Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Federal regulations require all students receiving Federal Title IV financial aid funds to maintain standards of satisfactory academic progress in the pursuit of their degree.  Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is defined as a set of standards of academic success, which includes qualitative grade point average (GPA) and quantitative (number of hours completed) measures that a student must maintain to retain eligibility for federal financial aid.

The maximum time frame for completing an undergraduate degree cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the students’ program of study or approximately six (6) years.  All programs require 120 credit hours; therefore, the maximum number of credit hours that may be attempted is 180 credit hours.

The minimum qualitative cumulative GPA requirements for satisfactory academic progress are:

1.   From 1 to 30 hours attempted, the student must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 1.60.

2.   From 31 to 61 hours attempted, the student must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 1.80.

3.   From 62 hours or more attempted, the student must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.00.

The minimum quantitative cumulative hours completed must be 67% .

Satisfactory Academic Progress is monitored at the end of each semester.

First-year students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards may be placed on financial-aid probation and continue to receive financial aid for two semesters.  During the probationary year (the second year in college) the student must pass 24 hours of coursework and earn a semester GPA of 1.80.  Probationary students may also attend summer school to meet satisfactory progress requirements. This may require the student to pay out of pocket for classes. Students who fail to meet the above standards will have their financial aid eligibility suspended.

The student on probation will be dismissed from the College when at the end of the probationary period the level of performance has not been restored to the required overall average and/or the student does not successfully complete the minimum required credits. Students with less than a 2.00 cumulative grade- point average will be issued a warning and will not be allowed to take a class load of more than 13 hours per semester.  Students who have been dismissed for academic reasons may re-apply for enrollment after staying out one semester. However, mere application does not imply automatic re-admission. If allowed to reenter, a student must earn a grade-point average of at least 2.00 for that term or the average stipulated upon re-admission.


Full-time (12 + hours per semester) students will be allowed six academic years in which to complete a degree.  Part-time students will be considered on a pro-rata basis equivalent to requirements of full-time students. The number of hours in which a student is enrolled on the first day following the end of the add/drop period will be the official number of hours used to determine full-time or part-time status.  Full- time students, who drop below 12 semester hours following the end of the fourth week of the semester, will still be considered full-time students for financial aid eligibility. Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial aid eligibility requires that the students’ ratio of completed (earned) semester credit hours versus the student’s enrolled (attempted) semester credit hours at end of drop/add period adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Students who fail to make satisfactory progress at the end of the first four semesters will be ineligible for federal aid until the deficiency is corrected.
  • Transfer students will be evaluated on the enrolled attempted hours, enrollment status and cumulative grade point average at Stillman plus the transfer hours, which will be added to the attempted and completed hours.

Appeal Process

Students whose financial aid eligibility has been suspended due to failure to meet the above criteria may appeal their ineligibility if there are mitigating circumstances.  Mitigating circumstances are defined as a change in grades or major, serious illness or injury, death of a family member or similar traumatic event. The appeal must be filed in writing within six weeks of notification of ineligibility.  Students who appeal must write a letter addressed to the SAP Committee. Once notices are sent to students by Stillman email, the student has 7 days to file the appeal. All appeals must include supporting documentation (grade or major change forms, doctor’s statement, death certificate, etc.) and an academic plan to regain eligibility.  The appeal may not be based on the student’s need for the funds nor the lack of knowledge that eligibility for financial aid was in jeopardy. The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review the appeal within one week of the deadline for filing all appeals provided all necessary documentation has been submitted; the students will be notified of the committee’s decision by email. The Committee will not review Appeal Forms that are incomplete and/or lacking the required verification.  The completed SAP Appeal Form can be submitted in person to the Director of Financial Aid or mailed to:  

Director of Financial Aid
Stillman College
3601 Stillman Boulevard
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401