Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education as well as North Carolina student aid regulations, Fayetteville State University is required to monitor that students are meeting certain academic standards to receive financial aid, which is commonly referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  The policy’s objective is to ensure students are progressing toward the completion of their program and abiding by the minimum standards set by the U.S. Department of Education regulations.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is not the same process as Academic Standing. Academic Standing reviews GPA while Satisfactory Academic Progress reviews GPA, completion rate, and timeframe.

Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) – A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 Undergrad and licensure/ 3.0 for Grad or higher (includes grades earned in remedial and college-level courses); AND
  2. Completion Rate– A student must complete at least 67% of the cumulative credits attempted (excludes courses dropped within the add/drop period); AND Note: Completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of credit hours the student has attempted into the number the student has completed.
  3. Maximum Timeframe – Additionally, a student must be on track to complete their academic program within 150% of the published length of the program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Deadlines

Spring 2024 Semester Dates
16-Week Classes  Jan. 25
Second 8-Week Classes March 21
Summer 2024 Semester Dates
16-Week Classes June 5
Second 8-Week Classes July 6
Fall 2024 Semester Dates
16-Week Classes Aug. 26
Second 8-Week Classes Oct. 17

Review of Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Fayetteville State University’s Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid will determine SAP statuses by reviewing a student’s cumulative academic performance after each semester has concluded (fall, spring, summer). A student that has academic record at the institution will be evaluated for SAP, this includes students with classes that are transferred into FSU. Once semester grades have posted students that are not cumulatively meeting SAP standards will be placed either or a warning or hold (suspension) status.

SAP Warning & SAP Suspension

SAP Warning

If a student starts the semester in good SAP standing and fails to meet the cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or completion rate percentage of 67% SAP standards at the end of any term, the student will be placed on SAP Warning.

SAP students who improve performance at the conclusion of the next term of enrollment and are again meeting the SAP standards will be placed back in good standing and may continue to receive financial aid if otherwise eligible.

SAP Warning students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress at the conclusion of the next term of enrollment will be placed on a Satisfactory Academic Progress Hold (SAP Hold).

Students are eligible for financial aid during their warning semester.

SAP Hold (Suspension)

Students’ on a SAP warning who fail to meet the cumulative GPA of 2.0 and/or completion rate percentage 67% SAP standards will be placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress Hold (SAP Hold), which cancels the student’s financial aid until submitting a successful SAP Appeal.

The SAP Process

Appeal Procedure

Appeal Procedure

Students placed on hold due to failure to meet SAP standards after their warning period must appeal to regain financial aid eligibility. Appeals are submitted electronically, the link to the appeal will appear inside of a student's portal.  All appeal submissions must include a detailed statement that includes the following information:

  • Extenuating circumstances that resulted in your failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • What has changed since your enrollment that will enable you to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress moving forward.
  • Supporting documentation.
  • Steps that you will take to ensure you continue to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in the future.

SAP Appeal Process

Students on a SAP Hold must submit a SAP Appeal by the published deadline of each semester for the term in which they are seeking financial aid. Students must complete the SAP Appeal Form and submit all corresponding documentation according to the instructions provided by the university. Late appeals will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. The appeal committee will review the SAP Appeal packet and notify the student of the decision in writing through the student’s FSU email account within 15 business days from the date of submission. A prescriptive Academic Success Plan is required as a part of the approval process.

Students must meet with their advisor to complete an Academic Success Plan by the first day of the semester. Failure to meet with an advisor will result in a student’s aid not being awarded.

SAP Probation

Students who successfully appeal their SAP Hold will have their financial aid eligibility reinstated and will be placed on a SAP Probation. During the probationary period, students must make progress under their Academic Success Plan. Students who do not achieve the cumulative GPA of 2.0 or completion rate percentage 67% SAP standards will be placed back on SAP Hold and are required to complete a SAP Appeal for each subsequent term until all SAP standards are met.

Successfully meeting standards for a student on SAP Probation includes the following:

  • Passing all classes with a C or better
  • Taking courses within the major plan of study
  • Avoid withdrawing from courses
  • Earning a 2.0 or higher term GPA

The student is responsible for meeting the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. It is important for the student to have ownership of their current situation and the resulting Academic Success Plan, with the understanding of the consequences the student faces if the student fails to follow the Academic Success Plan. Students must meet with their advisor to complete an Academic Success Plan before the first day of classes for the appealed semester.

Students are recommended to complete at least (2) two financial literacy courses. (Course selection to be finalized) Student should complete the ECMC financial literacy course by the end of the appealed semester.

Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) is one of Fayetteville State University’s partnering agencies which helps facilitate a financial literacy platform for our students. ECMC also conducts outreach to our students regarding successful strategies for entering repayment on student loans.

How Course Designations Impact SAP

How Course Designations Impact SAP:

Incompletes-Incompletes (“I” grades) are not included in the cumulative GPA calculation until they are later converted to a letter grade of F or higher. However, incompletes do lower the student’s completion percentage until they are changed to an earned letter grade of D or higher. Incompletes are included in the maximum timeframe calculation.

Withdrawals- Student-initiated course withdrawals (W) or university/term withdrawals (WU) are not included in the cumulative GPA calculation. However, these withdrawals do lower the student’s completion rate percentage and are included in the maximum timeframe calculation.

Audited Courses-Audited courses (AU) are not included in the GPA, completion percentage, or maximum time-frame calculations.

Repeated Courses-When a student repeats a course for any reason, the highest grade earned will be used in the GPA calculation in accordance with the Course Repeat and Allowed Repeatable Courses policies. All attempts will be calculated into the completion percentage.

Earned Letter Grades-Earned letter grades of A, B, C and D positively impact a student’s completion percentage and bring the student closer to completing his or her program within the maximum timeframe of the program. Although a D letter grade does not negatively impact an undergraduate student’s completion percentage, it will contribute to lowering the student’s GPA to below the required 2.0 Undergraduate and Licensure and graduation 3.0 cumulative standard. Graduate students do not earn credit for a D letter grade, this will result in a lower GPA and completion rate for the student. Earning an F letter grade will negatively impact both the student’s completion percentage and GPA (semester and cumulative). All earned letter grades are included in the maximum timeframe calculation.

Dropped Courses-If a course is dropped for the reason of non-payment, non-attendance, or failure to meet the prerequisites, the course is not included in the calculation of GPA, completion percentage, or maximum timeframe. Unless the course(s) is approved for reinstatement.

Cancelled Courses-If a course is cancelled, it is not included in the calculation of GPA, completion percentage, or maximum timeframe.

Transfer Credit-Although transferring credit hours to FSU will not impact the student’s GPA, any credit hours accepted for transfer will be included in the completion percentage and maximum timeframe calculations.

Submitting Your Appeal

Submitting Your Appeal

If you are a recently readmitted student, please submit your appeal via FSU SAP Appeal Link For Readmits.

If you are a currently enrolled student, your process will be different than it was for previous semesters. To complete your SAP appeal you will need to visit to create a student forms account and submit your SAP appeal. Please review the documents below for instructions on how to complete this task.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the SAP committee at

Circumstances and Documentation Examples

Below is a list of possible circumstances as well as suggested documentation. If you do not have documentation, you can submit a signed statement of explanation.  The list is not exhaustive, other forms of documentation are acceptable and can result in your appeal being approved. Students should not create or alter documentation themselves.

Possible Circumstances

Suggested Documentation

Death in the family

Death certificate, obituary

Divorce or separation

Lawyer statement, court documents

Domestic violence

police report, restraining order, court documents

Crime victim

Legal documentation, police records

Physical and/or mental illness

Documentation from medical personnel

Learning disability

Individualized Education Program(IEP)

Daycare issues

Daycare provider letter

Change in economic status

Unemployment documentation, letter of termination

Unforeseen housing status

Eviction notice, legal paperwork

Imposed employment changes

Statement/documentation from employer

Unjust arrest or incarceration

Court documentation

Involuntary call to military service

Military orders

Jury duty/ court appearance

Court documentation