Satisfactory academic progress

To be eligible to receive financial aid at VCU, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress. VCU’s SAP policy is based on federal criteria and applies to all financial aid recipients.

Need to make an SAP appeal?

A student whose eligibility for financial aid has been suspended may submit an appeal if special circumstances prevented the student from achieving satisfactory academic progress. 

Prior to completing your SAP Appeal please be aware that you will need to have the following information on hand: 

  • A personal statement that details the circumstances as to why you have failed SAP and the steps taken to improve your academic record. 
  • External documentation and/or third-party statements that support and can corroborate your situation
  • The name of your academic advisor and their email address
  • The total number of credit hours remaining to complete your degree/program
  • Your expected graduation month and year
  • A copy of your Degree Audit (DegreeWorks) for your current academic degree/program

Please do not submit this form without any of the above information as incomplete submissions must be denied. Instead, you may start the form and then click the "Finish Later" button to return where you left off (you will receive an email with a link to return to the form). 

Reviewing your SAP Appeal can take up to four weeks by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Should you have questions, contact your financial counselor by logging into Navigate or emailing sfmc@vcu.eduMultiple or duplicate Appeal submissions will not be reviewed without having first met to discuss with your Financial Counselor.

Summer 2022 SAP Appeal (Only submit this appeal if you intend to enroll or are enrolled during the Summer 2022 semester)

  • Deadline: The earlier of July 17, 2022, or two weeks prior to your last scheduled day of Summer 2022 class
  • Link to Appeal: Summer 2022 SAP Appeal

Fall 2022 SAP Appeal (Only submit this appeal if you intend to enroll or are enrolled during the Fall 2022 semester)

  • Deadline: December 9, 2022
  • Link to Appeal: Fall 2022 SAP Appeal
  • Not required if you have submitted a Summer SAP appeal that is approved and you will meet the terms of your contract.

Spring 2023 SAP Appeal information will be made available closer to the start of that semester. 

What determines SAP?

Nondegree-seeking students

Nondegree-seeking students are ineligible for federal or state financial aid. However, if a student later enrolls in a degree or certificate program, all attempted courses, including those taken while classified as a nondegree-seeking student, must be evaluated when determining SAP status. 

Repeat coursework

Under federal regulations, any course that has been passed with a D or higher can only be taken one additional time. Repeated attempts after that will not be eligible for financial aid. 

Medical, dental and pharmacy students at the professional level who are required by their academic deans to repeat a year are permitted to continue on financial aid for that year.

Repeats of courses previously passed will not count as earned credits in the semester in which they are repeated. Only the initial passing grade of a course is counted as earned credits, while all attempts of a course are counted as attempted credits

Suspension and probation

SAP is reviewed annually at the end of the spring semester. When students fail to meet established requirements, they receive a financial aid suspension letter, indicating the type of SAP violation.

Students may submit an appeal if mitigating circumstances prevented them from achieving SAP. If the appeal is granted, students will be assigned a probation status and will be eligible to receive federal financial aid for one semester. Students who fail to meet the established SAP requirements at the end of the semester will be placed on an academic plan with set deadlines, which must be met to receive federal financial aid for future semesters.