Lincoln University Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) denotes a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a degree. The Higher Education Amendment Act of 1965, as amended, mandates that institutions of higher education establish a minimum standard of “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)” for students receiving federal financial aid. Lincoln University makes its standard applicable to all federal, state and institutional funds. The SAP applies to all academic semesters regardless of whether financial aid was received. SAP will be evaluated for all full- or part-time students annually at the end of each spring semester.

Students who enroll at the mid-point (January) of an academic year or attend one semester only will also be evaluated at the end of the spring semester. Thereafter, these students will be evaluated at the end of the academic year (unless they are on a financial aid probation).

To ensure SAP, students must meet all of the following standards:

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Must earn 67% of hours completed
  • Must not exceed 150% of hours required for degree completion.

Undergraduate SAP Requirements

All undergraduate students must maintain the following minimum requirements to be in compliance with SAP:

Total Number of Completed Hours                                          Minimum Cumulative GPA

0-29                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       —

30-59                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1.60

60-89                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1.80

90+                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1.95

Graduate SAP Requirements

All graduate students must maintain the following minimum to be in SAP compliance:

  1. Must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  2. Must earn 67% of hours completed
  3. Must not exceed 150% of hours required for degree completion

Completion Standard for Completed Credit Hours (ALL STUDENTS)

All students who receive financial aid must successfully pass a minimum of 67% of all completed hours (for example if a student completes 12 credit hours, they must pass 9). If the number of completed hours drops below 67%, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Completed hours include all hours completed at the University and transfer hours, whether or not the student earns a grade or receives credit. Successful completion of a course means the student received a grade of A, B, C or D (excluding a grade of D for a graduate student or courses required for the major-undergraduate or graduate).

To calculate, multiply the total number of attempted hours by .67 (rounded downward to the nearest whole number). As an example, if a student attempted 30 credit hours, the student must complete a minimum of 23 credit hours (30 x .67 = 23) in order to ensure SAP for the year.

Maximum Time Frame

The number of credit hours a student completes may not exceed 150% of the number of credit hours required for graduation in his or her program of study. If the published number of hours required for graduation is 120, an undergraduate student may not complete more than 180 credit hours (120 x 1.50= 180) and continue to receive financial aid. All completed hours are counted in determining the 180 hours limit, including transfer hours—whether or not financial aid was received or the course work was successfully completed.

Second Undergraduate Degree

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and are pursuing another undergraduate degree must submit a completed Second Degree Form. Second-degree students cannot exceed the aggregate loan limit for an undergraduate student. Second-degree students must maintain a 2.0 annually and pass 67% of the hours completed.

Dual Degree/Double Major

Students must maintain progress as stated above. Students seeking a dual degree must be maintaining SAP prior to declaring their dual/double degree.


 A “W” grade recorded on the student’s transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to maintain SAP. Students who officially withdraw from the University must make up the deficit hours and are encouraged to attend summer school to remove the deficient hours. The successful completion of a course is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, B, C or D. Courses with grades of F, I, U and W will not qualify in meeting the minimum standard.

Incomplete (I) Grade

An incomplete grade indicates that a student has not finished all coursework required for a grade and is included in the cumulative credits attempted. An incomplete will count toward attempted hours but not as hours passed until a final grade is posted in the Registrar’s Office.

Repeated Courses

A student who has received a failing grade in a required course at this University must repeat and pass the course unless otherwise indicated by the registrar or dean. Students (undergraduate and graduate) may only receive federal financial aid for one repetition (repeat) of a previously passed course. Students who have already passed a course with a grade of a D or better may only repeat the class one additional time and receive financial aid for that course. All repeated courses are included in the total attempted hours for SAP evaluation.

Change of Major

A student may change from one degree program to another during attendance at the University. Students who change from one major to another are still expected to maintain SAP and complete the coursework within the time frame or hours limitation stated, unless an appeal is approved. All completed hours from a prior major are included in the total completed hours.

Audited Courses

Courses audited do not count as either attempted or earned hours.

Hours Enrolled

The number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled on the day following the published last day to add/drop a class will be used as official enrollment for financial assistance purposes. Full-time status is 12 or more hours. If a student withdraws from classes after the last day to add/drop a course, the student may not meet the minimum number of hours to be earned in one academic year.

Re-admitted students will be reviewed on their previous academic records in order to determine eligibility for assistance, whether or not financial aid was received. Re-admitted students not maintaining SAP must submit a letter of appeal.

Students who have been placed on Academic Suspension or Dismissal from the University must meet the Satisfactory Academic Policy (SAP) once they are re-admitted. Re-admitted students are not automatically eligible for Financial Aid, if they do not meet the standard; they have an option to submit an appeal.

Financial Aid Termination

Students who do not meet the SAP standards are not eligible for further financial aid, including summer school. Students will be notified by the Office of Student Financial Aid of their financial aid termination at the end of the spring semester through a letter to their permanent home mailing address and to their University e-mail account.

Students whose financial aid is terminated must remove their academic deficiencies or have an appeal granted before aid can be reinstated. This includes students who withdraw from a class or the semester, receive all “Fs” for the semester or receive a grade of “Incomplete.”

Conditions for Reinstatement

Students whose financial aid is terminated must remove their academic deficiencies or have an appeal approved before their aid can be reinstated. Students who withdraw from a class or classes after the add/drop period, receive all "Fs" for the semester, or a grade of "Incomplete," may be ineligible for aid for the next term.

Students who are denied federal and/or state financial aid for failure to meet the SAP standards have the opportunity to appeal the decision. If extenuating circumstances led to the unsatisfactory academic progress, students s may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Admissions, Academic Standing and Financial Aid Committee.. The University will notify the student in writing of the committee’s decision.

Any student whose financial aid has been terminated may reestablish SAP by any of the following methods:

  1. Enroll in a course or courses for summer school
  2. Repeat courses in which a grade of F was earned
  3. Satisfy requirements for all incomplete grades.

Appeal Procedure

Students not meeting SAP may appeal for consideration of financial aid. To appeal for the reinstatement of financial aid eligibility, students should complete and submit the SAP appeal form to the Office of Student Financial Aid indicating the extenuating circumstance—such as personal illness, injury, medical problems, undue hardship, death of parent or immediate family member, or other special circumstances—that may have prevented the student from performing at his or her academic best. The appeal form must be accompanied by an Academic Action Plan approved by the student’s academic advisor. Students who are granted an appeal will be placed on “progress probation.” The student’s progress will be reviewed each semester thereafter. At the conclusion of the probationary semester, a new progress check will be conducted. Students, who unsuccessfully meet the requirements of the academic action plan may appeal a final time.

Students will be notified, in writing, of the appeal decision. Students who are granted an appeal and do not meet the requirements are placed on financial aid suspension until SAP is achieved. (All decisions are FINAL.)

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of his or her academic progress each semester. The Office of Financial Aid will make every effort to promptly notify students of the cancellation of the award and academic progress status.