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Satisfactory Academic Progress


The Department of Education's regulations governing student financial assistance require that an institution develop standards to measure academic progress toward a degree. Students applying for financial aid will be monitored for satisfactory academic progress whether or not financial aid was applied for or received during any academic period in which the student was previously enrolled. A student will not be eligible for financial assistance (including Federal Direct Loans) if he/she does not meet the academic progress requirements. Minimum standards, including qualitative and quantitative measures of progress, must be achieved by the end of any given enrollment period at the University of Houston.

Students are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a SAP appeal form by established deadline dates (review Section 19 of the policy for these dates). Failure to complete a FAFSA before the first day of the term or submit a SAP appeal by the printed deadline will result in loss of appeal submission opportunity.

SAP Policy

Review our 2022-23 SAP Policy for complete details on Satisfactory Academic Progress at UH.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
Undergraduate Level Cumulative GPA Required Cumulative Completion Ration Required Cumulative Hours Allowed
All levels At least 2.0 67% 180
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
Graduate Level Cumulative GPA Required Cumulative Completion Ration Required Cumulative Hours Allowed
Masters At least 3.0 67% 150% of published program length
Doctoral At least 3.0 67% 150% of published program length
Optometry Master of Science in Physiological Optics/Vision At least 2.0 67% 45
Doctor of Optometry At least 2.0 67% 265
Doctor of Philosophy in Physiological Optics/Vision Science At least 2.0 67% 90
Doctor of Pharmacy At least 2.0 67% 318
Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutics and Pharmacology At least 2.0 67% 112
Doctor of Pharmacy Administration At least 2.0 67% 105
Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration At least 2.0 67% 54
Law J.D. At least 2.0 67% 135
Law LLM At least 2.0 67% 36
Law J.D./MBA At least 2.0 67% 166
Master of Architecture level I At least 2.0 67% 145
Master of Architecture level II At least 2.0 67% 90
Master of Science in Architecture At least 2.0 67% 54
Master of Architectural Studies At least 2.0 67% 45
Master of Space Architecture At least 2.0 67% 45

Qualitative Requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Grade Point Average (GPA) – Undergraduate, Law, Optometry, Pharmacy or Graduate Architecture students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. All other graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Quantitative Requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Percentage of attempted cumulative hours completed – Complete and pass a minimum of 67 percent of the hours attempted at the University of Houston.

Maximum Timeframe

Federal regulations require that a student complete his program of study within 150 percent (length of program x 1.5) of the time allotted for the program. For example, if an undergraduate degree is 120 credit hours in length, a student with this major must complete the program within 180 (120 x 1.5) credit hours. All credit hours attempted at the University of Houston, including repeated courses with a grade of “F”, “W”, “I”, or “IP”, and all transfer hours to be used toward a degree at the University of Houston that were pursued at a previous institution, will be counted in the determination of hours attempted. After attempting 180 credit hours, the student‘s financial aid eligibility will be terminated for this program.

Students Who Receive All Failing Grades

If a student does not receive a passing grade in any class (earning any combination of "F"s, "W"s and "U"s), or stops attending classes without notifying the University during a semester in which he/she received financial aid, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (SFA) must return all or a portion of aid that was disbursed. Official documentation proving that the student participated in an academically related event during the semester will be requested in order to show that the student earned Title IV aid. A calculation of earned aid will be processed based on acceptable documentation. If no acceptable documentation is provided, 100 percent of aid will be returned. Any return of funds will result in the student owing a balance to the University.

Possible Categories Assigned after SAP is calculated:

Meets SAP

A status assigned to a student who has met minimum SAP requirements.

Not Meets

A status of “Not Meets” is assigned to a student who is currently not meeting SAP federal standards for any of the following categories – cumulative completion ratio, cumulative GPA, and not exceeding 150 percent of hours needed to complete the program. Students who have a semester of all F, W's, NR's for their only grades and I's will impact their completion ratio for the following SAP evaluation period.

Students not meeting SAP will be placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible to receive further funding. Students have the right to appeal their suspension by submitting a SAP Appeal form with supporting documentation to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid by the printed deadline. Students whose appeals are approved must make academic progress and return to SAP good standing within one probationary term. Students who do not meet the requirements will have all further financial aid suspended until they do.

Appeal Process

Students who are placed on financial aid suspension may submit an appeal to reinstate eligibility. An appeal must be submitted to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (SFA) before aid can be disbursed in future semesters. Appeals must be completed by the student. A personal statement and corroborating documents as listed on the second page of the SAP form MUST be submitted in order to be considered as a complete submission . A student can submit the appeal and mandatory additional documents in person at the Financial Aid Counter in Welcome Center, Room 120, by fax at 713-743-9098, or by upload feature. We encourage students to submit their completed SAP appeal online using the upload feature within the To-Do List (PDF format only) by 5 p.m. on the deadline date listed on the appeal form. Students may also be required to complete a SAP Academic Plan for future semesters.

If submitted appeal documents are incomplete or lack corroborating documents, your review and decision process could be delayed or denied. Regardless of method of submission, please make sure that the myUH ID number is on the top right-hand corner of every page. The appeal forms are available in the Forms section of this website as well as in the Welcome Center office. Please follow the deadlines as listed on the SAP appeal form. If the student's appeal is denied, he/she will be responsible for covering the balance for that semester. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will provide an initial review and response to the student's appeal before the University payment due date if the student submits a complete appeal and all supporting documents by the priority deadline.

Tips for Submitting the SAP Form

  1. Read your Financial Aid To-Do List descriptions and the SAP form thoroughly. Please be sure to check off and sign where required. Incomplete forms will be denied.
  2. Please put in effort toward answering the questions for your personal statement (Section II of the SAP form) and be sure to include documentation to support your statement. For example, if Adam performed poorly in the fall due to excessive work hours, Adam should discuss this situation in his personal statement, and include a copy of his work schedule from that time. If Adam has now prioritized his academics and made adjustments to reduce his work hours, Adam can also include a copy of his new work schedule to demonstrate the adjustment.
  3. We encourage students to combine their appeal and corroborating documents into one PDF file and upload it to their To-Do List to save time waiting in line. However, please consider that submitting the forms at our Financial Aid counter in the Welcome Center will allow for an initial review by an advisor, who can then counsel you on any incomplete portions of the appeal. This review process is not available online if you upload your file.

Process For Those Who Have Already Been Denied

If a student fails to meet SAP standards despite prior SAP approvals or academic plans, and consequently loses financial aid eligibility, the student may submit a written appeal with supporting documentation for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility, only if mitigating circumstances exist.

Mitigating circumstances include:

  • Serious injury of the student and/or the student's immediate family
  • Serious extended illness of the student and/or the student's immediate family
  • Death of student's relative

Appeal Process For Not Meets Status

Students who are placed on financial aid suspension may appeal to re-establish eligibility.

  • Academic Suspension – Academic suspension is determined by the Office of the University Registrar. Students may not appeal for financial aid until the academic suspension is lifted. An approval on an academic appeal does not automatically mean the student will be granted approval on a financial aid appeal.  
  • A student not meeting SAP standards must submit a Financial Aid Appeal Form with supporting documentation to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid by the printed deadline in order to receive consideration for financial aid eligibility. Failure to provide supporting documentation will result in the denial of an appeal. Students appealing their suspension must pay their own expenses until the appeal is reviewed. After an appeal has been reviewed and has been denied, the student must continue to pay his/her own expenses.
  • Students who submit their SAP appeal by the priority deadline as noted on the SAP form will receive a decision on their appeal before the University payment due date. Students who submit their appeal after the priority deadline and before or on the final deadline will have their appeal reviewed within four weeks of its receipt and determine whether the financial aid suspension is justified . Students will be notified of appeal decision via the destination email address, as noted in the myUH self-service center.

The Financial Aid SAP Appeal Form is available on our SFA forms webpage. Appeals can be uploaded online, faxed to our office at 713-743-9098 or dropped off to our SFA counter in the Welcome Center.