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Keep Your Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal, state, and university regulations require financial aid recipients to show progress toward the completion of their degree. This policy, referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), must include a qualitative measure, such as a cumulative GPA, and a quantitative measure, such as a maximum time frame to complete a degree.

A hold on a student’s account due to not meeting the requirements will prevent all financial aid payments.


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

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  • 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 your 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.

  • Federal programs:
    • 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

At the end of each semester, all students are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Completed 67% of attempted credit hours during enrollment at UT
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (graduate students must be meeting the requirements of graduate degree program)
  • Cumulative number of attempted hours
  • Number of total withdrawals from the university

If you do not meet any one of the above criteria, you will be granted one warning term for the next semester you attend. If after the warning term you are still not meeting all of the above criteria, your financial aid eligibility will be suspended beginning with the next semester you attend. If you do not meet the standards, you are notified in writing at the end of the warning semester through your UT email and on MyUTK.

If you receive departmental 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 (with the exception of the first twenty-four semester hours of remedial or developmental hours) 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.

Get SAP credit for these grades A, A-, B +/-, C +/-, D +/-, S, and P.

No SAP credit is given for grades I, F, NC, W, and NR.

If you enroll in a course in which 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 (with the exception of the first twenty-four semester hours of remedial or developmental hours) 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 cumulative completion percentage, maximum time allowance, and grade point average at the end of each semester.