» Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal law requires that federal financial aid recipients maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their educational objectives in order to receive federal financial aid. The law encourages students to maintain specific minimum grade point averages, satisfactorily complete a specific number of credits each term or year, and finish their educational objectives within a specific period of time. The law further requires that all terms of attendance be considered, including terms in which financial aid was not received.

For programs more than one year in length, academic records will be evaluated at the end of each academic year to determine if satisfactory academic progress standards were achieved. For programs that are one academic year in length, academic records are evaluated at the end of each term.

To continue receiving federal aid the following minimum academic standards must be met:

  • Qualitative Measure
  • Quantitative Measure
  • Time Limit
  • Graduate students must maintain grade point averages sufficient to allow their continued enrollment as stated in the university catalogue. This requirement is monitored by the Registrar and each graduate school.

    Graduate students may not have a current or cumulative GPA less than 2.0


    The only grades that meet satisfactory academic progress standards are A, B, C, D, and P. Withdrawal (W), Incomplete (I), Not Passing (NP), and F grades are not passing grades. Challenge exams, audited courses, and non-credit enrichment courses are not considered.

    Grades are required when evaluating satisfactory academic progress. Students who have not been graded (i.e. have grades missing from their official transcripts) for a prior period of enrollment cannot be evaluated for satisfactory academic progress and are therefore suspended from federal financial aid. Eligibility will be restored when the missing grades are reported, and the student meets all applicable satisfactory academic progress standards.

  • Graduate students must complete at least two-thirds of all the units recorded on their official graduate transcripts from the time of first attendance in a graduate program at Chapman. Thus, a first semester student who enrolls in 9 credits, withdraws from 3 credits, and successfully completes the remaining 6 credits, would be meeting the quantitative measure requirement, since the student passed at least two-thirds (6 out of 9) of the credits in which they are enrolled.

    This policy applies to cumulative credits only. Thus, a student who successfully completes 21 credits without withdrawing from any classes and then enrolls in 6 credits but withdraws from them would still be making satisfactory progress because the student would have completed 21 out of 27 total credits, which is greater than two-thirds.

  • Students must complete their educational objectives within a reasonable period of time. To accommodate all graduate students and their schedules, this "reasonable period" is not measured chronologically, but by the number of semester hours that are recorded on the student's graduate transcript. The time limit is based on the number of credits required for graduation multiplied by 150 percent. For instance, students who are required to earn 30 semester hours for graduation can apply for financial aid for the first 45 hours in which they enroll (30 credits times 150 percent)

    This policy refers to all semester hours in which the student enrolls. Thus, a student who enrolls in 9 credits but withdraws from 3 would be considered to have utilized 9 credits of the maximum number allowed.

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Graduate students who do not successfully meet the qualitative and/or quantitative requirements for satisfactory progress will have their aid reinstated once they complete the requirements (minimum grade point average and completion of at least two-thirds of required credits).

There is no automatic reinstatement for students who exceed the time limit.

Students who do not meet satisfactory academic progress standards may appeal for reinstatement from suspension.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Students may appeal if they, a spouse, or dependent children have experienced illness that prevented class attendance for an extended period of time; they have experienced a death in the immediate family (parents, sibling, spouse, or dependent children); or they have experienced some extraordinary situation that prevented them from meeting the minimum standards.

In cases of illness or disability, a letter of explanation is needed from a heath care provider.

In cases of death, the student must provide a copy of the death certificate, funeral program, or obituary notice from a reputable newspaper.

In cases of mitigating circumstances, the student must provide a written explanation of the cause of the problem and how it has been resolved. The student should provide as much appropriate supporting documentation as possible.

Exceptions to federal policy can be made only for mitigating circumstances that are exceptional and non-recurring in nature.

The appeal for reinstatement from suspension must be in writing and must explain the cause of the academic difficulty and how the situation has been resolved. If the reason for the non-satisfactory academic progress is that the time limit has been exceeded, the student must also provide a copy of their degree audit indicating the classes that have been taken and those still needed for graduation.

Students may appeal for reinstatement and be put on SAP Probation a maximum of 2 times during their attendance at Chapman. The SAP Appeal form can be found on the Graduate Financial Aid Forms Page.