Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal and State of Ohio regulations require that Youngstown State University review the academic progress of students annually, whether they are a previous aid recipient or not. SAP is evaluated during the spring semester. The purpose of this review process is to measure whether a student is making satisfactory progress towards his or her educational goals.  All federal programs and the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) are affected when a student is not in compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.  (The Pennsylvania State Grant (PA State Grant) is not governed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, but rather by the respective state).

SAP Requirements

Youngstown State University's satisfactory academic progress requirements consist of three components:
  1. Minimum grade point average
  2. Maximum time frame to earn the degree sought
  3. Percentage completion rates

GPA Requirement - All students at Youngstown State University are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average.  Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.  Graduate students are required to maintain a 3.00 GPA.  The following grades are included in the GPA calculation: A, B, C, D, and F.  The GPA calculation excludes the following grades: CR-credit; NC-no credit; AU-audit; I-incomplete; W-withdrawal.  For incompletes, the credit hours apply to the term the student was enrolled, not the term the student was making up the incomplete. Students who wish to improve their cumulative GPA by repeating a course will be subject to a GPA recalculation. However, a recalculation will be made for only the immediately preceding grade for the course, regardless of the number of repeats, and may be made only once for any course.

Students academically suspended cannot receive federal aid during the period of suspension.

Max Time Frame Requirement - When a student's attempted hours reach 150% of the maximum hours needed to complete an associate (between 90 and 110 hours) or bachelor's degree (between 180 and 216 hours), federal financial aid eligibility will be suspended unless the time frame is extended with an appeal accompanied by an Academic Advisor Evaluation.  Graduate degrees must be completed by the length of time standards established and monitored by the School of Graduate Studies.

Please Note:

  • All credit hours attempted including graded courses, hours accepted as transfer credit, credit/no credit courses, repeated courses or hours when changing majors or degrees are included in the maximum time frame calculation regardless of the number of degrees a student chooses to pursue. Students seeking second degrees may reach the maximum time frame component at an accelerated pace under this policy. 
  • All terms of attendance are reviewed including terms of remedial coursework or when no federal aid was received, these hours are included in the attempted hours.

Percentage Completion Requirement - At the time of the annual assessment, completed hours as a percentage of attempted hours, must meet the following minimum requirements:


  • Freshmen (0-29 hours earned) must complete a minimum of 55% of the total cumulative hours attempted
  • Sophomore (30-59 hours earned) must complete a minimum of 60% of the total cumulative hours attempted
  • Junior (60-89 hours earned) must complete a minimum of 65% of the total cumulative hours attempted
  • Senior (90+ hours earned) must complete a minimum of 70% of the total cumulative hours attempted
  • Graduate (13+ grad hours attempted) must complete a minimum of 50% of the total cumulative hours attempted

Percentage completion is calculated by dividing completed hours by cumulative hours attempted.  For financial aid satisfactory academic progress purposes, attempted hours exclude audited hours and withdrawals made by the last date to receive a 100% refund.  The following grades negatively impact the percentage completion calculation: F-failed; NC-no credit; AU-audit; I-incomplete; W-withdrawal.  For Incompletes, note that the credit hours apply to the term in which the student was enrolled in the course, not the term the student was making up the Incomplete. Repeated courses are included in the percentage completion calculation.

Transfer and Transient Students

Transfer students will be eligible for federal aid through the spring semester of the academic year they begin at Youngstown State University.  During the spring semester, transfer students will be evaluated under the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.  Transfer hours will be included in the number of hours earned and attempted but only YSU grades enter into the GPA calculation.

Non-Degree Students (undergraduate, post-undergraduate, and graduate)

A student must be enrolled in a degree program to receive federal financial aid.

Appeal Process

If a student is non-compliant, he/she must appeal the denial of financial aid by submitting an appeal form that explains the circumstances.  Supporting documentation may be required to review conditions that can include: severe physical or mental illness or injury of the student or immediate family, death of a relative, or other mitigating circumstances.   Appeals will be evaluated by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee, which will respond via email with the decision within 30 days, whether approved or denied.
Satisfactory Academic Appeal Form - pdf*
Academic Advisor Letter- pdf*

*Requires Adobe Acrobat

Students who do not appeal, or who are denied by the Committee, will not be eligible for federal financial aid programs effective summer semester and until they satisfy all deficiencies without receiving federal student aid funds. Federal regulations require students who successfully appeal to be placed on a semester based Financial Aid Probation and Academic Progress Plan. At the end of the probationary term, the semester based grade point average, semester based completion percentage, and/or semester based academic action plan requirements must be met to receive federal aid for the subsequent semester unless across-the-board compliance with overall SAP was established. The decision made by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee is final. As previously indicated, students can expect to receive an appeal decision via email within 30 days of the office receiving their Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form.


Contact Information

Contact (330) 941-3505 or for additional information and deadlines.