Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

According to Federal Guidelines, you must maintain SAP – Satisfactory Academic Progress – to be eligible for financial aid at Carolina. SAP standards will be evaluated at the conclusion of each semester. At that time, if you do not meet one or more of the standards described below, a notification of warning or suspension is emailed to your UNC email address. The notification explains which standards you failed to meet and presents an opportunity to appeal for probation.

To Meet SAP Standards:

  • Maintain a minimum equivalent of a 2.0 grade point average or consistent with your program’s graduation requirement.
    • School of Law requires a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.2 for first year students, and a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 thereafter.
  • Successfully complete two-thirds of the coursework in which you are enrolled. To estimate this completion rate, divide the number of credit hours you have successfully completed by the number of credit hours attempted.
    • School of Law requires 60% successful completion of the coursework in which you are enrolled.
  • Any course in which you receive a non-failing grade counts as a ‘completed’ course.
  • Complete degree requirements within the University’s maximum time frame*
    • 5 years for Masters Program
    • 5 years for School of Law
    • 8 years for Doctoral Program

* All transfer credit hours accepted by the University count as both attempted and completed credits and are included in the maximum time frame calculation.

Appeal Information

By submitting an appeal, you are indicating that there were extenuating circumstances that affected your ability to meet the above standards. Extenuating circumstances are one-time occurrences that you do not have control over. Examples may include a death in your immediate family, hospitalization, accidents, and illness.

Appeal Deadlines

Term of EnrollmentDeadline
Fall (not enrolled during the summer)July 13
Fall (enrolled during either summer session)August 5
SpringDecember 15
Summer Session IMay 1
Summer Session IIJune 10

Understanding SAP

The below glossary terms will help you to understand SAP and how it applies to your courses.

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.

Hours that are “dropped” prior to census date are not considered attempted. In calculating SAP, all classes dropped after census date are considered withdrawals. All withdrawn hours are considered attempted.

  • Repeated courses will be included the completion rate.
  • Repeated courses affect GPA for applicable programs. According to University policy, the grades of all course attempts are computed in a student’s cumulative grade point average.

Incomplete courses will not be treated as a completed course until a grade has been recorded for the class. If the grade is converted to a passing grade, your completion rate and GPA (if applicable) are recalculated at the end of the next enrollment period. If this occurs before the end of a semester, you can contact OSSA to request a SAP review.

Transfer hours count as both completed and attempted hours in the completion rate and as attempted hours in the maximum timeframe calculation.

This coursework is excluded from the completion standard.

Withdrawals, medical or otherwise, are NOT considered a successful completion and adversely affect completion rate. Withdrawals do not affect GPA (for applicable programs).

A failed course adversely affects completion rate, counting as attempted hours but not completed hours. Failed courses affect GPA (for applicable programs).

submitting an appeal

You may submit an appeal if there were extenuating circumstances which led to academic difficulties. Extenuating circumstances are one-time difficulties over which you have no control, such as a death in the immediate family, hospitalization, accident, or illness. Written appeals must be submitted to the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid by the date set in the suspension notice.

  • If an appeal is approved, you will be placed on probation and you must meet SAP standards at the end of the probationary semester.
  • If the appeal is denied, you will remain on suspension and will not be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • If you do not appeal, or if your appeal is denied, you may have your eligibility reinstated following the completion of the equivalent of one full time semester without the support of federal financial aid.

Appeal Decisions

Decisions are delivered to your UNC email address as quickly as possible. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval. Decisions of the appeals committee are final and cannot be appealed outside the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Understanding SAP Appeal Status

A warning is intended to alert you to a potential issue in your academic progress and does not prevent you from receiving aid. If you are in a financial aid warning status at the end of the enrollment period and do not complete on-third of your attempted courses, you will face financial aid suspension.

Suspension means you are no longer eligible for financial aid. You may appeal to have eligibility for aid reinstated on a probationary basis.

If an appeal is approved, you will be placed on financial aid probation and can receive aid, but you must meet SAP standards at the end of the probationary semester.