Graduate Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

It measures your 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 Direct Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans.

If you have no interest in federal financial aid programs, then these requirements do not apply to you.

You must meet all of these requirements:

Measurement Requirement
Cumulative GPA after attempting/completing at least 9 cumulative credits (including transfer credit. Note that transfer credit does not calculate into the GPA) 3.0 or greater
Progress toward degree (total completed credits divided by total attempted credits) 67% or greater. No rounding.
Maximum Timeframe (credits required to complete your degree x 150%)

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

Example: 30 credit program x 150% = 45 maximum attempted credits.


Review a copy of your unofficial transcript. Look at your most recently completed semester. It shows your 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 are not meeting SAP requirements or is unable to determine your SAP status.

As a graduate student, your eligibility for federal financial aid loan programs is affected. Other aid programs like state grants have their own rules. Scholarships and grants funded by 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.

If you have good reasons for not making SAP and can demonstrate those reasons will not 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 or program chair to develop a Federal SAP Action Plan that outlines the number of semesters it will take you to meet SAP requirements.

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 designated Program SAP Contact to create a Federal SAP Action Plan. This tells us what you will achieve academically to meet SAP requirements. Use the SAP Contact List to find your find your contact.
  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.
  4. If you are applying for Federal Financial Aid Probation for a fall or spring semester, all required documents must be submitted no later than the start of the fifth week of the semester. If you are applying for Federal Financial Aid Probation for a summer term, all required documents must be submitted no later than the start of the third week of the full summer term.

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 do not 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.

A graduate student is allowed one approved probation, lasting no longer than two consecutive semesters.

These are cumulative. For example, if you used a Federal Financial Aid Probation while pursuing a graduate degree at RIT but transfer into another RIT graduate degree program you would not have any remaining probation opportunities while attending RIT as a graduate student.