To qualify for and receive financial aid, students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in a program of study that will lead to a degree, teaching certificate and must be in good academic standing at the University. When students apply for financial aid, their progress will be measured against the following standards. Having a violation(s) will result in a loss of financial aid eligibility.

Violations, Standards, and Regaining Eligibility

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at the end of each term.

Percentage Violation and Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Violation

Standard to Maintain: 

Students must satisfactorily complete 67% of their total attempted credits.

Satisfactorily completed credits include letter grades of A, B, C, D, S, or test-out credits. Satisfactorily completed credits do not include grades of F (failing), U (unsatisfactory), I (incomplete), W (withdrawal) or the initial grade received in the Repeat/Delete option.

Undergraduate student with 60 or more completed credits and DVM students who do not have a minimum 2.0 GPA (Please see information below on undergraduate University scholastic standards policy)

Graduate student who does not have a minimum 3.0 GPA (Please see the Graduate & Professional Bulletin for information on graduate scholastic standards).

To Regain Financial Aid Eligibility:

If extenuating circumstances exist, such as death of a relative, student illness or injury, or other extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control, an appeal may be submitted.

If a student does not appeal, or if an appeal is denied, eligibility may be regained by enrolling and attending without financial aid, and completing sufficient coursework to meet the 67% satisfactory completion rate and by obtaining the minimum GPA or higher.

Maximum Timeframe Violation

Standard to Maintain:

Students total attempted credits must not exceed the following credit limits which are 150% of the credits, which includes all transfer credits, needed to obtain that degree.

Undergraduate Degrees: Music Education – 185 credits | Second Bachelor – 48 credits | All Others Undergraduate – 180 credits | Teacher Certification – 45 credits

Masters Degrees: 150% of the credits listed on the approved GS6 form on file with the graduate school.  If no GS6 is on file,  limit will be 45 credits.

Doctorate Degrees: 150% of the credits listed on the approved GS6 form on file with the graduate school.  If no GS6 is on file, limit will be 108 credits.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine: 180 credits

To Regain Financial Aid Eligibility:

If extenuating circumstances exist, such as death of a relative, student illness or injury, or other extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control, an appeal may be submitted.

Students who do not have any other extenuating circumstances that occurred beyond their control but have changed from one degree program to another and not graduated may have their program change considered their extenuating circumstance on a one-time basis.

If a student does not appeal, or if an appeal is denied, eligibility can be regained by the student graduating and entering into a new program. New credit limits apply and the class level violation will be automatically cleared

Financial Aid Warning

Students who do not meet the grade point average and/or cumulative pace SAP requirements, are placed on financial aid warning their next term of enrollment. At the end of the warning period, students will be reviewed for compliance of SAP eligibility criteria (listed above) and if found to be in compliance will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for the following term. If student does not meet the criteria listed above the student will be put on a Financial aid Violation and will not be eligible for financial aid.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have successfully appealed a Satisfactory Academic Progress Violation are put on Financial Aid Probation. There are two types of Financial Aid Probation: the first type allows the student to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress within one term. The second type allows the student, based on an academic plan developed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee, to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress by a specific point in time. Both types allow the student to receive financial aid while on probation. If the student does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress within one term or does not meet the terms of their academic plan, the student will be put on a Financial Aid Violation and will not be eligible for financial aid.

Financial Aid Alert

Students who have reached 130 percent or more attempted credits toward their degree program will be put on Financial Aid Alert. This notifies the student that they are getting close to their Max Timeframe and may want to meet with their Academic Advisor to ensure they are on time to complete their program before they become ineligible for financial aid funds. For a most bachelor degree programs, this would leave them with 24 credits before they reach Max Timeframe. Students become ineligible for Financial Aid Funds once they have met 150 percent attempted credits of their degree program (see chart above). Students are eligible to receive financial aid while on alert.

Appeal Deadlines

Fall – September 15

  • July 20 to receive results by start of Fall semester
  • August 15 to receive results by the end of Fall course add/course drop period

Spring – February 15

Summer – June 15

Appeal Process

Students may appeal a Satisfactory Academic Progress violation by selecting the Financial Aid link on their RAMweb and completing the online appeal. The appeal must explain what extenuating circumstances occurred and a plan for corrective action. Students must also submit third-party documentation of their extenuating circumstances. A student will have 30 days from the time they submit their appeal to provide their documentation.

A committee will review the students appeal and render a decision.  The committee may ask for additional information or an academic plan.  The committee’s decision is final.  Decisions are usually made within 2-3 weeks of when  all documents are received.  Students who have an appeal approved will generally have one semester to clear their violation or must meet the requirements set by the academic plan. Students who are denied may provide additional information not previously submitted for reconsideration.

University Scholastic Standards Policy

To be eligible for financial aid, students must comply with the University Scholastic Standards policy. The CSU Faculty Council Committee on Scholastic Standards and the Graduate School set scholastic standards and these are defined annually in the University’s general catalog. More information is available at University General Catalog.  Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) evaluates GPA and places students on academic probation (different from a Financial Aid Violation) and/or academic dismissal. .

Total Attempted Credits

Colorado State University defines total attempted credits for a given class level (undergraduate, graduate, or DVM) as credits attempted at CSU, accepted for transfer, and all credits officially withdrawn from at CSU. The credits a student officially withdrew from are added with their other attempted credits to determine their total attempted credits.  Students must appeal existing withdrawal violations from prior terms.

Denials and Students Without Extenuating Circumstances

If a student’s appeal is denied or a student does not have an extenuating circumstance, they may continue to attend CSU and pay for their education at their own expense or they may explore the option of an alternative loan through an outside lender that does not require satisfactory progress.  Students who are on a Percent or GPA violation may be considered for a new appeal after they have completed two or more regular semesters at CSU or another school and can demonstrate their ability to succeed academically.  Alternatively, a student could take leave from their schooling for the same two semesters and be considered for a new appeal.  A student does not regain eligibility under these options, but would be considered for an appeal.

Resources for Help

​Students who need additional support to maintain Satisfactory Progress should be aware of the following resources:

  • Your academic advisor
    Contact your academic department if you are not sure who your advisor is.

Academic Fresh Start

To be eligible to receive financial aid, academic fresh start students must be in compliance with the satisfactory academic progress standards when they apply for financial aid. Students who do not meet the satisfactory academic progress standards and who have extenuating circumstances may submit an appeal, which may require an academic plan. A committee will review the appeal and their decision is final. Students who have an appeal approved will generally have one semester to clear their violation or must meet the requirements set by the academic plan.

This information is subject to change.  Copies of the CSU Satisfactory Academic Progress policy may be requested by contacting our office.