Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

As of July 1, 2011

In order to receive federal financial aid, a student must make satisfactory progress toward a degree. As required by federal regulations effective July 1, 2011, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has amended its SAP policy.

Changes will take effect when SAP is calculated at the end of fall 2011. Changes to the previous policy are in bold.


Qualitative Policy

The minimum UAB grade point average required to receive and maintain eligibility for financial aid is:

  • a UAB cumulative GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates

Quantitative Policy

In addition to GPA requirements, the law establishes a maximum time frame in which a student must complete his or her educational program. The maximum time frame is 150 percent of the published length of the educational program. For example, a student would be allowed no more than 180 attempted credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree that is normally earned with 120 earned credit hours. When measuring compliance with this policy, all attempted credit hours are counted, including those attempted at other schools, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.


Undergraduate
  1. An undergraduate student must complete degree requirements within 180 attempted credit hours. A student seeking a second undergraduate degree will be allowed cumulative attempted credit hours of 270. Enrollment at other post secondary institutions will be included when measuring compliance with this policy, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.
  2. A student must complete 67% of course work each year in order to graduate within 180 attempted credit hours. To meet this requirement, a minimum number of hours must be completed each year (2 semesters of attendance). Remedial courses are counted in attempted hours only.  Remedial courses may not apply toward completion of degree requirements and are not counted in the GPA calculation.
SAP Evaluation

Students failing SAP due to GPA or completion rate will be placed on “WARN – Warning, Failing SAP” status. Students on this status are eligible for aid. There is no appeal process to receive this status. It will be automatically granted the first time a student falls below the GPA and completion rate SAP standards. Aid will be received for one semester only. Student must be making SAP at the end of the warning period.

Students on “WARN – Warning, Failing SAP” status who fail to meet SAP standards again will be placed on “FAIL – Failing SAP” status. Students on this status are not eligible for aid. However, the student may appeal this decision, and if the appeal is successful, can be granted probation. At the end of the probationary period, the student is expected to be making SAP, or must be successfully following an academic success plan contract designed to ensure that the student will meet SAP by a specific point in time.


Appeal Guidelines

Students on failing SAP status may appeal if they have extenuating circumstances. The Appeals Form, the Academic Success Plan Contract, and the Academic Success Plan Signature Sheet can all three be found at www.uab.edu/sap or by clicking on the links below. Students must complete the top section of the Academic Success Plan Contract before visiting their advisor. The student can provide any supporting documentation from a third party that documents the circumstances listed in the appeal. Also, the student must submit an academic success plan contract developed by their academic advisor (conditions this plan must meet are listed below). Appeals, if granted, are for one semester only. Students cannot appeal a second or third time, unless they have an academic success plan contract in place and are meeting the conditions of the contract.

Appeal Form

Academic Success Plan Contract

  1. UAB GPA: The Academic success plan contract should outline the length of time it will take for the student's GPA to meet the SAP requirement. If appropriate, it should also include the courses that the student should enroll in that would facilitate their successful matriculation to meeting the SAP GPA standard.
  2. Completion Rate: The academic success plan contract should include the courses or recommended course load that would allow the student to meet the completion rate standards.
  3. Maximum Timeframe for Degree: The academic success plan contract should outline the remaining courses required for graduation and the length of time for the student to complete the remaining courses. It should also provide an explanation if the student is exceeding the maximum timeframe (i.e., admitted as a transfer student, major change, and excessive repetitive coursework, would be some possible examples).
Academic Success Plan Contract

Academic Success Plan Signature Sheet

Re-Establishing Aid Eligibility
A student who is not making satisfactory academic progress may choose not to submit an appeal. If this is the case, the student will not be eligible to receive federal student financial aid until he/she is in compliance with all components of the satisfactory academic progress policy. The student will need to attend classes until he is once again in compliance with the policy. This may take several semesters to accomplish, but it will be the responsibility of the student to improve his/her academic performance during this time. Once the student feels that he/she is in compliance with the satisfactory academic progress policy, he/she should request that his/her academic record be reviewed by the Office of Student Financial Aid. If he/she is found to be in compliance, his/her eligibility for federal student aid will be re‐established.

General Rules
  1. Financial aid recipients should select a major and be admitted to a program that will lead to the receipt of a degree or certificate by the time they reach junior status. If you change your major more than once, it will be difficult to complete degree requirements within the maximum time frame allowed.
  2. A student who audits, repeats, and withdraws frequently from courses, or takes courses not related to a degree objective is not making satisfactory progress toward a degree, and is subject to the loss of student financial aid eligibility.
  3. An appeal granted through the Office of the Registrar does not satisfy nor replace the requirements of the Financial Aid Appeal process.
  4. All academic work (including work voided by UAB’s New Start Option) must be considered in determining federal financial aid eligibility.
  5. Students who continue to pursue multiple degrees in excess of two (2) may be interpreted as not making satisfactory academic progress.
  6. Financial aid regulations permit payment of Title IV funds to students ONE time for retaking previously passed coursework.