Financial Aid
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Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Financial Aid Office at UW-Whitewater is required by federal regulations to monitor that all students are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards completion of their degree.  In order to receive financial aid, students must comply with the three eligibility standards of satisfactory progress.  Students who fail to meet these standards will not be eligible for federal, state, or institutional financial aid.  SAP is monitored at the end of each spring semester and summer term.  The Financial Aid Office monitors progress separate from the Academic Standards Office; therefore, a student who is eligible to attend a semester based on Academic Standards may not be eligible for financial aid for that same semester.

There are both qualitative and quantitative components to the SAP policy. The following classifications of students attending UW-Whitewater are monitored under this policy:

  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate students
  • Continuing Education (Special) students

Financial Aid Programs subject to this policy include:

  • All Federal Title IV Aid
  • All state aid
  • Institutional need-based scholarship and grant programs

As previously noted there are both qualitative and quantitative components to SAP. These are:

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Pace component (67% Rule)
  • A maximum time frame for completion of degree requirements (150% of published length of program)

The progress, or lack of progress of students will be monitored at the end of each spring semester and summer term (if the student attends summer).

Note: It is important to recognize that students may initially enroll at UW Whitewater that have received AP credit or Test Credits. Under certain circumstances this may cause students to exceed the maximum number of hours allowed in their respective academic programs prior to their graduations. Student Financial Aid will make every effort to identify these students and address the maximum hours issue in a timely manner.

Transfer Student Evaluation:
The initial SAP status for a transfer student will be determined at the time of ISIR submission to the University.  This status is based solely on the student's combined grade point average as established by the Admissions Office.  Transfer students, will then be evaluated on all qualitative and quantitative components of the SAP policy on an annual basis. Official transcripts must be submitted to the university so an accurate calculation of SAP standards can be made at the time of annual review.  In the event that official transcripts are not received, any tentative (TNT) grades listed on the student transcript will be treated as failing (F) grades in the calculation. All transfer credits will count in the evaluation regardless of where or when they were earned, including credits earned during all semesters, (fall, spring, winterim, and summer) when no financial aid was received.  The Financial Aid Office reviews the cumulative academic record of transfer students on an annual basis to determine if they are meeting the SAP requirements. If they have not met the SAP requirements they are notified and placed on an ineligible status.

Eligibility Standards

Qualitative Measurement:

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

All students affected by this policy are required to meet and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA:

Student Type ​Minimum, Cumulative GPA
​Undergraduate Students: ​2.00
​Transfer students: ​2.00
​Graduate Students (masters, or doctoral)*: ​3.00

*Graduate students who are required to complete undergraduate classes will receive a 0.00 GPA for those undergraduate courses.  As a result it is possible for graduate student to become ineligible for financial aid due to their cumulative GPA when this occurs.

Quantitative Measurements:

Pace Component (67%)
All undergraduate and graduate students are required to complete 67 percent of the hours attempted. The successful completion of a credit attempted is credit for which a grade of A, B, C, D, or S is received.  A grade of F, W, U, I, NC, or N represents unsatisfactory completion of a course.  A grade of D for graduate students is not considered as successful completion of the credit(s) attempted. Determination of a student's attempted credit count will be determined on the 10th class day of each semester. If you begin attendance in any summer or winterim session, please refer to the Registrar's published drop deadlines.

Maximum Timeframe (150%)
All students are expected to complete their degree programs within a maximum time frame that is established based on the published length of their academic program.  For example, a program requiring 120 credits for graduation would allow 180 credit attempts (120 X 150% = 180); a program requiring 60 credits for graduation would allow 90 credit attempts (60 X 150% = 90).  When enrolled in a degree program that has a published minimum credit requirement for graduation of greater than the above applicable credit limit, financial aid eligibility may be extended. 

  • Undergraduates: 150 percent of the credits required to complete their degree programs (defined as credits attempted)
  • Graduates (Masters, Doctoral): 150 percent  of the credits required to complete their degree programs (defined as credits attempted)
  • The maximum time frame for undergraduate students seeking a second degree (special students) is 90 credits.

Once it has been determined that a student cannot successfully complete coursework for degree completion prior to reaching 150% of the published length of their academic program, they will become ineligible for financial aid. Treatment of audits, remedial, and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses

  • Audited courses are not taken for credit and are not funded by financial aid.  Therefore, audited courses are not considered in this policy.
  • Remedial courses are allowed and will be funded; this includes classes in English as a Second Language.  These courses will be subject to review under all aspects of the Satisfactory Progress Policy.

Special programs:
Study Abroad:
Grades for credits attempted in study abroad programs are often delayed in being reported to the Registrar's Office.  These credits are considered as credits attempted, not earned until the Registrar's Office posts the official grades.

Consortium agreements:
Credits taken at other institutions while on consortium agreement at UW-Whitewater will be considered as transfer credits in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Repeated Courses:
A student who received a passing grade in a course may repeat the course once and have it count towards the determination of his/her enrollment status. If a student repeats the course twice with a passing grade, he/she will not receive financial aid for the course.  If a student fails a course more than once he/she can repeat the course more than once and receive financial aid for those repeats.  However, all repeats will be counted as attempted credits for Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

SAP Statuses and Appeal Process

Suspension and conditions of reinstatement:
As previously referenced, the three components of SAP are monitored on an annual basis. Students who fail to meet these requirements are placed on Not Meets status and notified at the end of the spring semester and again following the summer term.  Students who do not meet one or more of these standards will be notified via their UW-Whitewater e-mail account.  

Financial Aid suspension:  (Ineligibility)
Students who become ineligible for financial aid can re-establish their eligibility by one of two ways:

  • Attending UW Whitewater at their own expense or with the help of private resources from outside the university until such time as they are meeting the SAP conditions
  • Successfully appealing their suspension status

Note: Neither paying for classes nor sitting out periods of enrollment in and of themselves affects a student's academic progress standing; therefore, neither action is sufficient to regain financial aid eligibility.  

Appeal of suspension:
Students may appeal their ineligibility due to circumstances beyond their control, i.e., death of a family member, student illness/hospitalization, or other special circumstances.

Complete appeals include three items: an appeal form, a typed personal statement, and third-party documentation that supports the reason for the appeal.  The personal statement must explain in detail the reason(s) for not meeting the standards for academic progress and what has changed in the student's situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. 

Appeals must be submitted by:

  • Nov 1 for Fall Term
  • April 1 for Spring Term
  • July 1 for Summer Term

Appeals must be approved prior to the end of the semester for which the student is appealing to receive financial aid. Exceptions to the deadline may be made based on mitigating circumstances.

Complete appeals are reviewed in the order in which they are received.  Students who have their appeals granted are reinstated for financial aid eligibility on a probation status and given either a SAP contract or academic plan which outlines the standards they must meet each term to maintain financial aid eligibility. Students will remain in good standing for up to three semesters provided they meet the conditions of their academic plan or contract each term.

A Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review SAP appeals when necessary.  The committee may approve a plan designed by the student's academic advisor or a contract with requirements outlined by the committee.

If a student believes that his/her satisfactory academic progress as determined by the Financial Aid Office is incorrect, it is the student's responsibility to contact the Financial Aid Office and provide documentation of changes in information to the transcript, i.e. grade changes, completion of an Incomplete.

The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

Students who are ineligible due to any of the previous mentioned reasons will be ineligible for federal and state financial aid, however, may still enroll if not academically dismissed by the University at his/her own expense.  

Nearing Maximum time frame:
All student aid recipients are sent a notice when they are within 20 credits of reaching the maximum number of credits allowed to complete their respective degree programs.  When students reach or exceed the maximum number of credits allowed, they become immediately ineligible for financial assistance. Affected students who have reached or exceeded the credits allowed due to academic program changes, changes in major, transfer hours accumulated from other schools or pursuit of a second degree (i.e., a second bachelor's degree) can have their status reviewed by submitting the appeal form and the degree plan.

The completed form along with documentation from an advisor (degree plan) that states the number of additional credits the student needs to complete can be submitted for review. If the request for additional credits is granted, the student will have their maximum credits allowed increased. They will remain eligible under this condition based on the information provided by their advisor.

Reinstatement of eligibility:
Financial aid probation is a status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and had eligibility for aid reinstated.  A student on financial aid probation may receive Financial Aid funds for one payment period (semester or summer term).  At that point, the student must either meet SAP standards or the requirements of the established individual academic plan to maintain Title IV eligibility.


Financial Aid Office
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
130 Hyer Hall
800 West Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

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