General Catalog

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The University has established a reasonable policy to measure satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to become a United States University graduate and to be eligible for federal student aid (FSA), if applicable. USU measures SAP by using qualitative (cumulative grade point average) and quantitative (pace of completion) standards.

In order to maintain satisfactory progress both qualitative and quantitative standards must be met:

  1. Qualitative Standards:
    1. Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 2.0 (on a standard 4.0 scale) at the end of each semester. At the end of the second academic year students must have a GPA of at least 2.0.

      Graduate students must maintain a minimum CGPA of at least 3.0 (on a standard 4.0 scale) at the end of each semester.

      How to calculate CGPA: CGPA is calculated by dividing the total grade points earned, per the grading scale in this catalog, by the total semester credits for courses completed at the University.

  2. Quantitative Standards:
    1. Students must maintain a pace of completion rate of at least 66.67% at the end of each semester measured by dividing the total number of credit hours successfully completed by the total number credit hours attempted.

      Example: A student who has successfully completed only 12 credit hours of 24 attempted credit hours would have a rate of 50%. Divide 12 by 24 is equal to 50%.

    2. Undergraduate and graduate students must complete their program of study within a maximum timeframe of 150% of the published length measured in credits hours in order to graduate.

      Example: A student enrolled in a 120 semester credit program would have to complete the program in a maximum timeframe of 180 credits attempted (150% of 120).

The following table is to help clarify how grades count towards calculating completion rates and GPA for SAP purposes:

Grade Credits Attempted Credits Earned Calculated in GPA
>D-/C* Yes Yes Yes
F Yes No Yes
CR Yes Yes No
I Yes No No
NC Yes No No
R Yes No No
TC Yes Yes No
W Yes No No
AU No No No
*Some programs have a minimum passing grade: e.g., BSN, MBA, MAED, MSN.

Academic and Financial Aid Warning

Students will be placed on academic and financial aid warning if they fail to meet the qualitative and/or quantitative standards at the end of a semester. A student will be notified in writing when placed on warning for failing to meet SAP. Students will be placed on warning for a period of one (1) semester during which time the student will be given the opportunity to improve their academic progress to meet the minimum standards. If, at the end of the semester on warning, a student raises his or her cumulative GPA and rate of progress to or above the minimum SAP standards, the student will then be removed from warning. A determination of academic and financial aid warning status may not be appealed. However, students on SAP Warning may be eligible for Title IV funding.

If at the end of the semester on academic and financial aid warning the student fails to meet the minimum qualitative and/or quantitative standards, the student will be dismissed from the University.

Academic and Financial Aid Dismissal

Students that have been academically dismissed for not meeting SAP standards may file an appeal if they believe University policy or procedures were not followed; or, if there were extenuating circumstances that affected their academic performance. Extenuating circumstances may include (but are not limited to), the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or care for immediate family member. It is the responsibility of the student who appeals to ensure he or she has met the terms and conditions of the appeals process in order for the appeal to be reviewed.

Please refer to the Appeals section within this Catalog.

Academic and Financial Aid Probation

Students that receive an approved appeal will be placed on academic and financial aid probation for one (1) semester. Students will be given the opportunity to improve their academic progress to meet the minimum SAP standards during this period.

During the academic and financial aid probationary period, the student will remain eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid, if applicable. If by the end of the probationary period, a student raises his or her CGPA and rate of progress to the minimum qualitative and quantitative standards, or to meet their academic plan requirements, the student will be removed from probation. However, if at the end of the probationary period the student fails to meet the minimum qualitative and/or quantitative standards, or their Academic Plan requirements, the student will be academically dismissed from the University.

Please note, students that receive VA educational benefits may only be placed on probation a maximum of two semesters. If at the end of the two semesters the students CGPA remains below 2.0, benefits will be terminated. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be notified by the school’s VA Certifying Official if the veteran does not maintain satisfactory academic progress or satisfactory attendance.

Impact of Program Transfers or Additional Degrees on Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate Students

Should a student be approved to transfer from one program of study to another or should a student wish to obtain an additional degree, attempted and completed coursework within the University will be treated as completed credits within the new program only if the courses pertain to the new program of study as outlined in the catalog. In such cases, attempted and completed credits will be considered in determining satisfactory academic progress from both a cumulative grade point average calculation and maximum allowable time frame perspective. The Office of the Registrar shall complete a transfer credit evaluation for transfer to the new program.