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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is defined as proceeding toward successful completion of degree requirements. Our office is required by federal regulations to determine whether a student is progressing toward the degree requirements. The official record of the OSU Registrar is reviewed to determine student compliance with this Policy.


To ensure all potential applicants for federal and state student aid know their eligibility status, all students will be assessed at the end of each semester, regardless of whether they are applying for federal financial aid via the FAFSA at the time of the SAP evaluation.


This Policy pertains only to eligibility for federal and state assistance, as well as Oklahoma's Promise and Cowboy Covenant. A recipient of an OSU cash or tuition scholarship/tuition waiver, or athletic grant-in-aid must meet the eligibility requirements of the respective program. If you have questions about the monitoring of satisfactory progress not addressed in this Policy, please contact our office.

Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements

Students are encouraged to exceed the following minimum requirements to complete their degree in the shortest time possible:


1. Remaining hours for degree completion: Students are expected to complete the requirements for a degree program within a reasonable time frame. The maximum number of hours a student can attempt is 150% of the minimum number of hours required to graduate in a specific major. For example: If 120 hours of coursework is required to complete the degree, then a student can attempt a maximum of 180 hours (120 x 150%). Students who exceed the maximum allowable time frame to complete their degree program are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. 

Federal regulations state that a student becomes ineligible for financial aid whenever it becomes mathematically impossible to complete the degree program without exceeding the maximum time frame. Students at this point are ineligible for federal financial aid. 

Classification Maximum hours
Undergraduate based on your individual degree plan
Masters 56**
Doctoral 128
Physician Assistant 186
Vet Med 255
  • **MS in Comm Sciences and Disorders maximum = 78 hours
  • **MS in Counseling maximum = 90 hours
  • **MBA in Business Administration maximum = 78 hours

Maximum hours vary for Undergraduate and Graduate Certificates. 


2. Maintain pace towards degree completion by successfully completing at least 67% of the total cumulative hours attempted. This includes all courses attempted at any college or university. 


3. Maintain a minimum overall cumulative Graduation/Retention GPA


  Total GPA hours attempted GPA requirement
Undergraduate 0 through 30 1.70
  31 or more 2.00
Masters/Doctoral   3.00
Physician Assistant   2.70
Vet Med    2.00


Courses/grades used in determining SAP

All coursework attempted, including any repeated, reprieved or remedial courses or withdrawals recorded on the OSU Transcript at the time of the progress check are considered when determining if the student has exceeded the maximum number of hours for degree completion and has completed 67% of the total cumulative hours attempted.

  • The following grades indicate successful completion of a course: “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “S,” “P,” “R,” “SR,” or “X.”
  • The following grades indicate a course was not successfully completed: “W,” “F,”  “F!,” “I,” “IB,” “IC,” “ID,” “IF,” “N,” “NP,” “U,” or “UR.”
  • Audit courses (grades of “AU”) are not counted in the total hours attempted for any semester or as successful completion of a course. 
  • Independent study, correspondence and extension courses may count toward successful completion of hours attempted if they are completed by the last day of the semester.  For information about eligibility and payment of aid for these types of courses, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
  • Transfer coursework must be reflected on the OSU Transcript to be considered for purposes of financial aid eligibility.
  • Attempted hours from previous undergraduate degrees will be included when determining the status for undergraduate students. Attempted hours from previous graduate degrees will be included when determining the status for graduate students.  


Failure to maintain SAP

  • A student who exceeds the maximum number of hours allowed for degree completion will be determined ineligible from future financial aid.
  • A student who either fails to achieve the required cumulative Graduation/Retention GPA, or to complete at least 67% of the total hours attempted, will be placed on financial aid warning for the following semester of enrollment at OSU.  A student may receive financial aid during the semester on financial aid warning, but must meet the overall minimum requirements at the end of the financial aid warning semester to continue to be eligible.
  • A student who does not meet the GPA and pace (67%) requirement at the end of the financial aid warning semester will become ineligible to receive federal and state assistance, as well as Oklahoma's Promise and Cowboy Covenant.


Financial aid appeal

  • A student determined to be ineligible for financial aid based on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy can submit a written appeal, based on death of a relative or significant person, injury or mental/physical illness of the student, or other special circumstances, to the Faculty Financial Aid Appeal Committee. In the appeal, the student must include why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and what may have changed in the student's situation that will allow the student to demonstrate successful academic progress at the next evaluation. 
  • A Degree Audit must also be submitted along with the appeal (undergraduate students only). Go to and log in, scroll towards the bottom, click on the Degree Works icon. Be sure to click on "Process New" and the most updated audit will populate, do this before printing a copy. 
  • The academic advisor will complete a portion of the appeal AND sign it. 
  • A student made ineligible for exceeding the maximum hours allowed for degree completion must turn in the appeal form along with the academic advisor portion completed and signed by the advisor. 
  • Action taken on a financial aid appeal is final and is transmitted to the student by email from the Faculty Financial Aid Appeal Committee. Depending upon the timeliness of the appeal, it is possible for a student to have an appeal denied and also not be entitled to a refund of charges if the student chooses to withdraw from classes. A student who enrolls and attends class whose appeal is subsequently denied will be eligible for a refund of charges based solely on the schedule in the "Drop/Withdrawal Fee Policy" in the OSU Catalog. 


Financial aid probation

  • Students whose appeals are approved will be placed on financial aid probation and will be given an academic plan whose requirements must be met each semester in order to retain financial aid eligibility.
    • The academic plan will  be established on an individual basis, the required GPA and pace rate will be assigned to the student in order to meet minimum SAP standards. Additionally, the academic plan, if successfully followed by the student, will identify when the student will be able to meet the minimum SAP standards. 
  • A student made ineligible for reasons other than exceeding the maximum number of hours for degree completion who does not appeal, or whose appeal is denied, may regain eligibility by meeting the cumulative/overall GPA and pace (67%) standards.
  • These standards may be met while either attending OSU without financial aid or by transferring work from an accredited institution that, when combined with OSU work, meets the cumulative requirements. Transfer work must be reflected on the OSU Transcript to be considered for purposes of financial aid eligibility.



Appeal form (PDF)


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