Financial Aid

Academic Progress Appeals

Students who do not pass the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy may elect, as a way to restore their aid eligibility, to submit an appeal.

Appeals are not automatically approved,
and the ability to submit an appeal does not mean a right to have aid restored.

Appeals are reviewed individually and are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeals must be in writing and are submitted via the UC financial aid portal using the REQUEST button. After making an SAP Appeal request for the appropriate year (remember that summer is part of the previous academic year), you will be asked to complete an SAP Appeal Web Form.

You are also given the opportunity to provide 3rd party documentation that could be one of these options:

  • Support for extenuating circumstances,
  • Documenting a change in circumstances, or
  • When failing due to timeframe, you are REQUIRED to provide a formal degree plan* for remaining coursework.

NOTE: Students who have not previously used the portal for submitting financial aid documents will have to create an account.

Quality Appeals

Appeal submissions are stronger when they detail the problems that have occurred in the past and the plan to ensure that a reoccurrence does not happen. Showing an awareness of what has gone wrong in your academics (coursework not completed satisfactorily, GPA concerns, or both) and detailing a plan for success in the future will always be looked at more favorably.

Submitting reasons why you need financial aid or arguing against the policy will not assist you. We assume you need aid assistance, or you would not apply for it. However, accepting aid carries with it a responsibility to use funding as intended and move efficiently toward degree completion. Promises in your appeal to do better without an explicit, detailed plan do not demonstrate an awareness and revised actions to ensure your success.

Your academic advisor and staff at the Learning Commons (2441 French Hall West) can help you develop a plan to improve your academic performance based on your individual academic record and situation.

Appeal Approval

Appeals that explain past errors and detail a realistic, personal plan for improved academic success are more likely to be approved.

Students whose appeal is approved will be subject to term-by-term review of their aid eligibility from that point forward. Aid will continue as long as they (1) meet the specific terms noted in the appeal approval notification or (2) meet the overall academic progress policy.

Each appeal approval notification will define very specific requirements to follow. Generally, future terms will have a 2.0 minimum GPA requirement as well as minimum satisfactory completion percentages (i.e., 100% or 80% satisfactory completion of coursework taken). Failure to meet the terms of the appeal approval will result in a student no longer being eligible for aid until such time they are meeting the overall policy. Do not take an approval lightly. Follow all requirements listed on your approval notification completely to strengthen your academic record and avoid aid problems in the future.

Sometimes students are unable to meet the conditions of the appeal approval upon enrollment. These students will fail in the term-by-term review if they do not meet the conditions detailed in the approval notice unless their cumulative academic record meets all three components (GPA, timeframe, and pace) of the progress policy. New appeals submitted following an appeal approval are unlikely to be approved. Students should heed the guidance and requirements of any appeal approval to maintain aid eligibility.

Appeal Denial

Your appeal, once reviewed, may also be denied. This is particularly true in cases of an academic history with little success or multiple concerns. While plans for success may be outlined in the student's appeal, history of repeated low GPAs or incomplete coursework may limit the ability to approve an appeal. Your academic performance will always speak louder than future plans under these circumstances.

Denials may outline the need to complete 12 hours with a 2.0 GPA without the use of federal aid as a way to demonstrate an ability to use aid responsibly if reinstated. These 12 hours could be taken in a single semester or over multiple terms. You would not be eligible to receive reimbursement if aid eligibility was later approved.

Denials may also require a student to advance to another degree level as the timeframe limitation for aid consideration may be over for the current degree program.

When timeframe is an issue, it may simply be to the point where continued aid at that degree objective is not possible. In such cases an appeal denial cannot be overcome by completing 12 hours with a 2.0.

Timeframe Concerns

Students are expected to complete degrees in a timely manner. Changing majors, withdrawing from classes often, maintaining enrollment for reasons other than completing the intended degree, or taking unnecessary coursework may lead to students reaching an accumulation of attempted hours equal to or greater than 1.5 times the length of the academic program. Extending aid at that point is extremely difficult.

Students who are at or who have exceeded timeframe will need to submit a formal academic degree plan* along with a degree audit as their 3rd party documentation.

Again, these appeals and plans will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are more likely to be approved when the remaining time to complete your degree is very limited. Any deviation from an academic plan following any approval will result in a discontinuation of that approval.

Individual Aid Program Limitations

In addition to the academic progress policy, Congress has changed statutory language to limit Federal Pell Grant recipients to only 6 full-time equivalent years of eligibility as of 2012-13. This lifetime maximum allocation is absolute and cannot be appealed.

Congress also has created lifetime (or aggregate) limits on federal loan eligibility.

Students who reach these limits, even if approved for federal aid eligibility in an academic progress appeal, will not be eligible to have their Pell Grant or aggregate loan eligibility extended. So a student could be approved on appeal yet remain ineligible for aid.

Finally, UC employees as well as their spouses, domestic partners, and dependents receiving UC tuition remission are subject to a specific tuition remission satisfactory progress policy related to their eligibility for receiving that benefit. Though the remission progress policy mirrors the federal policy, there are some slight differences and a separate appeal process. Students may be deemed eligible for federal aid but not remission and vice versa.

* You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download, to view and print this link.