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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial aid regulations require that students meet specific Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

Your academic record will be evaluated after each academic year  to determine if you are meeting the SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility for the next academic year. Your SAP status at the end of the annual evaulation period - September 30 for fall or fall/spring students and February 28 for spring only students - determines your SAP status for the current academic year. Changes to your academic record after the end of the official evaulation period will not impact your SAP status for the current academic year. The UC Berkeley SAP requirements fall into three areas:

Making progress toward your degree by completing a minimum number of units based on your total years of enrollment.

Maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Completing your degree within a maximum specified number of years of enrollment.

While you are expected to meet minimum academic progress requirements to maintain your financial aid eligibility, we understand that extenuating circumstances sometimes prevent students from making satisfactory progress towards their degree. If you are ineligible for financial aid because you are not meeting SAP requirements before the beginning of the academic year, and extenuating circumstances have hindered your academic performance, you may submit a SAP Appeal to have your eligibility reconsidered.

If your SAP Appeal is approved, you will be responsible to follow specific conditions to maintain your financial aid eligibility for each term during that academic year. We will notify you via email of the conditions that you are required to meet to maintain eligibility and we will review your progress before we disburse any additional aid to you each term.

If your SAP Appeal is denied, you will be responsible for all costs associated with your enrollment during the academic year.  The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will certify a private educational loan if you secure a loan and are approved by a private lender.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Undergraduate Students

Financial aid regulations require that students meet specific Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Your academic record will be evaluated after each academic year  to determine if you are meeting the SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility for the next academic year.  The UC Berkeley SAP requirements for undergraduate students are as follows:

Completing your degree within a maximum specified number of years of enrollment.

Making progress towards your degree by completing a minimum number of units based on your total years of enrollment.

Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) at or above 2.00.

Maximum Specified Number of Years

You may receive financial aid for up to your first five years of enrollment, if needed to complete degree requirements. The five-year limit applies to time you have spent at any college or post-secondary institution,  including non-AP college transfer units earned in high school, semesters during which you withdrew, and semesters in which you did not receive financial aid. It does not include semesters when you were not registered.

Please Note:  The maximum years of enrollment requirement may vary for students who have been certified for reduced courseload by the Disabled Students Program (DSP).

Passing Grades in a Minimum Number of Units As You Progress Toward Your Degree

A minimum number of units need to be completed and passed by the end of each academic year to remain eligible for financial aid. The chart below shows the number of completed units required by the end of the annual SAP evaluation period to maintain financial aid eligibility for the next academic year.

Please Note:

If you were approved by your college for reduced courseload, the following chart still applies to you.

The minimum units requirement may vary for students who have been certified for reduced courseload by DSP.

Units Required to Maintain Undergraduate Financial Aid

Total Years

.5

1-1.5

2-2.5

3-3.5

4-4.5

5

Number of Units

12

24

48

72

96

120

The following classes/units do not count towards your total unit credit:

Dropped, failed, and incomplete courses

Remedial courses for which no credit is received

Repeated courses (in which you previously received a passing grade)

Placement (AP) units

International Baccalaureate (IB) units

Classes taken at other colleges that are not reflected on your UC Berkeley transcript

Cumulative Grade Point Average At or Above 2.000

You are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above at the end of the annual SAP evaluation period to remain eligible for financial aid for the subsequent academic year.

Calculating Your Years of Enrollment

In order to determine where you are in terms of the maximum number of years of enrollment allowed for financial aid eligibility and where you are in terms of earning the required number of units based on  your years of enrollment, it is necessary  to understand how years of enrollment are calculated.  A year of enrollment is defined in one of two ways:

1. Transfer units earned (while in high school, after high school, or after being admitted to UC Berkeley) that are accepted by your college toward your academic program are converted into time enrolled. Since a grade-level advancement at UC Berkeley requires 30 units, every 30 transfer units accepted is counted as 1 year of enrollment.

Please Note: Every 15 transfer units accepted is counted as 0.5 year of enrollment. AP/IB units do not count as transfer units.

Examples:

70 transfer units would equal to 2 years of enrollment (70 ÷ 30 = 2.3 years, rounded down to the nearest half-year).

55 transfer units would equal to 1.5 years of enrollment (55 ÷ 30 = 1.8 years, rounded down to the nearest half-year).

2.  Enrollment at UC Berkeley:  The academic year begins with the fall term and ends with the summer term. Any combination of two or three terms from an academic year counts as one year, as follows:

fall/spring

fall/spring/summer

fall/summer

spring/summer

Please Note: Enrollment in only one semester during the fall/spring/summer year counts as one-half of a year.

SAP Appeals

We understand that circumstances sometimes prevent students from making satisfactory progress towards their degree. If you are ineligible for financial aid because you are not meeting SAP requirements before the beginning of the academic year, and extenuating circumstances have hindered your academic performance, you may submit a SAP Appeal to have your eligibility reconsidered.

Please be aware that submission of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval. We review appeals on a first-come, first-served basis, and it may take a long as 4 to 6 weeks for us to review your appeal and notify you of the decision via email. We strongly encourage you to submit your SAP Appeal immediately after you receive notification that you are not meeting SAP requirements so that you may receive a decision on your appeal in a timely manner.  If attending summer classes will bring you back into compliance with the SAP requirements before the fall term begins, we recommend that you consult with a financial aid advisor to determine if waiting for summer grades may be preferable to filing an SAP Appeal.

Please Note: If you are waiting for summer grades to update your SAP status and your financial aid eligibility, any fall aid will be delayed until summer grades are posted.

If your SAP Appeal is approved, you will be responsible to follow specific conditions to maintain your financial aid eligibility for each term during that academic year. We will notify you via email of the conditions that you are required to meet to maintain eligibility and we will review your progress before we disburse any additional aid to you each term.

If your SAP Appeal is denied, you will be responsible for all costs associated with your enrollment during the academic year.  The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will certify a private educational loan if you secure a loan and are approved by a private lender. 

You can access an SAP Appeal Form on CalCentral (for spring/summer 2016, access the form on MyFinAid). Please review the appeal form to ensure you include all required documentation by the appropriate deadline.

The SAP Appeal deadlines for 2015-16 are:

Fall 2015 deadline: Friday, September 11, 2015

Spring 2016 deadline: Friday, February 5, 2015

Summer 2016: There is no SAP appeal process for the summer term

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Graduate Students

Financial aid regulations require that students meet specific Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Your academic record will be evaluated after each academic year  to determine if you are meeting the SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility for the next academic year.  The UC Berkeley SAP requirements for graduate students are as follows:

Completing your degree within a maximum specified number of years of enrollment.

Making progress towards your degree by completing a minimum number of units based on your total years of enrollment.

Maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.000 or above.

Maximum Specified Number of Years

You may receive financial aid for a limited maximum years of enrollment, based on your program, if needed to complete degree requirements. See the chart below to determine your maximum number of years of enrollment for which you can be eligible for financial aid:

Financial Aid Eligibility for Graduate Degrees

Type of degree

M.A. + Ph.D

M.A. only

J.D.

Evening / Weekend MBA

Optometry

Maximum time to complete degree

9 years

3 years

4 years

4 years

5 years

Passing Grades in a Minimum Number of Units As You Progress Towards Your Degree

A minimum number of units need to be completed and passed by the end of each academic year to remain eligible for financial aid. The chart below shows the number of completed units required by the end of the annual SAP evaluation period to maintain financial aid eligibility for the next academic year.

Units Required to Maintain Graduate Financial Aid

Year 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Number of units you must have completed by the end of each academic year

12

24

36

48

60

72

84

96

108

Cumulative Grade Point Average At or Above 3.000

You are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above at the end of the annual SAP evaluation period to remain eligible for financial aid for the subsequent academic year.

Please note: Berkeley Law School does not award traditional letter grades.  Law students receive one of five grades [High Honors (HH), Honors (H), Pass (P), Pass Conditional/Substandard Pass (PC), or No Credit (NC)].

SAP Appeals

We understand that circumstances sometimes prevent students from making satisfactory progress towards their degree. If you are ineligible for financial aid because you are not meeting SAP requirements prior to the beginning of the academic year, and extenuating circumstances have hindered your academic performance, you may submit a SAP Appeal to have your eligibility reconsidered.

Please be aware that submission of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval. We strongly encourage you to submit your SAP Appeal immediately after you receive notification that you are not meeting SAP requirements so that you may receive a decision on your appeal in a timely manner.  If attending summer classes will bring you back into compliance with the SAP requirements before the fall term begins, we recommend that you consult with a financial aid advisor to determine if waiting for summer grades may be preferable to filing an SAP Appeal.

Please note: If you are waiting for summer grades to update your SAP status and your financial aid eligibility, any fall aid will be delayed until summer grades are posted.

If your SAP Appeal is approved, you will be responsible to follow specific conditions to maintain your financial aid eligibility for each term during that academic year. We will notify you via email of the conditions that you are required to meet to maintain eligibility and we will review your progress before we disburse any additional aid to you each term.

If your SAP Appeal is denied, you will be responsible for all costs associated with your enrollment during the academic year.  The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will certify a private educational loan if you secure a loan and are approved by a private lender.

Tips: Preparing Your Appeal (Undergraduate Students)

Have you received a message advising you to complete an SAP Appeal? Not sure what steps to take to re-establish your financial aid eligibility? Follow these simple steps or see an adviser in Cal Student Central for assistance:

 

Preparing Your Appeal

Calendar: Be aware of key deadlines, including cancellation and tuition/fee refund dates and the SAP Appeal deadline. Make advising appointments ASAP.

Write Your Letter: Your letter of explanation should include the exceptional circumstances that may have prevented you from meeting financial aid SAP requirements.

Give Examples: In your letter, include changes you will make or resources you will use to ensure your future academic success (e.g. EOP advising, counseling, tutoring, etc.).

Gather Documentation: Complete appeals; include documentation to support your letter of explanation (e.g. medical documentation, paycheck stubs, transcripts, etc.).

Meet With Your Academic Adviser(s): Discuss your circumstances, review your transcript and your supporting documentation, and prepare a manageable academic plan.

Prepare a Back-up Plan: If your appeal is not approved, you may need to seek alternative enrollment options or sources of funding.

 

Reviewing Your Appeal

If approved, review the terms of your appeal. Make sure you understand what successful completion means and the number of units you must complete each term to maintain your financial aid eligibility.

If you're approved and considering a change in your course load, discuss your academic plan options with both your academic adviser(s) and a Financial Aid and Scholarships counselor prior to making any adjustments to your schedule. 

 

Questions?

​Contact Cal Student Central: 510.664.9181 or 120 Sproul Hall