George Mason University

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Academic progress of aid recipients is reviewed annually. For the majority of students, this occurs at the conclusion of spring semester. Students in the fully on-line graduate programs taught in 8 week modules will have their progress reviewed at the end of FALL semester. After the review, students who do not meet minimum SAP requirements will be ineligible for financial aid and placed on financial aid suspension. Students who request summer aid and appear to be in danger of failing SAP prior to the annual review will be subject to a “hold” on summer aid disbursement until their SAP status can be confirmed..

Academic progress is measured in three ways:

  1. Quantitative Standard – this standard requires all students to complete at least 67% of the credits they have attempted. This is calculated by dividing the number of completed credits by the number of attempted credits.  Attempted credits includes both those earned at Mason and those transferred into Mason.  For instance, if a student has attempted 70 credits and completed 62, the student is passing the quantitative standard (62/70 = 88.6%). If a student attempted 15 credits and passed only 6, the student has failed the quantitative standard (6/15 = 40%).
  2. Time Frame – All students must complete their program of study by attempting no more than 150% of the hours normally required for completion. For instance, if an undergraduate is expected to complete the degree requiring 120 credits, the student can attempt no more than 180 credits before they fail SAP for Time Frame. Please note, transfer credits brought into Mason count as attempted credits.
  3. Qualitative Standard - GPA – all students must meet minimum GPA standards, depending on their level (Undergraduate, Graduate, Law)
           a. Graduate and doctoral students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
           b. Law students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.15
           c. Undergraduate students will see a change in GPA standards from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Previous GPA Standards for Undergraduates (used for the 2017-18 academic year and before) required a 2.0 GPA for all levels of attempted credits.

Beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, the following standards for undergraduate students will be used when SAP is reviewed in the spring of 2019 and thereafter. The GPA required will depend on the number of credits the student has attempted. This change brings the Financial Aid SAP standards more in line with the Good Academic Standing requirements of Mason. The following GPA minimums are as follows:

Attempted Credit Hours Minimum GPA Required
1-16 .67
17-29 1.75
30-59 1.85
60+ 2.0

For complete details on SAP policy, including how to appeal the SAP decision, please refer to the Financial Aid Handbook.   Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal forms are located on the forms page.