’m not making SAP?

It affects your eligibility for federal financial aid programs like grants, loans, and work-study. Other aid programs like state grants have their own rules.  Scholarships and grants directly from RIT are not typically impacted.

NTID sponsored aid programs are determined by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), but if you are not meeting SAP requirements you may not be eligible for NTID scholarships and grants. 

The first time you are not making SAP you are placed on Federal Financial Aid Warning for your next semester of attendance.  This allows you to continue to receive federal financial aid for one semester even though you don’t meet the SAP requirements. Some students aren’t eligible for Federal Financial Aid Warning because they have had a previous Financial Aid SAP contract and/or have been on Federal Financial Aid Probation.

OFAS will notify you if you are eligible for Federal Financial Aid Warning.

I’ve used my Financial Aid Warning already.  What happens now?

If you have good reasons for not making SAP and can demonstrate those reasons won’t happen again, you may request Federal Financial Aid Probation so that you can continue to receive federal aid while you work toward regaining SAP.  You need to work with your primary academic advisor to develop a Federal SAP Action Plan that outlines the number of semesters it will take you to meet SAP requirements.

How do I apply for Federal Financial Aid Probation?

Only request Federal Financial Aid Probation if you desire to receive federal financial aid and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Follow these steps to request Federal Financial Aid Probation:

  1. Complete the Request for Financial Aid Probation form.
  2. Meet with the appropriate person in your primary academic unit (usually your academic advisor) to create a Federal SAP Action Plan. This tells us what you will achieve academically to meet SAP requirements.
  3. Submit your Request for Financial Aid Probation and your Federal SAP Action Plan to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at the same time.

What happens after I’ve filed for Federal Financial Aid Probation?

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships notifies you of the decision. If approved, you will need to meet the conditions outlined in the Federal SAP Action Plan to continue to be eligible for federal financial aid.    If you don’t meet the conditions or if your request is not approved, then you are not eligible to receive federal aid again until you meet SAP requirements or are allowed to appeal again.

How many times may I receive Federal Financial Aid Probation?

It depends on your degree program:

Baccalaureate - Maximum of two times, each lasting no longer than three consecutive semesters.

Associate - One time only, lasting no longer than two semesters.

Certificate - One time only, lasting no longer than one semester

These are cumulative.  For example, if you used a Federal Financial Aid Probation while pursuing an associate degree, but then transfer to a baccalaureate degree, you would only have one probation left.

Where can I find out more information?

Detailed information on RIT Undergraduate Federal Financial Aid SAP policy is available on the Programs of Study website.

Download the Request for Federal Financial Aid Probation PDF.


Academic progress requirements for state aid programs

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

In order to receive a TAP grant, an individual must be admitted as a full-time student in an approved program, meet New York State residency and income requirements, pursue the program of study in which he or she is enrolled, and make satisfactory progress toward completion of his or her program of study.

TAP Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (for non-remedial (HEOP) students who received their first TAP award in 2010-2011 and thereafter)

Bachelor’s Degree—Semester Calendar
Before being certified for this payment  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
a student must have accrued at least this many credits 0 6 15 27 39 51 66 81
with at least this grade point average 0 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
AND complete the following minimum number of credits in the previous term a state grant or scholarship was received 0 6 6 9 9 12 12  12

TAP Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (for HEOP students who received their first TAP award in 2010-2011 and thereafter)

Bachelor’s Degree—Semester Calendar
Before being certified for this payment  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
a student must have accrued at least this many credits 0 3 9 21 33 45 60 75 90 105
with at least this grade point average 0 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
AND complete the following minimum number of credits in the previous term a state grant or scholarship was received 0 6 6 9 9 12 12 12 12 12

Waiver of academic progress standards for TAP

Students who have been denied TAP benefits due to failure to maintain satisfactory standards of academic progress may request a one-time waiver of those standards. State regulations require that these waivers be granted only under extraordinary circumstances. Students failing to meet satisfactory progress standards will be given the opportunity to contact an institutional representative in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss their situation. The institutional representative will require documentation as appropriate and establish deadlines for submission of this documentation.

Under the regulations established by the Commissioner of Education, the decision of the institutional representative will be final. Students who, in the judgment of the institutional representative, satisfactorily meet the criteria for the waiver may have one waiver at the undergraduate level. Those wishing to apply for waivers must do so during the term in which notification of TAP denial was sent.

Reasons for which a waiver may be granted include the following:

  1. Verifiable illness of the student or member of the student’s immediate family during the semester in which academic standards were not met
  2. Death of a member of the student’s family during the semester in which standards were not met
  3. Divorce/separation within the student’s immediate family creating a demonstrable financial/emotional disruption sufficient to affect progress
  4. Circumstances that the student feels were extenuating; applicants must explain why circumstances were extenuating and beyond their control

These regulations are subject to legislative change.