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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations mandate that all students make satisfactory, measurable academic progress toward completion of a degree in order to receive federal assistance through Title IV federal grant, work, and loan programs.

First time freshmen, new transfer students, new post-baccalaureate, and new graduate students are automatically considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress during the first academic year enrolled at EKU.  The students will be subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the academic year.  An academic year is defined as August to May. 

1.    EKU's SAP standards comply with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education.

2.    These are financial aid standards and do not replace or override EKU academic policies.

3.    Academic progress will be reviewed annually at the end of the spring semester.

4.    The academic progress of students on Financial Aid Probation will be reviewed after each payment period.

5.    The academic progress of new financial aid applicants will be reviewed as EKU receives the results of your FAFSA.

6.    It is your responsibility to stay informed of the University's SAP standards and policy.

7.    There is a maximum of three (3) EKU financial aid appeals.  All third appeals must be reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee. The committee's decision is final. After three appeals are reached, all future appeals will be denied.

The academic progress of all financial aid applicants and recipients will be reviewed for

1.    Overall EKU Grade Point Average

2.    Cumulative Credit Hour Completion Rate/Pace, and

3.    Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion.

You must maintain satisfactory progress in all three areas regardless of whether or not you have received financial aid in the past.

1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Degree Program Minimum Acceptable EKU GPA
Undergraduate Students  
1-30 Hours 1.5
31-50 Hours 1.8
50+ Hours 2.0
Graduate Students 3.0

 These minimum acceptable GPA's are consistent with those in the EKU Academic Catalog.

2. Cumulative Credit Hour Completion Rate (Pace)

You must earn at least two-thirds or 67% of the credit hours you attempt.  Example below: 


Fall semester

Spring semester

Total attempted (all years)

Must earn at least 67% 

1st Year

 15 hours

 12 hours

 27 hours

 27 hours x 67% = 19 hours

2nd Year

 15 hours

 15 hours

 57 hours

 57 hours x 67% = 39 hours

3rd Year

 18 hours

 15 hours

 90 hours

 90 hours x 67% = 61 hours


·         To earn hours at EKU, a student must receive a grade of A, B, C, D or S.  All other grades including F, FN, I, IP, U or W count as attempted, but not earned hours.

·         Withdrawing from classes at any point after the drop/add period will negatively affect a student’s completion rate or pace and future financial aid.

·          If a student repeats a course, both the original and the repeated courses will count toward attempted credit hours but only one of the courses (if a passing grade is earned) will count toward earned credit hours. 

·         Courses for which a student earns a grade of Incomplete (I or IP) are counted as attempted but not earned credit hours.  If a student receives a passing grade in place of an Incomplete after academic progress has been evaluated, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office. 

3. Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion 

1.    You are expected to earn a bachelor degree before

·         You have attempted 180 credit hours, if your degree program requires 120 hours, OR

·         You exceed 150% of the hours required for completion, if your degree program requires considerably more than 120 hours to complete as described in the catalog.  For example, some teaching degrees can require 138 hours (150% x 138 = 207 maximum attempted hours).

2.    You are expected to earn an associate degree before you have attempted 90 credit hours.

3.    You are expected to earn a graduate degree before you have attempted 40 credit hours (150%). If you are pursuing a graduate degree in Psychology or Communications Disorders, you are expected to earn your degree before you have attempted 90 credit hours (150%).

4.    Students pursuing a second associate or bachelor degree will be monitored on an individual basis.

5.    The allowed time frame does not automatically increase if you change your major or pursue double majors.

6.    If you are not on track to earn your degree before hitting the maximum credit hours, your aid will be denied.

7.    If you have completed all degree requirements but have not applied to graduate or received the degree, you will no longer be eligible to receive aid for that degree.

Attempted Hours 

1.    Incompletes are attempted hours which become earned hours when a final grade is given.

2.    For financial aid purposes, Bankrupted hours are attempted hours.

3.    For financial aid purposes, Withdrawn hours (including administrative withdrawals) are attempted hours.

4.    Repeated hours are attempted hours each time you take the course. If you enroll for an excessive number of repeated courses, you will not make satisfactory academic progress and you will lose your financial aid.  Financial aid can pay for the repeat of a previously passed course only once.

5.    Remedial/developmental courses are not considered in the calculation of a student’s grade point average.  However, if you enroll in more than 30 hours of remedial/developmental courses, you will not make satisfactory academic progress and can lose your financial aid.  Remedial/developmental courses do count toward pace.

6.    Transfer hours count in both total attempted and earned hours.

7.    Audited courses are included in attempted hours, but not earned hours and do not affect a student’s GPA.

8.    If you receive financial aid, you must be degree-seeking and take courses that apply to your degree program.


Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility

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