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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

All students at MUW must make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree program in order to receive financial aid. 


This means you must:

  • Maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) for courses taken at MUW
  • Complete 67% of all hours attempted with passing grades
  • Complete a degree program within a reasonable length of time


Satisfactory Academic Progress – Requirements for Federal Financial Aid Recipients

All students at MUW who receive federal financial aid must make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their degrees within a reasonable period of time. MUW has approved the following standards defining satisfactory progress, in accordance with regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education. Satisfactory Academic Progress status will be determined at least once each year, generally at the end of the spring term. Usually, students may take 24 hours before these standards eliminate financial aid eligibility.


Undergraduate Students

An undergraduate student is considered to be making satisfactory progress if he or she:

  1. Is admitted and enrolled as a degree student;
  2. Meets the required qualitative measure for financial aid recipients;
  3. Maintains measurable progress toward the completion of the degree;
  4. Completes degree requirements within a reasonable length of time.


Required Qualitative Measure

In order to meet the required qualitative measure, the student must maintain a minimum overall MUW GPA (only courses taken at MUW are used for this standard). The GPA requirement increases as students progress toward graduation as shown in this scale: 

Cumulative Semester Cumulative Hours Attempted

MUW Must Pass





and at least a




and at least a




and at least a




and at least a


*Assuming a 67% completion rate, students should have earned 60 hours and then be expected to maintain a 2.0 GPA to meet SAP.


Measurable progress requirement: In order to maintain measurable progress toward the completion of their degrees, students must successfully complete 67 percent of all MUW credit hours attempted. (Hours attempted include repeated courses, dropped courses, withdrawals, and incomplete courses.) This measure generally becomes effective when a student has attempted 12 hours at MUW.

Example A: If you have attempted 32 credit hours and successfully complete 26 of those hours, dropped 3 hours and failed 3 hours, your completion rate will be 26 hours earned divided by 32 hours attempted = 81.2 percent completion rate. You meet the measurable progress component of this requirement.

Example B: If you have attempted 32 credit hours and successfully completed 20 of those hours, and either dropped, failed, repeated, have an Incomplete in, or withdrew from the other 12 hours, your completion rate would be 20 divided by 32 = 62.5 percent completion rate. You do not meet the measurable progress component of this requirement and you are not eligible for financial aid assistance.


Reasonable length of time requirement: At MUW a reasonable length of time for the completion of a degree program is generally defined as no more than 150 percent of the normal time required to complete a degree program. Course work that transfers into a degree program will adjust the time frame accordingly.

Example: If your degree requires that you complete 124 credit hours, your reasonable length of time will be 124 hours x 150 percent = 186 hours. You will be within your reasonable length of time during your first 186 hours of attempted course work.

A student who is working toward a degree level that he or she has already completed or exceeded (i.e., second bachelor’s degree) will have his or her reasonable length of time established at no more than 100 percent of the normal length of the program minus any course work that transfers into the program.


Graduate Students

Graduate students are considered to be making satisfactory progress if they comply with the academic regulations described in the Graduate Studies Bulletin and complete their programs within the 150% maximum time-frame as described above.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid – Eligibility and Appeals Process

If a student is ineligible for financial aid because the student has not maintained satisfactory progress toward completion of his/her degree, the student may reapply for financial aid when he/she has cleared the deficiency and is again progressing satisfactorily according to the requirements outlined above. After earning at least 6 hours at the student’s own expense or through an alternative or non-federal loan, the student may submit an appeal to restore financial aid eligibility.

When mitigating circumstances are involved, the student may appeal the suspension of eligibility. To do so, the student may draft a letter of appeal or complete an Appeal Form and submit it to the Director of Financial Aid. The letter must include:

  1. The reason(s) why satisfactory progress is not being made;
  2. Changes or improvements that will prevent future problems.
  3. Any documentation that supports the rationale for the appeal.

The letter will be reviewed and a decision will be made within two weeks. Appeals may be approved without provision, or they may be approved provisionally – establishing a one semester probationary period in which the student must earn a given number of credit hours and/or specified GPA.  Generally, students on probation must complete all hours they attempt and earn at least a 2.0 for the semester and have no D, F, or W (WP or WF) grades.  This process develops an “educational plan” under which the student will be able to regain eligibility and meet the required standards.

Appeals may also be denied. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate any appeal for financial aid eligibility. Appeals for academic reinstatement granted by the Scholastic Appeals Committee or other departments do not constitute reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.

Students who are granted a probationary approval may need to submit an appeal at the end of each semester for several semesters before the standards are fully met. As long as progress is being made, subsequent appeals should be approved to allow students to regain full eligibility.

1100 College Street Columbus, MS 39701phone: 662.329.4750 or 877.462.8439