Financial Aid Eligibility Policies
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (updated effective July 1, 2011)
The receipt of financial aid is a privilege that creates both rights and obligations. The United States Department of Education requires every postsecondary institution receiving federal funds (Title IV) to have an academic progress policy that is used to determine eligibility for and continued receipt of federal funds. The satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy has two components: first the students are required to maintain a specified cumulative GPA; and second they must complete a specified percentage of all courses attempted.
Title IV federal funds affected by this policy include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal College Work-Study program, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, and Federal Stafford Loans. Drexel also uses this standard to renew need-based aid. Merit aid has different standards. Recipients of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Grant must also follow certain academic progress guidelines (contact PHEAA for these guidelines). Drexel University has designed a SAP policy that meets the requirements of both federal and state agencies.
• Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
• Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
• Law students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.2
Students must complete the appropriate percent of all courses attempted since enrollment at the current academic level (undergraduate, graduate, or professional). The completion percentage is calculated by dividing total hours earned by total hours attempted.
It is also important to understand how specific grades and/or course types count toward the completion ratio.
The following grades count as attempted but not completed courses:
- Incomplete (INC)
- No Grade Reported (NGR)
- Withdraw (W)
- F or a Fail – in a pass/fail course
- No credit – in a credit/no credit course
Both transfer and advanced placement credits count as attempted and completed courses. Co-op placement does not count as either attempted or completed courses.
The required completion percentages are detailed in the chart below.
||Registered Completion %
|Undergraduate: 0–89.5 credits
|Undergraduate: 90–129.5 credits
|Undergraduate: 130+ credits
Academic progress is checked at the end of each academic year (Drexel's academic year is measured from September to September for quarter programs and August to August for semester programs). Failure to meet the minimum completion percentage (of attempted vs. completed credit hours) or maintain the minimum GPA will result in the cancellation of all federal financial aid as well as institutional funds. Students whose aid is canceled are not eligible for additional financial aid until the necessary coursework is completed or the GPA is improved.
Students failing academic progress requirements may submit an appeal for consideration if there were extenuating circumstances such as a serious illness or death of a parent that prevented the student from being successful. Official notification of a SAP failure will include instructions regarding the appeals process. Successful appeals can result in reinstatement of financial aid under a financial aid probation status. During the course of study at the current academic level (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) a student may submit no more than two appeals for reinstatement of financial aid due to a SAP failure. Additionally, no student may be considered for aid for more than 150 percent of his or her published program length (for example a student in a 4 year program may not received financial aid for more than 6 years).
Download the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form [PDF].
Note: Merit awards have a different standard for renewal.
Note: Medical students have a separate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.