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Satisfactory Academic Progress For Graduate Students

Satisfactory Academic Progress (Sap) Requirements For Federal & Pace Funded Financial Aid

As a graduate student your academic progress is reviewed at the end of each Spring semester and you must meet the following satisfactory academic progress requirements to receive financial aid for any subsequent semester from any of the following federal or institutional aid programs:


  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans


  • Pace Scholarships *
  • Tuition Remission *

* Recipients of Pace University's scholarships and tuition programs must also meet the additional requirements of these programs regarding the cumulative QPA and other criteria required to maintain continued eligibility for these academic-based programs. Please refer to the Award Agreement Form that you received when you first received one of these awards or speak with a Financial Aid Counselor if you have any questions about your continued eligibility for any institutional award.

Satisfactory academic progress has two-fold criteria with a Qualitative and a Quantitative component. To meet the Qualitative component, students must have the cumulative quality point average (QPA) listed below for the number of credits attempted. To meet the Quantitative component, students must stay on pace to complete their degree within the maximum time frame allowed by this policy by passing the percentage of the total credits they have attempted as indicated in the chart below.

A Graduate student is considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress if the student meets the criteria below:

  • Required Percentage Passed: 67%
  • Minimum Cumulative QPA: 3.0

Review Policies

The cumulative QPA (Quality Point Average) is the average of all quality points achieved for all courses taken during all semesters at Pace toward the current degree program program and included in the current calculation of the QPA by the Registrar’s office.

The following will be considered as credits attempted and passed:

  • "A" through "D" grades
  • "P" passing with credit
  • Transfer credits accepted toward the current degree program.

The following will be considered as credits attempted but not passed:

  • "F" grades
  • "W" withdrawal
  • "I-F" incomplete – failure due to unofficial withdrawal
  • "I" incomplete
  • "I-R" – referral (if the grade of I-R remains for more than one major semester after the semester in which the course was taken)
  • Credits from courses that have been repeated

The following will not be considered as credits attempted or passed:

  • "AUD" audit no credit
  • "K" pending

In the event that a student fails to meet any of the criteria as indicated in the table above, the student will be considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress. All Federal and Pace aid for future semesters is canceled.

Special Note Regarding Repeated Courses

All courses taken at Pace are counted as attempted credits even if they have been taken again. If a student fails a course and then repeats it in a subsequent semester and receives a passing grade, the credits for the first time the course was taken are counted as attempted but not passed and the credits for the second time the course was taken are counted as attempted and passed.

Special Note Regarding Withdrawals

All courses that a student has started at Pace are counted as attempted. Courses from which a student has withdrawn count as attempted but not passed, even though they do not figure into the calculation of the QPA.

Special Note for Resuming Students

All course work toward a particular degree program at Pace University is counted when determining whether a student is making satisfactory academic progress, even if the student has taken some time off from attending the University.

Academic Progress Appeal Provisions

A student who is not making satisfactory academic progress may submit an Appeal to be placed on Academic Progress Probation. Appeals are approved only in cases where the student has demonstrated that the academic progress criteria were not met due to extraordinary circumstances occurring in the student's life, generally beyond his/her control.

Extraordinary circumstances might include:

  • Severe and long term illness or injury to the student making the successful completion of courses that had been started a physical impossibility or hardship.
  • Death of an immediate family member that creates serious emotional stress or, in some cases, serious financial stress or uncertainty.
  • Serious emotional distress as a result of mistreatment (i.e. rape, physical abuse).

Circumstances that, generally, do not warrant an academic progress waiver include:

  • Not liking the course or professor.
  • Being too busy at work, particularly if it is the same job the student had before the semester started and nothing out of the ordinary has occurred in the company.
  • Deciding after the semester starts to take some time off to work.

An Academic Progress Appeal may only be used once as a graduate student, so its use should be carefully considered and timed. During the Probation period, the student must make up any academic progress deficiency. If the Appeal is approved, the student must meet the terms of an Academic Plan developed with the Financial Aid counselor by the end of the next semester and each subsequent semester.

A waiver may be granted ONLY when the following conditions are met:

  • Detailed documentation must be provided to verify the extraordinary circumstances that warrant the waiver.
  • An explanation of how these circumstances resulted in the loss of satisfactory academic progress.
  • An explanation of how the student's situation has changed so that these circumstances are not expected to cause further problems that would prevent the students from demonstrating Satisfactory Academic Progress in the future.
  • Based on the documentation and the student's academic record, there must be a reasonable expectation that all future academic progress requirements will be met.

Please note: Successful appeals of academic standing with the dean of the student's school or division at Pace do not constitute an appeal of academic progress for federal or institutional financial aid. In addition, documentation submitted to either the office of the academic dean or the TAP Coordinator's office to support an appeal of academic standing is not shared with the Financial Aid Office. Students must submit such documentation separately to the Financial Aid Office when submitting an academic progress appeal for federal or institutional financial aid.

A student who believes he/she has grounds for an academic progress appeal should send the documentation outlined above to the Financial Aid Director on his/her home campus.