NAU Satisfactory Academic Progress
All NAU students applying for federal and state aid must meet policy standards
All students for whom a financial aid record exists are evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). A financial aid record is created when a student receives any type of a financial aid award or for whom NAU receives the results of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). SAP Standards apply to all students evaluated; however, eligibility for only federal and state financial aid is affected.
Federal and state financial aid includes:
- Federal grants such as Pell and SEOG
- Federal student and parent loans such as Direct Loans
- Federal Work-Study Program
- State grants such as University and Financial Aid Trust Grants
Some lenders of private/alternative loans and scholarship donors may also consider a student’s SAP status when evaluating eligibility.
NAU Students must meet all three of the following standards:
1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
Only NAU course grades are included in the cumulative GPA. Transfer credits or other non-qualifying credit hours are not included in the calculation.
- Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
- Graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
NOTE: If taking a pass/fail course, please keep in mind that a passing grade will not count towards a student’s GPA, but a failing grade will.
2. Pace of Progress
All NAU students must maintain a minimum 67% pace of progress, which is calculated by the total sum of successfully completed credit hours divided by the total attempted credit hours, i.e., Completed ÷ Attempted = Pace of Progress
Transfer hours count as both completed and attempted. Incompletes (I) and In Progress (IP) are considered attempted, but not completed until the grade(s) are posted.
NOTE: Only career-appropriate courses count toward pace. For example, undergraduate courses taken by graduate students do not count as earned credits, which can have a negative effect on pace.
3. Maximum Timeframe
Students must complete a degree within a certain number of credits. Click on the links below to see number of credits based on career.
Complete a degree within 150% of the number of credit hours required for the degree program, as published in the academic catalog. Example: Most undergraduate degrees require 120 credits, so students are allowed funding up to 180 credits.
Complete a degree within the number of credit hours as outlined below for the degree program, as published in the academic catalog.
Beginning Fall 2019:
Masters students – NAU grants an additional 18 graduate credits over and above those required for the degree program for completion of the degree. Example: Most graduate programs require 36 credits, so students are allowed funding up to 54 credits.
Doctoral students – NAU grants an additional 30 graduate credits over and above those required for the degree program for completion of the degree.
Complete a certificate program within the number of credit hours required for the certificate, as published in the academic catalog. Not all certificate programs are eligible for federal or state aid.
Students that are in a certificate program AND a degree program are granted the exact amount of credits required to obtain both programs and are not eligible for buffer credits. This policy aligns with the federal regulations for certificate programs that states students can only be funded for the exact amount of credits required for the certificate.
NOTE: Maximum timeframe is measured by academic career, undergraduate or graduate. Beginning a new program in the same career does not restart the timeframe calculation. Students are limited to one appeal for maximum timeframe per program per career.
It is important that students understand their SAP Status and the action(s) needed to remain eligible for federal and state financial aid. The following are SAP Statuses assigned to a student after an SAP evaluation:
- Meet all SAP standards – Student is in good standing. Student meets all three SAP standards and is eligible to receive financial aid for the current and upcoming academic year.
- SAP suspension – Student is under SAP suspension. Student does not meet one or more of the three SAP Standards and is no longer eligible for financial aid for the current or upcoming academic year. Student may log in to LOUIE to view the standard(s) that is/are not met.
- SAP probation – Student is under SAP probation. Student had an SAP appeal approved, and must meet one or more conditions to maintain aid eligibility. Student’s SAP status will be evaluated at the end of each term to review progress on the conditions.
- For students returning or new to NAU, SAP evaluation takes place immediately upon admission to the university and the creation of a financial aid record. A financial aid record is created when a student receives any type of an award or for whom NAU receives the results of a FAFSA.
- OSFA evaluates SAP annually at the end of each spring semester. If a student attends summer, then they are also evaluated at the end of the summer term. Both evaluations set the student’s SAP status for the upcoming award year, which begins in fall. Students who are suspended after the spring evaluation retain eligibility for the summer.
- Students on SAP probation and/or are in a certificate only program are evaluated at the end of each semester after grades post, including summer.
- If at the time of evaluation a student has Incomplete grades, they can not be re-evaluated until the next evaluation if they are changed to a grade after evaluation. Therefore, we can not retroactively change the students’ SAP status.
- An SAP status is assigned based on the results of the evaluation and may be viewed via a student’s LOUIE account under the Financial Aid link.
- An SAP status of ‘Meet all SAP Standards’ or ‘SAP Probation’ is required to be considered for federal or state funding. If students are awarded federal or state funds, and their status changes to ‘SAP Suspension’, the federal or state funds awarded will not disburse.
- If a student’s status is SAP suspension, a To Do List item will exist on LOUIE that explains the specific SAP Standard that was not met.
- All students will be communicated to via their NAU email explaining their SAP status.
Students who failed to meet one or more of the SAP standards and are on SAP suspension may do one of two things for reconsideration of federal or state financial aid:
- If the SAP suspension is a result of cumulative GPA or pace of progress, students can successfully complete courses without financial aid to improve the cumulative GPA and the pace percentage. Or visit nau.edu/summer for summer class information to help regain eligibility.
- For any of the three failed SAP standards, students can submit an appeal. Review the SAP appeal process for more information.