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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal and state regulations require institutions to develop academic progress standards and review student records to ensure they are complying with these standards and making progress toward their academic goals. SAP is reviewed each semester. Course work used to evaluate SAP for degree programs includes all attempted hours at Clayton State University, including learning support and repeat courses, as well as most transfer hours regardless of whether or not you received financial aid for those terms of enrollment. (Excluded Hours - Transfer courses accepted as “NO CREDIT” are not included in the SAP calculation. Undergraduate hours are not included when calculating SAP for graduate students.) Course work used to evaluate SAP for certificate programs includes all attempted hours required for that specific program only. Students who do not meet the SAP standards are not eligible for financial aid with the exception of those students in a WARNING or PROBATION status as described below. (Students may view their current SAP status on the DUCK Message Portal.)


Qualitative Measure

Undergraduate students are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and Graduate students are required to maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. (This GPA calculation may be different than the academic GPA due to the way hours are counted as stated above.) If you would like to estimate what grades you need to bring up your GPA, you may want to look at the Raise Your GPA calculator. You may also use the GPA Calculator on the SWAN at the bottom of the page.

Quantitative Measure

Completion Ratio --The associate degree and bachelor degree graduated quantitative standard is in the below chart. By 16 attempted hours for the associate degree and 46 attempted hours for the bachelor degree, students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted (cumulative earned hours/cumulative attempted hours) during a given semester. Graduate students must pass 67% of courses attempted during a given semester. Grades of F, W, WF, W$, U, U%, IP, IP%, I, and NR do not indicate successfully completed courses. They will be counted as attempted but not earned hours. You may estimate your completion ratio by using the Completion Ratio Calculator on the SWAN. Log on to the SWAN, click on the STUDENT SERVICES tab, and scroll down to the Financial Aid channel.

Associate Degree

Total Attempted Hours Required Earned Percentage
0-15 60%
16 and more 67%

Bachelor Degree

Total Attempted Hours Required Earned Percentage
0-15 57%
16-30 60%
31-45 63%
46 or more 67%

Maximum Time Frame

Students are allowed to attempt up to 150% of the hours required for their degree level.
Example: If a bachelor program requires 120 credit hours, a student may attempt a maximum of 180 hours before becoming ineligible for financial aid. Please see the chart below for more detailed information.

Program Maximum Attempted Hours Allowed*
Certificate 150% of the certificate's required hours
First Associate Degree 90 semester hours or 150% of required hours
First Bachelor Degree 180 semester hours or 150% of required hours
First Bachelor Degree + 1 Minor 198 semester hours
First Bachelor Degree + 2 Minors 216 semester hours
Bachelor - Double Major 270 semester hours (Must send request for approval to
Master’s Degree 54 semester hours or 150% of required hours
*The Maximum Length of Study does not extend beyond the completion of coursework for a degree or certificate
After First Bachelor or Master’s Degree is Earned ** Maximum Attempted Hours Allowed (includes all attempted hours)* (Must send request for approval to
Associate Degree 210 semester hours
Second Bachelor Degree 270 semester hours
Second Master’s Degree 90 semester hours
**No additional hours allowed multiple degrees beyond those listed

(Please note financial aid can only apply toward those courses required for the program even though all courses are counted in SAP.)

WARNING Status -- Students who are not meeting SAP because of completion ratio and/or cumulative GPA are allowed to receive financial aid for one term with a status of WARNING. Students are notified by email when they are placed in a WARNING status and no appeal is necessary to receive aid for this status. Students must meet the SAP requirements at the end of their next term of enrollment or lose financial aid eligibility. Students may only be placed on Warning if they were meeting the SAP standards for the immediate preceding term.

SAP Appeals -- Students who lose their financial aid eligibility may appeal based on mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are defined as unanticipated and unavoidable events or situations beyond a student’s control that prevented him or her from successfully meeting SAP requirements or meeting the terms of a prior appeal. Examples of mitigating circumstances could include (but are not limited to) serious accident or illness of the student, serious illness or death of immediate family member (parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse, children), unexpected financial obligations, etc. Examples of unacceptable mitigating circumstances include (but are not limited to) withdrawal to avoid a failing grade, too many courses attempted, voluntary change of major, limited number of tests/assignments, disagreement with instructor, voluntary change in work hours, incarceration, etc.

The Office of Financial Aid realizes that students may not be able to continue their education without financial assistance; however, the need for financial aid is not a reason that will be considered for an appeal. Approval of all appeals is determined on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed.

PROBATION Status -- Students who lose financial aid eligibility and have an SAP Appeal approved are placed on financial aid PROBATION. Students in this status may continue to receive aid for one semester or for the amount of time designated in the financial aid academic plan outlined in the SAP Appeal Agreement. Students on financial aid PROBATION will have their progress checked at the end of each semester. Failure to meet any part of the academic plan outlined in the SAP Appeal Agreement will result in the appeal being rescinded and the immediate loss of financial aid eligibility.

SAP Appeal Process

  • All Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals must be submitted electronically via Student Forms. You will be required to provide a detailed explanation of mitigating circumstances, supporting documentation, and a statement explaining what has changed that will allow you to be successful.
  • Submit the completed form along with all appropriate documentation to the Office of Financial Aid as early as possible, but no later than two full business days prior to the fee payment deadline for the term for which the appeal is requested in order to have a decision by the fee payment deadline. (NOTE: Appeals submitted after the deadline will be accepted, but may not be reviewed before the fee payment deadline. Meeting this deadline does not guarantee that funds will be available, only that a decision will be made by the fee payment deadline.)
  • PLEASE NOTE: SAP Appeals will be reviewed once monthly after the Final Fee Payment Deadline. After Final Fee Payment Deadline has passed each semester, the SAP Appeals committee will review and make decisions on appeals every third Wednesday of each month.

  • Appeals will not be approved without sufficient supporting documentation.

  • Appeals submitted with no documentation will automatically be denied.
  • First appeals will be reviewed by the SAP Appeals Committee.
  • Subsequent appeals and those exceeding the maximum time frame will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid and may require a meeting with the student at the Director’s discretion. The Director’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
  • Notification of the appeal decision and conditions of any approval will be sent by mail and/or email to your CSU email account and through the DUCK Message Portal.
  • If assigned an academic plan and the conditions of that plan are not met, the appeal will be rescinded and financial aid eligibility will be immediately suspended. Students will be notified by mail and/or email and the DUCK Message Portal.
  • Students whose appeals are denied or rescinded will be required to pay tuition/fees in full by the next published fee payment deadline.
  • Approval of all appeals is determined on a case-by- case basis and is not guaranteed.

Last updated 1/25/24 Effective Spring 2024