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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e).668.32(f) and 668.34) require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant receiving federal financial assistance and that the school certify the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Financial aid eligibility is based on SAP standards established by the University, pursuant to federal law, to ensure that all financial aid recipients progress towards degree completion. All students who receive University, State, private, and/or Federal aid must meet the criteria stated in this policy.

The SAP policy consists of:

  • Maximum time frame
  • Qualitative Standard
  • Pace (Quantitative Standard)
  • Suspension of Aid

Students that have not completed at least 67% of their attempted units and/or have exceeded the maximum units to complete an undergraduate degree (192 units) are at risk of losing their financial assistance eligibility.

The Office of Financial Assistance will monitor maximum time frame, qualitative and quantitative (pace) standards for undergraduate and graduate students after the end of each term, including summer. Any student that fails to meet the minimum requirements in GPA, Pace, and/or maximum time frame for two consecutive terms will have their financial aid suspended. 

View the SAP Calculator

 Warning Status (Probation)

Students who fail to meet SAP for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their program of study) will be placed in a Warning Status for one term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of the following term of enrollment. Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of the Warning Status will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students that complete the appeal process and are approved will be placed on financial aid probation. They will retain financial assistance eligibility as long as they continue to follow and meet the terms of their academic plan.

 Financial Aid Suspension (Continued Probation)

Students who do not meet the terms of the academic plan, the cumulative grade point average standard, and/or the unit progression requirement will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension (FAS). Students on FAS are not eligible to receive financial assistance and all aid (federal, state, university, and private) will be cancelled for future semester until the student has regained SAP. Students that qualify may receive an alternative or private loan to cover the cost or pay out of pocket if allowed to re-enroll while on FAS.

 Financial Aid Probation (Appeal approved by the committee)

Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed on Probation Status. Students on Probation are eligible to receive financial aid for one semester, after which they MUST meet SAP or meet the requirements of their academic plan that was approved by Academic Advising/OneStop.

Graduate students must meet the minimum grade point average required by the program, complete all degree requirements within 150% of the maximum time frame described in the Academic Catalog and measured in attempted credit hours.

 Maximum Time Frame of Eligibility for Financial Aid

Undergraduate degree programs are designed to be completed in four years. Federal regulations specify that students are eligible to receive aid for 150% of the time normally required to complete an academic program. A minimum of 128 units is required for an undergraduate degree. The maximum time frame for an undergraduate student’s degree completion is 192 attempted units (128 required units x 150% = 192 possible attempted units), or six years of full time enrollment (4 years x 150% = 6 possible years), whichever comes first. Students may receive federal financial assistance for 150% of the length of their degree program. University and state aid has a maximum time frame of four years. Additionally all periods of attendance count toward the duration of eligibility whether aid is received or not.

 Qualitative Standard

Undergraduates must maintain a minimum Pepperdine cumulative 2.0 ("C") grade point average (GPA) and complete a minimum of twelve units per semester. Students must complete a minimum of 67% of their units attempted. For example, students that attempt 24 units after the first year must pass 16 or more to meet SAP. Any student on probation who (1) does not earn a minimum term GPA of 2.00 in the next term of enrollment or (2) fails to clear probation within a calendar year is subject to dismissal and must sit out at least one term before requesting readmission. Please consult the Academic Advising Web site for additional information: https://community.pepperdine.edu/seaver/academicadvising/probation/ . Registration will be cancelled for any student who is dismissed after having registered in advance for a subsequent term. Any student who fails to (1) show progress, or (2) fails to complete a minimum of 12 units per semester will be placed on probation.

Students enrolled in a program of more than two academic years must have a Pepperdine cumulative GPA of at least a "C" or its equivalent at the end of 4 terms or two years or must have an academic standing consistent with the school's graduation requirements. Students that do not meet this requirement will not qualify for financial assistance and all aid will be suspended.

Graduate students are considered to be making SAP as long as they are allowed to enroll.

 Pace (Quantitative Standard)

Students are expected to complete their undergraduate degree by the end of 4 years of full-time study. Therefore, students will forfeit their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs after 6 years of full time enrollment (4 x 150% = 6). Students are limited to eight full-time semesters of institutional aid. All requirements for the bachelor's degree must be completed within seven calendar years from the date in which the student begins undergraduate work at Pepperdine University. If seven years elapse from the time of initial enrollment, the student must meet the requirements of a catalog dated no earlier than seven years prior to the anticipated date of graduation.

Undergraduates must maintain a 67% (no rounding) completion rate of all attempted units, not exceed 150% of the total units required, and maintain at least a 2.0 Pepperdine cumulative GPA. Please note the following regarding SAP eligibility requirements:

  • Courses graded as Incomplete, Failed, Not Passed, or Withdrawn count toward attempted units.
  • In the event a student receives permission to repeat a previously passed course, only the first repeat will apply toward the completed unit count, subsequent repeats will not. This does not apply to courses that are repeatable for credit (i.e. independent study courses).
  • Transfer units will be counted in the completion rate provided the units have been accepted by the University for degree credit.

 Suspension of Aid

Students who are declared ineligible to receive aid (placed on financial aid suspension) for not maintaining SAP will not receive any financial aid in subsequent terms and will be notified promptly, via Pepperdine-email. If special circumstances exist which caused a student to fail to meet one of the above standards, a written appeal may be submitted. Specific instructions for submitting an appeal will be included in the email notification. Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to: death of an immediate family member, injury or medical condition of the student, or other special circumstances. The appeal should address and document these special circumstances AND describe how circumstances have changed in the student's situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP progress at the next evaluation. The student will be notified via Pepperdine -email of the decision to approve or deny financial aid eligibility. Appeals must be submitted to the Office of Financial Assistance, and must include the Appeal Form and supporting documentation. Incomplete appeals or those missing adequate documentation will not be reviewed.  Completed SAP appeals may be reviewed and responded to within 3-5 working days.  

Students who are not meeting SAP standards but have successfully appealed will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and have their eligibility reinstated, subject to availability of funds. This type of probation is for financial aid purposes only and is separate from academic or disciplinary probation policies for other scholarships with the University. The Office of Financial Assistance will evaluate the student's academic progress at the end of each term, when applicable, as determined in the approved appeal. Students who are on Financial Aid Probation are expected to follow the SAP plan and meet the term units and GPA requirements.

Students may also gain future financial aid eligibility, subject to availability of funds, if they enroll in school at their own expense, without the help of student financial aid, and do well enough in the coursework to satisfy both the qualitative and/or quantitative standards. Please note that this will only make students eligible for future aid once reinstated. It is not retroactive.

The purpose of SAP is not only to ensure the wise use of federal, state, and university funds, but to encourage success in your studies, and your graduation from Pepperdine. Most students who diligently complete 67% of attempted units with the minimum GPA will meet the requirements and remain eligible for aid. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance.

 Withdrawal from Courses

Grades of "W" and "I" are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame.

Prior to the end of the eighth week of a semester (second week of each summer session), a student may withdraw from any course by contacting OneStop by Pepperdine e-mail or in person. The transcript will indicate a grade of "W" for such withdrawals. No financial adjustment will be made for withdrawals after the fifth week of a semester or the first week of each summer session.

Students should be aware that adding and withdrawing from classes may result in charges over and above the flat-rate tuition charge.

Students wishing to withdraw from a course after the end of the eighth week of the semester must do so through OneStop no later than one week prior to the last day of regular class meetings. The instructor will assign a grade of "WP" indicating withdraw passing, "WF" indicating withdraw failing, or WP/NC in Cr/NC classes, depending on the student's status at the time of last attendance. The "WF" will be calculated as an "F" in the GPA. Students who have attended classes but who do not officially withdraw will automatically be assigned an "F" by their instructors. All "W"s will be calculated as attempted units and could affect the quantitative area of SAP.

Students may not withdraw from a first-year seminar unless they are completely withdrawing from the University. Withdrawals are official only upon timely written notification to OneStop.

Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of "attempted hours." Students can find additional information in the Financial Policies section of the most recent Academic Catalog.

Pass/Fail Courses: These hours do count within the total of attempted and earned hours

Veterans Benefits: Information or changes in the registration of any student receiving veterans' benefits will be forwarded to the Veterans Administration whenever such changes occur.

 Transfer Credits

After initial enrollment at Seaver College, students can transfer at most 12 units from another school. Students who are dismissed by the Credits Committee in order to complete a full term at another school before returning to Pepperdine may transfer 16 units. Courses taken at a two-year college are transferable only if the student has earned fewer than 64 units, including work at Seaver College. Academic and non-remedial courses completed at other regionally accredited institutions normally transfer to Seaver College as elective units. Approval must be obtained in advance from the Academic Advising Center to apply transfer courses to general studies or major requirements. Appropriate courses may be allowed to satisfy requirements, but the units will not be calculated toward the degree requirements. Only those courses with grades of "C" (2.00) or higher may transfer to fulfill requirements at Seaver College. Transfer credits that are accepted are included in both attempted and completed units. 

 Repeating Courses

Required courses for which a student earns a grade of "F," "WF," "WP," "W," or "NC" must be repeated. When repeating a course (one or more times) for which a grade of "C-" or lower was earned, all grades are calculated into the GPA and the units count only once toward graduation. Courses for which a student earns a grade of "C" or better may be repeated but any succeeding grades will not be calculated in the GPA or the unit total. The repeated courses must be included in determining SAP. In the event a student receives permission to repeat a previously passed course, only the first repeat will apply toward the completed unit count; subsequent repeats will not. Only the first repeat of a passed course may be covered using federal financial aid. 

 Change in Majors & Double Majors

Students who change their majors and double majors are expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 192 attempted hours. Students are required to notify their Academic Advisor and complete the Academic Plan Change form if they change major or minor, so that the Registrar continues to measure their academic progress and requirements for graduation.  



 Remedial Level Courses

Remedial courses do not count toward fulfilling any degree requirements. These units are not included in the total of 128 units required for the degree. Grades received for remedial courses are not calculated into the student’s GPA. 

Title IV SAP does not recognize academic amnesty!