What Happens if I Failed to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress?


If you’re a student receiving financial aid and you have failed to make satisfactory academic progress, you’ll lose your financial aid. In many cases, this financial aid loss is temporary and you can recover some or all of your aid.

For example, you can get back all of your federal aid if you meet the eligibility requirements in the future again. Some students are able to appeal a loss of financial aid, though not all schools have an appeal process available.

What happens if I fail to keep Satisfactory Academic Progress?

When you aren’t making satisfactory academic progress (SAP), you aren’t fulfilling the financial aid contract, and you lose any aid you’re receiving through your school or through federal aid programs. You’ve also probably lost scholarship aid because scholarship SAP requirements are usually more stringent than a university’s requirements.

Make sure you understand exactly why you lost your aid. You may have failed to meet only one of several requirements. Understanding where you went wrong will help you get on the correct path to fix the mistake and get your aid back.

How do I appeal the loss of my financial aid?

Some schools allow you to write an appeal letter explaining why you didn’t make SAP. These are usually extenuating circumstances, like a death in the family or dealing with a serious illness during your semester. Not every school will let you appeal, and even if your school has the process available, your appeal may not succeed. You should certainly try if you had a good reason for letting your academic progress slide, but start looking into other options, too.

If you lost a scholarship, you’re unlikely to get that one back. It’s time to start looking into other ways to get the funds you need. That may involve applying for other types of aid or even seeking scholarships with different SAP requirements.

What else can I do if I lose my financial aid?

Start by making an appointment with the financial aid office. Then go see your academic advisor. You want to put yourself in good academic standing again as soon as possible so you can file for your student aid again.

In the meantime, you’ll need other solutions for paying for college. You may look into other loans, part-time jobs, or ways to save significant money. If you can move back home and commute to school, that will save you big on living expenses. Some students are able to get around certain SAP requirements by changing majors or switching colleges. Your eligibility for financial aid might only hinge on the classes that apply to your major, for example. Another college might have different requirements altogether.

Ultimately, there is no one way to fix this problem, because it depends on a plethora of factors. Losing your financial aid does not mean that you will never be able to pay for college and that you have to quit. You do need to pay more attention to your academics in the future so this never happens again.