Satisfactory Academic Progress - Policy

Xavier University of Louisiana Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements for Federal Financial Aid Recipients


The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended and final regulations set by the United States Department of Education (34CFR668.16) require that institutions of higher education establish reasonable standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress as a condition of continuing eligibility for federal aid programs. Financial aid recipients are expected to make reasonable progress as a condition of receiving and continuing to receive student financial aid. Student progress is assessed according to both qualitative and quantitative measures. The qualitative measure (Grade Point Average-GPA) is very similar to the Academic Progress standard applied to all XU students. The quantitative measure, referred to as the student’s “Pace” (number of credit hours successfully completed and the maximum timeframe) is used to monitor progress toward degree completion. When these measures are applied, federal regulations require that the student’s entire academic history is considered. This includes semesters or terms during which the student did not receive student financial aid. The University has developed this policy to provide a framework for monitoring and determining a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress in accordance with Federal and Institutional requirements. This policy applies to all new, transfer, re-entry, re-admit with transfer work (for purpose of financial aid), and continuing students at Xavier University. 

Quantitative Standards

Students are expected to complete the requirements for a degree within a reasonable time frame. Undergraduates pursuing a degree are allowed to attempt up to 150% of the published length of their academic program. For example, a first time undergraduate student must complete the requirements within 192 attempted hours (or higher for academic programs in excess of 128 hours). This includes both Xavier University attempted hours and hours transferred from other institutions that apply toward the student’s degree, in accordance with the institution’s transfer policy.

Undergraduate students must make incremental progress toward their degree based on the number of hours attempted; therefore, a minimum percentage of XU hours attempted must be completed at each interval. Students must also complete the degree requirements (based on their degree attempt or second degree attempt at the same level) and the associated maximum timeframe limit outlined in the SAP Policy. To meet this standard, students must complete the required hours attempted. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress (Pace) Chart below for details.

Qualitative Standards

Title IV recipients use a scale that culminates in the graduation requirement in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress. The following chart below is used to determine if Qualitative Standards are being maintained for continued financial aid eligibility.

Please note: Letter grades Ws and Is are used in calculating attempted hours (Pace/Qualitative hours).


Fulltime (12+ hours per semester) students will be allowed six academic years in which to complete a degree. Part-time students will be considered on a pro rata basis equivalent to the requirements of full-time students. The number of hours in which a student is enrolled on the first day following the end of the add/drop period will be the official number of hours used to determine full-time or part-time status. Full-time students who drop below 12 semester hours following this date will still be considered full-time students for financial aid eligibility. Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid eligibility requires that the student’s ratio of completed (earned) semester credit hours versus the student’s enrolled (attempted) semester credit hours at end of drop/add period adhere to the following guidelines:

Hours AttemptedPACE (Percent of hours needed)Minimum Grade Point Average
0 - 29   67%1.7
30 - 6067%1.8
61  and above  67%2.0
Hours AttemptedPACE (Percent of hours needed)Minimum Grade Point Average Required
9 Hours and Above75%2.0
Hours AttemptedPACE (Percent of hours needed)Minimum Grade Point Average Required
3-42 Hours and Above75%3.0

Graduate School

Hours attempted and hours completed in summer school will be included in calculation of eligibility.

Course withdrawals, remedial courses and incomplete courses are counted in the hours attempted towards the quantitative (PACE)measure of the satisfactory academic progress policy. 

Course withdrawals and incompletes are not counted in the student’s grade point average and are not counted in the qualitative (GPA)measure of the satisfactory academic progress policy.

Transfer credits earned prior to the student’s enrollment at Xavier University will be used for quantitative (PACE) measure purposes to determine the minimum required earned hours.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must enroll at Xavier with at least a 2.0 GPA to qualify for Federal Financial Aid. A transfer student is one who has not attended Xavier prior to transferring into the University.  Students admitted on academic probation for the first time may qualify for their eligible Federal Student Aid on Financial Aid Warning for the term which they are admitted to Xavier if it can be documented that they will be able to meet the GPA requirements in one semester. This documentation will come from the students Transfer Counselor in Admissions. If the student will not be able to meet in one semester, then he/she must submit an appeal to the Office of Student Academic Success to have their eligibility considered for reinstatement. 

For those students who may qualify for the Financial Aid Warning period, upon the next payment period, the student must meet all SAP eligibility components or the student will lose his/her eligibility for financial aid.  Students who do not meet our Federal completion ratio requirement or have met the total attempted hours’ limitation must submit a SAP Appeal Form to have their eligibility considered for reinstatement.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who fail to meet one or more of the qualitative or quantitative standards at the evaluation period and are subsequently approved through the Appeals process may continue to receive financial aid on a probationary basis. At the end of one payment period on “Probation,” the student must meet the minimum SAP standards on their own in order to continue to receive financial aid or meet the requirements of his/her Academic Plan to qualify for further funds. While a student is on “Probation,” the student may be required to fulfill specific terms and conditions under the “Academic Plan” developed through the Office of Student Academic Success, such as taking a reduced course load, enrolling in specific courses, attending counseling sessions recommended by the SAP Appeal Committee or meeting a specified GPA and earned/attempted hour ratio at the end of each term. If a student placed on an Academic Plan fails to meet the plan’s requirements at the end of each term on probation, the student will lose his/her eligibility for financial aid and will be required to submit a Financial Aid Appeal for reinstatement consideration for the next enrolled semester/term.


Grades of A, B, C, D, or P are considered satisfactory. All other grades such as W, I
are considered unsatisfactory. 

Appeals Process

Students whose financial aid eligibility has been suspended based upon the provisions outlined in this policy have the right to submit an appeal to explain and document their mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are defined as a change in grades or major, serious illness or injury, death of a family member, or similar traumatic event. All appeals must be accompanied by supporting documentation (grade or major change forms, doctor’s statement(s), death certificate, etc) in order to regain eligibility. An appeal will be denied if sufficient documentation is not submitted with the appeal. The appeal may not be based on the student’s need for the funds nor the lack of knowledge that eligibility of financial aid was in jeopardy. Appeals must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in his/her situation that will allow the student to meet the requirements at the next evaluation. The appeal must be submitted in writing within six weeks of notification of ineligibility. Students who appeal must use the published Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form. Appeals are approved for current or subsequent semesters only; appeals cannot be for prior semesters. Students are limited to a maximum of two (2) financial aid appeals per degree attempt. Direct questions regarding the appeals process should be directed to the Appeal Committee via email at The Appeal Committee will review the appeal within two weeks of the deadline for filing all appeals provided all the necessary documents have been submitted; the Student’s will be notified of the committee’s decision by email within 10 business days of the date their appeal is documented and reviewed by the committee.

The Committee will not review Appeal Forms that are incomplete and/or lacking the required verification. The completed SAP Appeal Form and supporting documents should be emailed to

Filing an appeal does not guarantee Financial Aid or Academic reinstatement.

FAQs - Satisfactory Academic Progress

Q. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
A. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the evaluation of students' academic history in order to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds. Students must make satisfactory academic progress in an eligible curriculum as a degree seeking student. The student's entire academic history is reviewed for this process regardless if the student received aid for the course work or credit hours attempted, regardless if the work transfers into Xavier or towards a change of major, or regardless to how long ago the courses were attempted at Xavier or another school.

Q. Why are you required to evaluate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
A. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is to ensure students are able to complete their academic program in a timely manner while achieving a minimum academic standard. In an age of increasing accountability of the use of Federal Student Aid funds (and other Federal, State, and Institutional funds), institutions and students must demonstrate that financial aid funds are being used to assist students in completing their academic goals in the most efficient way.

Q. If I do not meet SAP, can I still take out student loans?
A. When a student does not meet SAP that student cannot receive any type of Federal Student Aid, including Federal grants, Federal Direct Loans, or Federal work-study. The student may, however, apply for Private Loans through a lender of his/her choice, which does not require SAP. Private Loans differ from Federal Direct Loans in that the lender will check the student's credit history and may require a co-signer.