Per federal regulations from the Department of Education, all students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to remain eligible for financial aid. The financial aid programs affected include, but are not limited to, all federal, state, and institutional aid, and private education loans. To comply with this federal regulation, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) has established requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), as detailed below.

Financial Aid SAP is reviewed annually at the end of each spring semester. If you don’t meet the SAP requirements listed below at the time of review, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and must appeal to have your financial aid reinstated for upcoming semesters at UNI.

Please note: The Financial Aid SAP policy is separate from the Office of the Registrar Academic Standing Policy. If you’re on Academic Probation or Suspension, contact the Office of the Registrar with questions. Students on Academic Suspension may need to appeal their SAP standing upon re-admission to UNI.

SAP Frequently Asked Questions

SAP Requirements

Minimum GPA

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA. Transfer GPA is included.

  • Undergraduate and 2nd BA students: 2.0 cumulative GPA

  • Graduate students: 3.0 cumulative GPA

Two students working in science lab

Pace of Progression

Students must complete at least 67% of all credit hours attempted at UNI (pace of progression is rounded up when calculating, so the actual required percentage is 66.49%).

  • Only grades of A, B, C, D, X, CR, P, or RC are counted as completed.

  • Failed classes, withdrawn classes, incompletes, and no credit count as attempted but not completed and negatively impact the SAP calculation.

  • Most transfer credits are not included in the pace calculation, with the exception of Study Abroad, National Student Exchange, and credits transferred under a consortium agreement.

  • The credit hours from a repeated course are included in the calculation every time the class is taken.

Two students sitting in class. One looking at laptop, one writing in notebook.

Maximum Time to Complete a Degree

Students must complete their degree within 150% of the credit hours required for the degree per the academic catalog.

This calculation includes all attempted credits hours, including transfer credits.

Maximum Time Example: If your degree requires 120 credits to graduate, 150% of your degree requirements is 180 (120 X 150% = 180). For this example, your financial aid would be suspended if you did not complete your degree before attempting 180 credits.

Graduation ceremony; we can see the top of a students graduation cap that says and off she went to change the world

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

If you’re placed on Financial Aid Suspension, you have the opportunity to complete an SAP Appeal and/or have your previous grades reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Below are the options for aid reinstatement:

Option 1: Complete an SAP Appeal

Financial Aid SAP Appeals must demonstrate extenuating circumstances that impeded your ability to make progress academically. All appeals must be accompanied by third party documentation of the circumstances encountered, as well as a signed academic plan of study. Please see below for more information on the appeal process.

Option 2: Meet All SAP Requirements

If you do not wish to complete the appeal, you may wait until you've improved your academic progress and contact our office to review your academic record. You will not be reinstated under this condition until following the completion of an entire semester of coursework. MBA students must complete module 1.

‌Option 3: Review of Grade Changes

If you’ve experienced grade changes that may reinstate your aid eligibility, contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to have your academic progress reviewed. Review of grade changes must occur before the end of the semester/academic year in which you are appealing for aid. ​

SAP Appeal

If your financial aid has been suspended due to not meeting the SAP requirements, we strongly encourage you to complete an appeal. To avoid processing delays, submit your appeal as soon as possible. Appeals must be submitted by Oct. 1 for the fall semester and March 1 for the spring semester. Late appeals may not be accepted. No appeals will be accepted after the semester has ended.

Appeals are evaluated on an individual basis. While there is no limit on the number of times you can complete an appeal, multiple appeals may be difficult to approve. In these cases, significant documentation of extenuating circumstances should be submitted for evaluation. Reinstatement of financial aid is contingent upon the availability of the funds at the time the appeal is approved. 

SAP Appeal Documents:

SAP Frequently Asked Questions