Federal and Institutional Need-based SAP Policy

  • In compliance with federal financial aid regulations, the University of Miami requires satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards a degree as an eligibility requirement for federal and university need-based financial assistance.  The SAP policy requires both a quantitative and a qualitative measure of a student's progress.  
  • This policy is applicable to all undergraduate, law, graduate and doctoral students receiving financial aid through federal aid sources, including the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
  • At the end of each semester, the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment Services reviews the academic progress of all University of Miami financial aid recipients.
  • If it is determined that a student is not making satisfactory academic progress at the end of the semester, a notification is sent to the student. The student will be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. Aid will not be withdrawn for the subsequent (warning) term, but at the end of that term, the student’s academic record will be reviewed by Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment and appropriate renewal or termination actions will be taken.  Notification will be sent to the student detailing information on the appeal process.
  • Federal academic progress policy is subject to change based on guidelines and changes made by the U.S. Department of Education.

Credit Completion and Cumulative Grade Point Average Requirement for all Federal Aid and UM Need-based Assistance

Undergraduate Students

A student must have earned at least 67% of the total credit hours attempted during his/her overall academic career. Graduate level credit hours cannot be combined to meet the 67% requirement; however, credit hours transferred into the University of Miami are used in the calculation.  The percentage of earned credit hours is calculated by dividing earned credit hours by all attempted credit hours.   Rounding does not apply (e.g.: student completes 21 of 31 attempted credit hours therefore percentage complete is 21/ 31= 67%).

  • Withdrawals, Incomplete, Audits, and Fs are attempted but not considered earned hours.
  • Reinstatement of aid eligibility can be obtained by earning additional University-approved credit hours, achieving the 67% completion requirement, or having an appeal approved by a committee as outlined later in this section.
  • The University reviews progress at the end of each semester. Aid eligibility will be restored upon determination that the progress requirements have been met.

All undergraduate students must meet and maintain the University of Miami credit hour and cumulative grade point average (CGPA) requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress. The criteria listed below must be met to receive federal and institutional financial assistance administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment.

Credit Hours Earned Minimum Cumulative G.P.A.
0 to 321.7
33 to 641.8
65 to 961.9
97 +2.0

This criteria does not apply for meeting requirements for University of Miami scholarships and State of Florida financial aid. State of Florida financial aid and University of Miami academic scholarships have their own CGPA requirements.

Maximum Period of Eligibility for All Financial Assistance Awards

  • Degree-seeking undergraduate  students receiving federal aid must complete their degrees within 150% of the normal time for completion as determined by the school or college catalog under which the student was admitted.  For example, if an academic program requires 120 credit hours, the student must complete the program within 180 total credit hours.  Credit hours used in this calculation include those accepted for transfer and those attempted at the University of Miami.
  • Pell Grant eligibility is limited to 12 full time semesters or the equivalent (e.g.; two half-time semesters equal one full time semester) www.studentaid.ed.gov/pell-limit.
  • Students receiving university need-based grants are limited to four years of eligibility (five years of eligibility for the five-year undergraduate degree programs).

Federal Financial Aid Semester Review - Graduate and Doctoral

  • A student must have earned at least 67% of the total credit hours attempted during his/her overall academic career. Undergraduate and graduate level credit hours cannot be combined to meet the 67% requirement; however, credit hours transferred into the University of Miami are used in the calculation. The percentage of earned credit hours is calculated by dividing earned credit hours by all attempted credit hours. Rounding does not apply.  (e.g.: Student completes 21 of 31 attempted credit hours, percentage complete is 21/ 31= 67%).  
  •  Withdrawals, Incompletes, Audits, and F's are attempted but not considered earned hours.
  •  Credit hours transferred into the University of Miami will be counted as credit hours attempted and credit hours earned.
  •  Reinstatement of aid eligibility can be obtained by earning additional University approved credit hours, achieving the 67% completion requirement, or having an appeal approved by a committee as outlined later in this section.
  • The University reviews progress at the end of each semester. Aid eligibility will be restored upon determination that the progress requirements have been met.

 Graduate students must be enrolled at least half-time in order to receive federal financial assistance. A minimum of 5 graduate credit hours constitutes at least half-time enrollment at the graduate level. The only exception to this credit hour requirement is enrollment in any of the 800-level research courses. Students enrolled in any of these courses are considered full-time and are eligible for federal loans.

Graduate and Doctoral Students

All University of Miami graduate and doctoral students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (CGPA). Graduate students who fail to meet the minimum credit hour or cumulative grade point average requirements have failed to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards established by the University. Those in violation of the satisfactory academic progress eligibility requirements will be notified in writing of their eligibility status and right to appeal.

Maximum Period of Eligibility for All Financial Assistance Awards

• Graduate students may receive federally-funded assistance for the time to complete their degree requirements in accordance with limits set by the Graduate School.  The limits are:  six (6) years for those studying for the various masters degrees and 8 years for those studying for doctoral degrees. Students pursuing dual masters degrees will receive aid for a maximum of six (6) years. Students in a combined masters degree/doctoral degree program are eligible for assistance for a maximum of eight (8) years.
• Time to completion starts when a student begins any program in the Graduate School, whether it is a masters or doctoral program. All work must be completed within six years of the time of admission to graduate work, for those studying for the various masters degrees; and within eight years for those studying for doctoral degrees. For those admitted directly into a Ph.D. program without a masters degree in field, work must be completed within eight years. Individual programs may be set to a shorter time period.
• Graduate students who plan to enroll in a graduate degree program should keep in mind their aggregate loan limits. For more information, go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at http://www.nslds.ed.gov.  This site displays information on loan amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses and disbursements.

Law School Students

Please visit the Law School Website for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Law Students: http://www.law.miami.edu/financial-aid/standards-of-academic-progress.php?op=3

Scholarship SAP Policy

 Undergraduate 

  • The academic scholarship is available to undergraduate students enrolled full time in a course of undergraduate study leading to the first bachelor’s degree.
  • First-time freshmen are eligible for University of Miami academic scholarships for four years (eight consecutive semesters), or such shorter time required to complete the baccalaureate degree.  
  • Transfer students are eligible for University of Miami academic scholarships for two years (four consecutive semesters), or such shorter time required to complete the baccalaureate degree.
  • Academic scholarships may be applied only to fall and spring semester coursework of undergraduate study only.  They are not available during a summer term.  
  • Bachelor of Architecture students may receive the scholarship for five academic years (ten consecutive semesters), or such shorter time required to complete the degree.  Bachelor of Architecture students admitted as a transfer student from another university may receive the scholarship for up to three academic years (six consecutive semesters), or such shorter time required to complete the degree.  

Credit Hour and GPA Requirements for UM Scholarships

  • Scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale)  for all credit hours earned at the University of Miami to retain their scholarship.
  • All full-time undergraduate students are required to register for and complete at least 24 (a minimum of 12 each semester) new credit hours at the University of Miami each academic year, defined as the fall and spring semesters.
  • Reinstatement of academic scholarship eligibility can be obtained by earning additional University-approved credit hours. The University reviews progress once a year at the end of the spring semester.
  • Withdrawals, Incomplete, Audits, and F's are attempted but not considered earned credit hours
  • Ronald Hammond scholarship recipients should refer to their contract for renewal criteria provided by the Office of Academic Enhancement.

All 2014-2015 and prior academic scholarship recipients please refer to the Bulletin at the time when you were admitted into the university for scholarship renewal requirements.    

Graduate/ Professional 

Graduates scholarships awards are determined by the departments.  A student's academic progress and eligibility for an award is monitored and evaluated by the departments.

State of Florida SAP Policy

The Florida Department of Education Office of Student Financial Assistance  has its own standards of progress for state financial assistance.

  • All Bright Futures Scholarship recipients (includes Florida Academic and Florida Medallion scholarships) are eligible for up to 132 credit hours; however, eligible students may only receive up to 45 credit hours per academic year.
  • 2009-2010 high school graduates and thereafter may receive up to 100% of his/her program of study or 120 credit hours (or the equivalent in quarter or clock hours) toward completion of his/her first baccalaureate degree, or for up to five years from high school graduation (if the student was initially funded within three years after high school graduation), whichever comes first.
  • Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar recipients who graduate from high school in the 2009-2010 academic year and thereafter are eligible to receive funding for up to 100% of their program of study, up to 90 credit hours.
  • State of Florida Aid academic progress policy is subject to change based on changes made by the Florida Department of Education.

A student must earn at least 24 credit hours (or the equivalent) if enrolled full time for the entire academic year. A student enrolled full time (12 or more credit hours or the equivalent) for only one term must earn at least 12 credit hours for that term. If a student is enrolled part time for any part of the academic year, the student must earn a prorated number of credit hours. (See below). Initial eligibility must be at least 6 credit hours.

Student Funded (per term) Required Earned Hours (per term)
12+ credit hours (Full Time)12
9-11 credit hours (Three-Quarter Time)9
6-8 credit hours (Half Time)6

A student that fails to meet the minimum institutional grade point average (3.0 for Florida Academic, 2.75 for Florida Medallion and Gold Seal) will no longer be eligible for his/her Bright Futures award. Florida Academic recipients that fail to achieve a 3.0 institutional average, but achieve at least a 2.75 institutional average, will renew at the lower Florida Medallion amount. Recipients that fail to meet the progress requirements receive notice including information on the appeal process.

  • Award Reinstatement: an eligible student that did not receive scholarship funds for the last academic year (fall through spring), may request reinstatement of the award. The student must complete a Reinstatement/Restoration application available on the Florida Department of Education Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website at http:\\www.FloridaStudentFinancialAid.org 
  • Award Restoration: a student that failed to achieve a minimum 2.75 institutional GPA and became ineligible for funding may apply for restoration in an academic year after which the 2.75 institutional GPA requirement was met. (The 2.75 institutional GPA must be met before the fall term for which the student is applying.) The student must complete a Reinstatement/Restoration application available on the Florida Department of Education Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website at http:\\www.FloridaStudentFinancialAid.org
  • For 2009-10 and later high school graduates, if a scholarship is not renewed because of an insufficient GPA during their first year of funding, the scholarship may be restored in an academic year after the minimum institutional GPA requirement is met. Students who do not meet the minimum earned credit hours requirement or who fail to meet the minimum institutional GPA requirement after their first year of funding will NOT be permitted a restoration opportunity. *State of Florida Aid academic progress policy is subject to change based on changes made by the Florida Department of Education.
  • Recipients of the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant (BFRAG) and Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) must complete at least 24 credit hours each academic year with an institutional grade point average of at least 2.0. Classes taken in the previous summer may be included in calculating the completed credit hours (credit hours earned during summer of 2014 may be combined with the credit hours earned during the 2014-2015 academic year to meet the 24 credit hour requirement).  Please note that credits earned the previous summer at another institution may be counted if they are accepted as transfer credits to the University of Miami; however, this will have no impact on the CGPA calculation at UM.  
  • William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant (BFRAG) and Florida Student Access Grant (FSAG) recipients are limited to nine semesters of eligibility.
  • Florida Incentive Scholarship recipients must complete all credits attempted and maintain a minimum institutional CGPA of 3.0.  Students who do not earn the required credits or fail to maintain the minimum CGPA will be ineligible to continue receiving this award and will not be granted restoration. Students enrolled in a four year program are eligible to receive this award for a maximum of eight semesters, while students enrolled in a five year program are eligible for a maximum of 10 semesters. 

Students that do not meet the annual minimum 24 credit hours requirement for renewal may not receive funding the following academic year. To be eligible for renewal in a subsequent year, the student must meet the general eligibility requirements for renewal and have maintained/earned an institutional GPA of 2.0.

Students enrolling for only one semester must complete at least 12 new credit hours while maintaining the required institutional GPA.

SAP Appeals Process

Students that do not meet the academic progress requirements may submit a written appeal to request reinstatement of eligibility to receive aid. The student must complete the University of Miami’s Academic Progress Appeal Form. This petition requires the student to:

  1. Submit a written explanation as to why he/she was unable to meet or maintain the academic progress requirements; and
  2. Submit documentation that substantiates the student’s circumstances, such as a letter from a doctor or copies of medical bills if a student cites medical reasons for not meeting the requirements.

The appeal form may be downloaded from the financial assistance website.  Submit the Appeal Form and all documentation to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Committee, c/o the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment. All appeals must be submitted no later than 30 days from notice of ineligibility. All appeals submitted completely and on time will be reviewed by the committee prior to the beginning of each semester. Decisions are made using the appeal documentation provided by the student in conjunction with the student’s academic record. All decisions by the committee are final.

A general description of the major financial assistance programs available through various departments as well as the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment can be found here.