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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 the University of Nevada, and credits that have successfully transferred from any other post-secondary institution. The SAP standards are not exactly the same as the academic standards for specific scholarships.

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 your MyNEVADA account.

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 at all colleges attended, 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.

There are two components to the SAP standards - quantitative and qualitative - measured in three separate processes. 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. SAP is reviewed at the end of each academic term (fall, spring and summer semesters). Failure to comply with any requirement may 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" through "D", "X" and "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 18 or fewer attempted credits (including transfer work), 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 use the Reporting Resources and Changes Form to 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 an Academic Progress problem (see 'Pace Requirement' above and 'Do I Get a Warning?' below).

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.

Credit Courses through Extended Studies

Extended Studies offers courses that are either semester-based or open-enrollment. Semester-based credits count as part of the student's enrollment and are eligible for financial aid. Open-enrollment credits are not counted as part of the enrollment and are not eligible for aid; these can be identified with a "C" in front of the course number and "X" to indicate the course is in progress. Both semester-based and open-enrollment courses will be included in the total number of attempted credits, and may create or correct a pace or GPA problem after the semester in which they post on your transcript

Dual Enrollment

You may only receive financial aid from one institution at a time, 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 aid calculation. Two distinct consequences happen - 1) you may be required to pay back all or part of the financial aid disbursed and 2) you will be ineligible to receive aid for the next semester in which you enroll.

Do I Get a Warning?

Students who have fallen below the minimum GPA requirement, with the exception of undergraduate students with 18 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.

  • 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 in the next semester.

A student will be removed from the warning status if he or she successfully raises his or her cumulative pace to 70% or above at 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.

Are There Any Second Chances?

If 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 have two options. You may 1) continue attending without the benefit of financial aid until such time as the GPA and/or pace issues are resolved and you meet the federal standards for financial aid eligibility or 2) submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal. GPA and pace deficiency appeals will only be considered for the following conditions:

  • Death or serious illness of an immediate family member. Supporting documentation must include the medical documentation, death certificate, obituary, and/or memorial notification.
  • Prolonged hospitalization or confinement at home for reasons that resulted in required extended absences from classes. Supporting documentation must include medical documentation, legible doctor's note, court documents, and/or other relevant material.
  • A one-time emergency situation that impacted your ability to continue your education or affected your academic success for a short, specified period. Supporting documentation must include relevant material that specifies the date(s) and/or duration of the occurrence.
  • Situations for which you had no valid choice other than to interrupt your education. Supporting documentation must include relevant material that specifies the date(s) and/or duration of the occurrence.

GPA and pace deficiency appeals will not be considered for:

  • Lack of knowledge or understanding of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
  • Medical appeals based on long-term or chronic conditions that were known and existed before financial aid was accepted and received.
  • Medical appeals for illness or hospitalization for dates that do not correspond to the semester(s) of sub-standard progress.
  • Any reason for which you have previously filed an appeal.
  • Discretionary decision to withdraw from the University.

Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process

If you have a GPA issue, pace deficiency or have reached your maximum time frame, you may submit the appropriate SAP Appeal Form with documentation.

  • For pace and/or GPA issues, you will need to complete and submit the SAP Appeal form, with the required supporting documents, by the appropriate deadline. Your written narrative must be typed, signed and complete. You must include the reason you failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, as well as the steps you are taking to ensure that you will make Satisfactory Academic Progress in the future. This is an opportunity for you to include any letters of support from professors, physicians, or other professionals familiar with your case.
  • If you have reached your maximum time frame, you will need to complete and submit the Maximum Time Frame Appeal form by the appropriate deadline. You must have your academic advisor complete the 'Plan of Study' form.
  • 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 receive a notification and shortly thereafter will be able to view your financial aid awards on MyNEVADA.
  • If your appeal is in a "pending" status due to your need to provide additional information or documentation, you have 60 days to provide that information to the Financial Aid Office. After 60 days your appeal will be canceled; if after that date you can provide the requested information you may re-submit your appeal.
  • If your appeal is approved you will be considered on "Probation" for one semester or, if you are placed on an academic plan, until that plan expires.
  • If your appeal is denied, the letter will include the criteria you must meet in order to receive financial aid in the future, as well as other possible funding sources.
  • After that time, if you feel there are circumstances that are not reflected in your supporting documentation you may amend your appeal. If your amended appeal is denied, 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. You are not eligible for an in-person appeal until you have submitted a paper appeal.
  • The SAP Appeals Committee decisions are final and are not subject to further review.

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