Office of Financial Aid Office of Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor the academic progress of all students toward the completion of their degree.  Your complete EMU academic record is considered regardless of whether or not financial aid was received each semester.  This monitoring process is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  Academic progress is evaluated each semester of enrollment using three factors:

  1. Grade point average (GPA)
  2. Percentage of attempted credit hours completed (completion rate)
  3. Maximum credits of eligibility (MCE) in which to complete a degree

Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will result in cancellation of eligibility to receive funds from Federal Title IV, state, or university need-based aid programs.*

Undergraduate students are required to:
  • Maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA
  • Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of the credit hours attempted at EMU
  • Complete all degree requirements (this includes credit hours transferred into EMU) within 150% of the minimum number of credits required to graduate (example: 124 minimum X 1.5 = 186)
Graduate students are required to:
  • Maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA
  • Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of the credit hours attempted
  • Complete all degree requirements (this includes credit hours transferred into EMU) within 150% of the minimum number of credits required to graduate (example: 30 minimum X1.5 = 45)

Students not meeting these Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will receive communication via email to their emich email address.

Students who fail to meet the above requirements of SAP are placed on a warning status.  While on warning, students are eligible to receive financial aid.  Students may receive aid for a total of one semester on warning status.


Students will no longer be eligible for financial aid if any of the following occurs:

  • Following one semester of warning, the student fails to meet the minimum SAP requirements
  • Student has earned the maximum credits of eligibility allowed for their program of study
Students on Cancellation will receive communication via email to their my.emich email account and a letter mailed to their permanent address.
Why am I not making Satisfactory Academic Progress when I have no failing grades?

Federal regulations require that the SAP review include all credit hours a student has attempted, including repeated and withdrawn courses as reflected on your academic record. Although withdrawing from a class may help your GPA, a "W" is still considered a course that was attempted, but not completed, for determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Treatment of Withdrawals

Students who withdraw from all classes in a semester may be required to return some, or all, of the financial aid paid to their student account.  Students must maintain a 67% completion rate in order to be eligible for federal aid.  Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss the consequences of a withdrawal.

Treatment of Grades Indicating Non-Completion of a Course

Students who receive an E, I, IP, NC or N grade have failed to complete the course.  This will affect the completion rate and may affect the GPA.  If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included towards the completion rate and the minimum hours required for graduation. The most recent grade is factored into the cumulative GPA.

Remedial/English as a Second Language (ESL) Courses

Required remedial and ESL courses are calculated into the completion rate and GPA and are used in reviewing SAP criteria. However, only 100 level and higher count toward graduation requirements.

Second/Additional Majors or Degrees

MCE is based off of 124 credit hours for an undergraduate and 30 hours for a graduate student. Adjustments of MCE are not made for students that elect to take a double major or complete more than one degree at a time. If a student starts a degree and then changes their major, all classes already taken will count in their SAP evaluation. Students who complete a degree and are admitted into a new program will receive a new MCE calculation.

Audit/No credit courses

Audit or No Credit courses are not eligible for financial aid and they will not be included in enrollment for consideration of aid.

Transfer Courses

All attempted hours at EMU and all credit hours transferred from other institutions are counted in the total hours when determining a student’s maximum credit hours attempted.

Appeal Process

Students who had extenuating circumstances which resulted in failure to maintain SAP may appeal the cancellation. 

SAP cancellation appeals for GPA or CR must include the following:

  1. SAP Appeal Cover Sheet –
  2. Personal statement explaining:
    a. the circumstances that prevented academic progress
    b. a plan on how academic progress  will be improved
  3. Supporting documentation (such as letters from professors, medical documentation, etc.)

SAP cancellation appeals for MCE must include the following:

  1. Submit the Maximum Credit Hours Reached Appeal Form, available in the Forms Directory
  2. Supporting third party documentation, as appropriate.

The Review Committee may consider a significant change in major when reviewing MCE.  However, multiple majors and minors and/or excessive E, I, N or W grades or repeated courses are not adequate reasons for exceeding the MCE requirement. Appeals submitted for these reasons alone cannot be approved

Appeal decisions are sent to the student’s EMU email address.  If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation status and will be eligible to receive financial aid for a period of one semester after a contract has been signed by the student.  The contract will provide conditions the student is required to meet for their probationary semester.

If a decision is made to deny the appeal, the student may request a second review by the committee ONLY if the student can provide new information and documentation that was not included in the initial appeal.

A student may regain financial aid eligibility by meeting the SAP standards if an appeal is denied or never submitted.

Re-Establishing Eligibility

If your eligibility has been cancelled and you do not meet the appeal criteria, you will regain eligibility automatically once you are meeting the SAP criteria on your own. This means that once your completion rate reaches 67% and your cumulative grade point average is 2.0 (3.0 for graduate students) you will be back in good standing and eligible for future aid. You will not need to contact our office. We check SAP status for all students at the end of each term after grades are posted.

Calculating Completion Rate

Divide the number of passed* EMU hours into the number of attempted* EMU hours.

Example: 125 (passed hours) ÷ 131 (attempted hours) = 95%.

Your Completion Rate: Passed hours: ÷ Attempted hours:

* Passed and Attempted EMU hours are found under the "Student" tab of your my.emich account. (Click on Student Services, Student Records and Academic Transcript).

** Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant), Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Work Study, Direct PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students), Graduate PLUS Loan, University Grant/Award and EMU scholarships.