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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations mandate that all students make satisfactory, measurable academic progress toward completion of a degree to receive federal assistance through Title IV federal grant, work, and loan programs. EKU’s SAP standards comply with the U.S. Department of Education requirements. All students are reviewed at the end of the Spring term for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and are notified via their student email if they are meeting acceptable progress or if they violate SAP regulations.

Title IV Programs: The US Department of offers financial assistance to college students through the Higher Education Act of 1965. These opportunities include the Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Subsidized/Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study.

The SAP process outlined below will be applied to all students regardless of enrollment status or program of study. The academic progress of all students will be reviewed for the following three standards. To receive Title IV assistance, you must maintain satisfactory progress in all three areas, regardless of whether or not you have received financial aid in the past. Students who fail to meet SAP will be denied future aid.

Overall EKU Grade Point Average

Degree Program   Minimum Acceptable EKU GPA
  Undergraduate Students
1-30 Attempted Hours 1.5
31-50 Attempted Hours 1.8
50+ Attempted Hours 2.0
  Graduate Students 3.0

These minimum acceptable GPAs are consistent with those in the EKU Academic Catalog.

Cumulative Credit Hour Completion Rate (Pace)

You must earn at least two-thirds or 67% of the credit hours you attempt. An example of pace calculation is below:


  Fall Semester Spring Semester Total Attempted Hours Must Earn 67%
1st Year 15 hours 12 hours 27 hours 27 hours x 67% = 19 hours
2nd Year 15 hours 15 hours 57 hours 57 hours x 67% = 39 hours
3rd Year 18 hours 15 hours 90 hours 90 hours x 67% = 61 hours


To earn hours at EKU, a student must receive a grade of A, B, C, D or S. All other grades including F, FN, I, IP, U, or W count as attempted, but not earned hours.

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

  • You are expected to earn a bachelor’s degree before you have attempted 180 credit hours, if your degree program requires 120 hours.
  • You are expected to earn an associate degree before you have attempted 90 credit hours.
  • You are expected to earn a graduate degree before you have attempted 40 credit hours.

Attempted Hours

Incomplete, bankrupted, repeated and withdrawn hours are attempted hours.


Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility


With An Appeal

Students who are no longer meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress have the opportunity to appeal this decision if they have extenuating and documentable circumstances that prevented them from meeting federal standards. Students may complete an online appeal here: EKU SAP Form 

There is a maximum of three EKU financial aid appeals. All three appeals must be reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee. The committee’s decision is final. After three appeals are reached, all future appeals will be denied.

Appeals must include: 

  1. A letter from the student explaining the circumstances that prevented him or her from making Satisfactory Academic Progress. The letter must also include a description of what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow him or her to demonstrate acceptable SAP during the next evaluation. 
  2. A professional and/or third-party documentation to support the explanation provided in the personal letter. An example of an appeal that might be approved includes (but is not limited to) a student with family members who were sick or passed away with an obituary or doctor’s note to support this.


Students who are approved for a SAP appeal will be notified via their EKU email and will be placed under financial aid probation. While under probation, final grades will be reviewed each semester to ensure the student meets the terms and conditions of their appeal approval (for example, passing all attempted hours with a 2.0 GPA for the term).


Submission deadline to submit an appeal for financial aid eligibility:

 Fall Semester  October 15th
Spring Semester  March 15th
Summer Semester  July 15th

Appeals submitted after these dates will automatically be denied.


SAP Cycle

Students who do not regain financial aid eligibility through a SAP appeal will be reviewed at the end of each full term. If the student is no longer failing to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), then financial aid eligibility will be reinstated. Every student is reviewed for SAP at the end of the Spring term for the following academic year. Certain changes to a students enrollment status may also trigger a SAP review, such as changing a degree type.


Other Options

Students who are attempting to pay for schooling without Title IV funds may still be eligible to receive certain outside scholarships and private education loans. Other funding sources would be subject to their own terms and conditions. The student must assume responsibility for accessing appropriate payment options.