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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that all recipients of student financial assistance make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or eligible certificate. Students applying for assistance through the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work Study, TEACH Grant, Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG), Oklahoma Tuition Equilization Grant (OTEG), OK Promise, Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Parent PLUS Loan and Direct Graduate PLUS Loan programs must meet three requirements to maintain their financial aid eligibility at The University of Tulsa.

  1. QUALITATIVE: First, students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average.
  2. QUANTITATIVE (PACE): Second, students are required to complete (pass) a minimum 67% of hours they attempt.
  3. MAXIMUM TIME FRAME: Third, students must complete their degree within a timely manner.

These three requirements are summarized in the following charts. Failure to meet ALL of these minimum academic standards will result in the loss of federal financial aid eligibility. Students are expected to know, based on this Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, when they may be placed on *Financial Aid Warning, Financial Aid Suspension or Financial Aid Probation. Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester once grades have been posted to the academic transcript.

  1. Qualitative-Grade Point Average Requirement – Each student must meet a required minimum cumulative grade point average to remain eligible for federal student aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Requirements Undergraduate Hours Graduate Students Law Students
Total Hours Attempted from all Institutions All Hours All Hours All Hours
Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirements 2.00 GPA 3.00 GPA 2.00 GPA
  1. Quantitative (PACE) – Satisfactory Completion of Semester Hours Requirement – Students must also successfully complete and pass 67% of all courses they attempt. Grades of A, B, C, D, F, P, I, MG and W are all considered attempted hours. All transfer and repeat hours are included in this calculation.  Courses dropped within the first 3 weeks of the semester will not be included in the calculation.  Please refer to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards charts for Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Law Students and PhD Students.

PACE = Total Number of credit hours successfully completed
Total number of credit hours attempted

Percentage of cumulative attempted hours a student must complete to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid Undergraduate Students Graduate Students Law Students
Students must successfully complete: 67% of attempted courses 67% of attempted courses 67% of attempted courses
  1. Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion – Students must complete their degree program within an allotted time frame to remain eligible for financial aid. The chart below indicates the time frame in which a degree must be acquired. Be aware that hour limits are cumulative; therefore, all accepted hours from all institutions attended will be included, even if a student did not receive federal student aid. The Student Financial Services Office recommends that students contact their academic advisor to ensure they are taking the courses necessary to complete their degree. For financial aid purposes, grades of A, B, C, D, F, P, I, MG and W are all considered in the attempted hours.  Courses dropped within the first 3 weeks of the semester will not be included in the attempted hours. All transfer and repeat hours are included in this calculation.  Once students reach their maximum time frame (150% of the published length of the program) for their specified degree, they are no longer eligible for federal student aid. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevented acceptable progress, students may request an extension of eligibility by submitting a petition to the Student Financial Services Office. All petitions for federal financial aid reinstatement should be received no later than the first day of class in the semester the suspension takes effect.
Attempted Hours Allowed for Earning a Degree150% of the published length of the degree program 186 hrs
First Bachelor’s Degree
54 hours – First Master’s
135 hours – Ph.D.
132 hours – Law

Repeated Coursework

Students may receive federal financial aid consideration to repeat a previously passed course once. Students may repeat failed courses until they have attained a passing grade. An “Incomplete” grade (I) that remains on the academic record at the time satisfactory academic progress is reviewed will be treated as not completed but the attempted hours will be counted. Upon completion of the Incomplete (I) course, the grade and course will be given due credit in future consideration.

*Please note: Financial Aid Warning, Probation and Suspension are separate from Academic Probation and Suspension.

Special Circumstances

Summer Course Work – Summer credits earned either at TU or transferable from another institution into the student’s program may be used to meet the credit-hours earned requirement.  Grades do not transfer.  Students are allowed to enroll at TU for summer courses to make up their deficiency.

Transfer Students – Financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements for students transferring into TU will be based on all credits accepted into their program.

Study Abroad Information – Enrollment in a Study Abroad program, approved for credit by TU, will have enrollment at TU for purposes of applying for federal financial aid. TU will be considered the home school and will be responsible for processing federal financial aid. Study abroad loans will be paid in two equal disbursements if the loan is requested for one specific semester and the second disbursement will credit the student’s account in the Bursar’s Office at the calendar midpoint of the program. Please note, if you will be applying for Tuition Benefit, only one term of a Study Abroad program is covered by the Tuition Benefit program. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Services to inquire about the paperwork required to apply for federal financial aid for Study Abroad and to learn how it will affect your federal financial aid for the next semester when you return to TU. Your future financial aid cannot be released until the grades from your Study Abroad program are received and posted to your student transcript at TU.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Evaluation

Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the conclusion of each academic semester after grades have been posted. All attempted and transfer hours are counted during this evaluation. Courses dropped within the first three weeks of the semester will not be included in the SAP evaluation.

  • Good Standing  – students that are enrolled in an eligible program, in compliance with satisfactory academic progress, and receiving federal aid.
  • Financial Aid Warning – is given to students for one semester who do not initially meet both requirements I and II of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP).  This is a warning status and financial aid eligibility and payment of funds will be continued throughout the warning period.  Note:  a warning is not given to students regarding maximum time frame.  It is the student’s responsibility to know how many hours they have attempted and where they stand.  Students that have been placed on Financial Aid Warning may be removed from that status and return to Good Standing by meeting the completion rate and/or cumulative grade point average requirements as set forth in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy by the end of the Financial Aid Warning term.
  • Financial Aid Suspension – will be required for students who fail to meet either requirement I and II at the conclusion of their Financial Aid Warning semester.  Students cannot receive funds from the federal aid programs listed above while suspended. The Financial Aid Officer will determine if the Financial Aid Suspension can be appealed.
  • Financial Aid Probation – is assigned to students who were on Financial Aid Suspension, appealed and have received an appeal approval.  The status of Probation is given for the next period of enrollment for one final opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.  Federal financial aid is reinstated on a probationary status for one payment period only, after the appeal is approved.  The student will receive an approval letter along with a list of conditions that must be performed for reinstatement of federal financial aid for the upcoming semester.  Students are placed on Financial Aid Probation only once during their academic career at The University of Tulsa.  The student must comply with the completion and grade point average requirements by the end of the semester.  After grades for the semester are posted to the student academic transcript, the Student Financial Services Office will review the academic performance of the student to determine if the satisfactory academic progress requirements are met.  If the student meets the SAP requirements at the completion of the semester, federal financial aid is continued for future semesters.  If the student cannot mathematically achieve SAP standards in one payment period, an academic plan will be required.
  • Financial Aid Academic Plan – is the status assigned to students who were on Financial Aid Suspension, appealed and have received an appeal approval, however, the student cannot achieve SAP standards within one payment period.  Students in this category must follow an individually designed Academic Plan developed by their Academic Advisor to ensure achievement of satisfactory academic progress standards over an assigned period of time.  Students remain eligible for federal aid as long as the conditions of the Academic Plan are met.
  • Rules are applied uniformly to all students whether or not aid has been received previously.

*Please note:  Financial Aid Warning, Probation and Suspension are separate from Academic Probation and Suspension.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

A student with extenuating circumstances may appeal a Financial Aid Suspension by submitting the appeal form that is sent with the suspension letter.  The Appeal must be submitted no later than 2 weeks after the start of the semester.  Appeals must explain in detail why the student failed to meet the minimum academic standards, and what extenuating circumstances caused the failure, and how the situation has since improved.  Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, illness, medical issues with immediate family members, or a death in the family.  Personal or financial issues with family, friends, or roommates are not considered extenuating circumstances.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will evaluate all documentation submitted and the student’s appeal will be approved or denied.  The results of the appeal will be emailed to the student TU email account within approximately ten working days.

If denied, the student is responsible for paying for their own educational costs until the student improves his/her scholastic record to meet the minimum standards.  Students who were denied due to maximum time frame are responsible for paying their educational costs for the remainder of their degree program.

If approved, the student will either:

  1. Be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester only, or;
  2. Be placed on an Academic Plan designed for completion rate and/or cumulative grade point average improvements until the standards of the SAP Policy are met.

The student’s approval letter will explain all requirements that must be met during his/her probationary period to continue to receive federal financial aid.

Removal from Financial Aid Suspension Without Appealing

To re-establish federal financial aid eligibility without completing the appeal process noted above, students must meet all the criteria listed in the Student Financial Services Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.  A student on Financial Aid Suspension can re-establish eligibility by meeting the standards of the SAP Policy by achieving a completion rate of 67% and a required minimum cumulative grade point average without federal and/or state financial aid assistance.

Changing Majors

Students who change majors should contact the Student Financial Services Office regarding how this will impact your satisfactory academic progress.  For satisfactory academic purposes, students are only allowed to change his/her major one time if they are applying for federal financial aid.

Study Abroad-Consortium Agreement Requirements

Any student who has completed a semester with Study Abroad or have a Consortium Agreement as a Visiting Student with another college or university must wait until grades have been submitted to The University of Tulsa to determine satisfactory academic progress.  The student cannot receive federal financial aid for the semester until the grades are received from the institution in which the student was enrolled.

Changing from Undergraduate to Master’s or from Master’s to Doctoral Programs

If the student is beginning a new degree level (changing from Undergraduate to Master’s or from Master’s to Doctoral Program), satisfactory academic progress begins in a clear status for the new program.

Students Who Have Been Out of Attendance for Over a Year

The Office of Student Financial Services reviews satisfactory academic progress each payment period.  If the student was not making satisfactory academic progress when last enrolled, provided it was more than a year ago, the student can be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the first payment period.

Part-Time Students

If the student received part-time federal financial aid, the required hours completed for satisfactory academic progress will be pro-rated proportionately.

Transfer Hours

Transfer hours that are accepted by The University of Tulsa, and will apply toward the student’s current program, will be included as both attempted and completed hours.

Audit Courses

Grades of “AU” are not counted in the total hours attempted for any semester or as successful completion of the course.  Students cannot receive federal financial aid for audit courses.  Independent courses may count toward successful completion of hours attempted if they are completed by the last day of the semester.  For information about eligibility and payment of federal aid for this type of course, please contact the Student Financial Services Office.