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Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible for financial aid at Carolina, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The undergraduate financial aid requirements below are separate from the Academic Eligibility Policy required of all undergraduate students.

Graduate and professional student SAP standards are different. See here.

SAP is reviewed annually at the end of the academic year. The end of your academic year will be the term in which you are last enrolled for that year. The year begins with the fall and ends with summer. At the end of the last summer term, your cumulative enrollment history up to that point will be measured against the following standards.

SAP Requirements

  1. GRADE POINT AVERAGE
    A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.
  2. COMPLETION RATE
    You must successfully complete at least 2/3 of all credit hours you attempt at Carolina.
    Completed Hours / Attempted Hours = Completion Rate
  3. MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME
    You must complete your degree requirements within 150% of the length of your academic program. Undergraduate degrees require 120 completed credit hours, meaning the maximum timeframe is 180 attempted credit hours.

Repeats, Withdrawals, and Incompletes

ATTEMPTED HOURS.  In keeping with the Registrar’s policy, attempted hours include all those in which you are enrolled as of the end of the second week of each fall or spring term (the 10th day of the term, generally known as the “census date”).

The summer schedule is similar to fall/spring but is determined according to the summer calendar. Dropped or withdrawn hours prior to the census date, are not considered attempted; dropped or withdrawn hours after the census date are considered attempted.

REPEATED COURSES affect both your GPA and your Completion Rate.

TRANSFER HOURS do not affect your GPA. Transfer hours are added to both completed hours and attempted hours in the Completion Rate calculation.

COURSES WITH TEMPORARY GRADES OF ‘IN’ OR ‘AB’ affect your GPA. A grade of IN (incomplete) or AB (absent from final exam) is calculated as an F until a permanent grade is assigned. If a grade of IN or AB is converted to a passing grade, your GPA will be recalculated accordingly. Grades of IN or AB will adversely affect your Completion Rate, counting as attempted hours but not completed hours.

WITHDRAWALS do not affect your GPA. Withdrawals are NOT considered a successful completion, though, and will adversely affect your Completion Rate.

FAILED COURSES will impact your GPA. A failed course will also adversely affect your completion rate, counting as attempted hours but not completed hours.

Financial Aid Suspension

SAP will be reviewed annually at the end of the academic year. At that time, if you have not met one or more of the standards for your cumulative enrollment history, a notification of suspension will be sent to your UNC email account.

Financial Aid SAP Appeals

In certain circumstances, a student may appeal the suspension of financial aid. According to federal guidance, appeals may be made in the case of: injury, illness, the death of a relative, or some other unique circumstance. In general terms, an appeal will not be approved unless it is possible for a student to regain satisfactory progress by the end of the next enrollment period. In an appeal to the office, the student must explain why he or she failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed that will now permit satisfactory progress by the end of the next enrollment period.

To submit an appeal: Complete and submit this Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal electronic form by the deadline listed on the application. Attach any supporting documentation necessary to substantiate the circumstances in your appeal. Please note, this e-form uses a 3rd party vendor (Formstack) to deliver your data to our office; if you prefer a paper process, please complete this SAP form, print, and mail or bring it to our office no later than the deadline. You will, however, first need to view the e-form and select your appropriate period there to see the submission deadline.

All documentation will be reviewed by a committee of professionals within the financial aid office. Students will be notified of decisions as quickly as possible given the volume of work within the aid office. A student who has been suspended from receiving aid should consider him or herself ineligible until notice is received otherwise. Future decisions of enrollment should be under the assumption that financial aid will not be provided and that payment of tuition will be the obligation of the enrolling student. Decisions of the appeals committee are final and not able to be appealed outside the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Financial Aid Probation

A student who successfully appeals will be placed on financial aid probation and may receive aid for one more semester. At the end of the probationary semester, the student’s academic progress will again be reviewed. If a student is not meeting the requirements at the end of the probationary semester, he or she will again be placed on suspension and will be ineligible for financial aid.

In very limited circumstances, a student may be granted more than one semester of financial aid probation. In these cases, students must submit an academic plan with input from their academic advisor outlining the coursework, GPA, and completion rate needed to establish satisfactory progress.

Reestablishing Eligibility Following Suspension

If a student has no basis or chooses not to appeal a suspension of financial aid, he or she can reestablish eligibility by completing additional coursework without aid funding.

Students may also choose to leave the University and enroll elsewhere. If the student wishes to later return to Carolina, he or she may request a review on the basis of newly completed coursework. A student in this scenario may appeal to the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid at the point that he or she has completed at least one full-time semester of enrollment. In these cases, students will be expected to have completed that enrollment with at least a 2.000 GPA. Returning students who appeal will then be placed on probation and expected to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of one semester at Carolina.

Once a student on suspension improves his or her GPA and/or completion rate to reestablish satisfactory academic progress, the student should notify the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to request a review of SAP. Students can request a SAP review at the close of any semester, once grades are posted to ConnectCarolina.