Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy: Graduate Students

Financial Aid Rules for Academic Progress and Satisfactory Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility

This policy is effective for grades earned in the fall 2020 semester and for all subsequent semesters. The policy complies with updated federal regulations (CFR 668.34) effective as of July 1, 2011.


To receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid, institutional funds administered by the New York Institute of Technology Office of Financial Aid, or certain veterans benefits, students must maintain measurable academic progress toward degree program completion. Federal regulations require evaluation of qualitative and quantitative measures as well as completion of the degree objective within 150 percent of the normal published time frame.

NOTE: This Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is separate and distinct from the Academic Probation and Suspension policy administered by the Office of the Registrar.

All enrollment periods, including those for which a student did not receive financial aid, are included in the measurement of Satisfactory Academic Progress. A student's entire academic history will be considered when determining SAP status, including all transfer credits on a New York Institute of Technology transcript. Incompletes (I), Withdrawals (W), and Unofficial Withdrawals (UW) count as attempted credits, but not earned credits. Withdrawn Failing (WF) and Failing (F) count as attempted credits and earned grades.

Students who do not meet the SAP standards will not be eligible for federal or institutional financial aid until they have successfully appealed their Unsatisfactory Academic Progress (UAP) status and can regain eligibility by meeting the standards of this SAP policy, or by following a prescribed academic plan as determined by an academic school designee.

Reference: 2022–2023 Federal Student Handbook, Vol. 1, Ch. 1, pp. 11–18

Guidelines for Academic Progress

For financial aid purposes, an aid year at New York Institute of Technology consists of summer, fall, and spring enrollment periods. Summer begins the year, and spring concludes it. A student attending an intersession (short-term courses between fall and spring semesters) will have those courses evaluated with spring semester progress.

The measurement of SAP is calculated at the end of each enrollment period (semester) during the aid year, and status is effective with the next enrollment period (semester). If a student changes majors or academic programs, all attempted and earned credits will be included in the qualitative, quantitative, and normal time frame measurements (no more than 150 percent), with the exception of those stated elsewhere in this policy.

Qualitative Standard

The qualitative component measures the quality of a student's academic progress by their cumulative GPA.

Graduate Standard

Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at all times.*

* Athletic award eligibility will continue to be governed by a signed Athletic Agreement. All other Title IV and institutional aid for athletes will be governed by this Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

The required cumulative GPA is based upon the total number of attempted and earned credits, including the grades of F (Failure) and WF (Withdrawn Failure). Grades of I (Incomplete), W (Withdrawn), and Unofficial Withdrawal (UW) are not factored into a student's cumulative GPA.

Pace (Formerly Known as Quantitative Standard)

Students must meet a quantitative standard of academic progress measured as a completion rate percentage.

  • Students must successfully complete 67 percent of all attempted credits to graduate within 150 percent of the normal time frame.
  • The calculation is made as follows: Successfully Completed Credits/Attempted Credits = Completion Rate. The result is rounded to the nearest whole number, e.g., 18/27 = 66.67 percent (or rounded to 67 percent).

For the purposes of measuring pace, the grades of Incomplete (I), Withdrawn (W), Unofficial Withdrawal (UW), Withdrawn Failure (WF), and Failure (F) count as attempted credits but not as successfully completed credits. Accepted transfer credits are also included in this calculation, both as attempted and earned credits.

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

Students must obtain their degree objective within 150 percent of the normal time frame for degree completion. For example:

  • For a baccalaureate program requiring 130 credits, students must obtain degrees within 195 attempted credits (130 x 1.50 = 195).
  • For associate degree programs of 60 credits, students must obtain degrees within 90 attempted credits (60 x 1.50 = 90).
  • For graduate programs requiring 36 credits, students must obtain degrees within 54 attempted credits (36 x 1.50 = 54).
  • The maximum time frame is based upon the student degree classification in New York Institute of Technology's academic records.

Effects of Remedial, ESLI, and Repeated Courses

  • Remedial and/or ESLI coursework does not count toward degree requirements. Remedial courses are counted as both attempted and earned credits. English as a Second Language (ESLI) courses are not counted in hours attempted or earned, but they are counted toward enrollment (full-time, three-fourths time, etc.).
  • Grades of D or better in repeated courses will be counted as credits earned only once. All course repeats will count as attempted credits and be used in the quantitative and maximum time frame components of the SAP policy.

Consequences of Failure to Meet SAP "Financial Aid Warning"

Financial Aid Warning is a status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of an enrollment period. A student who fails to meet SAP (excluding maximum time frame) at the end of an enrollment period is no longer eligible for financial aid; however, the student is automatically placed in a Financial Aid Warning status—not to exceed one enrollment period—if the student was successfully meeting SAP in the previous semester. This does not apply to students who are meeting SAP as a result of a successful appeal. If a student fails to meet SAP in the enrollment period immediately following the approved semester, the student will not be placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status.

The following conditions apply to the Financial Aid Warning Status:

  • During the warning period, a student may receive financial aid despite the determination that the student is not meeting SAP standards.
  • A student must meet SAP standards by the end of the warning period. If SAP standards are not met, financial aid eligibility will be suspended until the student regains SAP or files an appeal that is approved.
  • For denied appeals, a student must pay for all enrollment periods after the warning period through personal or private funds. A student will regain eligibility for Federal Student Aid funds when SAP standards are met.

Financial Aid Probation

Financial Aid Probation is a status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress, has successfully appealed, and can meet minimum SAP standards by the end of the enrollment period. This student has had eligibility for aid reinstated and can receive financial aid for one enrollment period.

For students who have successfully appealed but cannot meet minimum SAP standards by the end of one enrollment period, an individual academic plan may be developed in conjunction with an academic school designee. These students will be evaluated and must demonstrate progress each period, as required, in a maximum of two enrollment periods (beyond the "warning" term).

Appeal Process

Extenuating circumstances may occur during an enrollment period and impact a student's ability to meet SAP standards including, but not limited to:

  • Personal injury or illness
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Active-duty military deployment
  • Other unexpected extenuating circumstances beyond a student's control

In all cases, circumstances must be sufficiently documented.

If unexpected circumstances occur and the student wishes to appeal their status, a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. A student must meet with the appropriate academic school designee to discuss and document the appeal, and the academic school designee will recommend whether a student's eligibility should be reinstated. Appeal guidelines include:

  • The appeal must include appropriate documentation of the circumstances that led to the appeal and how a student will demonstrate successful academic progress at the next evaluation.
  • If a student is able to meet SAP policy standards within one enrollment period, the SAP Appeal form and its documentation will be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. The SAP Appeals Committee will review an appeal and make a final determination.
  • If a student requires more than one enrollment period to become compliant with SAP policy standards, an academic plan may be developed by the academic school designee to specify coursework and grades necessary to become compliant each period within a maximum of two enrollment periods.
  • The SAP Appeals Committee will review progress at the end of each enrollment period. If a student is not meeting the terms of an academic plan, financial aid eligibility will be suspended until the student regains SAP.
  • An academic plan to meet the SAP policy standards must not exceed two additional enrollment periods.
  • Students will be granted up to two appeals during their entire academic program.
  • As a result of a change of major or academic program change, a student may not complete their degree objective within 150 percent of the normal time frame. If this occurs and a student wishes to appeal the suspension of financial aid eligibility, a SAP Appeal form must be submitted with an academic school designee-approved academic plan that identifies remaining coursework and a projected graduation date. Extensions of the maximum time frame may not exceed two additional enrollment terms. Extensions of time frame will not be granted to students who have less than the required cumulative GPA or less than a 67 percent completion rate at the time of appeal.
  • Incomplete appeal forms will not be reviewed.
  • Eligibility for institutional scholarships and grants is not guaranteed with the approval of a SAP appeal or during warning and probation periods. A separate appeal may be required for certain types of institutional aid.

Final decisions will be made by the SAP Appeals Committee. A decision is based on the documented information provided, the circumstances leading to the appeal, and the academic plan, if required. Students will be notified of the committee's decision in writing by postal mail or email. The decision of the SAP Appeals Committee is final.

If the appeal is denied, a student is no longer eligible for further financial aid from New York Institute of Technology until the student becomes compliant with SAP policy standards.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for New York State Programs

Although graduate students are no longer eligible for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), some students may qualify for other programs administered by New York State.

New York Institute of Technology is responsible for implementing standards of satisfactory academic progress to maintain eligibility for all financial assistance programs, including federal, institutional, and New York State programs.

The standards that apply to New York State awards require recipients of such awards to maintain a steady rate of progress toward a degree and to earn a prescribed academic average. These standards affect all students who receive New York State awards. Additional information on SAP for New York State aid may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar at


A one-time waiver may be granted to the recipient of state financial assistance who has failed to maintain pursuit of program or make satisfactory academic progress. A student must initiate the request for a waiver through the Office of Student Life and document one of three reasons for the request: a death in the family, serious illness, or other mitigating circumstances beyond the student's control. Approval of the waiver is not automatic. After careful review of the documentation by the Office of Student Life, a student will be notified by email as to whether a one-time waiver will be granted.

For more detailed and complete information on the waiver and other eligibility requirements, review Appendix C: Commissioner's Guidelines on Good Academic Standing C-Average Requirement: Questions and Answers on the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) website.