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Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid


To be eligible for financial aid, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. The Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships has established guidelines (based on federal regulations) for evaluating your progress, taking into consideration your cumulative University of Nevada GPA, the cumulative number of credits you have attempted and completed at University of Nevada, and credits that have successfully transferred from any other postsecondary institution.

Scholarships have a separate and distinct SAP standard. For information regarding SAP requirements for a specific scholarship, please consult the scholarship award criteria on your "offer of aid" located in the communication center on MyNevada.

Standards must be met to maintain financial aid eligibility

'Satisfactory Academic Progress' is the term used to signify a student's successful completion of coursework toward a degree or certificate. For federal, state and institutional aid, the University is required to monitor the progress of each student toward degree/certificate completion. These academic standards apply for all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. Students who fall behind in their coursework, or do not achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completed credits, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and institutional aid administered by our office. Students who are not meeting standards will be notified via the email on file in MyNevada.

There are two components to the SAP standards - quantitative and qualitative. In other words, we have to measure the quantity (number of credits and time frame taken) and quality (grades) of your progress towards your degree. Failure to comply with any requirement will result in a loss of financial aid eligibility.


Pace Requirement

Pace is based on all college credits earned from this and all other post-secondary institutions, regardless of whether or not aid was received. A student must earn (complete with a passing grade) 70% of all attempted (enrolled) credits in order to meet the pace requirement. Pace is calculated as: (number of credits earned ÷ number of credits attempted) × 100. Courses that are assigned a grade of 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', or 'S' are included as both credits earned and credits attempted. Course assigned grades of 'I', 'W', 'F', 'AD', 'NR', 'R', and 'U' are  not included as credits earned, but are included as credits attempted.

For example: A University of Nevada student has attempted 80 credits. Out of those credits, this student has passed 66 credits. (66 ÷ 80) × 100 = 82.5%, so this student is meeting the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standard. But say this student has only passed 55 credits. In that case, this student would not be meeting the standard, because (55 ÷ 80) × 100 = 68.75%, which is less than the required 70%.

Maximum Time Frame

A student must complete their degree within a reasonable time frame. Federal regulations limit funding to no more than 150% of the average length of the program. All attempted (total enrolled) credits at this University and at all other institutions are counted in this limit, regardless of whether or not aid was received. There is no provision for "academic renewal" in which credits attempted and grades earned are excluded. The credit limit includes dual majors, changes in majors and second degrees. Eligibility for financial aid terminates at the end of the semester in which the credit limit is reached.

  • An undergraduate student maximum time frame is 180 attempted/total enrolled credits
  • A graduate student maximum time frame is 70 attempted/total enrolled graduate credits
  • A doctoral student maximum time frame is 140 attempted/total enrolled graduate credits, including all post-baccalaureate coursework


Minimum University Grade Point Average (GPA) to be Maintained

In addition to the quantitative component for satisfactory academic progress, federal regulations also require that a student must maintain a certain grade point average in order to receive financial aid.

The GPA is based on grades earned at the University of Nevada and does not include grades transferred from another institution

  • An undergraduate student is required to maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative University of Nevada GPA.
  • A graduate student is required to maintain a 3.0 or better cumulative University of Nevada GPA for graduate level coursework.
  • If you are an undergraduate student with 29 or fewer attempted credits (including transfer work and AP credit), who has a University of Nevada GPA between 1.0 and 2.0, you will receive one 'warning' semester, in which you will receive aid while attempting to raise your University of Nevada GPA.

Students admitted into the professional degree in Education must maintain the University of Nevada GPA tied to their required coursework (2.0 undergraduate and 3.0 graduate coursework).

Be aware that a grade of 'S' or 'U' will have no effect on GPA.

For example: A University of Nevada student has attempted 84 credits. Out of those credits, this student has completed 75 credits. This student has completed 91% of coursework attempted ((77 ÷ 84) × 100 = 91%), but has a 1.8 GPA. This student is not meeting the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards because s/he has not maintained a 2.0 GPA.

Enrollment Requirements and Information

All students will be packaged at full time status. You may reduce your enrollment to three-quarter time, half time or less than half time, but be aware that this may cause you to have to repay funds if you change anytime before the final add/drop date for the semester. If you reduce your course-load after the final add/drop date, you may cause a pace problem.

Repeated Coursework

Repeated courses are included in the total credits completed. You are cautioned that any repeated course is also counted in the maximum number of credits attempted to complete a degree. Repeated coursework will be counted towards your semester enrollment if you have not previously passed the course, or if you have passed the course and are repeating it one time to improve your grade. If you are repeating a course that you have passed twice or more, it will not count towards your semester enrollment.

Dual Enrollment

You may only receive financial aid from one college, even if you are concurrently enrolled at more than one. Your enrollment status at the University only includes coursework that is listed in our semester class schedule. Exceptions may be approved in advance for students whose program requires courses that are never offered at this University or in other limited circumstances. Completed coursework at another institution may create or correct a pace problem.

100% Withdrawal from the University or Zero Credits Earned

If you completely withdraw or earn zero credits during a semester, you will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. You may be required to pay back all or part of the financial aid disbursed.

Do I Get a Warning?

Students who have fallen below the minimum GPA requirement, with the exception of undergraduate students with 29 or fewer attempted credits (see above), do not get a warning. They must either appeal, or take classes at the University until their GPA is above the minimum GPA requirement.

Students who have fallen between 50% and 70% of the cumulative pace requirement will be placed on "financial aid warning" for one semester. A student will be removed from the warning status if s/he successfully raises his or her cumulative pace to 70% or above by the end of the warning semester. Failure to remedy a pace deficiency within the warning semester will result in the student being placed on "financial aid suspension" and unable to receive financial aid.

Students who fail to complete at least 50% of enrolled credits in any semester will not receive a warning and will not be eligible for aid until the pace issue is corrected.

Are There Any Second Chances?

If you have reached your maximum time frame, your University of Nevada GPA has fallen below the required level, or you have not made up your pace deficiency by the end of your warning semester, you may submit an appeal.

Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process

If you have a GPA or pace issue, you may submit the GPA/Pace Appeal. If you have a maximum time frame issue, you may submit the Maximum Time Frame Appeal.

  • Please complete and submit the appropriate Appeal form, with the required supporting documents.
    • For a GPA/Pace appeal, your written narrative must be typed and signed. You may include any letters of support from professors, physicians, or other professionals familiar with your case with your supporting documentation.
    • For a Maximum Time Frame Appeal, you must submit the Academic Requirements Report and the Planner showing your planned enrollment until graduation. This is an opportunity to figure out with your advisor what courses you need to earn your degree, and if any required courses can be substituted or waived prior to graduation.
  • Depending on the volume of appeals submitted, you can anticipate a decision from the Financial Aid Appeals Committee within 1 - 3 weeks.
  • If your appeal is approved, you will be notified by email and shortly thereafter will be able to view your financial aid awards on MyNevada.
  • If your appeal is denied, you may submit additional documentation to amend your appeal.
  • If your amended appeal is denied, and you feel there are circumstances not reflected in your supporting documentation, you may request an "in person" appeal before the SAP Appeals Committee. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at 775-784-4666 to schedule an "in person" appeal.
  • The SAP Appeals Committee decisions are final and are not subject to further review. If your final appeal is denied, you must take courses on your own to resolve the issue. Courses must be taken at UNR to raise the GPA above the required minimum to resolve a GPA issue. Courses may be taken at UNR or taken elsewhere and transferred in to raise cumulative pace above 70% to resolve a pace issue. There is no further aid eligibility for students whose Maximum Time Frame Appeals have been denied. Discontinuing attendance for any length of time will not resolve a SAP issue.

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