Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress

» Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Undergraduate

Federal law requires that financial aid recipients and applicants maintain satisfactory academic progress. The law compels students to maintain specified minimum grade point averages, successfully complete a specific number of credits each term or year and complete their educational objectives within a specific period of time. The law further requires that all terms of college attendance be considered, including terms in which financial aid was not received. Academic records will be evaluated at the end of each spring semester to determine if the standards are achieved.

The following are minimum academic standards which must be met:

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Qualitative Measure-GPA

A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 to be eligible for federal funds and talent scholarships. In addition, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 to remain eligible for merit scholarships.

Quantitative Measure-CREDITS

Full-time students (12 credits or more per semester) must complete at least 24 credits each year (fall and spring semesters). Three-quarter-time students (9 through 11 credits per semester) must complete at least 18 credits per year, and half-time students (6 through 8 credits) must complete at least 12 credits per year. Students who enroll in less than 6 credits will be expected to complete all credits attempted.

Students who have different statuses during the academic year will have their minimum completion standard based on their status each semester. Thus, a full-time student in the fall semester who becomes a half-time student in the spring will be expected to complete at least 18 credits (12 for fall and 6 for spring).

For the purpose of this policy, interterm is considered part of spring semester. For example, a student who takes three credits in interterm and 9 credits in the spring will be considered a full-time student when evaluating for financial aid.

Students who enroll in summer sessions are expected to complete all the credits they attempt during summer school in addition to the credits required for the fall and spring semesters. Summer credits are not included in either fall or spring semesters. For instance, a student who takes 6 credits in the summer and 15 credits in fall and spring semesters would be expected to complete at least 30 credits (the six credits in the summer plus the 24 credits expected of a full-time student for fall and spring semesters).

Students who enroll in only 1 semester are expected to complete half of the credits required of students who enroll in both semesters.

Determination of a student's status is based on the number of credits in which the student originally enrolls. Thus, a student who originally enrolls in 12 credits and then withdraws from 3 credits is still considered a full-time student and would be expected to complete at least 24 credits over the entire year if he or she attended both semesters.

TIME LIMIT for Federal Financial Aid

Federal assistance is available to students for the first 12 semesters of full-time study (12 or more credits per semester), for the first 16 semesters of three-quarter time attendance (9 through 11 credits), for the first 24 semesters of half-time attendance (6 through 8 credits), and for the first 48 semesters of less than half-time attendance.

Students who change attendance status (for instance are full-time one semester and half-time the next) will have their time limits measured on a full-time equivalency basis. For instance, 2 half-time semesters would equal one semester of full-time attendance, or 2 three-quarter time semesters would equal 1.5 full-time semesters.

The time limit for transfer students will be based on their grade level when they enter Chapman subtracted from the 8 semesters it normally takes to receive a Chapman degree multiplied by 150 percent. For instance, a student who transfers to Chapman as a second semester sophomore will be eligible to apply for federal financial aid at Chapman for the next 7.5 full-time equivalent semesters of attendance. (A second semester sophomore has completed 3 full-time equivalent semesters. 3 semesters subtracted from 8 equals 5 which when multiplied by 150 percent equals 7.5).

When students complete at least 11 full-time equivalent semesters but fewer than 12 (for instance 11.5 full-time equivalent semesters), they will be able to receive financial aid for 1 more semester. It is only after a student crosses the 12 semester threshold that federal financial aid is no longer available.

TIME LIMIT for Chapman University Funded Assistance

Financial assistance from Chapman University requires full-time attendance. For students who enter Chapman as freshmen, scholarships are provided for the first 8 semesters of uninterrupted enrollment. Chapman Grants are available for up to 10 semesters. Transfer students are eligible based on their grade levels when they entered Chapman subtracted from the number of semesters allotted for freshmen. Thus, a second semester sophomore would be eligible to renew a scholarship award for up to 5 semesters of continuous enrollment and could receive a Chapman Grant for up to 7 semesters.


The only grades that meet satisfactory academic progress standards are A, B, C, D, and P. Withdrawal and incomplete grades are not passing grades. Challenged exams, audited courses, and non-credit enrichment courses are not considered.


Students who do not meet the foregoing standards are ineligible for financial aid but, in many cases, it can be reinstated. Those ineligible for federal aid and Chapman Grants because their grade point averages are below 2.0 will have their eligibilities renewed when their cumulative grade point averages equal or exceed 2.0 and a written appeal has been approved . Merit scholarships cannot be reinstated. Students who did not successfully complete a sufficient number of credits in a year will have their aid reinstated when they complete at least 12 credits in a single semester or successfully complete 12 credits without withdrawals in 2 consecutive semesters. There is no reinstatement for students who exceed the time limit.

In addition, students may appeal for reinstatement of assistance 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, siblings, spouse, or dependent children); or they have experienced some extraordinary situation that prevented them from meeting the minimum standards. Such situation must be exceptional and non-recurring in nature. The appeal for reinstatement must explain the cause of the academic difficulty and how the situation has been resolved.

An appeal must be made within 60 days of the date the notice of ineligibility is emailed to the student by the Undergraduate Office of Financial Aid. Students may appeal for reinstatement up to two times during their attendance at Chapman.

Appeals must be in writing and will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. In addition to the written petition, students may appear in person before the committee after the initial appeal has been reviewed. The committee will meet as soon as practicable after an appeal is submitted. The written decision of the committee will be emailed within one week of the hearing.