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Keeping Your Financial Aid

A satisfactory academic progress hold prevents all financial aid payments.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal, state, and university regulations require financial aid recipients to show satisfactory academic progress toward their degree. The policy must include a qualitative measure, such as a cumulative GPA, and a quantitative measure, such as a maximum time frame to complete a degree.


Get information on how to file an appeal if you lose your financial aid.

Programs Governed by SAP Requirements

Federal programs governed by this policy:

  • Grants including: Pell and Supplemental Educational Opportunity
  • Loans including: Perkins, PLUS, Direct (subsidized and unsubsidized), and Grad PLUS
  • Work Study

The policy also applies to:

  • State sponsored grants and scholarships, such as the Tennessee Student Assistance Award and Tennessee Lottery (HOPE) Scholarships
  • Agency sponsored assistance requiring institutional certification of SAP
  • Some scholarship, grant, and loan programs funded by UT

SAP Requirements

To satisfy the requirements, you must:

  • Meet a minimum grade point average.
    2.0 for undergraduates or the academic minimum required for graduate and professional students in their programs
  • Earn a minimum number of credit hours each academic year.
    Undergraduates must successfully complete 67% (rounded to the nearest whole percentage) of their total attempted hours while enrolled at UT. Graduate and professional students must maintain academic and other standards for continued enrollment.
  • Complete your degree within 150% of the time for the published length of your major. All transfer hours count toward your maximum time frame. (For example, most degrees require 120 credit hours to complete. 120 credit hours x 150% = 180 maximum attempted credit hours allowed to complete a degree.)
  • Students who withdraw from UT two times or more while receiving financial aid are no longer eligible to receive it.

If you receive department awards and you’re not receiving any other federal, state or university funds, the SAP’s yearly progress and maximum time allowance portion doesn’t apply to you.

All semesters, credit hours, and course repeats are counted toward the SAP maximum time allowance, regardless of whether you received financial aid. Also, all attempted credit hours are considered toward the maximum time allowance.

If you are working on a second undergraduate degree, you have an additional 45 hours to complete your necessary coursework.

For graduate and professional students working on a second study program, you are given 150% of the time allowed for your program.

If you receive grades of A, A-, B +/-, C +/-, D +/-, S, and P, you get SAP credit.

Grades of I, F, NC, W, and NR do not count as SAP credit.

If you enroll in a course where you originally received an A-F, or an S/NC, P/NP, I, W, X, N, or AU, it is considered to be a repeated course.

You may be funded for a repeated course based upon the UT repeat policy. See the catalog that applies to the year you took the course. All repeated courses are counted as credit hours you attempt toward your maximum time frame.

If you transferred to UT, you are evaluated based on the standards for your designated academic level. That includes all transfer credit hours from your previous institution(s).

UT monitors your yearly progress, cumulative completion percentage, maximum time allowance, and grade point average at the end of each spring semester.

At the end of spring semester, all students will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Completed 67% of their attempted credit hours during their enrollment at UT
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 or must be meeting the requirements of their graduate degree program
  • The cumulative number of attempted hours
  • The number of total withdrawals from the university while receiving financial aid

Students who do no meet any one of the above criteria will have their financial aid eligibility suspended beginning with the next semester they attend. Students not meeting the standards are notified in writing at the end of the spring semester through their UT e-mail account and on MyUTK.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

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