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Helping Students Succeed

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

A student who does not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal policy is considered ineligible for financial aid. However, they may submit an appeal if they have a documented extenuating circumstace that prevented them from meeting the SAP policy. Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • Death of an immediate family member (spouse, mother, father, guardian, sister, brother, son or daughter)
  • Major medical issue (i.e. requires hospitalization) experienced by the student or an immediate family member of the student (as designated above)
  • Domestic violence
  • Involuntary call to active military duty
  • Other extreme circumstances (case by case basis)

The following circumstances are not considered extenuating and beyond the student's control:

  • Not knowing the deadline or procedure
  • Work conflicts
  • Incarceration resulting from a guilty verdict
  • Voluntary overtime
  • Not needing or wanting a class, not doing well in a class, or having too heavy of a course load
  • Wishing to improve your GPA

Submitting an Appeal

Appeals and supporting documentation must be submitted by the posted deadline. A complete SAP Appeal includes a statement,a plan for improvement, and supporting documentation. The appeal is available online at finaidapps.ucmerced.edu and instructions are sent to all students who do not meet the SAP policy. .

Explanation

Provide a detailed statement (250 words or less) that explains how the extenuating circumstances prevented you from meeting the SAP policy. 

Plan for Improvement

Provide a plan (250 words or less) that explains the strategies you will use to help you be successful in future semesters. 

Documentation

Submit date-specific documentation from a disinterested third party. Documentation includes but is not limited to:

  • Letter from a physician or counselor on letterhead indicating the dates you were under their care
  • Copy of a death certificate, obituary or third-party documentation of death
  • Accident reports, police records, court records, etc.
  • Documentation to support attempting more than the maximum number of units allowed for your program (Maximum Time Limit appeals only)

Do not submit original documents; they will not be returned. Make sure all copies are legible. Letters from relatives and friends are not accepted. Appeals submitted without supporting documentation will not be reviewed. You will not have an opportunity to meet with the committee, so it is important that your appeal includes all necessary information.

Appeal Time Frame

SAP Appeals are typically reviewed within 3-4 weeks from the time an appeal is submitted online and supporting documentation is reviewed and deemed Complete. Students are responsible for adhering to all fee payment deadlines, even if they have a SAP Appeal under review. If you have any questions about your outstanding charges, please contact Student Business Services at (209) 228-4114 or email at sbs@ucmerced.edu.

Notification

After your appeal has been reviewed, you will be notified by email of the committee's decision. You may also view your status by logging into the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal.

Appeal Decisions

Approved 

  • If your appeal is approved, your financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for one semester at a time within the academic year, until the OFAS re-evaluates SAP standings for all students.
  • Students with an approved appeal are required to review and accept Terms and Conditions.  Financial aid will not disburse until the Terms and Conditions are accepted.
  • The OFAS verifies academic performance at the end of every semester before extending financial aid eligibility. This process is called SAP Monitoring. Students are monitored according to their Terms and Conditions. Financial aid for the following term may be delayed until grades are "Official."
  • Students who do not meet their Terms and Conditions will lose financial aid eligibility for future terms. 
  • Some students will be required to schedule an appointment with our office and bring the following items with you: Budgeting Money Worksheet and Financial Awareness Counseling

Denied 

  • If your appeal is denied, you are not eligible to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid. 
  • Alternative funding is available if you plan on continuing at UC Merced.
  • Your financial aid will only be reinstated when you are back in good academic standing according to OFAS SAP Policy. The OFAS evaluates academic standing at the end of each spring semester.