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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Institutions participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs are required by the U.S. Department of Education to establish institutional policies, which define satisfactory academic progress. All students who received federal, state or institutional financial assistance as well as federal or private loans at the University of South Carolina Upstate are expected to maintain satisfactory progress toward completion of their programs of study in a reasonable period of time. 

The University of South Carolina Upstate Financial Aid Office has approved the following policy. 

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress if they:

  • Maintain a cumulative USC system Grade PointAverage (GPA) of 2.0.
  • Earn 67 percent of all total attempted hours. Total hours earned is defined as USC system hours earned plus transfer hours accepted. Total hours attempted is defined as USC system hours attempted plus transfer hours accepted regardless of whether federal financial aid was received.
  • Students must also complete degree requirements within a reasonable length of time. The total number of hours attempted at any post-secondary institution does not exceed 180 hours of course work for a four year degree regardless of whether federal financial aid was received.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is measured annually by the Financial Aid Office. This measurement occurs at the conclusion of each Spring semester once grades are reported. If a student attends summer school they will also be reviewed at the end of the summer sessions. 

Failure to meet the above SAP standards will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility. Students who are ineligible for Financial Aid due to not meeting satisfactory academic requirements must submit a written appeal (pdf) to the Financial Aid Office in order to have their eligibility reinstated. An appeal will be approved and a status of ‘Probation’ assigned if the appeal meets one of the two conditions below:

  • The student should be able to meet the SAP standards after the next payment period or period of enrollment.
  • The student in conjunction with academic advisor develops an academic plan that if followed ensures that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific period of time.

If a student fails to meet regular SAP eligibility or meet the conditions of their academic plan the student is ineligible to receive aid. 

Second Degree or Certificate Students

Students seeking a second degree or teacher certification with an undergraduate degree are required to appeal. The student must explain why a second degree or career change is required, be accepted by the school or division to which the student is applying, and have an anticipated graduation date determined by the faculty advisor. 

For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by calling 864-503-5340 or email us at