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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

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The KU Academic Progress Policy conforms to Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e), 668.32(f) and 668.34) and State regulations that govern financial aid programs and require all financial aid recipients to (1) be in good academic standing and to (2) be making academic progression (pace) towards a degree in a reasonable amount of time before the financial aid office disburses any federal funds for the subsequent semester. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be monitored at the end of each fall, spring and summer semesters.  Students MUST meet both components of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as follows:

Good Academic Standing (Qualitative Component)

The student must earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average that meets the requirements for continuing enrollment and graduation as defined by the college.

(EEO students: please refer to program guidelines)

  • Undergraduate Students: 2.0 GPA
  • Graduate Students: 3.0 GPA 

Academic Progression (Quantitative Component)

Pace of Completion

Students are evaluated on pace of completion, meaning students must complete 66.67% of the credit hours in which they are enrolled beyond the last day of add/drop. The formula used to determine the pace of completion consists of taking the credit hours completed and dividing that number by the credit hours attempted. This number must be equal to or exceed 66.67%. Advance standing hours (e.g., transfer and AP) that are accepted for credit are counted in both the hours attempted and hours completed. Incompletes and withdrawals are attempted, but not completed credit hours and will decrease a student’s pace of completion. Redemption and duplicate credits are counted as completed credit hours only once and will also decrease a student’s pace of completion.

Maximum Time Frame                                   

Students must complete their degree in 150% of the timeframe published in the University Catalog. The maximum timeframe for an undergraduate degree is measured by the average number of credit hours required to complete a degree multiplied by 150%. This is the maximum number of credit hours a student can attempt and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Advance standing hours applied towards the student’s degree program (e.g., transfer and AP) count in the maximum timeframe.

Example: credits needed to fulfill degree requirements= 124

124 x 150% = 186

Maximum credit hours attempted for satisfactory progress = 186

Students may continue to receive financial aid if their total attempted credit hours do not exceed 150% of the credits needed to complete their program of study. In the example provided above the program of study requires 124 credits for completion, a student may attempt 186 credits.

Students who are aware of learning or other disabilities should immediately contact the Office of Counseling and Disability Services so that appropriate accommodations can be made.  Students with documented disabilities and functional limitations are still held to the same academic expectations as other students.  If the student has self-identified with the Office of Counseling and Disability Services and is receiving appropriate accommodations, the student should be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes.
Treatment of Specific Courses

Developmental and supplemental university instruction courses are used to establish eligibility for financial aid based on full-time or part-time enrollment only. Credits are assigned to developmental and supplemental courses, but these credits do not count toward degree requirements or Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of developmental and supplemental courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study and SAP requirements continue to be met.

When counting developmental credits for SAP, if a student received a “U” (unsatisfactory) grade, the credits count as attempted but not earned. However, in the Registrar’s system the “U” grade is not counted as attempted or earned. 

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are not counted towards a student's qualitative and pace progression standards for SAP. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

Incomplete courses will count toward the calculation of credit hours attempted. Once incomplete courses are completed and a passing grade is received, the credits will then be applied to the student’s completion rate.

Repeated courses are taken to improve a student’s grade point average and the course counts only once toward degree requirements. Consequently, when a student repeats a course(s), this will count toward time enrolled without a corresponding incremental increase in credit accumulation. SAP counts repeat credits as attempted but not earned, however the Registrar’s system does not count repeated grades as attempted or earned.

Transfer credits are counted as attempted credits and are used to determine credits earned in the program of study.                                                                      

Withdrawal grades (W) are counted as attempted credit(s) but not earned in determining SAP.


Each aid recipient’s record will be evaluated at the end of each semester to determine if the student is meeting the standards described above.  If the student has reached the maximum number of credits without earning a degree, the student must be excluded from further participation in federal financial aid programs.  In addition, if the student has reached or exceeded 150% in total attempted credit hours for their degree program without earning a degree, the student must be excluded from further participation in federal financial aid programs.

Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students, even to first-time aid applicants who have previously enrolled at Kean, or to those who have not been formally placed on probation.

Students deemed not to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress will be notified by Kean email and may file an appeal with the Office of Financial Aid. Students receiving a “Warning” status email need not file an appeal as no action is necessary on their part. A standing University committee will review the appeal and make a decision. The decision is final. Students will also be notified by Kean email as to the outcome of their SAP appeal. Students who have questions about Satisfactory Academic Progress may send an email to
Appeal Process

Students have the right to appeal a decision of ineligibility to continue to receive financial assistance.  Appeals must be filed prior to the published deadline in order to be considered. The form that must be used to file your appeal can be found here.  The appeal may NOT be based upon need for the assistance OR lack of knowledge that the assistance was in jeopardy.  An appeal must be based upon some extenuating circumstance which prevented a student from passing most of their courses, or which necessitated withdrawing from classes.  The situation/condition must have taken place within the semester(s) the student did not meet satisfactory academic progress. Examples of possible situations include documented serious illness, severe injury or death of a family member.

Exceeding Maximum Program Credits & Maximum Time Frame Appeals Process

Appeals for exceeding maximum program credits and/or the maximum time frame requirement (150%) must be submitted in writing using the Exceeding Maximum Program Credits Appeal Form, based on the conditions stated above. This appeal must include the following:

  • A typed statement from the student explaining his/her program circumstances (i.e. program of studies he/she has pursued/completed, change in major, prerequisite courses, or pursuing second degree) as well as include the courses needed to complete the program.
  • Degree Audit/Program evaluation - indicating courses remaining by semester needed to complete the program.

*NOTE:  Undergraduate students can obtain a “degree audit/program evaluation” via Kean Wise.  Graduate students can obtain a degree audit/program evaluation from the Office of Graduate Student Services.

The Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the appeal decision. Students whose appeals are approved will remain eligible for financial aid, however some restrictions may apply.

Status Definitions

Financial Aid "Warning"
If this is the first documented time that the student has experienced academic difficulty the student will receive a financial aid “warning” email.  Students will be eligible to receive federal aid during this semester. These students will be notified that their SAP will be reviewed again at the end of the semester and that further action may be taken if there is not significant improvement during the current semester.  Students are only allowed one “warning” status per academic year. 

Financial Aid "Probation"
Students not making significant improvement during their “warning” semester, and/or who fail to maintain SAP standards may appeal and be granted a probationary semester during which financial aid is awarded. If a student on financial aid probation meets the SAP requirements by the end of the term, he/she will be eligible for aid in the subsequent semester.  Students placed on probation shall be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes for that semester.

Appeal "Approval"
Appeals can only be approved if the SAP Committee determines that the student will be able to meet the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines after the next payment period and extenuating circumstances were documented.

Appeal (Approved) with "Academic Plan" Conditions

Appeals can also be approved if the SAP Committee determines that the student has agreed to follow an academic plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student can meet the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines.

If an appeal is approved with an academic plan students will receive aid on a conditional basis on a per semester basis.  Students will be required to meet with a Financial Aid representative to review the conditions of the academic plan and the student must sign an agreement. Students who fail to meet the conditions outlined in their individual academic plan(s) during their conditional semester(s) will not be able to submit a subsequent appeal and will be ineligible for additional federal and state aid.

Appeal "Denied"
The “denied” decision is usually rendered when the SAP Committee has deemed that it is “mathematically” impossible for the student to meet the quantitative/qualitative component(s) in a reasonable amount of time, the student failed to follow their “academic plan,” or the student's appeal is undocumented.  The student is ineligible to receive federal and state funding in subsequent semesters.  The student must seek alternative means to pay their bill.

Regaining Eligibility

A student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs for reasons of academic progress can regain that eligibility by enrolling at Kean using alternative means of payment and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete degree requirements in a timely fashion.  The mere passage of time will not ordinarily restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory academic progress.

Students who have been academically dismissed from the university but who are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal and state aid programs. Admissions/academic decisions are independent of funding decisions.

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