Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Photo of students on a laptop in GSUB Patio

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

What is SAP?
¿Que significa SAP?

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

  1. Students must complete the SAP session Key Components to SAP and Financial Aid Appeal Process
  2. Students must complete the online SAP appeal at the end of of the online session.
  3. Students submitting their second SAP appeal or more must submit an SAP academic plan
    • SAP academic plans will be emailed to students and academic adviser 

How to Keep Your Financial Aid

  • Complete 67% of all classes attempted; 
  • Maintain the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) consistent with the University’s academic standing policy;
  • Maintain an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher upon completing 72 credit hours;
  • Complete your degree within the 150% timeframe (i.e. a four-year bachelors degree must be completed within six-years);
  • Become familiar with NJCU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. 

Federal regulations require institutions to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving federal, state and/ or institutional financial aid. These standards include “qualitative” as well as “quantitative” components. Students must maintain a certain cumulative grade point average (qualitative) and successfully earn minimal numbers of degree credits at each evaluation (quantitative). In determining satisfactory academic progress, all course work is considered, whether or not the student received financial aid at the time the work was completed.

Academic progress is measured annually after spring grades are posted. Students who do not meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress are notified by the Office of Financial Aid via mail. 

The quantitative component measures the pace at which the student must progress through his/her program of study to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe allowed. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours the student successfully completed by the number of cumulative credit hours the student has attempted. The completion ratio must be 67% or greater.

For example, a student attempted 12 credit hours in the fall semester and earned 8 credits and in the spring semester s/he attempted 14 credits and earned 11. 8 credits + 11 credits = 19 credits earned. 12 credits + 14 credits =26 credits attempted. 19/26 = 73% which is greater than the completion ratio of 67%.

Transfer Credits:
Credits accepted by NJCU from prior institution(s) are totaled and divided by 15. The result, which is rounded down to the nearest whole semester, is the official measurement of the number of semesters spent at other institution(s). Transfer credits accepted toward the student’s educational program are counted as both attempted and completed hours.

Incomplete and Withdrawals:
Incomplete and withdrawn grades do not earn credits to meet the academic year minimum or influence the GPA in the term the course was attempted, but the credits are counted for timeframe determination. Repeated courses count toward determination of enrollment status and maximum timeframe.

The maximum timeframe a student may attend and continue financial aid eligibility cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s academic program measured in academic years. The published length of a four-year undergraduate program is eight semesters; therefore a full time student has a maximum of twelve semesters to complete the program. The length of a graduate program is based on the published length for each individual program; in no case will the graduate student’s enrollment exceed the 150% point in time. If a student enrolls part time, the semester will be prorated accordingly. When the student’s enrollment exceeds the 150% point, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid.

The qualitative component measures the student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

Consistent with the University’s academic standing policy; undergraduate students must achieve the stated CGPA as follows: 

  • 1.60 CGPA after a minimum of 13 credits hours attempted;
  • 1.75 CGPA after a minimum of 24 credit hours attempted; 
  • 1.85 CGPA after a minimum of 48 credit hours attempted;
  • 2.0 CGPA after a minimum of 72 credit hours attempted.

Consistent with the general academic requirements of the Graduate School, graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 to retain their eligibility for financial aid.


A student notified of their failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress is no longer eligible for federal, state or institutional financial aid.

As part of the appeal the student must explain:

  • Why they failed to make academic progress, and
  • What has changed that will allow the student to make SAP during the upcoming academic year.

All appeals are submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and reviewed by a committee.

If an appeal is granted the student will be placed on a status of Financial Aid Probation and given an academic plan they must adhere to. The Probation status will last for one term. At the end of that term the student will again be evaluated to determine either;

  • The student is now making SAP; or
  • The student is making progress under the specified academic plan.

If the student fails to meet the criteria established as part of the appeal, they will be placed on a financial aid suspension status and will be ineligible for financial aid until s/he meets the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements or submits a second successful appeal.  

All students should understand that financial aid is for class and educational expenses.  Students are encouraged to attend all of their classes. Students must remain enrolled and attend classes through the 60% point of the semester to retain all the financial aid they have been awarded. Students who withdraw or stop attending before completing 60% of the semester will receive only a pro-rated portion of the financial aid awarded to them for that semester.

New Jersey City University uses the federal formula to calculate how much aid is earned if the student withdraws before the end of the semester. 

NJCU must return any portion of unearned student financial aid it has retained for the payment of tuition, fees, and other charges.  NJCU also returns any portion of unearned aid for which the student is responsible and then bills the student for that amount. The Financial Aid Office and the Bursar notifies the student of the amount he/she is responsible for paying to the University. 

  • The amount of earned financial aid is calculated on a daily basis from the first day of classes. 
  • The formula uses calendar days, not business days, to determine the length of the semester.
  • The number of days attended divided by the number of days in the semester result in a percentage which is used to calculate earned and unearned aid.
  • The total amount of federal aid received in the semester is multiplied by that percentage to arrive at the amount of unearned aid which must be returned to the federal programs.