Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate Students

  • Institutions participating in Title IV Federal financial aid programs are required by the Department of Education to establish minimum academic standards that students must meet to be eligible or maintain eligibility for financial aid. All student who receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion.
  • Students who are receiving financial aid or who seek financial aid in the future are required to meet these minimum standards.
  • Financial aid recipients are required to be in good standing and to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree requirements for each semester/term in which they are enrolled.
  • SAP, as described below, is evaluated at the end of each semester.
  • Failure to maintain SAP, as described below, will result in Financial Aid Suspension (loss of eligibility).
  • SAP includes three standards; quantitative (attempted vs. earned hours), qualitative (required GPA), and Maximum Time Frame (complete program in timely manner). Students must meet all three standards to continue receiving financial aid.
  • Transfer students accepted to Limestone are considered to be making SAP the first semester.  SAP is then determined at the end of each semester.  Transfer credits accepted by the institution towards the student’s program will be included in the total hours attempted and earned.  

Meeting the Quantitative Requirement (Pace of Progression)

Regulations allow a student to maintain eligibility for attempting credit hours that are 150% of the credit hours required to receive a degree. In order to meet this quantitative standard, students must complete and earn 67% of courses attempted each academic semester. The 67% criteria will be checked at the end of each semester. If a student has not completed 67% of the cumulative attempted hours at the end of the semester, the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent semester. During the Financial Aid Warning period, the student may continue to receive financial aid. If the student has not completed 67% of the cumulative attempted hours at the end of the subsequent semester, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. While on Financial Aid Suspension, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid.

Hours Attempted Hours earned to meet 67% requirement
3 2
6 4
9 6
12 8
15 10


  • In addition, any student that fails to make progress by receiving all Fs or WFs (or combination of both) in any given semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose eligibility for financial aid beginning the next semester regardless of the students’ GPA.
  • Students receiving all Ws, WPs, and/or Is will be placed on Financial Aid Warning beginning the following semester regardless of the students' GPA.
  • Financial aid eligibility may be regained when 67% of the cumulative attempted hours have been completed.
  • Students who unofficially withdraw (no formal notification) from the College in any given semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose eligibility for financial aid beginning the next semester regardless of the students’ GPA.

Meeting the Qualitative Requirement

In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid with the qualitative standard, a student must maintain the academic standing necessary to remain at Limestone. The qualitative policy is the same as the academic policies of Limestone College. The grade point average will be used to determine good academic standing, probation, suspension, and eligibility for financial aid. The GPA will be checked at the end of each semester for SAP. The student on good academic standing will remain eligible. A student on Academic Probation will be on Financial Aid Warning. A student on Academic Suspension will be on Financial Aid Suspension.

The qualitative requirements (minimum GPA) for undergraduate and second bachelor’s degree are as described below:             

  • Freshmen (0-29 hrs earned) 1.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • Sophomore (30-59 hrs earned) 1.6 on a 4.0 scale
  • Junior (60-89 hrs earned) 1.8 on a 4.0 scale
  • Senior (90 or more hrs earned) 2.0 on a 4.0 scale

Maximum Timeframe to Completion

A reasonable length of time for the completion of a degree program is defined as no more than 150 percent of the normal time required to complete a degree program, as measured by credits attempted and including transfer credits.

Example: If your degree requires that you complete 120 credit hours, your maximum time frame would be 120 hours x 150% = 180. Your maximum time frame to complete your degree would be 180 hrs of attempted course work.

There is no Financial Aid Warning semester for students who exceed the maximum time frame requirement. Students will be suspended from financial aid eligibility the semester following the semester their attempted hours exceed 180 hrs.

Audit Courses

Students are not eligible to receive financial aid for audit courses. Audited courses are not included in the number of hours attempted or earned for SAP determination. Students do not receive a grade in audited classes.

Summer Term Courses

All hours attempted and completed in the summer terms are treated as any other semester hours in determining SAP.

Withdrawals and Incompletes

Any course with a "W", “WP, "WF", or “I” is considered as hours attempted. Students should be aware that excessive withdrawals from classes could result in the loss of financial aid at some point in future semesters due to the 67% quantitative standard for SAP. When “I” grades are finalized it would then be factored into the SAP calculation at the time of the next formal evaluation.

Repeating Courses

When courses with grades of D, F, or WF are repeated with a C or higher grade, the unsatisfactory grades and course attempts will not be included in the calculation of the GPA (qualitative). However, courses with grades of D, F, or WF that are later repeated are counted in total number of hours attempted (quantitative).

Second Degrees

Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution are eligible to apply for financial assistance. The maximum eligibility will be 240 attempted credit hours (150% of the minimum degree requirement plus an additional 60 hours).


Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer if applicable), including students who receive all Ws, Fs, WPs, WFs, and Is.


Any student on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal to the SAP Appeals Committee. An appeal must be based on specific extenuating circumstances. Examples may include but are not limited to death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other extenuating circumstances. There is a formal request form that must be completed along with a statement explaining the extenuating circumstances, as well as completion of Financial Awareness Modules. You must also meet with your academic advisor to create an academic plan.  This plan must demonstrate that, if followed, you will be meeting SAP standards at the next evaluation or by a specified point in time. This plan must be presented with your appeal letter.

The required Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form, along with all supporting documentation, must be sent to the Assistant Director of Financial Aid.

The determination of the appeal will be made available to the student to their Limestone email address within 14 business days.

If a Financial Aid Suspension appeal is approved, then the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester, and eligibility reinstated for financial aid during that semester. The student must make Satisfactory Academic Progress within the probationary semester in order to continue their eligibility for financial aid in subsequent semesters.

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Last modified
10/05/2022 - 09:12