Satisfactory Academic Progress policy

The Ohio State University is required by federal law to establish, publish and apply reasonable standards for measuring satisfactory standards of academic progress (SAP). These standards ensure successful completion of course work leading to the timely receipt of a degree. All financial aid recipients are required to meet SAP standards toward completion of certificate or degree requirements in order to be eligible for Title IV, state and institutional need-based financial aid programs. If a student who is receiving financial aid does not meet the standards as set forth in this policy, they will be ineligible for financial aid in future terms and may appeal.  
The categories of students subject to the SAP policy include:
  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate students
  • Professional students
  • TOPS Program
  • Continuing Education students
Financial Aid Programs subject to the SAP policy include:
  • Federal Title IV programs
  • State of Ohio grants and/or scholarships
  • Institutional need-based grants, scholarships and/or university loans
  • Institutional grants/scholarships programs that specifically require the student meet academic standards*

    • *Athletic grants-in-aid is not subject to the SAP policy
    Ohio State is required to monitor student aid recipients' academic progress based upon the qualitative and quantitative standards outlined below.  It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure they are meeting these SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility. 
     
    ​Standard:​Timeline for Standard Evaluation
    ​Cumulative grade point average (GPA)​Annually, conclusion of spring term
    ​Completion rate percentage​​Annually, conclusion of spring term
    ​Maximum time frame for completion of degree requirements (MTF)​Conclusion of every term

     

    Note: Required cumulative GPA (qualitative) and required completion rate percentage (quantitative) are evaluated for SAP annually at the conclusion of the spring term.

    Maximum timeframe (MTF) for completion of degree requirements is monitored each term as students may reach the maximum number of hours or the maximum number of terms allowed at any point in the academic year. Students who are approaching program maximums are sent a notice when they are within 24 hours or one term of reaching their program maximums.

    Qualitative measurements

    To be eligible for Title IV, state or institutional need-based financial aid, each individual category of student must meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirements as outlined below.  

    Note: The minimum GPA requirement for students in the professional colleges represent the cumulative GPA requirements for retention by each college.


    ​​Category of Student​Minimum GPA requirement
    First Year ​Undergraduate (by end of first academic year)*​1.80*
    ​Undergraduate (by end of second academic year and beyond​2.00
    ​Transfer​2.00
    ​Graduate (masters, nursing, doctoral)​3.00
    ​Law​2.00
    ​Medicine**As determined by College of Medicine
    ​Dentistry​2.25
    ​Optometry​2.00
    ​Veterinary Medicine​2.00
    ​​TOPS Program***​As determined by TOPS Program***
    ​Pharmacy​​2.00​

    * First Year Undergraduates who do not meet the 1.80 minimum GPA requirement at the end of the first academic year will be deemed not eligible for financial aid. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement may appeal for aid and, if approved, will need to meet the progress standards established in their approved appeal.

    ** More on Ohio State's medical student academic standards policy.

    *** More information on Ohio State's TOPS student SAP policy.

    Quantitative measurements

    To be eligible for Title IV, state or institutional need-based financial aid, each individual category of student must meet the established quantitative measures, completion rate and maximum timeframe that are reviewed for all students receiving federal, state or institutional need-based financial aid.
     
    All undergraduate and graduate students are expected to complete at least 67 percent of the credit hours attempted to keep pace toward completing their degree. This is reviewed annually. Credit hours attempted include all graded courses, transferred courses, testing credits, pass/fail grades and repeats.
     
    All students are expected to complete their degree programs within an established maximum timeframe as outlined below.  This is reviewed at the end of every semester.  
     
    Category of Student​Maximum Time Frame Allowed​Measure
    ​Undergraduates​150% of required hours to complete degree​All credit hours attempted including graded, transferred, pass/fail, repeated courses and testing credits
    ​Graduates (Masters, Doctoral)​150% of required hours to complete degree​All credit hours attempted including graded, transferred, pass/fail, repeated courses and testing credits
    ​Law​9 semesters
    ​Medicine​14 semesters​Monitored by program
    ​Dentistry​15 semesters
    ​Optometry​14 semesters
    ​Veterinary Medicine​13 semesters
    ​Pharmacy​12 semesters
    ​TOPS Program​As determined by TOPS ProgramAs determined by TOPS Program
     

    Definition of hours attempted and completed

    Hours counted as attempted include:
    • All credit hours for which the student enrolls at Ohio State and receives any of the following grades or marks: A, B, C, D (including plus and minus), E, EM, EN, K, KD, KM, NP, PA, U, UEN, NEN, S, P, Blank and/or NG
    • Hours forgiven with passing grades under the “Grade Forgiveness” or “Fresh Start” rules (#)
    • A mark or marks of W (denoting a class or classes dropped or total withdrawal from the university)
    • A mark or marks of I, IX (denoting a class or classes that have incomplete coursework)
    Hours not counted as attempted include:
    • Courses designated as audit (no credit or grade assigned)
    Hours counted as successfully completed include:
    • All cred​it hours for which there is a passing letter grade or mark as reflected in the Policy Section of the University Registrar's website including A, B, C, D (including plus and minus), S and PA
    • All marks of EM (credit by exam) and hours accepted for transfer from another institution, K, KD, and KM
    Hours  not counted as successfully completed (deficiencies) include:
    • All credit hours for which there is no grade/notation indicating that the course work has been successfully completed including marks of E, EN, NEN, I, IX, NP, U, UEN, W and P

    Maximum time frame: Definition of hours attempted

    Hours counted as attempted include:
    • All credit hours for which the student enrolls at Ohio State and receives any of the following grades or marks: A, B, C, D (including plus and minus), E, EM, EN, I, IX, K, KD, NP, PA, U, UEN, NEN, S, P, Blank and/or NG
    • Hours forgiven under the “Grade Forgiveness” or “Fresh Start” rules (#)
    • A mark or marks of W (denoting a class or classes dropped or total withdrawal from the university)
    • A mark or marks of I, IX (denoting a class or classes that have incomplete coursework)
    • All marks of EM (credit by exam) and hours accepted for transfer from another institution, K, KD and KM

    Advanced Placement (AP) or Credit by Examination (EM) credit

    Many undergraduate students initially enroll at Ohio State and receive Advanced Placement (AP) or Credit by Examination EM credit. Under certain circumstances, this may cause students to exceed the maximum number of hours allowed in their respective academic programs prior to graduation. In this situation, an appeal may be required to reevaluate SAP.

    Treatment of audits, remedial, and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses

    • Audited classes are not considered “financial aid eligible;” therefore they count neither as classes attempted or completed.
    • The university allows students to take up to 30 hours of remedial course work. These hours are “financial aid eligible;” therefore they are in the attempted hour count and are either completed successfully (S) or unsuccessfully (U).
    • Courses repeats:
      • A student may receive aid when repeating a course that was previously unsuccessful regardless of the number of times the course was attempted and failed.
      • Once a course has been successfully completed, a student can retake and receive financial aid for that same course only one additional time (one retake attempt).
      • Any ineligible courses that are retaken will be excluded when aid is calculated.
    • ESL classes are “financial aid eligible” if taken in concert with a declared major. These hours are in the attempted hours count and are marked S or U

    Special programs

    Consortium agreements

    Consortium classes are designated "Academic Affairs," as independent study and have marks of S, U or NG. Courses designated U or NG are considered deficient. After SAP is run, if the consortium grade of NG is still part of the record, the student is required to self-identify when the mark is updated to an S, P or K.

    All students enrolled with a consortium agreement in place are subject to the current SAP policy and appeal process. After completing the consortium term, students must request an academic transcript from the host school to be sent to Ohio State Registrar's Office for credit evaluation. Satisfactory Academic Progress could be impacted if the transcript is not received or the courses are not successfully completed. 

    Grade Forgiveness

    Students who are on Financial Aid Suspension due to not meeting SAP standards, who request Grade Forgiveness for previous enrollment due to an extenuating circumstance, are still required to follow the SAP appeal process to regain financial aid eligibility.

     

    Fresh Start

    The Fresh Start program is an academic decision separate from the SAP requirements. Students who apply and receive a Fresh Start are subject to meeting all requirements of the current SAP policy. All previously attempted courses are considered when evaluating SAP. Students re-entering The Ohio State University after any period of separation are also subject to the current SAP policy and appeal process.

     

    Second degrees and double majors

    Students seeking second degrees and students with double majors may reach the maximum timeframe standard at an accelerated pace under this policy. Students may appeal for the allowance of additional hours to complete their program.

     

    Monitoring eligibility: Suspension and conditions of reinstatement

    The cumulative GPA and completion percentage SAP standards are monitored annually. Maximum time frame is monitored at the end of each term. A notification is sent to students when they are within 24 hours of reaching the maximum number of hours allowed to complete their respective degree programs, or one term from reaching the maximum number of terms allowed.

    When students reach or exceed the maximum number of hours or terms allowed, they are sent a notification and become immediately ineligible for financial assistance. Affected students who have reached or exceeded the hours or terms allowed due to academic program changes, changes in major, transfer hours accumulated from other schools or pursuit of a second degree (e.g., a second bachelor's degree) can have their status reviewed by submitting the appeal form

    Upon review, students who fail to meet these requirements are sent a notification to their Ohio State email account of their suspended status including options for appealing or regaining eligibility.  Students on suspended status are ineligible for aid.   ​

    Financial aid suspension

    Students who become ineligible for assistance can re-establish their eligibility by one of two ways:
    • Attending Ohio State at their own expense or with the help of private resources from outside the university until such time as they are meeting the SAP conditions (not applicable for a student who becomes ineligible due to maximum timeframe)
    • Successfully appealing their suspension status.

    Note: Neither paying for classes nor sitting out periods of enrollment in and of themselves improves a student's SAP standing; therefore, neither action is sufficient to regain financial aid eligibility.

    Appeal of suspension

    Ohio State permits students to appeal the determination that they are not meeting SAP requirements. 

    The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form is available online and may also be picked up at Buckeye Link, 281 W. Lane Ave.  The appeal must explain and document why the student failed to meet SAP and describe how the circumstances have changed that will allow them to be academically successful and meet SAP in the future.  Prior to submitting an appeal, the student will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be an admitted, active student at The Ohio State University. The appeal and necessary supporting documentation and statements must be submitted together to Buckeye Link, 281 W. Lane Ave., or to a regional campus financial aid office for signature and initial review by the deadline for the term. Exceptions to the deadline can be made based on mitigating circumstances. 

    Appeals with complete documentation are reviewed and an appeal decision is made. Complete appeals are reviewed after the student's grades are posted for the prior term. Students are notified of the appeal decision via their Ohio State email account.

    Students who have their appeals granted are reinstated for financial aid eligibility on a probation status and given an academic plan that outlines the standards they must meet each term to maintain probation status. Students will remain on probation status for the length of their academic plan provided they meet the conditions of their academic plan each term. If the terms of the academic plan are not met, the student will be notified they have returned to a suspended status are ineligible for aid.

    The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

    Ohio State reviews the cumulative academic record of continuing students who are first-time applicants to determine if they are meeting the SAP requirements. If they have not met the SAP requirements they are notified and placed on suspended status.

    Reinstatement of eligibility

    Students are reinstated on probation status based on the terms outlined in approved appeals.