Increase font size
Decrease font size

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible for financial aid at Carolina, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The undergraduate financial aid requirements below are separate from the Academic Eligibility Standards 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 is 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 enrollment history is measured against the SAP requirements below. If you are not meeting these standards you will receive notification by email at your UNC email address within two weeks of the end of the second summer session. You are also assigned a disbursement hold to prevent aid from feeding to the University Cashier, while on suspension. Please note that all semesters and credits count, even if financial aid is not received in a certain semester.

SAP Requirements

    A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.
    You must successfully complete at least 2/3 of all credit hours you attempt at Carolina.
    Completed Hours / Attempted Hours = Completion Rate
    *Transferred hours count as completed and attempted hours.
    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 for most programs is 180 attempted credit hours. In addition to credits attempted at Carolina, this includes all transfer, test, and “other” hours on your academic record.
    You must complete a minimum number of credit hours per term. (Part-time students are excluded from this standard.)

    After 1 full-time semester 9 academic hours
    After 2 full-time semesters 24 academic hours
    After 3 full-time semesters 36 academic hours
    After 4 full-time semesters 51 academic hours
    After 5 full-time semesters 63 academic hours
    After 6 full-time semesters 78 academic hours
    After 7 full-time semesters 93 academic hours

Viewing your SAP Data

Students can access their SAP data for each enrollment period.

See here for instructions.

Repeats, Withdrawals, and Incompletes

ATTEMPTED HOURS.  In keeping with Federal Student Aid 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 hours prior to the census date, are not considered attempted; withdrawn hours after the census date are considered attempted.

Retroactive drops do not remove attempted hours from the SAP calculation. Please contact us if you believe a cancellation is impacting your calculation.

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 and count as attempted hours in the Maximum Timeframe calculation.

All transfer hours count, regardless of applicability to your degree.

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. Grades of IN or AB will adversely affect your completion rate, counting as attempted hours but not completed hours. If a grade of IN or AB is converted to a passing grade, your GPA and completion rate are recalculated at the end of the next enrollment period. If this occurs before the end of a semester, you can contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to request a SAP review.

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

Please note that all classes dropped after census date are considered withdrawals, even if retroactive actions are taken to display an effective date prior to census.

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

Financial Aid Suspension

SAP is reviewed annually, at the end of the academic year. At that time, if you have not met one or more of the standards described above,  a notification of suspension will be sent to your UNC email account. This notification explains which standards have not been met as well as presents an opportunity to appeal for probation.

If you are suspended from receiving aid you are ineligible until otherwise notified. Future decisions of enrollment should be under the assumption that financial aid is not available and that tuition payments are your obligation.

Financial Aid SAP Appeals

In certain circumstances, you may appeal the suspension of financial aid. According to federal guidance, you may appeal on the basis of a personal injury or illness, death of a relative, or other special circumstances. Before submitting an appeal, please review the Appeal Resource Guide provided by the Office of Undergraduate Retention.

Semester  Priority Deadline
Fall 2019 August 5, 2019 (already passed)
Spring 2020 December 19, 2019


To submit an appeal:

If you are returning to UNC after withdrawal or time away, submit your appeal using the online form here.

If enrolled at UNC in the current academic year, see instructions here for submitting your appeal via your ConnectCarolina Student Center.

Please review and redact your medical records so you are providing only what is necessary.

If you prefer a paper process, please contact our office and we will provide one for you.

Members of the appeals committee are considered Responsible Employees. When someone discloses an incident of discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, interpersonal violence, or stalking to a Responsible Employee, that employee must share that information with a staff member in the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office. If you have questions or concerns about sharing your information contact us.

Appeal decisions are delivered by email to your UNC email address, as quickly as possible given the volume of work within the aid office. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee approval and decisions of the appeals committee are final and cannot be appealed outside the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Financial Aid Probation

If your appeal is approved, you are on financial aid probation and may receive aid for one enrollment period (fall, spring, or summer). At the end of the probationary period, your academic progress is again reviewed. If you are not meeting the requirements at the end of the probationary period, you are again placed on suspension and become ineligible for financial aid. You can submit an additional appeal, if you again experienced special circumstances that prevented you from restoring your eligibility.

In very limited circumstances, you may be granted more than one semester of financial aid probation. In these cases, you will be offered an academic plan including more than one probationary semester. The plan will include appropriate and specific checkpoints and milestones you must achieve, with the long-term goal of meeting all requirements at a specified future point in time.

Reestablishing Eligibility Following Suspension

If you have no basis or choose not to appeal a suspension of financial aid, you can reestablish eligibility by completing additional coursework without aid funding.

You may also choose to leave the University and enroll elsewhere. If you later return to Carolina, you may request a review based on newly completed coursework through an appeal as described above. Please note that you should have earned at least a 2.000 GPA on this coursework and should submit supporting documentation with your appeal.

You may also submit an appeal after a period of non-enrollment. Your appeal should detail the circumstances that caused you to be on financial aid suspension as well as explain the steps you have taken while away from the University that will now permit satisfactory academic progress by the end of the next enrollment period.

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid reviews SAP at the end of every enrollment period and will process financial aid after eligibility is restored. If you restore your eligibility at the end of a fall semester, you will become eligible for aid during the spring semester. If you believe you have restored your eligibility and your status has not been updated in ConnectCarolina, please contact us and request a SAP review.