Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965 requires Georgia Tech 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. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) will review your academic record at the end of each semester. The review includes all semesters of attendance at Georgia Tech, whether or not financial aid was received.

The academic standards outlined below apply 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) and Zell Miller Scholarship

  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)

  • Federal Direct Student Loan

  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

  • Institute grants and scholarships

  • Students accepted in the EXCEL Program

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average of:

  • 1.7 as a first-year

  • 1.9 as a second-year

  • 2.0 as a third-year and fourth-year

  • 3.0 for a master's program (effective Summer 2012 (previously 2.7))

  • 3.0 for a PhD program

Minimum Cumulative Pace (Completion of Units)

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

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.

Transfer Hours

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 Minimum Cumulative Pace requirement.

Maximum Time Frame

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.

Undergraduate

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.

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.

OSFA 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.

Financial Aid Status Review

We will monitor your GPA, unit completion and your progress toward degree completion in relation to the maximum term time frame eligibility annually after spring grades are posted.

  • Courses in which the following grades are received constitute credit hours satisfactorily completed: A through D or S for pass/fail courses.

  • Courses in which the 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 GPA 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.

Financial Aid Warning

If you fail to meet either the GPA requirement or Minimum Cumulative Pace requirement, 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 financial aid warning and have not removed the deficiencies (met both the GPA and minimum cumulative pace requirements) 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 the academic requirements have been met.

How to Appeal Your SAP Suspension

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 for them to qualify and remain eligible for assistance from Title IV student financial aid programs. SAP consists of two components of measurement: quantity and quality. The OSFA evaluates the SAP status of each financial aid recipient at the end of every semester.

GPA / Minimum Credit Hours

You must complete and submit an Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension Form explaining the causes beyond your control that brought about the current situation. You should include with this form any documentation that would support the appeal (e.g., hospital records, etc.).

Maximum Time Frame

You must complete and submit an Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension Form explaining why you have exceeded the maximum time frame, including valid reasons for an extension (e.g., transfer hours, change of major, etc.). The form must include a specific list of the courses you are required to take in order to complete your degree. The maximum number of attempted hours allowed through appeal is 150 percent of the number of hours required for the degree program.

Grade Substitution Policy


Learn more about the grade substitution policy that allows first-year students to exclude a grade of D or F in a course from their computation of academic average.

Grade Substitution Limits