What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and why does it matter?

Posted by:

All college students who receive Financial Aid must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree in order to continue to receive financial aid.  Although you may be taking college classes while still in high school, the college credits you earn in high school can be considered when a college calculates SAP.  This is why it is important when you have the opportunity to accept or decline your WOU credit. 

If you took some college classes for credit in high school or during the summer between high school and college, but you didn’t complete all the credits you started or didn’t receive passing grades for some courses, you may receive a notice with a financial said warning or suspension.  If this happens, you should make an appeal to the Financial Aid Office.  (See How do I submit an appeal if I’m not meeting SAP standards? below) Remember, with WOU Assessment Based Learning Credits, you will not transcribe a failing grade, but you may with other types of Willamette Promise or other programs credits.

There are typically three main components to SAP-GPA, pace, and timeframe.


  • Grade Point Average (GPA). The standard minimum GPA for SAP is 2.0. However, GPA requirements can vary by institution and even by departments within the same institution.
  • Academic pace refers to the percentage of credits attempted vs. credits earned each academic term to maintain SAP.
  • Timeframe refers to the maximum number of credits for which one can receive federal financial aid (i.e., Pell Grants).  The timeframe is equal to 150% of the number of credits required to complete the degree or certificate you plan to earn.  For example, if your associate degree program requires 90 credits of college-level work, federal financial aid would be available to you for up to 135 credits.