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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

What is SAP?

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for student financial aid. Federal regulations require Bellevue University to establish, publish and apply standards to monitor student’s progress toward completion of their degree program.

The Federal Title IV Programs governed by this policy include: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), Federal Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) Loans, and the PLUS loans. The state grant program governed by this policy is the Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG). Alternative Loans will also follow our SAP policy as well.

In order to receive Title IV funds, state grants and alternative loans, the student must be maintaining satisfactory progress in his or her course of study according to Bellevue University's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Satisfactory progress is defined as an effective measure of evidence of positive movement toward a student's degree or credential. This measurement has two components:

  • A Qualitative Component - the student must meet minimum standards for quality work (GPA).
    • Undergraduate: A student in an undergraduate program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better to meet minimum standards.
    • Graduate: A student in a graduate program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better to meet minimum standards.
  • A Quantitative Component (also referred to as Pace) - the student must accumulate a sufficient number of credit hours to demonstrate that a degree will be earned within a set amount of time. For example:
    • On a cumulative basis, a student must successfully complete Two-Thirds of the credit hours attempted each academic year. Hours attempted are those for which a student is registered as of the start date of any session, plus hours added during late registration. Hours dropped or audited after the start date of a session will be counted as "hours attempted" whether or not financial aid was received for those hours.

Maximum Time Frame Component (Appeal for Maximum Hours): Students must complete their degrees within a maximum time frame. The calculation includes transfer credits from previous Colleges and Universities. Undergraduate students who are already over 144 credit hours (excluding hours earned with the military or cosmetology) must appeal for exceeding the maximum time frame component. Graduate students must complete their programs within three years of full-time attendance. Any student who exceeds the above stated time limits will be required to submit in writing an explanation of the mitigating circumstances to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

The Effects of Course Incompletes, Withdrawals, Repeats, and Audits on Satisfactory Progress Incompletes (I ) - This is not a final grade. The financial aid office considers the grade of "I" as a soft "F" or failure. This means that unless the student completes the course work within the appropriate time frame, the grade will change to a "F".

Official withdrawals (W) - These hours will be counted toward the two-third's completion rate for the year. No after-the-fact financial aid will be paid for classes in which a grade of "W, WP, or WC" is assigned.

Repetitions - Financial aid will be paid for classes a student chooses to repeat, as long as the student previously failed the course and the course counts toward completion of the degree program. It may be academically sound for a student to repeat certain classes to raise his or her GPA to acceptable standards, but financial aid will only pay for a class that has been previously passed once. (For a graduate student, a previously passed class is counted as anything that the student receives a D- or above.)

Audits (AU) - No financial aid will be given for classes taken in this status. No credit is earned toward completion of degree requirements; therefore, the student is not eligible for any financial aid.

Process of Evaluation:

  • The GPA will be checked at time of disbursement as well as time of manual packaging.
  • The quantitative/pace component (2/3 and Max time frame) will be checked each term prior to the “traditional” term disbursement as well at time of manual packaging.


These outcomes are based upon terms with enrollment.

  • First Offense – Warning
    • Communication is sent to student
  • Second Offense – Fail
    • Student will need to appeal
    • Student completes appeal and it is reviewed by Financial Aid Committee.
    • Award may be affected by appeal outcome.
  • Third Offense – Suspension
    • Student is not eligible for Financial Aid until they are meeting satisfactory academic progress standards.

How do I submit and appeal?

Students will need to submit a typed letter that includes not only the circumstances of why you failed to meet the GPA standards including any documentation supporting reasons why you did not meet standards; but also your plan of action/intentions to correct the problem. This letter can be emailed to

What is a 2/3rds appeal?

An appeal for 2/3rd's is required when a student has not successfully completed at least 2/3rd's of their classes they have registered for in an academic year. For example if you're taking 3 classes at 9 credit hours and drop 2 of those classes you have not completed 2/3rd's of your courses. The same standard applies if you drop all 3 classes in one term.

How long does the appeal process take?

All requests for appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee (FAAC) on a case by case basis. The Appeals Committee makes their decision using regulations deemed by the Department of Education, the student's individual circumstance, and the student's academic history. It takes approximately 7 business days (10 business days during peak times) for a final decision. A letter will be emailed explaining the decision. If the FAAC determines that mitigating circumstances exist, they will reinstate financial aid and inform the student of any special restrictions.

How do I re-establish my financial aid not that I am maintaining SAP?

You should address the Financial Aid Appeals Committee in writing and provide all necessary supporting documentation for your request. If the Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines that you are now eligible, they will reinstate the student's financial aid and inform you of their decision.

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