Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Title IV Assistance

Federal regulations require W&L review the academic progress of all students who seek to continue eligibility for federal Title IV financial assistance. Title IV assistance includes the following programs offered at W&L: Pell Grant, SEOG, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Work Study. Students meeting University academic requirements for institutional aid do not necessarily meet all federal financial aid requirements.

Satisfactory academic progress, as defined by federal regulation, is determined by reviewing three specific areas of the student's academic record. A student must complete their degree within a maximum time frame measured by attempted credits equal to 150 percent of the number of credits required for their primary degree program, demonstrate they are making progress towards the completion of their degree by earning a minimum number of credits hours each term, and achieve a cumulative GPA that is consistent with meeting graduation requirements.

Continued eligibility for federal Title IV assistance requires that a student make satisfactory progress towards his/her degree by maintaining a completion rate of 67% for the total number of credit hours attempted. The completion rate is based upon the specified maximum time frame for completion of the program. Satisfactory progress may be established or eligibility continued by maintaining a 67% completion rate for all credits attempted. Attempted credits and credits earned are evaluated at the end of each academic term. Number of Credits Earned (divided by) Number of Credits Attempted = Completion Rate.

Continued eligibility for federal Title IV assistance requires that at the end of each academic term a student achieve the minimum cumulative grade point average, or an academic standard consistent with the university's graduation requirements. All students must achieve the required 2.0 cumulative grade point average based upon credits attempted while attending W&L.

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed in January and in June once grades for the previous academic term have been posted. Students who fail to meet the federal requirements as detailed below are considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress and will be placed on "Financial Aid Warning" for one term. A student placed on "Financial Aid Warning" will be allowed to continue receiving federal financial assistance for a maximum of one term.

If a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements by the end of the warning term then the student will forfeit eligibility for all federal assistance. Students who have lost eligibility for receiving financial assistance can reestablish eligibility by successfully completing the required number of credit hours, and by attaining the overall required grade point average by the end of the next term. Withdrawal from courses, repetition of courses, incomplete courses, and transfer courses may have an effect on the student GPA, total credits attempted, and number of terms completed. Credit and GPA evaluation will be governed by University academic regulations.

Continued eligibility for federal Title IV assistance requires that a student complete his/her degree within 150% of the published credit hour requirements for their program. The maximum time frame for undergraduate students attending Washington and Lee is 169 credits, 150% of the required 113 credits for degree completion.

Maximum attempted credits towards completion of the degree program: 169
The number of attempted credits is calculated and evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress in January and in June after the grades for the previous academic term have been posted.
Any Undergraduate student exceeding the maximum number of attempted credits at the time of SAP evaluation will no longer be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal assistance.

Continued eligibility for federal Title IV assistance requires that a student make satisfactory progress towards his/her degree by maintaining a completion rate of 67% for the total number of credit hours attempted. The completion rate is based upon the specified maximum time frame for completion of the program. Satisfactory progress may be established or eligibility continued by maintaining a 67% completion rate for all credits attempted. Attempted credits and credits earned are evaluated at the end of each academic term. Number of Credits Earned (divided by) Number of Credits Attempted = Completion Rate.

Minimum Completion Rate of completed credits to attempted credits: 67%
The completion rate is calculated and evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress in January and in June after grades for the previous academic term have been posted. Any Undergraduate student failing to maintain at least a 67% completion rate at the time of SAP evaluation will no longer be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal assistance.

Continued eligibility for federal Title IV assistance requires that at the end of each academic term a student achieve the minimum cumulative grade point average, or an academic standard consistent with the university's graduation requirements. All students must achieve the required 2.0 cumulative grade point average based upon credits attempted while attending W&L.

Cumulative GPA requirement for all undergraduate students: 2.000
The cumulative GPA is calculated and evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress in January and June after the grades for the previous academic term have been posted. Any Undergraduate student failing to meet the cumulative GPA requirement at the time of SAP evaluation will no longer be eligible for Federal Assistance.

Determination of Attempted/Earned Credit Hours and Cumulative GPA

  • All credits for courses in which a student is formally enrolled as of the end of the official drop/add period regardless of whether the student subsequently withdrew or failed
  • All incomplete credits
  • Transfer credits from another school that are accepted by W&L
  • Credits earned through examination
  • Repeated courses are counted as credits for each course taken
  • All credits completed with grades of 'D' or better as well as Satisfactory and Pass grades
  • Transfer credits from another school that are accepted by W&L
  • Credits earned through examination
  • Repeated courses are counted only one time as earned credits. Credit hours used in the evaluation of GPA
  • Grades received for all completed coursework will be included in GPA calculation
  • Both grades for repeated courses will be included in GPA calculation
  • Incomplete coursework will not be included in the GPA calculation
  • Grades transferred from another school will not be included in the GPA calculation
  • Courses from which a student withdraws will not be included in the GPA calculation

Written notice will be provided to all students on "Warning" or who have become ineligible for federal Title IV financial aid due to a failure to achieve the required academic progress. Students denied federal assistance may submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid and detail the circumstances that prevented the student from making satisfactory progress. All appeals will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid and the Financial Aid Committee. Appeals should include an explanation of the serious mitigating circumstances that prevented satisfactory progress, and detail how factors have changed that will now allow the student to reach the SAP requirement by the next evaluation period. Only very serious mitigating circumstances, such as death in the immediate family or serious illness will constitute grounds for waiver of academic progress standards. 

Federal regulations prevent a student from submitting an appeal two semesters in a row. However, there is no limit to the number of appeals a student may submit if they can document new circumstances that prevented the student from making SAP.

If a student does not appeal, or if the appeal for reconsideration is denied, the student will not be eligible for federal title IV aid for one term. At the end of that term the student's progress will be re- evaluated and aid reinstated if academic progress falls within the requirements.

If the student appeal is accepted, the student will be placed on Title IV aid probation and remain eligible for federal Title IV aid for a period of one term. At the end of that term the student's progress will be re-evaluated and aid reinstated if progress is within the federal requirements, or if the student is successfully following an academic plan as determined by the University. If not, the student will be ineligible for further federal Title IV assistance until the requirements have been achieved.

Office of Financial Aid

Office of Financial Aid
204 West Washington Street 
Lexington, VA 24450