SAP Appeals- Advisor FAQs

What Is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is required to monitor its student’s academic progress to ensure that they maintain a minimum standard GPA and make steady progress toward degree completion. Students who do not meet the SAP requirements may lose their financial aid eligibility for the following academic year. Students who have a FAFSA on file have SAP evaluated each June after Spring grades are finalized. Those who do not have a FAFSA on file in mid-June will have their progress evaluated once their FAFSA is received by the university.

Undergraduate Students:

  • Remain in good academic standing by earning a minimum GPA of 2.0 (2.0=C) or better on a 4.0 scale. Some financial aid programs may have standards that are more stringent. In those cases the program standards will supersede UMBC’s requirements.
  • May not attempt more than 150% of the credits required to receive an undergraduate degree (i.e.: 120 credits required X 1.5 = a maximum of 180 credits may be attempted). This calculation includes all accepted transfer/test score credits and those that would be attempted for a second major or area of concentration (minor).
Total Number of
Attempted Credits
Cumulative GPA
Percentage of Attempted
Courses Completed
0 – 29 2.0 50%
30 – 59 2.0 60%
60+ 2.0 67%


Graduate Students: 

  • Remain in good academic standing by maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and by completing at least 67% of all enrolled courses. In the event that their program of study requires a higher GPA it will supersede the minimum listed in this procedure.
  • Must also complete their program within the timeframe established in their Degree Requirements as outlined in the Graduate School catalog and may not attempt more than 150% of the credits required to complete their program.

SAP Appeals

Students who do not meet SAP standards have the opportunity to appeal for financial aid based on their unique circumstances. In order to appeal, students must complete two DocuSign forms: SAP Appeal and SAP Academic Plan. Both forms must be received by the posted deadline for appeal consideration in a given semester. Students receive reminders regarding any missing pieces prior to the deadline. Appeals are reviewed by committee and decisions are sent to students via myUMBC.

Appeals for Readmitted Students

Students who have been successfully readmitted to the university may need to complete a SAP appeal if they were not meeting SAP standards when they last attending UMBC. Readmitted students should complete appeals by the posted deadlines for consideration. If they are readmitted after the deadline, they should contact their financial aid counselor directly regarding an appeal extension. SAP decisions cannot be made for students until they have been officially readmitted to the university.

Advisor Responsibility

Students include the name/email of their assigned academic on their Academic Plan. Advisors should review the plan to determine if it seems reasonable and indicate if there are any concerns/issues with the plan as submitted by the student. Advisors should be sure to provide any additional notes or context that they feel would assist the committee in their review.

SAP Academic Plan FAQs

Students input advisor information directly on the DocuSign form for the Academic Plan. If you have incorrectly been sent an Academic Plan for review, you can simply select ‘Decline to Sign’ and note the reason.

Each time you click a link to complete or open a DocuSign form, a duplicate copy of the form is created. If you have a duplicate copy of the form, you can log into DocuSign and delete the duplicate copy. You should be able to see any pending forms and/or copies in action required, waiting for others, or expiring soon in DocuSign. Anything that you have already completed will appear under ‘completed’. 

If the student sent another copy of the form, we recommend checking to be sure that the form includes the same information as the version you have already reviewed. From there, you may sign or ‘Decline to Sign’ as appropriate.

Students should submit all relevant academic plan documentation, including a copy of their completed Academic Plan through their intended graduation, in their DocuSign submission. If you feel the student’s Academic Plan is incomplete, or needs adjustment, you can ‘Decline to Sign’ and indicate in the notes what changes are needed by the student. They can then submit a new copy of the form with the updated information included.

After the advisor signs the academic plan, the student will automatically receive a copy. If a student indicates they are still receiving emails to complete SAP documents, it may be one of the following:

  1. They have not submitted the SAP appeal portion left to complete. As a reminder, students must complete both a SAP Appeal form and the SAP Academic Plan.
  2. They have a duplicate version of the form to delete on DocuSign.

Have additional questions about filling out the SAP Academic Plan as an advisor? Email Colleen Lindbeck, Senior Associate Director.