Satisfactory Academic Progress

UPDATE: SAP Reviewed Semesterly Beginning Fall 2024

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be reviewed at the end of each term beginning Fall 2024.

About Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require Howard University to establish, publish, and apply standards to monitor financial aid recipients’ progress toward completing their degree program. If the student fails to meet the published SAP standards, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. SAP is reviewed semesterly for all students at the end of each standard academic term to determine if they were able to meet and maintain the three SAP eligibility criteria.

Students who are found to not be meeting SAP will be placed in an SAP suspension status and become ineligible for financial aid for all future terms until SAP is naturally cured or a student is granted a probationary status through the submission and approval of an SAP appeal.

Students who are not eligible for financial aid and who have not been academically suspended, which is different from financial aid suspension, can still take classes, however, they would be required to fund these courses at their own expense.

SAP Eligibility Requirements

Financial aid recipients’ academic performance must meet all three of the SAP standards listed below: SAP is reviewed semesterly for all students at the end of each standard academic term.

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA to be eligible for financial aid.

Program Specific GPA Requirements

Degree or Certificate Minimum Cumulative Howard University GPA
Bachelor's 2.0
Certificate 3.0
Master's 3.0
Doctoral 3.0
*Certificate of Dental Hygiene 2.5
*Master of Divinity 2.0
*Master of Law (LLM) 70.0
Doctor of Pharmacy 2.5
*Juris Doctorate 75.0
*Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) 2.0

*Professional Studies Program-Specific GPA Requirement 


*Students enrolled in the medical program will not be measured by a cumulative GPA for SAP & will be measured by grades of H(Honors) , S(Satisfactory), & U(Unsatisfactory)

Minimum Completion Rate

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 70% of all attempted cumulative credit hours to be eligible for financial aid. Grades that negatively impact the completion Ratio are AU, F, I, NR, TW, U, UW, and W.

Maximum Timeframe

Students are eligible for Financial aid for up to 150% of the student’s published Academic Program Length, which includes all attempted cumulative credit hours. Grades that negatively impact the remaining eligibility within the maximum timeframe are AU, F, I, NR, TW, U, UW, and W.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who are not eligible for financial aid due to not meeting SAP have the ability to submit an SAP appeal to potentially regain financial aid eligibility. Students who have experienced hardships that negatively impacted their academic performance are encouraged to submit an SAP Appeal. 

Students may also pay for courses out of pocket and attempt to naturally cure their failed SAP status.

SAP Appeal Deadlines
Appealing Term SAP Appeal Priority Deadlines
Summer June 17
Fall August 1
Spring January 3

Students who wish to appeal their SAP determination for potential financial aid eligibility reinstatement, must complete and submit all items listed below and return these items as a completed packet to the office of financial aid via BisonHub.

SAP Appeal Form

Standard Howard University Issued form that must be included in all SAP appeal submissions

*The SAP Appeal Form is not available on the website & will be provided to students during the Virtual SAP Workshop.

Detailed Personal Statement

A typed personal statement outlining the circumstances that occurred that impacted your ability to maintain the required three SAP standards. This statement must outline each term that negatively impacted SAP.  

Supporting Documentation

The required documentation supports the information referenced in the student’s personal statement. Failure to submit the required documentation will result in an immediate denial.

Completion of SAP Workshop

A Virtual Workshop was created to provide a greater understanding of SAP and the impacts SAP on a student’s financial aid eligibility.

Click Here to View the  Virtual SAP Workshop

SAP Appeal Review

Completed SAP appeals with all the noted requirements will be reviewed within 14 Business days from the date of the submission.

The Submission of an SAP appeal does not guarantee financial aid reinstatement.

While a student is undergoing this process, the student will remain ineligible for financial aid. In the event that a student would like to enroll in courses during the review timeframe, the student will be 100% responsible for all Tuition and Fees charges during periods of ineligibility.

SAP Appeal Decisions

Students will be notified via their Student email of the Appeal Decision. This information will also be available for review in their Bison web Under student requirements

All decisions made are final.


In the event that a student's appeal is denied that student will remain ineligible for financial aid for all future terms until naturally cured or approval is granted during a subsequent academic term.

If that student wishes to continue their studies, they will be required to do so at their own expense as they will be unable to re-appeal until the next academic term.


Students who are approved will need to complete an Academic Plan With their academic advisor.

This form will be emailed with the approval notification and will be required to be signed by the academic advisor. 

Academic plans will be required to be returned within 2 weeks of the date the approval is granted. In the event that the academic plan is not returned, the approval granted will be reversed.

Once the academic Plan is returned within the allotted timeframe a student will be placed into a Probationary Status.

SAP Probation

Students who have been placed in a Probationary Status must meet all three SAP requirements for the term in which the approval was granted.

Students will be reviewed at the end of Each term in which a probationary period has been granted.

Failure to meet all three requirements during the probationary period will result in an immediate suspension of financial aid eligibility and Students will not be able to reapply for reconsideration until the next award year.

Students will need to submit a new signed academic plan for each term a probationary status is granted.

Academic Suspension

A student is not considered eligible to receive financial aid if they have been academically suspended from the University. Once the student has been readmitted by the University, there is a process that students must complete with the Office of Admission.

Additionally, the student must also complete the SAP appeal process with the office of financial aid. These are two separate appeal processes.