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Office of Student Financial AidSatisfactory Academic Progress

The Policy

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress is one of many federally mandated criteria viewed in determining a student's eligibility for continued receipt of financial aid. Progress is measured by PACE (the number of credits earned in relation to attempted hours), Qualitative (GPA) standard and Maximum Time Frame (time allowed to complete the academic program). Students must also demonstrate a progression toward completion of their degree program within an established timeframe.

Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will result in loss of financial aid eligibility including federal, state, institutional and certified private loans. Progress is reviewed annually, at the end of the academic year.

PACE / Qualitative / Maximum Time Frame

Students who are considering dropping courses should first consult their advisor and financial aid counselor since dropping courses may affect your aid.


Undergraduate students must complete 67 percent of the total credit hours attempted, including transfer credits.

0.67 x Attempted Hours = The minimum hours an undergraduate student must earn.

Example 1: Student attempts 63 hours and earned 48 hours
0.67 x 63 = 42.2 or 43 hours
This student HAS met SAP standards for PACE.

Example 2: Student attempts 118 hours and earned 78 hours
0.67 x 118 = 79.06 or 80 hours
This student HAS NOT met SAP standards for PACE.


Graduate students must complete 80 percent of the total credit hours attempted, including transfer credit hours.

0.80 x Attempted Hours = The minimum hours a graduate student must earn.

Example: Student attempts 20 hours and earns 19 hours
0.80 x 20 hours = 16 hours
This student HAS met SAP standards for PACE.

PACE Calculator

Cumulative Credits Attempted:

Cumulative Credits Completed:

Percentage: 0.00%

# of Courses needed (3 credits each):

Semester credits needed:

Other examples

Student attempts 26 credits for the academic year, earned 15; student would not be meeting satisfactory academic progress at the time of sap review. Total credits needed would be 17.42 or 18 credits earned.

Student attempts 30 credits for the academic year, earned 24, student would be meeting the PACE standard for satisfactory academic progress at the end of sap review. Number of minimum credits needed would be 21 credits.

Qualitative Satisfactory Academic Progress for students is evaluated in accordance with the following table:


Hours Attempted Minimum GPA
1+ 2.0


Hours Attempted Minimum GPA
1+ 3.0

No student may exceed 150% of the published length of their educational program. Students will be notified and will need to appeal for financial aid when they are approaching 150%. Students must complete their degree within a specified amount of time. This standard will depend on the student's enrollment status and degree. Old Dominion University requires an appeal at 125% of degree hours. When a student exceeds 125%, they will be required to submit an appeal for the following semester to determine if they will continue to receive financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review

The Office of Student Financial Aid will conduct a review of Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each academic year. Email notifications of SAP standard(s) not met will be sent to the student's ODU email account.

Please note that students who have not received financial aid in previous years, but are applying for financial assistance for the first time will also be held to the requirement of maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed for all semesters of a student's enrollment regardless of whether the student was eligible for financial assistance during a term. If students exceed the maximum time, they are not meeting satisfactory academic progress, thus, all aid will be suspended.

Financial Aid suspension does not prohibit you from continuing your education at Old Dominion University. It does prohibit you from receiving financial aid until you again meet the standards for satisfactory academic progress.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress are placed on financial aid suspension. You have the option to appeal this suspension. An appeal must be based on significant mitigating circumstances that seriously affected academic performance. The decision of the appeal will be sent via email to the students ODU email account. *Note: Please make sure your email account is activated.

Financial Aid Probation

For students who are successful in their appeal, aid will be reinstated on a probationary basis for one payment period/term. Emails will be sent to students on financial aid probation advising them of the conditions needed. The financial aid office will review the student's record at the end of the semester to determine his/her outcome for future semesters. At the conclusion of the probation term, the student must be meeting the school's SAP standard in order to qualify for further Title IV Funding. If it is determined that a student will need more than one probationary term, the student must be placed on an academic plan.

Students who fail to complete the probationary conditions cannot submit a new appeal.

Academic Plans

An academic plan will be developed by the student and their academic advisor. All academic plans will be monitored each term. If the student fails to meet the standards set up in the plan, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid until the student re-establishes eligibility on their own. Students who fail to meet the conditions outlined in their academic plan during their probationary semester will not be eligible to submit a subsequent appeal. The academic advisor will be responsible for monitoring the academic plan.

The Appeal Process

The appeal form may be completed online and is due by the following dates:

  • Deadline for submission for the Fall term - August 26
  • Deadline for submission for the Spring term - January 6
  • Deadline for submission for the Summer term - June 1


The University will consider appeals for uncontrollable events, students having trouble adjusting to college, special circumstances that happen in a student's life such as death of a family member, student illness, transition to college issues, being called to the military, etc. The student must describe what impact the circumstance had on academics, what the student has done to address the impact and how the student plans to be successful. If the student is not yet prepared to vigorously focus on academics with assistance if necessary, the student should not submit an appeal.

Some examples include but are not limited to:

  • Death in the family. State how this person was related to you (i.e. parent, spouse, sibling, etc.). You must provide a copy of the death certificate or related documentation.
  • Disabling illness or injury to the student. Please provide supporting documentation from your medical provider.
  • Disabling illness or injury of immediate family member that required your care. Please provide supporting documentation from your medical provider.
  • Emotional or mental health issue (for student) that required professional care. Please provide supporting documentation from your medical provider, social worker or other professional.
  • Other special circumstance beyond your control (transition that may lead to depression, anxiety, and other problems that can be documented, divorce/separation, natural disaster, extreme change in financial or legal circumstances, etc.)

Documentation or evidence that supports the reason(s) must be included with your appeal. This might include a letter from a doctor, court documents, death certificates or copies of University documents, layoff notices, foreclosure notices, etc. Upload supporting documentation.

  1. Use the SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS APPEAL FORM to submit your appeal.

    • State clearly why you failed to meet the condition(s) cited. Upload documentation if necessary.
    • State what has changed that will allow you to demonstrate SAP progress at the end of the next evaluation period.
    • To confirm your extenuating circumstance(s), you must upload documentation from an objective third party (e.g. physician, counselor, lawyer, social worker, teacher, religious leader, academic advisor).

    We realize that sharing personal information can be difficult. Be assured that your statement will remain confidential. Only financial aid personnel will review your appeal.

  2. Meet with your academic advisor or department chair to complete the REQUEST FOR WRITTEN EVALUATION OF ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE form.

    NOTE: If you submit your appeal without the advisor or department chair's evaluation, your appeal will not be considered.

  3. Submit your complete appeal and upload all supporting documents by the deadline. Failure to submit the complete appeal will result in cancellation of aid.

    ALLOW TWO WEEKS for the review of this appeal and receipt of the decision notification. If your appeal is approved, the decision notification will outline the conditions of your contract for reinstatement of aid eligibility. The contract is binding and your academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the enrollment period specified. If your appeal is denied, the decision notification will specify the conditions for future consideration for financial aid eligibility.

Students awaiting a response from the SAP Appeal Review Committee are responsible for paying their tuition and other fees by the payment deadline to avoid late and collection fees.

The decision of the financial aid review committee is FINAL and cannot be appealed.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, an email notification will be sent notifying you of the decision and also information on how to re-establish eligibility if applicable.

Re-establishing eligibility

Students may re-establish their eligibility for financial assistance by achieving the satisfactory progress standards. Keep in mind this will be at the student's own expense as they are ineligible for aid. Sitting out a semester at Old Dominion University will not assist in re-establishing eligibility. Once the student has earned the required grade point average or completed the required credit hours, they must contact financial aid to request the reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility.

Students not making SAP at the end of the second year, but at the end of the subsequent grading period come into compliance with the school's graduation requirements; will be considered making SAP beginning with the next grading period.

Withdrawing from Courses

Withdrawing from courses may impact your financial aid awards. Before withdrawing from class, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the consequences.

Withdrawing from the University

Students who totally withdraw and receive aid may owe the university money. Before withdrawing from the university, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the consequences Withdrawing from all courses for two consecutive semesters may result in loss of financial aid eligibility.


Courses assigned a grade of "I" are not considered complete and will not be included in the total credits earned until the final grade has been submitted.

Transfer & Repeat Coursework

Accepted transfer credits must count as both attempted and completed hours.

Repeated coursework will count toward enrollment status where no more than one repetition of a previously passed course or any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework in a prior term.

Student enrolls in 4 fall courses - pass 3 and fails 1
School required student to retake all 4 courses
May count the failed course in the next enrollment status
May not count the passed courses
Remedial courses may be included, however, enrichment and ESL courses ARE NOT taken into consideration