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Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to remain eligible to receive federal financial aid, students must continue to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines:

  If you do not meet the minimum guidelines, you will lose your federal eligibility. Federal Financial Aid programs that require students to meet SAP include:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal SEOG Grants
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan


  • Federal SAP Status
     If a student is failing to meet the FedSAP pace or GPA requirements, he/she will first receive a Warning . A Warning status allows students to receive federal aid for the semester, and he/she should use this semester to return their academic record to within compliance.

    Students who are still not meeting SAP requirements after their Warning semester, or those who have exceeded the maximum time frame, will be notified that they are ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

    Students will have their financial aid eligibility automatically restored in a future term once they meet all of the FedSAP guidelines.

  • Federal SAP Appeal Process
     Students who are notified that they are ineligible may submit an  appeal form  along with:
    • An explanation as to why the student failed to meet SAP requirements (students must establish that their failure to meet SAP guidelines were a result of external circumstances beyond their control)
    • An explanation as to what has changed that will allow the students to meet SAP requirements moving forward
    • An academic plan that will define how long it will take the student to restore their academic record to a point where they meet the SAP requirements 
  • Outcome of Appeals
    If the appeal is granted, the student will be either be placed on Probation or on an Academic Plan:
    • Financial Aid Probation - Financial aid eligibility is reinstated for one term only and SAP requirements must be met at the end of the term or financial aid eligibility will be suspended
    • Academic Plan - Financial aid eligibility is reinstated and monitored on a term by term basis to ensure students are meeting the specific terms as outlined in the appeal submitted by the student

    If the appeal is denied, the student remains ineligible to receive federal financial aid until they meet all of the FedSAP guidelines.

    Students may submit an additional appeal if they have completed at least one additional term of attendance at Stony Brook University and their academic record indicates that the student successfully completed and passed all classes for which they were enrolled.

    Students whose petition was denied because they had exceeded the maximum allowable attempted credits cannot submit an additional appeal.

  • Federal SAP & Summer Enrollment
      When is summer federal financial aid eligibility determined?

    Academic Standing and FedSAP are run after spring grades have been recorded in the system. Because the grades are generally not recorded prior to the start of summer session one, some "at risk" students may have to wait for these processes to run in order to find out if they will receive financial aid for the summer.

    What defines an "at risk" student?

    A student whose most current FedSAP status prior to the spring term is either:

    • Warning,
    • Probation,
    • Not Meet,
    • or if you previously received a notification from the financial aid office that you were approaching the maximum time frame limit.

    Will I be awarded financial aid for the summer?

    Students who are not "at risk" will be awarded summer financial aid soon after the May 1st summer award packaging date.

    Students who were "at risk" will be awarded summer financial aid mid-June if they are found to be eligible, based on their new FedSAP standing. Students found to be ineligible to receive federal financial aid will be notified by the financial aid office.

    How do my summer grades impact my financial aid eligibility moving forward?

    If you choose to enroll in summer courses the outcome for the term is an important factor in determining your financial aid eligibility for your next term of enrollment.

    Here is what you need to know:

    • Course withdrawals, and other forms of unearned attempted credits ( for example: NC, F grades) will negatively impact your pace.
    • Your summer term GPA will impact your CUM GPA, which in addition to pace, is also a key factor in determining financial aid eligibility.
  • Federal SAP FAQ's
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