Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students who wish to receive federal financial aid and most institutional aid (including APU’s faculty/staff benefit) must be in good academic standing and make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or credential program in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria.

Graduate and professional students are evaluated at the end of each term they attend. The following minimum academic standards must be met:

Qualitative Measure

All graduate and professional undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) as listed below to be eligible for federal funds, state funds, and most institutional aid (including tuition discounts and the faculty/staff benefit). The GPA is cumulative for all programs in the same career, even in the case of a student changing programs (i.e., a student enrolls in the M.A. in English and then switches to the M.A. in Clinical Psychology).

  • Graduate and teaching credential students: Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Azusa Pacific Seminary students: Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, with the exception of students enrolled in the M.A. (Theological Studies) program or the Doctor of Ministry program, which are required to have a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA.
  • Professional undergraduate students: Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 to be eligible for federal, state, and most institutional financial aid funds.

Quantitative Measure

Graduate students must complete 50 percent of all units in which they originally enroll from the time of first attendance in any graduate program at APU. Thus, a first-term graduate student who originally enrolls in 12 units, withdraws from 3 units, and successfully completes the remaining 9 units would meet the quantitative measure requirement, since the student passed at least 50 percent of the units in which he or she originally enrolled (9/12 = 75 percent).

Teaching credential students must complete 67 percent of all units in which they originally enroll from the time of first attendance in any graduate or teaching credential program at APU. Thus, a first-term teaching credential student who originally enrolls in 9 units, withdraws from 3 units, and successfully completes the remaining 6 units would meet the quantitative measure requirement, since the student passed at least 67 percent of the units in which he or she originally enrolled (6/9 = 67 percent).

The following grades demonstrate satisfactory course completion for graduate and teaching credential students: A, B, C, P (Pass), CR (Credit received). The following grades do not demonstrate satisfactory course completion: D, F, FN, W (Withdrawal), and I (Incomplete). Challenge exams and audited courses are not considered.

Professional students must complete at least two-thirds (67 percent) of all units in which they originally enroll from the time of first attendance at APU and any accepted transfer units from other institutions. The following grades demonstrate satisfactory course completion for professional students: A, B, C, D, P (Pass), CR (Credit received). The following grades do not demonstrate satisfactory course completion: F, FN, W (Withdrawal), IN (Incomplete-No Paperwork), and I (Incomplete). Challenge exams and audited courses are not considered.

Time Limit for Completing a Program

Graduate and professional students are expected to complete their credential or degree within a given time frame. The time frame measurement begins at the date of initial enrollment in the program.

Time limits are as follow:

  • Teaching credential only: Limited to taking 150 percent of the total units required for the program
  • Professional undergraduate: Limited to taking 150 percent of the total units required for the program
  • School of Business and Management: 5 years
  • Department of School Counseling and School Psychology: 5 years
  • M.A. in Clinical Psychology (MFT): 5 years
  • Master of Divinity: 10 years
  • All other graduate programs and credentials: 8 years

The measurement begins from the date of initial enrollment in the degree or credential program.

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 will be counted toward all three progress measures for SAP.

New, Changed, or Added Programs

If a student changes or adds programs, it will not reset the current qualitative (GPA) or quantitative (pace) measures of SAP. Cumulative GPA and completion rate will be used for all programs in which the student enrolls at APU. For students in graduate programs, if the student changes or adds a program, the maximum time frame will be reset from the date of initial enrollment in the new degree program.

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 pass a class (A, B, C, D) and choose to repeat it for a higher grade may receive financial aid only once for that repeated class. Students may receive financial aid for a failed class (F) that they repeat until they pass.

Note: For graduate and credential students, though a D grade is considered a passing grade by the U.S. Department of Education, no credit is awarded to the student based upon APU’s grading policy.

Failure to Meet SAP Requirements

Students who fail to maintain SAP for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and will be given one term of financial aid eligibility to correct their SAP deficiencies. If the student does not make up the deficiencies in that one term, he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible for all federal, state, and most institutional financial aid. In order to regain eligibility, a student must submit a SAP Appeal Form (PDF). If the appeal is approved, the student will be eligible for financial aid but will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. During this time, the student will be required to meet the terms of their academic plan until they meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Appeals

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, how the situation has been resolved, and include supporting documentation.

The SAP Appeal Form (PDF) 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 as part of the appeal process. 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

Students regain 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.