2019-2020 Catalog

Standards for Measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate Financial Aid Recipients


Federal regulations require all institutions which administer Title IV student assistance programs to monitor the academic progress towards a degree or certificate of students applying for funds. All students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and wish to be considered for Title IV federal aid such as federal Pell grants, Direct loans, and SEOG grants as well as other types of assistance must meet the criteria stated in the policy. Regulations require the financial aid policy to be at least as strict as the institutions’ academic standing policy and therefore these standards are subject to revision.


Your financial aid eligibility is based on the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards that the Rhode Island College’s Financial Aid Office is required by the U.S. Department of Education to establish, publish, and apply. The Financial Aid Office measures your academic performance and enforces SAP standards to ensure that you, as a financial aid recipient, progress toward graduation. If you fail to meet these standards, you become ineligible to receive financial aid until you meet all requirements.

Financial aid recipients will be reviewed for satisfactory progress at the end of the spring semester after grades are posted. A student who does not meet the satisfactory academic progress standards will be terminated from financial aid assistance. An aid-terminated student is ineligible for any further financial aid, including student loans, until satisfactory academic progress is re-established. Readmission to a program or removal from academic probation does not automatically constitute eligibility for federal aid.


  1. Qualitative Component: Students must meet minimum cumulative G.P.A. requirements as more credits are attempted (see chart below).
  2. Quantitative Component: The quantitative component requires you to complete your degree within a maximum timeframe. You are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum timeframe of 150 percent of the published degree credits required to complete your program. Since an undergraduate degree program at Rhode Island College requires 120 degree credits, you are eligible for financial aid up to 180 attempted credits.
    1. The ratio between attempted and completed credits determines your credit completion ratio. Students are required to meet the completion ratio as outlined in the chart below.
    2. Incompletes, Withdrawals, ESL credits, remedial credits and Repeats all count toward completion percentage as attempted credits. “I” (Incomplete) grades are not considered passing grades.
    3. Transfer Credits are counted in the total number of attempted and earned credits.
  3. Both components apply to multiple majors, or students who change majors.

Credits Attempted

Required Successful Completion

Minimum Cumulative G.P.A.








  1. Students must complete the Appeal Form (www.ric.edu/financialaid/Pages/Forms-and-Publications.aspx) and follow the instructions on the form. Appeals should be based on personal injury, illness, family difficulties, death of a relative, or other extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.
  2. If more than one semester is needed to comply with the SAP policy as detailed above, it is recommended that your appeal include an advisor-approved academic plan that if followed will ensure you will be able to meet SAP requirements by a specific point in time.
  3. If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on “financial aid probation” and as long as you meet all requirements of the approval letter and follow your academic plan (if applicable), you may continue to receive financial aid.
  4. The Deadline for appeals is no later than four weeks prior to the end of the semester for which aid is desired. Allow up to three weeks for processing appeals.


  1. Students will be notified of the appeal decision by hard-copy letter mailed to students’ permanent home address on record. Allow up to three weeks for appeal processing.
  2. Subsequent appeals of the same nature are not permitted.
  3. All appeal decisions are final.


When a student has made satisfactory progress as outlined above for a particular semester without the benefit of student financial aid, the student must contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and request a Satisfactory Academic Progress re-evaluation. The student will then be reinstated to an eligible status for the subsequent term.