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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

The SAP Policy at Eastern Connecticut State University applies to financial aid recipients only. The policy is based on federal guidelines that require each college and university to ensure that student aid recipients are progressing through their academic programs at an acceptable pace while maintaining an acceptable cumulative grade point average. This policy is separate and apart from other academic policies at the university.

The SAP Policy includes three standards that must be met in order for a student to receive aid from the financial aid programs listed below. Students failing one or more of the standards receive one warning term before their aid is suspended. Failure to meet SAP for at least four semesters will result in denial of financial aid eligibility.


  • Undergraduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of:
    • 1.8 or higher with up to 30 credits attempted
    • 1.9 or higher with 31 to 45 credits attempted
    • 2.0 with greater than 45 credits.
    • Graduate students are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • Undergraduate and graduate students are expected to successfully complete at least 67% of the credits attempted from term to term. This percentage can be negatively affected by incompletes, withdrawals, and repetition of credits.

    *Transfer credits accepted toward an Eastern degree will count as both attempted and earned credits in calculating this completion rate.*

  • While a four-year time frame for degree completion should be the goal, undergraduate students are required to have completed a bachelor's degree from Eastern within six years or once they have attempted 180 credits (includes transfer credits and represents 150% of bachelor's degree 120 credit hour requirement).

    *Graduate students are required to have completed a master's degree within three (3) years or once they have attempted 150% of the credits (includes transfer credits) required for their academic program. **

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Financial Aid Awards Affected by SAP Standards:

Federal Pell Grant**
Federal SEOG
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Direct Student Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
Federal TEACH Grant
Federal Work Study
Federal Veterans Educational Benefits+
Scholarships and Grants
Designated Alternative/Private Loan Programs
CT State University Grant
Governor's Scholarship Program Scholarship
Governor's Scholarship Program Grant

**As of July 1, 2012, first-time Federal Pell Grant recipients are limited to 12 semesters of scheduled awards. Awards received will be tracked by the US Department of Education and students are required to meet the financial aid SAP standards to receive other awards regardless of whether they have received the maximum number of scheduled Pell Grant awards.

+Eastern reports failure to achieve SAP to the Veterans Administration (VA), but the VA determines whether Veterans' Benefits will be withheld.

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SAP Process

  • After each term’s grades are posted, the Financial Aid Office reviews the academic records of financial aid recipients before disbursing aid for the upcoming semester.  The aid of students who meet the academic standards required by the policy will be disbursed.

  • When a student fails to meet one of ECSU’s SAP standards, an SAP Warning notification will be sent by email and regular mail and this student will be eligible to receive financial aid for the next term.  If, at the end of the SAP Warning term, the student is meeting the minimum requirements of SAP, the SAP Warning is lifted and the student will receive aid for the following term.

    Students who fail to achieve SAP at the end of the SAP Warning term will be ineligible for financial aid in the subsequent term or until such time as they again meet the requirements of SAP. A student may appeal (see below) this loss of aid and, if the appeal is approved, the student will be placed in the SAP Probation status and financial aid will be reinstated. Should an appeal be denied, financial aid will be cancelled for the next term.

  • If extenuating circumstances exist which contributed to the student’s failure to meet one of the above SAP Standards, a written appeal may be submitted.   Examples of extenuating circumstances which might be grounds for an appeal include, but are not limited to, a divorce in the family, unexpected death or major hospitalization of an immediate family member, extended hospitalization or medical condition of the student, the student being victimized in a violent crime or difficulty balancing the demands of college, work  and family.  The appeal must address, and document where appropriate, these extenuating circumstances, describing:

    • why the student failed to achieve SAP, and,
    • what has changed that will allow the student to achieve SAP during the next academic term.

    The appeal form is available on the Financial Aid Website and must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the set deadline included in the letter and email notification.    All responses to appeals will be made via the student’s Eastern email account as soon as possible after appeal and documentation are submitted.

    Exceptions beyond the appeal deadline are at the discretion of Satisfactory Academic Progress administrator and Director of Financial Aid.