Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is defined as the successful completion of coursework toward an eligible certificate or degree.
Federal regulations require the Financial Aid Office to monitor the academic progress of students receiving financial aid.
- apply to all undergraduate students who wish to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility;
- apply to a student's entire academic record (including transfer courses), whether or not financial aid was received for prior terms of enrollment; and
- include the following:
Minimum College GPA:
- 1.0 after semester 1;
- 1.6 after semester 2;
- 1.7 after semester 3;
- 1.8 after semester 4, then maintained through graduation.
Minimum Major GPA:
- After semester 6, a 2.0 major GPA is required to be maintained through graduation.
Minimum Credits Completed:
- 3 credits after semester 1;
- 7 credits after semester 2;
- 11 credits after semester 3;
- 15 credits after semester 4;
- 19 credits after semester 5;
- 24 credits after semester 6;
- 28 credits after semester 7;
Acknowledging COVID-related impacts, an additional one credit’s “grace” is allowed for each semester of attendance during the 2020-2021 academic year; for example, after semester 4, where 15 credits would ordinarily be required to enroll for the next term, 14 credits will suffice for a student enrolled for one semester, or 13 credits for a student enrolled for two semesters, during 2020-2021;
32 credits are required for graduation (or 30 credits for a student enrolled for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021).
Minimum Credit Completion Rate:
Students must pass 67% of the credits attempted (i.e., credits earned divided by credits attempted).
Maximum Time Frame:
While federal student aid is available for up to 150% of the published length of a student’s degree program (usually 8 semesters x 1.5 or 12 semesters), to remain eligible for institutional aid, students must generally earn their Davidson degree within the standard 8 semesters, with a 9th semester of financial aid occasionally being awarded if a student appeals, and has their appeal approved, based on extenuating circumstances.
SAP Eligibility Review
SAP is evaluated for all aided students after the end of each semester. As each term ends and grades are recorded, students are notified by email if they fail to meet SAP requirements. If failing to meet one or more of the requirements above, students will be placed in one of the following categories:
- SAP warning (if they were meeting SAP the prior semester) where the student will still receive financial aid for the semester OR
- SAP suspension where the student will be notified that no financial aid will be available to them until they are either meeting SAP or file an appeal to be placed on SAP probation using the SAP Appeal Form, a link to which will be provided to any student placed on SAP suspension, OR
- SAP probation (if a previous semester was a semester of warning and they submitted a successful SAP appeal). Students who are on SAP probation are reviewed at the end of their probationary semester to ensure probation requirements are met.
A student may file the SAP Appeal Form on the basis of:
- death or serious illness of a relative
- injury or illness of the student
- other special circumstances (such as mental health struggles, family issues, etc.)
SAP Appeal Submission Deadlines:
Fall Semester: August 10
Spring Semester: January 10
Completed SAP appeals will be reviewed within 15 business days. You will be notified through your Davidson College email account if your appeal is accepted or denied.
Please note: While students may submit more than one SAP appeal during their studies at Davidson, they may not appeal on the same basis more than once. If the same basic circumstance applies in more than one term (an ongoing illness, for example), something about the context or impact would need to have changed, as the goal is to resolve or overcome whatever difficulties were encountered earlier and to re-establish a positive academic status. Per Federal financial aid regulations, appeals are not automatically accepted and may be denied based on failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress standards set forth in the College’s policies.
If a SAP appeal is denied, a student may be allowed to attend Davidson without the use of federal or institutional financial aid or may potentially transfer courses in (to reach minimum credits completed). Students who have been denied a SAP appeal can re-appeal after one semester without federal or institutional aid. These students are monitored each semester and are made eligible for federal and institutional aid if they subsequently meet overall SAP requirements.
Other Methods to Regain Eligibility
Students who are not meeting SAP may potentially regain eligibility on their own without submitting an appeal:
- If not meeting based on GPA, a student may potentially attend Davidson and achieve overall SAP without the assistance of federal or institutional financial aid.
- If not meeting based on minimum credits completed, a student may either attend Davidson and achieve overall SAP without the assistance of federal or institutional financial aid or, with advance approval, transfer courses from another institution.
SAP status is checked each semester for all students, and those who were previously not meeting SAP can once again become eligible for financial aid if they subsequently meet overall SAP requirements. Notification of re-instated aid eligibility will be made through Davidson College email.