Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal

Your financial aid offer is contingent on you maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as a student. Learn more about our SAP policy. If you are not meeting SAP at the end of the spring semester, your financial aid will be suspended until you meet the SAP requirements.

You can appeal this suspension if you experienced an extenuating circumstance that impacted your academic progress. This means that you experienced something that was out of your control and was not common to the entire student population. For example, having a busy part-time job would not qualify for an SAP appeal.

Examples of these extenuating circumstances include:

  • The death of an immediate family member or close relative (i.e. mother, father, grandparent, sibling, or immediate family such as a related aunt or uncle)
  • A serious injury or illness (physical or mental) that required medical intervention
  • Significant, unanticipated family obligations due to medical issue or illness
  • A catastrophic loss due to fire, flood, or natural disaster that affects the student’s academic attendance or performance
  • An involuntary call to active military duty
  • An unsafe or abusive environment
  • Any undue hardship that prohibits the successful completion of coursework

Appealing a financial aid suspension is not the same as appealing an academic suspension. Even if an academic suspension is lifted, it does not automatically remove the financial aid suspension.

If you do not appeal your SAP status:
You may choose not to appeal your SAP status. In this case, your financial aid will be suspended. It will be reinstated once you are meeting SAP requirements.

How to file a SAP Appeal

  1. If you are not meeting SAP, you will receive an email and/or paper notice at the end of the spring semester informing you that your financial aid will be suspended.
  2. You will also receive an email notification to log in to an online platform where you can move forward with an SAP appeal. You may be asked to upload required documents (see below) to support any extenuating circumstances that have impacted your academic progress. The sooner we receive your documents, the sooner we can move forward in the process. 
  3. The appeals committee will review your appeal and make the decision as to whether it is approved or denied. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for a response. Incomplete appeals will delay the review process. 
  4. If your request is approved, you will be notified via email and your financial aid offer should appear in myUSF within two weeks. You may need to accept your offer again in myUSF in order for it to apply to your student account.
  5. If your request is denied, you will be notified via email with a specific reason as to why your request was denied. Please read the email carefully. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us. You can appeal again the following semester if you can demonstrate that you are meeting SAP.

How to Regain Eligibility

If you are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), you may have your financial aid reinstated by filing an appeal demonstrating extenuating circumstances that prevented you from meeting the SAP requirements. If you meet the SAP requirements prior to the annual evaluation period at the end of the spring semester, please email us at financialaid@usfca.edu for next steps of the appeal process.

SAP Appeal Deadlines

An appeal must be filed by the appropriate deadline in order to be considered for a particular semester. We cannot award financial aid for previous terms if we did not receive the appeal by the term deadline.

Deadlines: 
Fall term: November 10
Spring term: April 10
Summer term: July 15

You will be notified at the end of each spring semester if you are not meeting SAP requirements, and you will be ineligible for your financial aid for the summer term and the following fall and spring terms. 

Fall Appeal Example:
Spring 2021: You are notified that you are not meeting SAP requirements. You are ineligible for financial aid for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 terms. 
Fall 2021: If you appeal before the November 10 deadline and your appeal is approved, your financial aid will be reinstated for the fall 2021 semester.
Spring 2022: You may retain your financial aid for the spring 2022 term as long as you continue to meet the requirements of your academic plan. 

Spring Appeal Example:
Spring 2021: You are notified that you are not meeting SAP requirements. You are ineligible for financial aid for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 terms. 
Fall 2021: You do not complete/submit an appeal by the November 10 deadline. You will remain ineligible for financial aid. 
Spring 2022: If you appeal before April 10 and your appeal is approved, your financial aid will be reinstated for the spring 2022 semester only. 

We cannot award financial aid for previous terms if we did not receive the appeal by the term deadline. 

Circumstances for which appeals will not be accepted:

  • Lack of knowledge/understanding of the SAP Policy at USF
  • Medical appeals for illness/injury/hospitalization that do not coincide with the semester(s) of sub-standard academic progress
  • Work/scheduling conflicts (including voluntary overtime)
  • Acclimation issues in regard to being in a university setting
  • If you’ve previously submitted an SAP appeal with the same extenuating circumstance(s) and you are still not meeting SAP requirements

Examples of supporting documentation:

  • Obituary/Death certificate
  • Documentation from your (or your family member’s) medical provider
  • Documentation from your (or your family member’s) insurance provider
  • Military orders
  • Police report
  • Statement from a third party (preferably in a professional capacity e.g. lawyer, employer, health professional, government entity)