Satisfactory Academic Progress

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

 

 

In response to COVID-19, updates have been made to our SAP policy to help alleviate potential impacts to future aid eligibility. Please review these updates under the Maximum Number of Attempted Units and Calculating Your Pace of Progression sections below.

For other updates and accommodations from the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, see COVID-19 Service and Support Updates.

 

 

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.

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 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 deadline for the fall 2021 semester is September 17, 2021 and February 4, 2022 for the spring semester. Appeals will not be accepted after the deadline has passed. Complete the online form and submit your academic plan once you’ve met with your academic advisor to ensure your appeal is received on time.

If you do not submit your appeal in a timely way, and later find out 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 simple 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: September 14, 2020 for Fall 2020 and February 5, 2021 for Spring 2021. There are no SAP appeals reviewed in Summer. 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. Please refer to some example SAP appeals for help in writing your letter.
  • 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, 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.

 

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