Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires institutions of higher education to establish and apply standards of academic progress that must be met by all students in order for them to qualify and remain eligible for assistance from Title IV student financial aid programs. Georgia Tech has elected to apply the standards set forth below to all students who receive aid from any of the following programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE), Zell Miller Scholarship, Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Student Loan, the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, and Institute grants and scholarships. The standards against which applicants for and recipients of financial assistance are measured include both qualitative and quantitative measures.

Georgia Tech students accepted in the EXCEL Program, a comprehensive transition and postsecondary (CTP) program for students with intellectual disabilities, are required to meet the satisfactory academic process standards.  

Qualitative Standards

You must maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average of:

  • 1.7 as a freshman
  • 1.9 as a sophomore
  • 2.0 as a junior and senior
  • 3.0 for a master's program, effective Summer 2012 (previously 2.7)
  • 3.0 for a PhD program

Quantitative/Pace Standards

You must also satisfactorily complete a cumulative minimum of 75 percent of all credit hours for which you are registered at the end of the drop/add period for each semester.

PREP Courses and Transfer Hours

If you are required to take PREP (developmental) courses, you must pass all requirements within the first three semesters in residence. Such courses are taken on a pass/fail basis and are not counted in determining the number of hours for which you have registered.

Courses completed at other institutions are not used in determining eligibility under the qualitative measure. However, transfer hours accepted for credit toward a degree from Georgia Tech will be counted for purposes of the maximum time frame (see next section). Such hours will be counted by subtracting them from the hours normally required for graduation in your program of study. Effective Fall 2011, accepted transfer hours are calculated into the Quantitative/Pace requirement.

Financial Aid Warning

The academic record of each aid recipient is reviewed at the end of each semester. The review includes all semesters of attendance at Georgia Tech, whether or not financial aid was received. If you fail to meet either of the above requirements, you will be placed on financial aid warning until the next review; you will remain eligible for assistance while on warning status.

Financial Aid Suspension

If you are already on warning and have not removed the deficiencies and met both the qualitative and quantitative cumulative minimums at the end of the next semester of attendance, you will be placed on financial aid suspension; you will not be eligible for further assistance until such time as the cumulative minimums have been met. Courses in which these following grades are received constitute credit hours satisfactorily completed: A through D; S for pass/fail courses. Courses in which these following grades are received do not constitute credit hours satisfactorily completed: F - failure; I - incomplete; U - failure of pass/fail course; W - withdrawn. Courses audited may not be used to qualify for financial aid and are not counted in determining the number of hours for which you have registered. Courses repeated do not replace the original grade. Your scholastic average will include both grades, and both times the course is taken will count as hours which you have attempted. Repeated coursework, however, does not count as additional hours earned for purposes of determining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Maximum Time Frame -- Undergraduate

The Higher Education Act requires that institutions establish a maximum time frame in which students receiving Title IV funds are expected to complete the program of study and beyond which they no longer qualify for assistance. At Georgia Tech, eligibility to receive Title IV assistance ends when you have registered for 133 percent of the number of hours required for graduation in your program of study, including any transferred hours accepted for credit toward the degree. For an undergraduate student, this equates to approximately six academic years of course work, depending on the specific major.

Maximum Time Frame - Graduate

Maximum time frames for graduate studies are: master's - 6 semesters; doctoral - 12 semesters. Graduate students whose programs of study cannot be accomplished within these maximums must furnish documentation from their department to support any extension. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid knows and understands that several factors contribute to a graduate student's academic progress. The standard we utilize looks at hours attempted and terms enrolled, but we recognize that the graduate/thesis advisor is the authority who can help us properly document our files and appropriately assess your situation.

Grade Substitution Policy

Read more details on the impact of the grade substitution policy on financial aid.

Appealing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Suspension

Information on appealing a suspension of financial aid due to student's failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards can be found on our Appeals page.

This website last reviewed/updated on 08/01/17