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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 percentage of attempted units.

Maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Completing your degree within a maximum specified amount of attempted units.

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.

Please note that submission of a SAP Appeal does not guarantee its approval and you should not assume aid eligibility until your appeal has been approved. If you withdraw before your SAP Appeal is reviewed and an approval is received, you will be responsible for all costs associated with your enrollment.

 

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:

Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) at or above 2.0.

Maintain a satisfactory pace of progress towards your degree by completing at least 67% of all units attempted both cumulatively and annually.

Completing your degree within a maximum number of attempted units not to exceed 150% of the published length of your program.

Cumulative Grade Point Average At or Above 2.0

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.

Satisfactory Pace of Progression Toward Degree Completion

A minimum percentage of units attempted must be successfully completed both cumulatively and by the end of each academic year to maintain a satisfactory pace toward degree completion and remain eligible for financial aid. Students must successfully complete 67% of all units attempted during the academic year and 67% of all units attempted cumulatively during their undergraduate career, including accepted transfer units.

Please Note:

The 67% completion rate still applies even if you were approved for a reduced courseload by your college and/or the Disabled Students Program (DSP)

Maximum Number of Attempted Units

You may receive financial aid for attempted units not to exceed 150% of the published length of your program, if needed to complete degree requirements. The attempted unit 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.

The published length for an undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley is 120 units. Students are only eligible to receive financial aid for up to 180 attempted units, including accepted transfer units.

The following classes/units do not count as units attempted or completed:

Remedial courses for which no credit is received

Advanced Placement (AP) units

International Baccalaureate (IB) units

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

Courses dropped before the add/drop deadline.

The following classes do count as units attempted, but do not count as units completed:

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

Courses dropped after the add/drop deadline

Courses attempted in a semester in which you withdraw after the add/drop deadline.

Failed or incomplete courses

Calculating Your Pace of Progression

To determine if you have maintained a satisfactory pace of progression toward your degree, you will need to know how many units you have attempted and completed both during the academic year and during your undergraduate career.

Divide the number of units successfully completed by the number of units attempted to calculate your percentage. For example, 18 units successfully completed divided by 24 units attempted would be 18/24 = 0.75 or 75%. This exceeds the 67% minimum and meets the satisfactory pace requirement. 

Transfer units that are accepted by your college toward your academic program, including those earned while in high school, after high school, or after being admitted to UC Berkeley, are counted as both completed and attempted. These units are factored into your cumulative pace of progression in the evaluation.

Examples:

A transfer student admitted with 70 transfer units will have 70 units attempted and completed included in the pace of progression calculation.

If the same transfer student completes 14 units out of 24 attempted units during their first year at UC Berkeley, they would have 88 units completed out of 94 units attempted.

This student's cumulative measure would be 84/94 = 0.8936 or 89.36%. Cumulatively, this student is meeting SAP (67% or higher).

However, this student's annual measure would be 14/24 = 0.5833 or 58.33%. Annually, this student is not meeting SAP (67% or higher).

As this student is not meeting both conditions, the student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and is ineligible for financial aid.

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 progress, 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 up to 4 to 6 weeks 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 enrolling in 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, your fall aid will be delayed until summer grades are posted.

If your SAP Appeal is approved, you will be responsible to follow the specific academic 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 and are approved by a private lender. 

You can access an SAP Appeal Form on CalCentral. Please review the appeal form to ensure you include all required documentation by the appropriate deadline. Incomplete appeals will not be considered.

The SAP Appeal deadlines for 2017-18 are:

Fall 2017 deadline: Friday, September 8, 2017

Spring 2018 deadline: Friday, February 2, 2018

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 an amount of attempted units not to exceed 150% of the published length of your program.

Making progress towards your degree by completing at least 67% of all units attempted both cumulatively and annually.

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

 

Maximum Number of Attempted Terms

You may receive financial aid for attempted terms not to exceed 150% of the published length of your program, if needed to complete degree requirements. The attempted term limit includes 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.

For example, students in an graduate program with a published length of 6 terms would only eligible to receive financial aid for up to 9 attempted terms.

Satisfactory Pace of Progression Toward Degree Completion

A minimum percentage of units attempted must be successfully completed both cumulatively and by the end of each academic year to maintain a satisfactory pace toward degree completion and remain eligible for financial aid. Students must successfully complete 67% of all units attempted during the academic year and 67% of all units attempted cumulatively during their graduate program.

The following classes/units do not count as units attempted or completed:

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

Courses dropped before the add/drop deadline.

The following classes do count as units attempted, but do not count as units completed:

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

Courses dropped after the add/drop deadline

Courses attempted in a semester in which you withdraw after the add/drop deadline

Failed or Incomplete courses

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.

Berkeley Law Students: Berkeley Law does not award traditional letter grades.  Satisfactory Academic Progress for Berkeley Law students aligns with the academic standing at the Law School. Students who are not in good academic standing with Berkeley Law are not considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress and are ineligible for financial aid. Berkeley Law students are eligible to submit SAP appeals.  

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:

Note: We must receive a complete appeal before the end of the term for which you are appealing. Appeals submitted after the end of the term will be not be retroactive. 

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