Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial Aid Policies

Students who wish to receive financial aid must be in good academic standing and make satisfactory academic progress towards a degree or certificate program in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria. Graduate students are evaluated at the end of each term (fall, spring, and summer). The following minimum academic standards must be met:

Qualitative Measure

  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in order to be eligible for federal, state, and institutional funds. Exceptions are academic programs in Azusa Pacific Seminary (Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies) that have a 2.7 minimum cumulative GPA requirement.
  • Professional students must maintain a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA.

Quantitative Measure

  • Students enrolled in a master’s degree or doctoral program must complete 50 percent of all units in which they originally enroll from the time of first attendance. This policy applies to cumulative units only. Thus, a student enrolled in a master’s degree program who successfully completes 24 units without withdrawing from any classes, and then enrolls in 9 units but withdraws from all units would still be making satisfactory progress. The student would have completed 24 out of 33 total units (24/33 total units = 73 percent), which is greater than 50 percent.
  • Graduate students enrolled in a credential-only program must complete a minimum of 67 percent of units in which they enroll from the beginning of their program.
  • Professional students must complete at least 67 percent of all units. Units include all units taken from first time attendance at APU and accepted transfer units from other institutions.

Maximum Time Frame

Students requesting aid are expected to complete an academic program within a reasonable time frame. Time limits are as follows:

  • 5 years for School of Business and Management degrees, or the School of Education’s School Counseling and Psychology programs
  • 10 years for the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree
  • 8 years for all other master’s and doctoral degrees
  • 150 percent of the total program units for graduate credential-only programs
  • 180 units for professional programs, including the B.A. in Liberal Studies, B.S. in Organizational Leadership, B.S. in Information Security, RN to B.S. in Nursing, LVN to B.S. in Nursing, and B.S. in Nursing 2+2.

Maximum time frame limits are measured beginning from the date of initial enrollment in the degree program. Students may petition for extended time by submitting a SAP Appeal to Student Financial Services.


The only grades that meet satisfactory academic progress completion standards are grades for which credit is awarded; A, B, C, P, and CR. (Some departments and/or schools require a higher minimum GPA in order for coursework to meet program requirements. Some professional programs consider a D grade passing. Consult your department for more information.) Withdrawal and incomplete grades are not passing grades. Challenge exams and audited courses are not considered.

Repeated Courses

If a student repeats a failed or a previously passed class, it will replace the grade to recalculate into the new cumulative GPA. The units will still count toward the completion rate and maximum time frame. Students who passed a class and choose to repeat for a higher grade may receive financial aid only once for that repeated class. Students may receive financial aid for a failed class that they repeat until they pass.

Transfer Credits and Remedial Coursework

Transfer credits that have been officially accepted to complete program requirements will count for qualitative (GPA requirement) and quantitative (pace requirement) measures of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

A student may take one academic year’s worth of remedial courses for financial aid. Remedial coursework for students who are admitted into an eligible program and take it within that program will be counted toward all three progress measures for SAP.

Financial Aid SAP Statuses

Students who fail to maintain SAP will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and will be given one term of financial aid eligibility to correct their SAP deficiencies. (Financial Aid Warning is not given to students who have reached their maximum time frame or students who have failed to meet SAP for two consecutive terms.) If the student does not make up their deficiencies in that one term, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible for all financial aid (federal, state, and institutional). Finally, if the student appeals and is approved, they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.


Students may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid if they, a spouse, or dependent children have experienced illness that prevented class attendance for an extended period of time; they have experienced a death in the immediate family (parents, siblings, spouse, or dependent children); or they have experienced some extraordinary situation that prevented them from meeting the minimum standards. Such a situation must be exceptional and nonrecurring in nature. The appeal for reinstatement must explain the cause of the academic difficulty and how the situation has been resolved.

A 2015-16 Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal (PDF) form is available online and in the Graduate and Professional Center, and must be submitted within 30 days of notification of financial aid ineligibility. The student must develop an academic plan if they cannot meet SAP within one term of probation. The academic plan that is submitted with the appeal should be created by the student and the academic advising staff or academic department representative. The appeal will be reviewed by a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee.

Regaining Eligibility

Student regains financial aid eligibility when they meet all three measures of progress for SAP. It is possible for students to be placed on a warning status multiple times in their academic career.

Azusa Pacific University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. Appeal procedures exist for anyone who feels that a violation of the above has occurred. Contact the director of graduate and professional student financial services for further information.