Satisfactory Academic Progress

Various federal and state regulations governing student financial aid require that an institution develop standards to measure academic progress toward a degree.  All students will be monitored for financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) whether or not financial aid was applied for or received during any academic period in which the student was previously enrolled. You will not be eligible for financial aid if you do not meet the financial aid SAP requirements.  In order to maintain SAP for financial aid eligibility, students must meet four standards: a GPA requirement, a pace requirement, a minimum cumulative unit requirement and a maximum timeframe requirement.

If a student fails to maintain SAP, he/she will be notified that he/she is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met. Since SAP is monitored annually at the end of the spring term, the first term of ineligibility will typically be the following summer or fall term.  Students pursuing a double major or second baccalaureate degree will be held to the same standards as all other students.

Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if a) the student subsequently meets the SAP requirements, or b) the student successfully appeals.

This page is meant as a guide and is not the complete policy.  For complete policy information please see the University of California, Merced catalog available with the Office of the Registrar.
 

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Requirements for SAP

The following requirements for satisfactory academic progress for receipt of financial aid apply to all applicants for any financial aid awards administered by the OFAS. These requirements are separate and distinct from UC Merced's policy regarding satisfactory academic progress set by the Office of the Registrar.

Note: Some funds have higher academic and/or enrollment requirements.

An undergraduate student will be ineligible for aid unless an appeal is approved if one of the following occurs:

  1. Qualitative Measurement
  • Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average.
  • Graduate students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 grade point average.
  1. Quantitative Measurement
  • Undergraduate financial aid applicants must complete at least 24 units per academic year (or 12 units per semester if the student only attend one term)
  • Graduate financial aid applicants must complete at least 16 units per academic year (or 8 units per semester if the student only attend one term)
  1. Exclude, units for courses with a grade of "F," "I," "NP," "U," "W," or "NR." Transfer courses and required remedial courses will not be counted as well.
  2. Part-time students need to complete 12 units per year (or six for their part-time term and 12 for their full-time term in same year)
  3. Part-time Graduate students need to complete 16 units per year (or 8 for their part-time term and 12 for their full-time term in same year)
  1. Pace Requirement
  • All students, both undergraduate and graduate students, must complete with a passing grade at least 66.6% of all courses attempted each year.
  1. Maximum Time Frame
  • All financial aid applicants exceeding the following year limits will be ineligible for financial aid consideration. Students will not be granted additional years of eligibility solely by reason of changing their field of study (major) or pursuing more than one major or a minor.  Undergraduate students are allowed up to 6 years of financial aid eligibility, depending on their class standing when he/she is admitted.  The initial class level is assigned by the Office of Admissions, based on transfer credits accepted, including Advanced Placement units. [top]

Grade Level at Entrance:

Units Accepted for Transfer at Entrance Academic Year Standing
0-29 1
30-59 2
60-89 3
90-119 4
120+ 4+

Number of Years of Eligibility:

Academic Year Standing Years of Eligibility
1 6
2 4.5
3 3
4+ 1.5

**Master's degree students are eligible for financial aid for up to three years of academic year attendance following completion of their baccalaureate degree (whether or not he/she received financial aid during these terms).
**Doctoral students may be eligible for financial aid for up to 7.5 years of academic-year attendance following the completion of their baccalaureate degree (whether or not he/she received financial aid during these terms).
 

Will I be notified if I fail to achieve SAP?

If a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress according to OFAS, he/she will be notified that he/she is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met. Since SAP is monitored annually at the end of the spring term, the first term of ineligibility will typically be the following summer or fall term. Students pursuing a double major or second baccalaureate degree will be held to the same standards as all other students. [top]

Can I regain eligibility if I fail to meet the terms of SAP?

Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if the student subsequently meets the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements by:

  1. enrolling in courses at UC Merced at their own expense and doing well enough in the coursework to satisfy the standards of the UC Merced Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy; or
  2. the student successfully appeals and the aid is reinstated (see appeal section below).

* Please note this will only make students eligible for future aid once reinstated. It is not retroactive and is based on availability of funding. [top]

How do I file a SAP appeal?

Undergraduate students wishing to appeal must submit a UC Merced SAP Appeal to the OFAS. Appeals are only accepted once, at the end of spring semester. The appeal form is available online and instructions are sent to all students that do not meet the SAP standards. A student may appeal SAP if he/she believes that extenuating circumstances prevented normal academic success or successful completion of the terms of SAP.  Information about the SAP Appeal Process. [top]

How do incomplete courses, poor grades and withdrawal from classes affect my SAP status?

  • Grades — only courses for which the student received a grade of "A," "B," "C" and "D" are acceptable. Units for the following grades will not be counted as completed units toward meeting the unit requirement for students: F (Failure), I (Incomplete), NP (Not Pass), U (Unsatisfactory), W (Withdraw), NR (No grade reported). Required remedial courses will count toward the undergraduate student unit requirement.
  • Terms with all failing grades — students will be asked to verify attendance during a term in which all grades received are unacceptable (as defined above). Failure to verify attendance will result in cancellation of all aid for the term. [top]

How do academic holds affect my Financial Aid?

Academic holds are used by UC Merced to prevent future registration by students who need to resolve academic issues. If you have an academic hold, OFAS will not release financial aid funds to you until the academic hold is removed from your record by your school. To resolve academic hold situations, contact your school or academic advisor. [top]