Satisfactory Academic Progress

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

 

 

Updates have been made to our SAP policy, effective for 2022-23. Items labeled NEW indicate important changes regarding when SAP is evaluated.

 

 

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

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 evaluation period determines your SAP status for the current academic year. Changes to your academic record after the end of the official evaluation 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.

NEW: As of the 2022-23 Academic Year, SAP will be evaluated at the end of each Spring semester. Your SAP determination at this time will determine your eligibility for aid beginning in the Summer term, or whichever your first term will be in the upcoming year. Therefore, eligibility for Summer 2022 aid will be contingent on meeting SAP after the end of the Spring 2022 semester.

Students enrolling in Summer Sessions: Please note that Summer Session A begins before Spring grades are made available. Eligibility for Summer aid may change once Spring grades are posted, and SAP is reviewed.

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.

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 Appeal

While you are expected to meet minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to maintain your financial aid eligibility, we understand that extenuating circumstances can sometimes prevent you from making satisfactory progress toward your degree.

​We’ll Help You Stay On Track

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 for following specific conditions each term in order to maintain your financial aid eligibility during that academic year. We will notify you via email of the conditions 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.

Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval.

Be sure to submit your appeal early, before the start of the term, so you can receive a timely decision, allowing you to plan accordingly.

The SAP Appeal deadlines are:

NEW: Summer 2022 session: June 24, 2022

Fall 2022 semester: September 16, 2022

Spring 2023 semester: February 10, 2023

Appeals may not be accepted after the deadline has passed. Complete the online form and submit your academic plan once you have met with your academic advisor(s) to ensure your appeal is received on time.

If you do not submit your appeal in a timely manner, and your appeal is denied after the term has started, you will be responsible for any and all costs incurred, including any costs related to a decision to withdraw from the semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Process for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

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

The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office strongly encourages you to submit your appeal as soon as possible. The deadlines for SAP Appeals are: June 24, 2022 for Summer 2022, September 14, 2022 for Fall 2022 and February 10, 2023 for Spring 2023. We will not consider any appeals retroactively after the term is over.

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. When writing your letter, be sure to address the following:
    • What were the circumstances that prevented you from meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress? 
    • What has changed since then that will allow you to successfully follow your academic plan?
    • What steps will you take, or which resources will you use, to ensure your success moving forward?
  • Give Examples: In your letter, provide specific examples of changes that you will make or resources that you will use to ensure your future academic success (e.g., EOP advising, counseling, tutoring, etc.).
  • Gather Documentation: Ensure your submission is complete; include documentation to support your letter of explanation (e.g., medical documentation, pay check 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.
    • If you are an Undergraduate student, the academic plan accompanying your SAP Appeal must be reviewed and approved by your college advisor before it is submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office. It must also be reviewed and approved by your major advisor, if you are a declared Letters & Science major, and your DSP advisor, if you are approved for a reduced course load through DSP.
    • If you are a Graduate Student, the academic plan accompanying your SAP Appeal must be reviewed and approved by both your Faculty Graduate Advisor/Head Graduate Advisor and the Dean of Graduate Division (318 Sproul Hall), Dean of Optometry School, Director of Program Office at Haas or Dean of Students at Berkeley Law before it is submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.
  • Prepare Backup Plan: If your appeal is not approved, you may need to seek alternative enrollment options or sources of funding.

Submitting Your Appeal

SAP Appeals are submitted through the Berkeley Financial Aid Forms website. You will be asked to complete and sign the electronic SAP Appeal form first. Once your form is signed and submitted, you will be prompted to upload your supporting documentation and signed Academic Plan. Be sure to click “Submit”, and then “Finish” so that your appeal is on file for review.

Reviewing Your Appeal

If approved, review the terms of your approval. 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 are 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