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Financial Aid Office


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In order for students to receive financial aid, they must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree.

Students are required to complete 67% of the credit hours attempted, as well as to maintain a minimum GPA as listed in the table below:

Hours EarnedCumulative GPA
0-15 1.70
16-30 1.80
31-45 1.90
46-120 2.00


Attempted hours include:

Incompletes: which are treated as Fs.
Course repetitions: when a course is repeated, the most recent grade will be used in the calculation of GPA but the credits are counted as attempted for each course taken; and remedial coursework. Credits are counted even if financial aid was not being received at the time. The 67% completion rate ensures that a student will complete their degree within the maximum time frame allowed, and still be eligible for Federal student aid, which is 180 credits. Federal aid eligibility ends at 180 credits if they have not earned their first bachelor's degree. This does not guarantee receipt of institutional scholarships.

Note - academic scholarships require a minimum GPA of 2.0 at all times and premier academic scholarships (Ambrose, Honors, and Presidential scholars) require a minimum GPA of 3.25 at all times and eligibility lasts up to four academic years.

All transfer credits accepted and applied towards an SAU degree plan are counted at 100% completed. A maximum of 90 credits will be counted for a student enrolling who has a prior bachelor's degree. We do not count transfer GPA in our calculation.

If a student changes majors, all credits attempted at the University are counted towards SAP.


Graduate Students:

Most Graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA by their respective departments. The exception for graduate work holds that a GPA of 2.8-2.99 shall be deemed satisfactory progress provided the GPA is raised to 3.0 after no more than two consecutive semesters. This equates to no more than 2 C grades, which are then offset by 2 A grades. Students will be monitored both by the Financial Aid Office and by their departments.


Appeal Process:

SAP is monitored after each semester. If a student fails to maintain SAP, he/she will be given a warning and allowed to receive financial aid for one term immediately following the term in question. If, by the end of the warning period, the student is still not meeting SAP, financial aid will be suspended for future terms, including Summer term.

A student may appeal the financial aid suspension by submitting a letter, along with the SAP Appeal Form to the SAP Appeals Committee, comprised of Financial Aid Office staff members. The letter must include an explanation as to why Satisfactory Progress was not maintained and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation at the end of the upcoming term. Documentation to support the appeal must accompany the letter and SAP Appeal Form. Appeals will be considered for pertinent situations that were beyond the student's control. For example, a health issue that prohibited class attendance or a documented, work-related interruption. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for the SAP form or further guidance at 563-333-6314.

The SAP Appeals Committee will approve an appeal if it is determined that the student will be able to make SAP standards by the end of the next term OR the student will be placed on an Academic Plan that will ensure the ability to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time which will be determined. An Academic Plan will involve an Academic Advisor.

If an appeal is approved and the student still does not make SAP by the end of the term or Academic Plan period, whichever the case may be, the student's financial aid will be suspended. At that time, the student may appeal in person to the SAP Appeals Committee. Further eligibility for financial aid will be determined at that time.