Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) refers to the requirement that students receiving financial aid enroll in and complete sufficient credits each term, to complete their studies within a reasonable period of time, as well as maintain an acceptable cumulative GPA.

Gardner-Webb University is required to establish minimum academic standards that students must meet to be eligible, or maintain eligibility, for Federal and State financial aid, including grants, loans and college work-study. SAP is evaluated at the end of each semester, and students who are not meeting the SAP criteria may be placed on financial aid probation and eventual suspension from receiving financial aid (including all types of financial aid).

Quantitative Standards

Regulations allow a student to maintain eligibility for attempting credit hours that are 150% of the credit hours required to receive a degree. In order to meet this quantitative standard, students must complete and earn 67% of courses attempted each academic semester. Failing to complete 67% of the cumulative attempted hours at the end of the semester will result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Warning, during which time the student may continue to receive financial aid. If the student has not completed 67% of the cumulative attempted hours at the end of the subsequent semester, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. While on Financial Aid Suspension, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid.

Hours AttemptedHours Earned to Meet 67% Requirement

Qualitative Standards

In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid with the qualitative standard, a student must maintain the academic standing necessary to remain at Gardner-Webb. The qualitative policy is the same as the academic policies of Gardner-Webb. The grade point average will be used to determine good academic standing, probation, suspension, and eligibility for financial aid. The GPA will be checked at the end of each semester for SAP. The student on good academic standing will remain eligible. A student on Academic Probation will be on Financial Aid Warning. A student on Academic Suspension will be on Financial Aid Suspension.

The qualitative requirements (minimum GPA) for undergraduate, second bachelor’s degree and initial teaching certificate students are as described below:

  • Freshmen (0-29 hrs earned) 1.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Sophomore (30-59 hrs earned) 1.7 on a 4.0 scale
  • Junior (60-89 hrs earned) 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Senior (90 or more hrs earned) 2.0 on a 4.0 scale

Graduate and professional students must maintain a cumulative GPA that is equivalent to the graduation standards published by their program.

Maximum Time Frame

A reasonable length of time for the completion of a degree program is defined as no more than 150% of the normal time required to complete a degree program, as measured by credits attempted and including transfer credits.

There is no Financial Aid Warning semester for students who exceed the maximum time frame requirement. Students will be suspended from financial aid eligibility the semester following the semester their attempted hours exceed 150%.

Each graduate division determines the number of credits by which the student normally completes the degree. This information is available in the individual graduate program catalogs.

Additional Policies and Circumstances

Audit Courses

Students are not eligible to receive financial aid for audit courses. Audited courses are not included in the number of hours attempted or earned for SAP determination. Students do not receive a grade in audited classes.

Summer Term Courses

All hours attempted and completed in the summer terms are treated as any other semester hours in determining SAP.


Any course with a “W” or “WF” is considered as hours attempted. Students should be aware that excessive withdrawals from classes could result in the loss of financial aid at some point in future semesters due to the 67% quantitative standard for SAP.

For more information on our withdrawal policy, please click here.

Repeating Courses

When courses with grades of D, F, or WF are repeated with a C or higher grade, the unsatisfactory grades and course attempts will not be included in the calculation of the GPA (qualitative). However, courses with grades of D, F, or WF that are later repeated are counted in total number of hours attempted (quantitative).

Second Degrees

Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution are eligible to apply for financial assistance. The maximum eligibility will be 245 attempted credit hours (150% of the minimum degree requirement plus an additional 60 hours).


Satisfactory Academic Progress, as well as students who receive all Ws, Fs, or WFs, will be evaluated at the end of each semester.


Students on Financial Aid Suspension will be notified if they are eligible for appeal to the SAP Appeals Committee. An appeal must be based on specific extenuating circumstances. Examples may include but are not limited to death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other extenuating circumstances. There is a formal request form that must be completed along with a statement explaining the extenuating circumstances. Documentation supporting the extenuating circumstances must also be submitted. In addition, the SAP Appeals Form and SAP Academic Plan Form must be submitted.

The required Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form, along with all supporting documentation, must be sent to the [email protected].

The determination of the appeal will be made available to the student (through email to GWU email address) within 14 business days.

If a Financial Aid Suspension appeal is approved, then the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester, and eligibility reinstated for financial aid during that semester. The student must make Satisfactory Academic Progress within the probation semester in order to continue their eligibility for financial aid in subsequent semesters.