SAP Policy

Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid

The Policy: To be eligible for financial aid at the University of Washington, students must maintain SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS, based on federal, state, and institutional requirements. This consists of four parts:

  • A minimum number of credits completed each quarter of enrollment
  • An annual number of credits completed by the end of spring quarter
  • Degree programs must be completed within a maximum time frame, 125% of the published length of the program
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) as established by the University

In order to begin to or continue to be eligible for financial aid, students must meet ALL four requirements. After reviewing the full policy below, students should contact a financial aid counselor if unsure of the credits required for maintaining or reinstating eligibility.

Quarterly Credit Requirement

Undergraduate students must successfully complete 50% of the credits attempted each quarter to remain eligible for all types of aid. If you are registered for 12 or more credits, then the minimum you need to complete is 6 credits each quarter. If you receive part-time aid, then you need to complete 50% of your attempted credits that quarter to remain eligible for all types of aid. If you do not meet the quarterly credit requirements, you are no longer eligible for state and institutional financial aid unless you are granted an exception based on the appeal process described below.

Annual Credit Requirement

To remain eligible for financial aid, undergraduate students must complete at least 36 credits for full-time aid received in the autumn through spring quarters (and 48 credits for the summer through spring quarters). If you attend as a part-time student, you must complete all of the credits you attempted by the end of spring quarter.

Please note: To complete your degree in 4 years, you need to complete at least 45 credits per year. To complete your degree in 5 years, you need to complete at least 36 credits per year.

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

All undergraduates are expected to finish their program within a maximum time frame, which cannot exceed 225 attempted credits. For most undergraduate programs once you have reached 225 attempted credits on your UW transcript, you are no longer eligible for financial aid. Transfer credits, IB and AP credits accepted at the UW, and repeated credits are counted in the attempted credit totals. Other grades, such as I (incompletes); X (grade not submitted); NC (no credit); NS (not satisfactory); E (fail); W (withdrawal ); HW (hardship withdrawal); and Audit credits are counted in the attempted credit total.

Students who have used up the maximum time frame and have not completed their degree yet may petition, through the regular appeal process described below, for an extension based on extenuating circumstances which prevented the completion of the degree program.

Although students may receive up to 225 credits for the completion of an undergraduate degree or extensions of this amount based on limited appeal approvals, some aid programs are further limited by cumulative maximums for the lifetime of the student. It is important to try and complete your degree program before you reach the cumulative aggregate maximums for federal loans, the 15 quarter limit on Washington State Need Grant or the 12 quarter limit on the Husky Promise program.

Minimum Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) as established by the University. In general, undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Please review the Academic Probation and Dismissal for Low Scholarship policy.

Passing Grades for Successful Completion

Passing grades used to compute completed credits are numerical grades of 0.7 or higher, N (used for hyphenated courses lasting longer than one quarter); S (Satisfactory) or CR (credit) and must be earned in residence at the UW. Residence credits are academic credit for courses offered through the UW Quarterly Time Schedule and certain other approved courses which are listed individually on your UW academic transcript. Passing grades in remedial coursework (e.g. ESL or Math 98) also count. Repeated credits count in completed credits provided the course is successfully completed.

Grades That Do Not Count in Successful Completion

Other grades, such as I (incompletes); X (grade not submitted); NC (no credit); NS (not satisfactory); E (fail); W (withdrawal ); HW (hardship withdrawal); and Audit credits are not considered in the successfully completed credit totals. However, all of these grades are considered in the attempted credits and negatively impact your ability to reach the required credits for the quarterly and annual measurements.

You should let the financial aid counselors know if you convert an Incomplete or X grade to a passing grade in case that may reinstate your eligibility for the quarter.

How to Re-Establish Eligibility

If you did not meet the progress requirements because you had special circumstances you may file an appeal with our office. You will need to demonstrate unusual circumstances beyond your control that are not likely to recur in the immediate future. You will need to explain what has changed in your situation so that you will now be able to make academic progress. If approved, you will need to meet the requirements of an individual academic plan to continue to receive financial aid.

Once you have not met the progress requirements and need to file an appeal, you have lost your eligibility for aid and any award you received. If you re-establish your eligibility with a successful appeal, you may not receive the same award as before. Instead, we will award you with the funds we currently have available. Depending upon the time of the quarter, it can take an approximately three weeks to receive a decision on your appeal. If you are waiting to hear about your appeal and tuition is due, you need to make sure you pay your own tuition. Don't count on your appeal being approved. If necessary, withdraw by the full refund period or apply for a short-term loan.

Emergency Provisions

Students will not be held responsible for disruption of their academic schedules due to unavoidable situations affecting the campus such as natural disasters, inclement weather, or other circumstances that result in the late assignment of grades. The Office of Student Financial Aid will decide when to invoke this emergency provision. At that time and based on the situation at hand, every effort will be made to determine the progression toward a degree without the availability of grades so students may proceed with their next quarter of attendance.